Emmy-Raver Lampman talks about her new horror comedy, Gatlopp

‘Gatlopp’ is the Swedish word for ‘gauntlet’, and in a new horror-comedy of the same name, a group of old friends are reunited for the first time in years – and coerced by a seemingly innocuous board game to run a glove. If they don’t complete the game – which comes to life with dark, hilarious, larger-than-life challenges – they’ll all be trapped playing the game forever… in hell, of course. One of those friends is Sam, a young woman played by Emmy-Raver Lampman, who finds herself trapped with people who used to be her best friend…and trying to decide if she’s ready to die with them if it happens. boils down to this.

This dynamic was part of what made the storyline so appealing to Lampman. She told ComicBook.com that getting into that headspace was more fun and challenging than just playing the typical group of sitcom friends who were joined at the hip until the game started.

“That’s one of the biggest things that drew me to this movie was the dynamic between this group of friends,” Lampman said. “Their relationship goes back a few decades, but there’s been a huge rift and they all, at this point where we meet them, have something to hide, and there’s this anxious, slightly chaotic energy, because they’re all doing their best to keep the secrets that they have and then slowly as the movie goes on everything starts to come undone and their walls start to crumble a bit the more they are put into these extreme scenarios. There has to be this fundamental essence, that they all have this chemistry of being what used to be a very strong group of friends, but that’s not where we meet them, and I like to play with them without be comfortable in their skin when the movie starts.”

It also means the stakes feel a bit more real. In a comedy, it can be difficult to sell life or death stakes, but in the case of gatloppa long separation from other characters means that no one’s life would be significantly altered if they never heard from the other players again.

“It’s so true!” Lampman laughed when we pointed it out. “There’s not a ton of loyalty in the room right now, and it’s been basically 8 years since they’ve all been apart, and they’ve learned to live without each other at this point. They don’t don’t rely on each other, and there’s a lot of trust that’s been lost, so it’s true that it’s a bit more like all bets are actually off. It makes everything very unpredictable; you don’t don’t really know where they stand in relation to each other. If their lives were at stake, would they save their own skins, or would they also try to save their friends?”

The title itself, along with its savage premise, makes the film feel strange, almost independent. Of course, the other alternative is that you could take a look at the trailer and think that “Gatlopp” is just a weird word applied to a living board game – like Zathura Where Jumanji.

Jumanji was one of my favorite movies growing up,” Lampman said. “So a drinking game for friends that comes to life and starts to wreak havoc on their night out was really exciting. Unless running animals around the house I think [Jumanji] was a great guide to the absurd situations these characters will find themselves in.”

One of the great challenges of a film like gatlopp is exactly the size and scale an actor can reach before the movie starts to seem unreal. After all, it’s a pretty obviously surreal and silly premise, so where’s the line?

“I really think in a movie like this you have to lean into the absurd,” Lampman said. “It’s what he’s asking for, and I think if you avoid doing it, it won’t pack the punch that Jim and Alberto were looking for. Luckily, this movie has some really amazing core moments as well. We have spent a lot of time trying to make sure the treble was high and absurd and ridiculous and funny and got the laughs and just out of control and we hit all those notes but then when it called the humanity of those characters and the lessons and themes that the film tries to address, that these scenes were incredibly grounded, realistic, authentic, and true to what all of these characters actually go through individually. The sky’s the limit, but you also have to remember where floor. “

gatlopp is now available for purchase on digital platforms.

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