Slasher: Guilty Party rolled out on Netflix October 17th, and this week, I chatted with series creator Aaron Martin and two of the cast, Paula Brancati (Being Erica and What Would Sal Do?) and Lovell Adams-Gray (Lost & Found Music Studio), about the second season of the horror series. I’ll have extended interviews with each in the coming weeks, but first up, they talk about the arcing between flashbacks set five years ago when the precipitating SOMETHING TERRIBLE transpires, and the present, when that previous SOMETHING TERRIBLE gets amped up exponentially.
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
Martin was drawn to flashbacks as a framing device for maximum impact guilt, hence the title. “I always feel guilty as a person. I think everything makes me feel guilty, so I thought, ‘What about making a show where five people actually have something terrible to feel guilty about as a second season for Slasher,'” he says. “Put a terrible event in the past and [have] them trying to deal with it, probably not in the best way possible, and [have] justice coming for them.”
Rather than compartmentalize past and present, Martin instead fluidly layers the flashbacks throughout the current timeline, incrementally revealing the full horror of the past SOMETHING TERRIBLE to inform plot turns in the present, and he added flashbacks for the current residents of the intentional community that now occupies the converted camp.
“Just because of the fact that something terrible happened five years ago, I thought it would be really interesting to tease out exactly what that was over the course of the season,” he points out. “Because the people at the retreat are complete strangers, we don’t have any context for them. I liked the idea of giving them some backstory before they arrived at this place where they’re all Zen.”
Like the first season, the 8-episode second season was block shot as one continuous shoot. The present-day winter scenes were filmed last winter outside Toronto and the flashbacks set five years earlier and in summer were filmed last. “We went from exterior winter to interior winter to summer, which was actually spring,” says Martin. “It was May-in-Canada weather. The days were OK, but the night scenes were a little cold, but that’s Canada.”
By the time the cast shot the flashbacks, their characters had been put though emotional and physical wringers and Brancati, who plays Dawn, marveled that they actually do look younger when they’re supposed to. “We shot the flashbacks … at the end of three-and-a-half very long months of shooting,” she shares.
“Seeing the flashbacks, I can’t believe what a number our fantastic hair and make up team, led by Alex Rotundo, did on us because … we were looking tired. I think I permanently walked around with under-eye mask things constantly. The flashbacks intercut with the present day stuff is really, really cool and I sort of buy it that we [were] in our early 20s.”
Adams-Gray enjoyed playing the before-and-after of his character, Peter. “It was fun to play him [younger] when he’s not so depressed and [he was] loving and kind. It was nice to get into it from a different headscape,” he explains.
“It escalated quickly. To go from five years ago when I’m going to be at summer camp and mess around with all the girls to carrying all this [weight] around for so long was a very interesting journey and it was easy to [adapt] to Peter’s happier self when it was warm outside.”
Slasher: Guilty Party is airing now on Netflix. Check back for more of our interviews in the coming weeks.
Photos Courtesy of Netflix and Shaftesbury TV