david j. moore talks to Jen and Sylvia Soska about See No Evil 2 at the San Diego Comic-Con International…
Hot off the independent creative hits Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009) and American Mary (2012), Jen and Sylvia Soska – also known as the Twisted Twins – are back this year with the WWE / Lionsgate venture See No Evil 2, a long-belated sequel to See No Evil (2006), starring Glenn “Kane” Jacobs as the hulking serial killing slasher Jacob Goodnight. The sequel, which the Soskas have promised will up the gore and kill quotient exponentially, is due in theaters this October.
david j. moore: How were able to take the See No Evil franchise to the next level with See No Evil 2?
Jen: When the first one came out, we saw it a million times. We took off where the first one left off and built from there. We put it on steroids and human growth hormones. It’s so much bigger than the last one. Everything that you loved about the first one, you’ll have in the second one, but then we went even further.
Sylvia: Yeah, this is our very first, scary “scary” movie, and we’re huge wrestling fans. We started watching wrestling when Kane came on, so to be able to do a movie with Kane … we fuckin’ freaked! We love slasher movies, but we find a lot of times that with modern slasher movies that you’ve already seen that before. It’s formulaic.
Jen: Exactly. So we wanted to do a throwback to movies when it wasn’t a formula. Before you knew what a slasher was. We wanted to turn the whole thing on its head so that it’s completely unexpected. And then of course, we wanted to up the kills.
Sylvia: We wanted to do kills that you’d never seen before. We loved the eye gauging in the first one, but after the third eye gauge, we were like, “Kill them in a different way! Like rip their face off! Do something new!”
Jen: There are a lot of creative kills in this. There’s one kill in this film that has never been done in any movie every before.
Sylvia: It’s our pièce de résistance. It’s beautiful. It’s in slow motion. In case you missed the kill, you can experience every moment in slow motion.
Jen: I think there’s beauty in gore and suffering. We really walked that line where it looked awful and shocking, but there’s good coloring …
david j. moore: Was Kane intimidated by you ladies? You guys are crazy.
Jen: (Laughing) We are huge fans of that man. When he came into our office, we had to calm down. It took us thirty seconds to calm down.
Sylvia: When he came into the room, he gave us a look like, “What the hell is going on?”
Jen: He was so wonderful to work with. He’s used to one take in wrestling, but we do multiple takes. He would do it perfect every time, and we were like, “You have to start fucking up so that we can do more takes!” He was like, “Oh, what do you want me to do differently?”
Sylvia: He’s a natural performer and such a good actor. That’s all he does. He does it in front of millions live. He performs all the time under pressure.
david j. moore: What would you say your directing style is? How is the dynamic between the two of you?
Sylvia: I can’t talk to people.
Jen: We’re Lars Von Trier and Joss Whedon. I write the jokes, she writes the rapes.
Sylvia: Jen’s really good with people and with details. She always talks to people and talks to the props people. I love camera stuff and lighting.
Jen: We’re both proudly failed actresses, also. We know how to see actors and we know how they’re feeling. It’s important because we know how to talk to actors. Talk to them.
Sylvia: We’re good cop and bad cop.
david j. moore: How were you two chosen to direct See No Evil 2?
Sylvia: It’s so weird. Our agent called me and said, “Did you read the script I sent you? It’s See No Evil 2. Read it right away!” I thought, It couldn’t be a sequel to See No Evil… They wouldn’t give that to me…
Jen: We were fans of it from the very beginning.
Sylvia: Usually, when they give you a script, they give you a bunch of time to read it, but they wanted to get on the phone with us NOW.
Jen: It’s WWE… seriously?!
Sylvia: Oh, my God, I love this! Our agent said, “You need to talk to them right away.” We didn’t think they’d hire us.
Jen: Yeah, like WWE and Lionsgate is going to hire us. Yeah, right. We get on the phone, and we told them, “We love your script, and we love your company, and whoever you go with, it’s going to be a great movie! I can’t wait to see it!” The next day we got a call, and our agent said, “Yeah, they hired you.” We’re like, What?!
Sylvia: If you don’t passionately love something, we’re not doing it.
david j. moore:Is there a possibility of you two directing See No Evil 3D?
Sylvia: I would love to make See No Evil 3D!
Jen: Are you kidding me? We’ve already started pitching things like, “Jacob Goodnight goes to a rave!” Can you imaging seeing Jacob Goodnight at Burning Man?
Many thanks to the Soska Sisters for taking the time for this interview.
First image by david j. moore.
david j. moore is a contributing writer to Fangoria, FilmFax, Lunchmeat and VideoScope Magazines. His book WORLD GONE WILD: A SURVIVOR’S GUIDE TO POST-APOCALYPTIC MOVIES was published this year.