Exclusive Interview: Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo talk ABCs of Death 2!

ABCs of Death 2 review anthology horror Drafthouse Films Magnet Releasing

ABCs OF DEATH 2 has just hit VOD, and if you haven't yet watched it, you'd be doing yourself a favor by checking it out. (Head over HERE to watch now!) Filled to the brim with imaginative, unnerving ideas, the anthology's 26 segments rather successfully go for the throat. Today we're privileged to bring you an interview with the directors of "X is for Xylophone," a creepy short about a most-hideous babysitter (Béatrice Dalle) and the terrible, unmentionable thing she does to the small child in her care. It's quite brief but its ending leaves a wicked impression.

Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo broke onto the horror scene with INSIDE (À l'intérieur), their home invasion horror that sprayed just about as much blood as any movie in recent memory. They followed it up with the slightly more subtle LIVIDE and then the apparently-nightmarish AMONG THE LIVING (I've not had the pleasure of seeing that one yet). They're known for going the distance, and they do not disappoint with their ABCs OF DEATH 2 contribution.

Here we talk about the inspiration for "X is for Xylophone," working once again with their muse, Ms. Dalle, the gruesome way their segment ends, and some of the other concepts they originally had for the project.

Julien Maury Alexandre Bustillo ABCs of Death 2 horror anthology exclusive interview

Q: Was this an idea you hatched specifically for ABCs of Death 2, or was it something you had in mind prior to this?

Yes, we had the idea especially for ABCs 2. We have written many short films but none fitted the concept of this so special film.

Q: You reunited with Beatrice Dalle for this short, with whom you've worked several times; did you have her in mind from the beginning? What is it that makes her so special?

We had no choice! A few years ago during the promotion of A l'Intérieur, she said to a journalist that she wanted to be in all of our movies to come, even for cameos so we made a pact ! More seriously, she has become a friend now and it's always a pleasure to work with her, she is totally devoted to the story and ready to follow us each time!

Q: X is not an easy letter to work with, so was xylophone your first choice, or did you have some other ideas?

Our first idea was X is for X, X for ten Latin. It told the story of an old woman who inflicted ten individuals abuse from her husband, but it was too expensive and complicated. Our second idea was X is for Xenophile vs Xenophobe, where an nice alien crashed during a meeting of the KKK. But it was all too complicated, specially to turn night outdoors. So we opted for X is for Xylophone, that we love, which is fully consistent, we believe, with the sublime opening credits. Our only regret is too late to have found the right title. X is for ... Xylophobia!

Julien Maury Alexandre Bustillo ABCs of Death 2 horror Beatrice Dalle exclusive interview

Q: How long did it take to shoot?

Only one day of shooting ! We called almost all of our last feature's technical crew and everyone was highly motivated and just happy to work another time all together.

Q: How much did you interact with the film's producers? Did they let you do whatever you wanted?

Yes, the producers gave us the greatest freedom on this film, just not to abuse the poo, pee and toilet humor.

Q:Obviously the end of the short is rather upsetting. I hope the young actress doesn't see it anytime soon! What was it like working with her, and did you tell her what ultimately happened to her character?

The actress is my daughter, Tess Maury, and she of course hasn't seen the end of the segment. During the shooting, she was 4 years old and was always asking why she had to play xylophone so much without stopping. Then Béatrice arrived and Tess started to cry. She was really impressed because even if Béatrice was very kind to her, she looked like a Walt Disney's villain with her black dress and dark hair, a witch for real. I think we've traumatised her because now each time she ears the name of Béatrice anywhere, she says "No, not her!"

Q: Did you enjoy working on a short film as opposed to a feature for a change?

It's exactly the same thing. We made X with all our usual team, we used to work together and everyone did his job in a serious and relaxed way, as our feature films.

Q: Did you see the other shorts? If so, which were some of your favorites?

Yes, we've seen the movie and we thought "K is for Knell" and "Z is for Zygote" were great!

HEREClick here to check out ABCs OF DEATH 2 right now!

Extra Tidbit: ABCs OF DEATH 2 is currently available on VOD. It hits limited theaters on October 31st.

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