Friday, October 22, 2010

"My Super Psycho Sweet 16" -- The Chase Is On

When we last left Skye Rotter, played by Lauren McKnight (pictured left), at the end of last year’s MTV movie MY SUPER PSYCHO SWEET 16, she was departing the Roller Dome where a number of her

high-school classmates had been slain by her deranged dad Charlie—leaving her nemesis, Madison Penrose, to die at his hands. In MY SUPER PSYCHO SWEET 16 2, debuting tonight on the cable channel (see review here), we find Skye in search of inner peace and the mother who abandoned her when she was a baby—somewhat heavier dramatic territory than usual for slasher sequels.
“She’s been tormented her entire life,” McKnight observes. “She’s had this psycho-killer dad, Madison destroyed her life as a teenager, so that’s where the sympathy for my character comes from. She goes to find her mom, whom she barely even remembers and has a new life, a new family, a new husband, and Skye discovers she has a half-sister she has never met before, Alex. There are still some tender moments in this movie; I mean, Skye’s not a hardened murderer now.”“She’s basically conflicted about the dark side of her genealogy,” says SUPER PSYCHO 2 director Jacob Gentry (pictured with actresses McKnight, right, and Kirsten Prout), also back from the previous movie. “That’s a big conflict for her—is she going to turn out like her dad, or she going to be a new person and find her own identity? No matter how much you can say morally about the fact that she let another girl die, you can see that she’s conflicted about it. You’re so much inside her story and her inner goings-on that even if she makes a bad choice, you’re still along for the ride.”

That ride isn’t all heavy interior drama, of course; there’s another major party to be staged and another round of slashings to stain it with blood, courtesy of Charlie (Alex Van), who tracks Skye down before too long. Writer/producers Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas, while bringing Madison (Julianna Guill) back briefly in ghost/nightmare form, also introduce a new queen-bee teen, Zoe (Stella Maeve), to make trouble for Skye and Alex (Prout). All this added up to an opportunity for Gentry to build a better stalker sequel, one that he was excited to tackle.

“A lot of horror follow-ups introduce a whole new scenario and set of characters and just carry over one element,” he notes, “or, in the case of HALLOWEEN or something like that, they reverse-engineer a relationship that wasn’t present in the first one. We had all these unanswered questions from the original that we were able to play and go further with, and really continue the arc of the story. We had this family saga, and we introduce a whole new element with Alex and her mom and this whole new townful of people. The idea is that if you start at the beginning of the first movie and end with the second one, it’s a nice journey. Over the two of them, we have a really good story arc.

“Plus, we raised the ante on everything: the drama, the comedy, the suspense—and the gore,” he continues. “We definitely tried to raise the bar in terms of the thrills and the suspense leading up to the violence, which we wanted to make creative and fun; it’s almost like pop violence. There are some brutal moments, but it’s all within the context of the story.” Apparently Standards and Practices agreed, as MY SUPER PSYCHO SWEET 16 2 contains some pretty splatterific moments for a basic cable program. “It’s been pretty great” dealing with S&P, Gentry says. “We thought they were going to be very conservative in terms of that stuff, and we were able to push it all the way and were surprised at how much we could do. I think we got away with a lot more because, again, it works within the story. You’re connected with the characters and what they’re going through, so it’s more effective. It’s not just about coming up with some quirky way of killing somebody and then shoehorning it into the movie.”

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