Naomi Watts, Jacob Tremblay, Maddie Ziegler, and Jaeden Lieberher star in this thriller, out June 16, that sees them all caught in a plan to save young Ziegler’s character — and director Colin Trevorrow tells PEOPLE he wanted to make sure he kept the audience at the edge of their seats when it comes to the twists and turns of the movie.
“Part of what I hope will attract people to it is that it’s extremely unexpected and it takes you to places that you couldn’t really imagine the movie would ever go,” says the Jurassic World and upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX director. “At a time when I feel like audiences have become so savvy in the way that stories go, I wanted to create a film that could be genuinely surprising and unpredictable.”
The Book of Henry centers around Watts’ character, Susan Carpenter, and her two young sons: 11-year-old Henry (Lieberher) and 8-year-old Peter (Tremblay). Her brilliantly smart and mature older son takes care of her and the family — and eventually realizes there is something wrong with their next-door neighbor Christina (Ziegler) and her stepfather (Dean Norris).
Once Susan sees her son is right, she discovers a plan he’s concocted to address the situation — but it may be too extreme.
“It really is Naomi’s movie. I think that the trailer and the title of the film suggest that it’s all about Henry, but in the end it’s really her journey as a parent,” Trevorrow says about Watts. “She’s extraordinary. I think the character feels an anger that I think we’re all very familiar with right now: We look around and the world is on fire and we have this instinct to go on a mission of vengeance, but that’s not a real solution. She has to fight against the natural human instinct that we all have to use violence to right a horrible wrong and push back against it.”