Daria 2: The Curse of the Misery Chick
In Daria the Movie, the authors posed the question: What would happen if Hollywood's most hated director met MTV's best cartoon? The answer was a live-action cliche-ridden teen movie filled with the young hotties of the day. The Adelman brothers decided to follow this up with a live-action cliche-ridden teen horror movie, this time overseen by Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson.
Warning: The following may contain plot or ending details.
Daria 2 picks up shortly after the first one left off. Daria feels guilty about destroying the Fashion Club's reputation, while Jane has been having nightmares about people dying in grotesque ways... including Daria. One of the deaths takes place soon after, as Tommy Sherman is murdered at Lawndale High by an unknown killer wearing a smiley mask. School psychologists think that it is the work of the depraved Todd Boole, who tried to rape Daria in the bathroom during a Helpful Corn concert. Boole is put away in an asylum, and everything appears to go back to normal.
The movie jumps ahead three years. Daria and Jane now share an apartment while attending college. Trent has broken up with Daria and gone back to Monique, while Daria suffers from depression and increasingly graphic nightmares about Quinn and the Fashion Club. Jane helps her out of her funk by engaging her in lesbian sex; Daria willingly obliges. Meanwhile, Todd Boole has woken up out of his catatonic state and escaped the asylum, killing David Van Driessen and a guard in the process.
Daria and Jane attend a Halloween party thrown by former classmates from Lawndale High. The party features a "jerk hunt," where Quinn, the designated "jerk," is chased down and thrown into a dumpster. Outraged, Quinn blames Daria for destroying her reputation. Before the end of the night, there are several more student deaths at the hands of Smiley. Brian Danielson and Agent Fleming show up to investigate the crimes, making Jane their prime suspect after finding Jesse Moreno dead.
Meanwhile, Andrea is in a panic, thinking that with her sexual history, she will be next. She explains the rules of horror movies to Daria, stating that Smiley has killed everyone who is connected to her, which means that he will soon go after Daria. However, she doesn't know if Daria is fated to survive because her only sexual activity lately has been with Jane, and there are no horror cliches involving lesbians.
Andrea refuses to be left alone, even participating in a botched exorcism to get Tommy Sherman's ghost back in its grave. Unfortunately, her paranoia can't save her in the end, as she falls to her death after being chased by Smiley.
Daria and Jane watch reruns of Sick Sad World for clues, finally stumbling upon details about Tommy Sherman's murder, which convinces Daria that Smiley is actually Quinn. Daria goes to Quinn's apartment and confronts her, only to have Smiley charge in on them both. They escape, but Smiley claims yet more victims around campus, including Monique, Brittany, and the other cheerleaders.
Finally, as Smiley zeroes in on Daria, Jane, and Trent, the three flee to the deserted Morgendorffer cabin in the woods. There, they find Tiffany, who had been left for dead, and are just starting to settle in when Smiley emerges. Smiley rips off the mask to reveal that it is, indeed, Quinn. The "other" Smiley is Todd, a decoy to prevent the arousal of suspicion. Quinn shoots Todd dead and goes after the main characters. However, Daria manages to send her off of a cliff, her body disappearing. Unfortunately, Quinn manages to claim one last victim: Trent, who dies telling Daria that he loves her.
Sometime later, Daria and Jane reflect upon this gruesome time and their growing relationship. Meanwhile, Brian Danielson receives an unexpected visit from Smiley, who kills him.
Like Daria the Movie, Daria 2 uses nearly ever horror cliche at its disposal, even the cliche in which characters discuss the cliches. In particular, the Smiley killer follows the cliches of being superhuman in strength, speed, and durability. No one can kill him, and he seems to be everywhere at once, ready with a quip each time he corners a victim. The strongest influence on Daria 2 appears to be the Scream movies, from the silly mask on the killer to Daria's adversarial relationship with Val.
Typical of Hollywood films, several aspects of Daria the Movie have been glamourized. Jennifer Love Hewitt's Daria is an example of the Hollywood "plain" girl who only needs a clothing change to be drop-dead gorgeous. She rarely wears Daria's trademark glasses except for reading. Most of the cast members (especially Jakob Dylan) are several years older than the characters they play.
Movie Rumor Page
Like the first Daria movie, Daria 2 began with rumors on the Unofficial Daria Movie Rumor Page, dating from 1999 to 2000. The Movie Rumor Page was notable for its strong resemblance to authentic movie rumor websites, going so far as to mix real news in with the fake and including "cast" photos. The 2000 rumors would eventually be given a separate page.
The Adelman brothers photoshopped several existing movie and publicity shots to create authentic-looking "screen captures" for the movie. Most of these "screen captures" consisted of cast members covered with gore or about to get killed by Smiley. As a whole, the Daria 2 photos appear to be more polished and authentic than the first movie's. Since the Unofficial Daria Movie Rumor page was taken offline, links to several photos have been lost. Fortunately, Thea Zara archived the photos on a separate site before the official site went offline.
The Adelman brothers featured a review from fanfic author Ben Breeck who, as with the reviewers of the first Daria movie, read the script and then pretended to have seen the actual film. Breek states that Daria 2 is not as bad as its predecessor, but due to Daria's lack of screen-time, this should not be considered a Daria movie.
The Adelman brothers made a standard horror movie commercial using clips from Daria 2, complete with ominous narration. It contains a heavy nod to the Scream movies.
- Daria Morgendorffer = Jennifer Love Hewitt
- Lynn Quinn Michaelis = Keri Russell
- Jane Lane = Christina Ricci
- Trent Lane = Jakob Dylan
- Jesse Moreno = Leonardo DiCaprio
- Andrea Flynn = Rose McGowan
- Sandi Griffin = Denise Richards
- Tiffany Blum-Deckler = Alyson Hannigan
- Brittany Taylor = Melissa Joan Hart
- Kevin Thompson = Joey Lawrence
- Heather Lockheed = Selma Blair
- Jamie White = Joseph Gordon-Levitt
- Jeffy Landers = James Van Der Beek
- Joey Henderson = Topher Grace
- Jodie Landon = Brandy
- Michael Jordon "Mack" Mackenzie = Donald Adeosun Faison
- Monique Martin = Laura Prepon
- Brian Danielson = Keanu Reeves
- Val = Alicia Silverstone
"Kill, Fluffy! Kill!" -- Sandi, as she throws her cat, Fluffy, in Smiley's face.
- The Adelmans ran their commercial for Daria 2 in Kara Wild's fanfic, "An Uneasy Marriage", in the second "Commercial Hell."
- One of the screen captures (now lost) contained patrons at a Good Time Chinese Restaurant. The patrons were Wild, Michelle Klein-Hass, Klein-Hass's husband, and Chad Page.