Late last year actor Damian Maffei, who played the Man in the Mask in The Strangers: Prey at Night, revealed an alternate ending to the slasher sequel.
We caught with Damian to talk all about it and the potential future of the series.
What can you tell us about the alternative ending filmed for Prey at Night?
That particular ending picks up right at the end of what was the theatrical ending, with Kinsey in Luke’s hospital room, and she hears a knock on the door, drops her water cup.
From there, the alternate ending goes into a doctor walking in, he sees Kinsey, who, to his surprise is awake, and he says “Oh, you’re up.” Right after that I come in from the darkness of the hallway and bury an axe in his back, stand there burnt up and crazy eyed. I believe it was to freeze frame there in an old school horror style.
Was this filmed in case of The Strangers 3?
I believe it was filmed, along with the other endings, as a legitimate option to end the movie with. Choices to have. As far as I knew when we were filming it, it was to be the end. But they looked at what they had, felt the more ambiguous avenue was the way to leave audiences.
Which ending do you prefer?
Well, I mean… I thought it was pretty badass that the Man did not go gentle into that good night. Dusted himself off and showed up at the hospital. Serves a couple of purposes. He can take care of those meddling kids (and staff) and get some ointment for the burns. As just a movie goer… I get the theatrical ending, leaves it more up to the viewer. But I like the idea of potential Halloween 2-ish hospital shenanigans.
Did you enjoy playing the man in the mask, and would you return for a third film?
I did enjoy it, very much so. It was a different experience as far as my career as an actor because there’s no so much “acting” going on there. Just trying to make what you can with the stuff you’ve been given. Give the guy some behavior, create some memorable moments, truthfully, within the world he’s been unleashed in. It’s not going to be satisfying to someone looking to really dive in and get lost in a character, but for me, the simplicity of such a thing was appealing.
So yeah, it was just all fun. My friends and I (some of whom I’m still very close to and work in the “business”) used to make “movies” in High School. Friday the 13th sequels. They weren’t “Fan films” then, because we just thought they were so good, obviously, that Paramount Pictures was going to see them and beg us to have them. That was the intent when we set out to do them. Of course they were terrible. They were terrible even by high school film student standards.
But there we were, running around our neighborhood, raising hell. All these years later, and I was still doing it. The lights got bigger, and the food was better, but it’s clear I had a destiny to fulfill, and that was to silently chase people around the shrubbery with an axe.
I am definitely open to returning for a third film, no changes in my career would affect that. I enjoyed doing it, I like the world of it. If the character has the opportunity to have some moments, fire up the menace. As long as it’s happening because there’s more to explore, and not just because we can or they think it’ll make some money. I’d love if it picked up from where it left off, I dare say I’m currently not too interested in finding out more about The Man in the Mask.
His “deal”, his origin. A puzzling thing for an “actor” to say, I’m sure, as such business would open up the possibility of… Actual acting. But as a horror fan… I think I lean on the side of not wanting to know more about these people. But I could be totally wrong, blown away by something some fantastic writer cooks up. Lot of possibilities out there, it’s exciting.
How difficult was the pool scene to film in the mask?
The toughest part of the pool scene for me wasn’t so much the mask, but the boots, which filled up with water and essentially became anchors, and the corduroy jacket which filled up with water in every pocket and almost seemed to insist going in the opposite direction.
I suspect the jacket shares a universe in which it’s a distant and unwelcome cousin to Dr. Strange’s cloak. Chasing down Lewis right there at the end required quite a bit of movie magic as the extra 75 gallons of water I took took a bit of speed out of me.
Do you have any other horror projects coming up?
I’ve got a flick called Haunt which is due out this year. That’s another return to villainy for me, and it was just a rootin tootin damn good time, lots of fun was had. That was written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, who wrote last years juggernaut A Quiet Place (and previously they had done this neat little flick called Nightlight), and produced by Eli Roth. Horror fans are going to love this sucker.
It shall be glorious. Otherwise it’s going to be a busy one for me, first up I’m filming The Special, which has Harrison Smith directed from a screenplay written by Mark Steensland and James Newman. I love this script, the whole thing is such a different little monster, I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.
I was sold on it from the initial pitch to me which was “It’s like Fatal Attraction meets The Blob, and it’s really…”
After that I go to film what is a dream project for myself and one of my closest friend, Brian James Fitzpatrick (of our Friday the 13th student film fame). It’s called The Disappearance of a Peeping Tom. It’s a psychological horror film, and it’s just magnificent, Brian (who will also direct) outdid himself writing the screenplay.
It’s a concept that has been with us for years. And years. I think it’s ready to be born into the world and will carve itself out a nice home in the hearts and minds of the horror community. Really excited to be collaborating on this with both Brian and the third member of our trio, producer Jon D. Wagner, who I’ve gone into the cinemas trenches with at least 4 times before, most recently The Strangers Prey at Night and Haunt.
The Strangers: Prey at Night is available now on DVD & digital.