"Found-footage torture porn." That's what "Trick 'r Treat" writer/director Michael Dougherty said fans can expect of his approach for the just-announced sequel.
Dougherty is joking, of course. "We're the antithesis of that," he told MTV News. The helmer will also take on writing and directing duties for the much-anticipated "Trick 'r Treat 2." The first "Trick 'r Treat" was a throwback to omnibus horror films like "Creepshow" and "Tales From the Crypt," and Dougherty seemed reluctant to break from the tradition in his second film.
Dougherty offered that it was the fans that got "Trick 'r Treat 2" green-lit: "There's been a lot of fan demand for a sequel for years now, and I feel like this is sort of the first time that the fans have reached that fever pitch on Facebook and online, he said with a laugh.
The first film has become a fixture in annual Halloween best-of lists since its release, an easy entry in horror marathons."I think [that] finally made its way up to the powers-that-be at Legendary [Pictures]," Dougherty continued.
Dougherty has "loose ideas" about what the sequel should be. "I think the important thing is that we remain true to the spirit of the original in that it's a fun horror Halloween film," he added.
But when we pressed him prior to the sequel announcement about what kind of horror mythology he'd like to visit in the next entry, Dougherty said he's been thinking a lot about witchcraft: "A year ago, I was telling a friend of mine, 'Witches will be the next one.' They're almost sort of a natural fit after werewolves, zombies and vampires."
Still, all ideas are on the table. "To me, it's less about the kind of monsters ... [they] are less important than what kinds of stories we're telling," he explained.
Stories, myths, and legends — an important part of the first film — will be at least be part of the sequel.
"Halloween has its roots in folklore [and] the fact that it's a holiday that goes back thousands of years has sort of evolved with us as a culture," Dougherty said. "It just lends itself to creepy stories told around a campfire."
The interest in stories and legends also means fans can expect a return of the movie's bag-headed killer, Sam. "It was always the plan to have him be the common link between all of the stories and all of the films," Dougherty revealed. And since the character effectively serves as the mascot for "Trick 'r Treat," fans will expect the next script to dig deeper into his story while not giving too much away. "The last thing you want to do is give too much away about your horror mascot otherwise it won't be very scary," the director conceded.
As for other characters from the first film making a return in this or other sequels, Dougherty isn't closing the door, saying, "It's a horror film, so anything could happen."
Does this mean we can expect regular installments of "Trick 'r Treat"? Dougherty has said repeatedly that when he was developing the concept, the possibility of an annual or semi-annual "Trick 'r Treat" was always in the back of his mind. But he seemed more wary of the franchise overstaying its welcome now. "I would love to maybe do a trilogy, and then take a break and see how we evolve from there."
Additional news about a release date for "Trick 'r Treat 2" may be a while. Dougherty warned it's much too early in the process for that: "What comes next is I disappear for a little while. I need to lock myself away and get cranking for a really long time."