Dead again

Happy deaTh day 2u i The time-loop hor­ror’s di­rec­tor guides us through his cir­cuitous se­quel…

Total Film - - Dialogue - SK

Ever get that feel­ing of déjà vu? Sleeper hit Happy Death Day (2017) saw soror­ity girl Tree (Jes­sica Rothe) trapped in a time loop and killed, re­peat­edly, un­til she could solve her own mur­der. In the up­com­ing Happy Death Day 2U, Tree finds it’s harder to es­cape than she thought. Teasers asks re­turn­ing di­rec­tor Christo­pher Lan­don how to make a dead-good se­quel when he’s al­ready told the same story, again and again…

Take risks

“I just knew you can’t do the same old, same old,” Lan­don muses.

“I would rather take a big­ger risk and do some­thing a lit­tle bit bat­shit crazy and swing for the fences.” It’s ironic, then, that his big­gest risk is to throw Tree right back into the same old, same old. “Tree gets trapped in the same day, again!” laughs Lan­don. “But not in the way that you could ever ex­pect.”

Change The genre

Even Lan­don ad­mits that Happy Death Day can be boiled down to a sim­ple pitch: Ground­hog Day meets Scream. This time, he’s shaken up the in­flu­ences. “I was re­ally into Back To The Fu­ture Part II and

Weird Science. We have a very strong sci-fi el­e­ment to this movie.” A key dif­fer­ence is that Tree is no longer alone. “This time, she has a team,” Lan­don teases.

Build The myThol­ogy

Given his ex­pe­ri­ence writ­ing and di­rect­ing Para­nor­mal Ac­tiv­ity se­quels, Lan­don knows how to un­furl a story over mul­ti­ple movies. Which helps ex­plain why the time loop in Happy Death Day went un­re­solved. “I felt it would feel like dull ex­po­si­tion. I wanted to ex­plain it with a whole other movie.” Drum­roll… “This time, peo­ple will 100 per cent know how and why Tree ended up in this loop.”

aC­knowl­edge The fans

Re­turn­ing – quite lit­er­ally – to the first film’s events has helped Lan­don to re­cap­ture what worked be­fore. “It’s im­por­tant not to ig­nore your fan­base, to still sat­isfy them and do some stuff that they can recog­nise and ap­pre­ci­ate,” he says. Does that mean that new­bies to Tree’s world should catch up with Happy Death Day? “Oh God yeah, big time! We ac­tu­ally do a recap so we can help peo­ple along, but the ex­pe­ri­ence of the new movie is greatly en­hanced by see­ing the first movie.”

Be True To The Tone

The emo­tional arc of Happy Death Day was Tree’s jour­ney from self­ish bitch to nice gal. As Lan­don notes, “It’s an un­usual thing to see in a hor­ror film. It’s more of a rom­com thing.” So rather than up the vi­o­lence, Lan­don was keen to en­sure that “it’s still very much about Tree’s evo­lu­tion as a char­ac­ter – the tone of the movie doesn’t re­ally sup­port it be­com­ing some sort of gore-fest”. But fear not, hor­ror fans. “She dies a lot!” Lan­don prom­ises.


se­rial killing Jes­sica Rothe’s Tree (be­low) is back re­liv­ing her own mur­der at the hands of a baby mask-wear­ing killer (above).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.