• The night Pennywise opened for Annabelle


    Karen Kunawicz

    Warner Bros. had a delightfully creepy kick off to this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Dubbed as “Scare Diego,” the studio’s event on Wednesday night also served as the famous “Preview Night” or simply the eve of the whole con. The event also served as a reception for “It” director Andres Muschietti and “The Losers Club”—better known as the kids from the film—followed by a question-and-answer at a nearby cinema.

    The It clips screened were great and the best part for me was seeing these wonderfully cast youngsters play as outsiders who bond. As young actor Chosen Jacobs put it, “We’re all losers together, but we’re all winners in a sense—because we all love each other.”

    Now, for those who are serious Stephen King and It fans—take heart as the author himself sent a video endorsement for the film. I don’t know about you but it definitely made me smile hearing Argentinian director Andres Muschietti (“Mama”) talking about how much he learned and picked up from friend and mentor Guillermo del Toro.

    The ‘Losers Club’ from ‘It’: (from left) Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Sophia Lillis, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor and Jack Dylan Grazer

    Meanwhile, the cast of “Annabelle: Creation” were present for a Q and A moderated by Rotten Tomatoes’ senior editor Grae Drake. The James Wan-directed “The Conjuring” (2013) earned itself an 86-percent rating. Three years later, “The Conjuring 2” came in at 80-percent. As of this writing, 2017’s Annabelle: Creation by David Sandberg (“Lights Out”) comes out at 100-percent.

    Annabelle: Creation really knows when to hold things back, when to keep them in the dark and when to let them come out. Needless to say, it has a great sense of timing. And unlike horror films that will resort immediately to blood, guts, gore and violence, “Creation” digs deeper into the mind, into the childhood fears that have never quite gone away.

    Two words that describe it best are American Gothic. You have all these elements—an isolated house in the rural mountains in what looks like the 1950’s, orphans, a nun, a couple and that doll.

    Even if you are not a horror fan, this is the type of film that engages, teases and creeps you out like a proper campfire ghost story.

    Momoa a few minutes into his Aquaman panel

    David Sandberg’s next film is 2019’s “Shazam” while original director James Wan is currently in Australia working on “Aquaman.”

    Speaking of “Aquaman” a few minutes before the big juggernaut opening Warner is known for on Saturday mornings at the infamous Hall H, I overheard a staff member tell a journalist, “Are you ready to rock and roll? These guys put on a show.”

    ‘Annabelle: Creation’ opens on August 23 nationwide while ‘It’ opens on September. ‘Aquaman’ is scheduled for late 2018 or early 2019.


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