Ah, CRY WOLF – very underrated, underappeciated whodunnit for all the same reasons APRIL FOOLS DAY was – heck, felt like a companion flick. But I digress. Actor from that film, Julian Morris stars in SORORITY ROW (2009), and speaks about the redux:
Were you familiar with the original House on Sorority Row, and, if so, how faithful is this remake?
I had heard about the original, but it wasn’t a movie I had seen. When I read the script for the new one, I watched the older version and have in fact met the original writer and director, Mark Rosman. He actually came to set a number of days when we were filming the new one. He’s a huge supporter of the new one, which is a totally different animal. Characters are being changed and the killer is different. The new version is definitely contemporized.
Who do you play in the film and how does he get sucked into all the chaos going on?
I play Andy, the boyfriend of the lead girl, Cassidy, and at first, I see her in this awful sorority house with these awful sorority sisters. He doesn’t know about their prank gone wrong, so I’m not sure why she’s trying to distance herself from the sorority. Being the good boyfriend, I give her my support. I’m also the valedictorian. I give a speech and initiate the graduation ceremony. Of course, when the serial killer starts striking, I’m the one who has to save my girlfriend.
The guilty pleasures of many horror movies are the gruesome deaths. Which one made you squirm the most?
I don’t know if it’s because the writers of the script are sick or the director is sicker but this one is really good. A lot of the deaths involve a slight edge or dark twist of humor. It makes them all the more perverse and worse. My favorite one involves Margo Harshman’s character Chugs who is seeing her psychiatrist and having an affair with him. Of course, it’s not the therapist who is there but the killer. I don’t want to give it away but it’s fantastic. My death is pretty good as well.
Is the whodunit aspect as important as the gore?
For this type of film and genre, it often is. The great thing about Sorority Row is it’s a horror, but not in the same vein as Hostel or Saw, where it’s gratuitous violence. It harkens back to the genre pieces of the ‘90s, like I Know What You Did Last Summer or Scream, where you have that humor running through it. It’s slightly self defacing and self referential. Particularly for these films, the whodunit aspect is vital. That’s very true for Sorority Row where you are wondering who did it and how the killer knew about the prank. Is it one of them? An outsider? Are they from the sorority house? A lot of these sorority sisters are awful people so when they are killed, you really enjoy it. In a way, you are rooting for whoever is behind this mask and graduation gown. It’s also thrilling when you have the reveal to see who it is.
In Cry Wolf, the deaths were mainly smoke and mirrors, so how much corn syrup did you have to deal with for Sorority Row?
A lot. It’s funny but Cry Wolf was pretty tame in comparison, but at the time I didn’t think it was. There is a lot of corn syrup in this one and it does have an R rating.