Austin Mahone, Lauren Cohan and JC
Photo by Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

At the fan event screening of “The Boy” on Wednesday at the Cinemark Playa Vista, star Lauren Cohan talked about how the brand of horror the movie looked to impose on viewers was different that the kind dealt with in her uber-popular show, “The Walking Dead.”

“It appealed to me to explore the psychological side of this,” Cohan said. “(My character’s) challenges are trying to navigate this by herself. It almost feels like a purgatory and she can’t really ascertain if what’s happening to her is real or not. When you look at ‘The Walking Dead,’ you know you’re being chased and there is a verifiable death at your doorstep.”

The actress plays Greta, a young American who moves to a remote English village for a nannying job. When she arrives, she discovers that the family’s 8-year-old boy is actually a life-sized doll that the parents take care of — in order to cope with the death of their son, 20 years earlier. Greta eventually begins to believe that the doll is actually alive.

“The Boy” is hardly Cohan’s introduction to the horror genre. Even before she began starring on “The Walking Dead” as Maggie Greene, she had roles in both “Supernatural” and “The Vampire Diaries.”

“The most fun thing about horror is watching somebody do something that you don’t want them to do,” she said on what appealed to her about the genre. “I love yelling at the television, ‘no, please don’t go in there, why would you do that?'”

Ben Robson, who plays Greta’s ex-boyfriend Cole, said horror is all about feeling alive.

“It’s sitting in your seat and being on the edge of death and getting away,” he said.

The event itself, pegged as a fan event, saw the movie streamed in 15 cities simultaneously. Along with many pieces of the set being moved to the L.A. screening for fans to see, there were also social media personalities hosting each event. Justine Ezarik, or iJustine as she is known on the Internet, hosted the event, along with other personalities like Austin Mahone, Joey Graceffa and Jc Caylen attending as well to meet and take pictures with fans.

“The Boy,” from STX Entertainment and Lakeshore Entertainment, releases nationwide on Jan. 22.

(Pictured: Austin Mahone, Lauren Cohan and JC Caylen)

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