Comic-Con interviews are a funny thing. You’re not given enough time to get really deep with the interviewee about whatever film or product they’re promoting, so – for a guy like me – I’m left to merely do a “warm up” discussion that will only serve to preview a film and pave the way for a larger interview that will occur down the road.
That said, I had five minutes to talk with Jen and Sylvia Soska of American Mary. This Canadian directing duo have leveled up and directed See No Evil 2 for WWE/Lionsgate which they’re pushing at the con.
The sequel to the 2006 film is hitting DVD/Blu-ray/VOD this fall and stars Danielle Harrie, Katharine Isabelle, Glenn Jacobs and Kaj-Erik Eriksen.
The synopsis: He fell to his apparent demise from high atop the Blackwell Hotel in See No Evil, and this sequel picks up where the last one left off. With Jacob’s body lying on a cold sub-basement slab in the city morgue, Amy (Danielle Harris), a mortician, is surprised when a group of friends pay her a late-night visit for her birthday. But the surprise soon turns deadly when the psychopath everyone believed to be dead sets-out on a horrific killing spree, and Amy and her friends must do whatever it takes to survive.
Read on for my brief chat in which the Soskas talk about the sequel’s origins and tone.
Ryan Turek: The first film was directed by someone who was a former porn director. I feel maybe you need porn under your belt to have taken on a sequel to See No Evil…maybe?
Jen Soska: We watched enough porn!
Sylvia Soska: We’re big fans of porn and have been training a long time to get this gig. [laughs]
Turek: Post-American Mary, how did this sequel come about? Was it something they sent along to you or did you pitch it?
Jen: After American Mary – like Katie [Isabelle] where people just wanted her to play the same role over and over – we were getting sent like medical horror movies.
Sylvia: The same shit over and over.
Jen: And then they sent us See No Evil 2 and we didn’t even read it right away.
Sylvia: We were in no rush to it, we didn’t no it was a priority. We were getting so many crappy scripts.
Jen: We read it and we didn’t even realize it was a script for a sequel to See No Evil. We had seen the first one and we started watching wrestling when Kane was introduced, so we were like no f**king way!
Sylvia: There was a certain point in the script where we were like, “We have to do this. Done and done. We have to.”
Jen: It was amazing. We didn’t think we’d get it. And we’re on like a quota list so if they feel like “Oh, we need to get a female director, put the Soskas on it” they call us.
Sylvia: Or a list for projects they’re looking to relaunch. We’re on that, too.
Turek: You had your own personal project you were trying to get going too, right?
Jen and Sylvia: “Bob” yeah…
Sylvia: Like American Mary, it’s high concept and unconventional and original. Bob is coming. Secretly it’s been growing.
Turek: How does this film differ visually from your previous two films?
Sylvia: We love horror and we love ’80s slasher and this is a classic throwback to slashers like Halloween, Halloween II and Hellraiser and other films that had an influence on us. And this is so much better than American Mary because we have grown.
Jen: Technically, we have grown. We know so much more. And it’s our first scary movie which I loved. We haven’t done that yet.
Turek: That’s true, isn’t it? This is your first full-on horror film. What’s this I hear about a moment in the film where the power goes out and everyone is thrown into darkness and only natural light from phones and EXIT signs are used?
Jen: My d.p. was thrilled about that. [laughs] He was like, “No lights and no windows? Yeeeeeah.”
Sylvia: It starts as a John Hughes movie and then it’s a horror movie. And then when the lights go out you’re like, “F**k, this is one of those really scary ‘the end of Alien‘ movies.”
Jen: You don’t care about people dying unless you have an emotional attachment to them. So for the first little bit you almost forget it’s a horror movie, but then there’s a point where it turns and it doesn’t stop from there. Everyone is fair game.
Turek: Do you get a cameo?
Jen: Yeah yeah yeah! Maybe… [laughs]
Sylvia: [laughs] Maybe!