How Sorority Row balances humor, sex and killing

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Based on 1983's The House on Sorority Row, the upcoming remake Sorority Row wants to make you laugh before it shocks you into terror. Briana Evigan, Leah Pipes, Rumer Willis and Audrina Patridge play sorority sisters stalked after a prank goes wrong.

"This movie is funny," Evigan said in a group interview last month at Comic-Con in San Diego. "I think that's the best thing about the fact that it is a horror film. It's very, very funny, and it's very sexy, and it's scary. It's kind of got it all."

Unlike self-referential horror films from the Scream era, Sorority Row jokes about its own reality, Willis said. "Someone will be dying, and then someone makes a joke about it," Willis said. "So you're still kind of freaked out [and] jumping from seeing someone die, but at the same time you start laughing at it. So it keeps kind of getting switched around and jumping around. The intensity of the scene intermingles [with comedy], and so you never really know what you're going to get."

The film also acknowledges that it has a bunch of scantily clad girls running for their lives, Pipes said. "It's got sex appeal," Pipes said in a separate group interview. "It's a bunch of girls, but we play with it. It doesn't ever take itself too seriously, and it does have the sexy element, but we definitely make fun of the sexiness."

Hills star Audrina Patridge touted the film's delicate balance of funny, sexy and scary. "It's a pretty sexy movie," Patridge said. "There are a lot of good one-liners, too. It makes you jump. We actually all just watched it for the first time last night. It's very gory. Every death is unique and gross and scary, and it makes you jump, but it's also really funny."

The kills of Sorority Row are violent without going into "torture porn" territory, Willis said. "It's not brutal, but when I say brutal, I mean like Hostel, where faces get ripped off," Willis said. "That's a little too much for me. At one point I got nauseous for like two seconds [in the screening]. I just froze, it looked so real. When you're reading it in the script, and then you actually see it with the noise and the sound, you're just like, 'Ooh. I don't know about that. OK. All right. I'm going to keep watching.'"

The stars promise that the film keeps the viewer guessing, so you'll never know when the next kill is coming. "Something bad might happen the entire film," Pipes said. "You don't have a moment of relaxation."

Patridge concurred. "There are surprises," Patridge said. "You think it's going one way and then it twists and goes the other way."

Sorority Row opens Sept. 11.