Going into a movie called “The Kindergarten Teacher,” audiences might be surprised that what they thought was light family fare is an intense thriller — a shock that star and producer Maggie Gyllenhaal revels in.

“I love the feeling of having people’s expectations shattered or shifted,” Gyllenhaal said at the Hamptons International Film Festival. “Some percentage of them thought it was going to be something very, very different from what it was. And I really find that thrilling.”

The pic was released Oct. 12 on Netflix, but previously premiered at the Sundance and Toronto film festivals. Gyllenhaal said she has enjoyed watching the last 10-15 minutes of the film with audiences, and seeing their often heightened reactions.

“People make noise. They laugh, they gasp, they moan. I never really anticipated that, but I love it,” Gyllenhaal said. “The end of the movie, it’s almost like a little rollercoaster you’re on. And then to get to see and talk to the people who I heard have that experience, that is actually why I made it.”