In the upcoming psychological thriller The Institute, James Franco portrays a 19th-century doctor with some unconventional ideas about wellness. And unfortunately for his newest patient, the cure might be worse than the ailment.
EW has an exclusive look at the film’s trailer, which opens with a grief-stricken young woman named Isabel Porter (Allie Gallerani) checking herself into the Rosewood Institute after her parents’ untimely death. She soon encounters the charismatic but slightly creepy Dr. Cairnes (Franco), who makes her a tempting promise.
“I can give you the freedom you desire,” he says, “but you will need to trust my methods — unorthodox though they may seem.”
Beginning with an exploration of pain, which the good doctor calls “the most primitive of feelings,” his experiments spiral into brainwashing, obsession, and violence.
Franco co-directed The Institute, which opens March 3, with Pamela Romanowsky. The cast also includes Eric Roberts, Tim Blake Nelson, and Lori Singer.