Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
The remake of the 1973 TV movie surprised with a robust display of solid footage. The panel began with an atmospheric teaser trailer of sinister voices leading into quick cut scenes including a seriously creepy shot of multiple little arms and hands pulling at a vent grille. The ending with a girl exploring under her sheets and being attacked scored a major jump amongst the crowd.
Later on the film’s opening sequence was shown with veteran Aussie actor Garry McDonald playing the owner of a rundown mansion who attacks his chambermaid in the basement with a hammer and chisel to her teeth. He then gets pulled into an ash pit, which seems to go down into the bowels of the Earth, by something very fast moving.
Producers Guillermo del Toro and Nick Nunziata along with director Troy Nixey were on hand to talk about the film, del Toro in good spirits joking “What the fuck was that? I shit my pants” after the trailer was shown and later cracking “If there are children in the audience it’s too late… Sesame Street, the word of the day is ‘motherfucker'”. He confirmed the film has scored an R-rating for ‘pervasive scariness’ and Miramax has supported them keeping that R-rating.
del Toro also added that he’s likely going to be a part of a TV horror anthology show project in the near future, with details to come shortly.
Eleven traps dominate the seventh and what is claimed to be the final film in the series. Sean Patrick Flannery’s leading character gets more torture both physical and psychological than any of the previous film leads. Despite the legal wrangling that forced him back on the project, director Kevin Greutert put on a brave front while actor Tobin Bell and the producers spent time reflecting on the series as a whole.
A “Saw” panel though is all about the footage and the opening sequence was shown with two guys and a woman shackled together around a buzz saw in a department store window. The challenge is that both men broke the law for the woman whom they’ve both been seeing and so one of the three must die when the buzzsaw switches on in 60 seconds. I won’t spoil the outcome.
Just before that we quickly see Dr. Gordon (Cary Elwes) just after the events of the first film, crawling and then cauterising his leg stump on a steam pipe.
Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill and director Tom McGrath all showed up to pitch Dreamworks animated superhero movie – Ferrell in particular going all out in full blueface and costume. Brad Pitt was rumoured to be appearing and did show up on stage, or rather a life-sized cardboard cutout did which the cast proceeded to have fun with. Nothing really new was revealed aside from an alright extended clip which has already gone online (and is linked in out trailer section).
Filmmaker James Gunn along with actors Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Nathan Fillion and Michael Rooker showed up to promote the low-budget superhero comedy which Wilson described as “a fucked up, low rent Watchmen”. Wilson and Gunn spent a long time trying to get the film made and even now have had to keep the budget tight.
All the actors took major pay cuts to take part and talked about their interesting roles from Ellen Page’s psychologically unstable love interest to “Castle” star Nathan Fillion’s ambiguously gay superhero mentor character. Fillion and Wilson got into a mock fight on stage that went over well with the crowd.
The footage screened looked surprisingly dark in terms of tonal comedy, the “Kick Ass” comparisons are fair but this seems far less interested in pursuing that high-kinetic and flashy costume style in favour of straight up comedy – think something along the lines of the short-lived but quite funny British sitcom “No Heroics”.