Most people recognize Cassie Steele as Manny from her many seasons on “Degrassi: The Next Generation” — the aspiring actress drama queen who found herself in the middle of some love triangle or another.
On Oct. 26, Steele trades in her audition slides for some blood tea and ancient rituals in MTV’s movie of the week “The Dorm.” Steele plays a college student named Sarah who befriends the new transfer, only for audiences to find out the friendship isn’t as welcoming as you’d think.
“It was my first horror movie,” Steele says to Zap2it, “It was a nice change. [In real life] I’m definitely the villain. There’s always ulterior motives, though you’ll never know what they are.”
Though today’s current horror trend is to go for disjointed body parts and pop scares, “The Dorm” relies more on a psychological type of thrill. When anti-social Vivian gets off the wait list and moves into her college dorm midway through freshman year, she finds it hard to make friends. That is until the outgoing Sarah stumbles into her room and forces her out of her comfort zone. As she gets further embedded into Sarah’s social circle, Vivian has to decide if the weird happenings around her are a figment of her imagination or are her new friends out to get her.
“I feel like it’s really similar to ‘The Craft’ and ‘Jennifer’s Body’ and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ — things like that,” Steele adds.
The latter seems like the most apt comparison, between the weird tea Vivian is convinced to drink and the borderline hallucinogenic sex scene. After that audiences are pulled in multiple directions to decide who to trust and who is out to get Vivian.
“I think that [Sarah] changed a lot through when we first read the script. I think it was always clear that Sarah truly did like Vivian, regardless of what was happening,” Steele says.
“The Dorm” takes it to the extreme as most horror movies do, but still relies on a very relatable idea — that people are willing to do outrageous things to look beautiful.
“It’s about something that a lot of people worry about,” Steele explains. “What would you do to be more attractive ? [The movie] is about the prices they’ll pay — and the consequences that come from vanity.”
“The Dorm” premieres on Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.