Category Archives: Andy Burns/Andy B
I was, if you can believe, probably about five or six years old when I had my first glimpse of a Stanley Kubrick film. It was the middle of a sunny, Sunday afternoon, and I was visiting my father, stepmother and sister. For some reason that would probably merit a visit from child services today, Dad had The Shining going on the VCR.
About a week or so I reviewed the latest film from the Twisted Twins, the sensational Jen and Sylvia Soska. These Vancouver natives have been on an artistic role within the horror genre with their two most recent film, the immediate classic American Mary and their latest effort, See No Evil 2, a throwback slasher film that employs the Soska’s visual sensibilities with their love of all things gruesome and violent. I’m a huge fan of their work, so it was a thrill once again to be able to talk to the twins via email about See No Evil 2, their ongoing relationship with actor Katharine Isabelle and much more (including some pro wrestling chatter too).
Andy Burns: Ok, ladies, this movie was seriously fun from the moment it started. Great jump scares, a killer…killer and super solid performances from everyone involved. So first off, you delivered! As for my first question, how did See No Evil 2 become your follow up to American Mary?
Sylvia Soska: Thank you so much! After the success of Mary, every meeting we took, despite what we were pitching for became a request for us to make a watered down version of what we just made – sexy surgeon Katie doing something or other. It became depressing. Our goal has always been to make something different with each film, even though we really do put our sensibilities pretty thickly into whatever we make. The slasher sub genre was one we really wanted to tackle and we are huge Glenn “Kane” Jacobs fans – this was a great opportunity to make a love letter to slashers.
Jen Soska: We are the fan directors. We love movies, horror, video games, comic books, and WWE (from way back when it was WWF). It was really exciting to be able to take one of our favorite WWE Superstars, Glenn “Kane” Jacobs and be able to recreate his Jacob Goodnight character. We actually started watching wrestling just as Kane was being introduced so being able to work with Glenn was so special to us. We started out as Kane fans and now we are the biggest Glenn Jacobs fans.
Some people also forget that not only did we make American Mary, but also Dead Hooker In A Trunk. We love exploring all the delicious sub genres of horror. One of the things we like to do more than anything is keep our audiences guessing. You see that in our films themselves and we try to do that with the films we select to take on. We never want to repeat ourselves.
A somewhat quiet weekend at the box office, as non of the new releases really scared up much in the way of audience dollars or excitement. Here’s what went down:
As predicted, Ouija opened in the top spot, but it only brought in about $20 million. While not chump change, and assuming the budget was fairly low, it’s a decent return for a film with no stars, it’s nowhere near in line with previous Halloween horror streets like the Saw or Paranormal Activity franchises.
It’s the weekend before Halloween, which means another horror flick is looking for the top of the box office bragging rights. Will it score, or will the return of Keanu Reeves hold it off? Here’s our predictions:
Ouija is a film about, get this, a ouija board. Pretty self explanatory, which should certainly help bring in horror hunger audiences looking for scares. There are no stars in this one, so the film is going to have to rely upon the kindness/desperation of strangers to perform. On that note, look for a $24 million debut to top the box office this weekend.
Back in the 1980’s, Stephen King famously said that he had seen the new face of horror and that it belonged to Clvie Barker. Now, while I know I’m not anywhere the Master’s league, whenever I think about the work of Jen and Sylvia Soska, I feel as though they’re the new “new” face of horror. If that’s the case, the genre is in good hands.
Like many, I first discovered the Soska Sisters with their groundbreaking, body modification horror film, American Mary. A low budget movie that doesn’t look it, American Mary features a stellar performance by the luminous Katharine Isabelle as a med student who enters the lucrative world of body modification surgery. The film is often gruesome, but it doesn’t rely on the gore; this is a character driven horror flick at its finest (it’s on Netflix and TMN in Canada and is absolutely worth your time; even my mom thought it was “interesting”, which, believe me, is high praise).
This week, the Soska Sisters return with their latest directorial effort, See No Evil 2, a sequel to a film I never saw in the first place. The original stars WWE superstar Glenn “Kane” Jacobs as serial killer Jacob Goodnight, who was apparently killed at the end of the first film, but you know how these things go. Instead, Goodnight returns to terrorize a bunch of students at a morgue where birthday girl Amy (Danielle Harris) has to work late.
In March of 1990, I had just recently turned 13 years old. I was on a family trip to Houston to visit some friends of my father, but for me, the most important thing to accomplish this trip, aside from studying for my imminent Bar Mitzvah, was finding a movie theatre that was showing Clive Barker’s Nightbreed. The film had been rated R in Canada, which meant nobody under 18 was allowed to see it (screw you, Big Brother!). On one of our final nights, Dad (ill at the time), his friend and me schlepped to some out of the way movie theatre, where the film was still playing. Walt, my Dad’s friend, hates horror movies, so he opted to see Look Who’s Talking, while we went and sat through Clive’s monster movie equivalent of Star Wars. Having read both the original novel, Cabal, and the Epic Comics adaptation, I was psyched to see the creatures of Midian come to life. And when they did, I thoroughly enjoyed. Admittedly, I was also thrilled to be seeing a film some watchdogs seemed to think I wasn’t ready for (up yours, Big Brother!). However, my enjoyment was slightly curtailed as the film’s conclusion, when I asked Dad if he liked it.
“No,” he scoffed. “It wasn’t even scary.”
Not scary! Not scary! What do you mean, not scary. It was…it was….
Look, Dad had a point, ok. Even if I loved it.