The director of the upcoming horror sequel The Strangers 2 has revealed the influences for the film and the classic tone that he's trying to capture. Speaking in an interview, Johannes Roberts (The Other Side of the Door) praised his cast and hinted at what we can expect from the film.
For such an influential horror movie it's surprising that a follow-up to The Strangers has taken so long to get past the development phase and anywhere near a cinema screen. The original film was released in 2008 and starred Liv Tyler (The Leftovers) and Scott Speedman (Animal Kingdom). It was directed by Bryan Bertino (The Monster) and supposedly based on true life incidents. Depicting a harrowing and random home invasion, it did get mixed reviews at the time but became a commercial success at the global box office making $82m from a $9m budget. Eventually becoming something of a cult movie and admired for its very dark themes, talk of a sequel started soon after its release. This wasn't officially confirmed until the director and shooting schedule was announced at the start of June.
Roberts certainly has a sturdy history with indie horror, and his current movie (the shark thriller 47 Meters Down) has also had some good notices. He spoke to Dread Central regarding the upcoming film and how he hopes it will match up to some previous scary classics:
"It’s going to be great, I hope. I’m in week two of filming. It’s Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison, Lewis Pullman ... It looks absolutely incredible. I love Bertino’s film, I think it’s an amazing movie and tonally this movie is going to fit very well into that universe. It has a real strong emotional heart, which the first one did, and it has a very cool retro feel to it, a lot of sort of references to… I mean, I always bring a lot of John Carpenter with me because that’s what I grew up on, but also maybe going back a bit earlier to the seventies movies, from Don’t Look Now to Duel, the Spielberg movie, even Christine a bit, the John Carpenter movie. All of these influences are finding their way into the movie, but I think it’s going to be a real fantastic movie. I’m super excited about it."
Roberts certainly has the background to be able to make an effective sequel, and the presence of actors like Christina Hendricks also indicates that it shouldn't merely consist of predictable jump-scares or re-hashed sequences from the first film. The current synopsis describes a family taking a road trip and stopping at a park before "three familiar masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test their every limit". Whether these are the same masked antagonists from the original story or not remains to be seen.
However it turns out, it's definitely encouraging to hear Roberts talk about emulating the early works of Spielberg and Carpenter. Hopefully this means that we'll get a cool retro horror that will chill and thrill in equal measures. In the meantime we'll reserve judgement and keep you updated as more information becomes available.
The Strangers 2 has yet to be given an official release date.
Source: Dread Central