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SDCC 2010: ‘Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark’ Panel With Guillermo del Toro
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Week of Geek: San Diego Comic Con International 2010

SDCC 2010: Guillermo del Toro talks Haunted Mansion reboot

A lot of movies have been showing off footage at Comic Con 2010 that have received high praise, and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is no different. The movie, which is written by Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins and directed by Troy Nixey, made an appearance at this year’s convention and proceeded to blow some faces off.

This panel was really just all about the footage shown, and we’ll do our best to describe it to you in-full below. For those who don’t know, the movie is a remake of the 1973 movie of the same name. In the movie, a girl (Bailee Madison) goes to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend (Katie Holmes). The thing about the house that she goes to live in is that it houses some evil creatures who reside in a pit of ash, and they want the girl to join them.

The first thing shown was a brief teaser trailer for the movie, which is what we’ll likely see first whenever they decide to release it. The teaser opens with some spooky voiceover that says “You’re sitting there in the dark, but don’t worry…there’s nothing to be afraid of.” After that there’s a collection of quick, dark clips shown between the words of the title. We then see a girl in bed hiding under her covers with a flashlight. She begins to move toward the end of her bed while still under the covers…and when she gets there she jumps and screams. We don’t get to see whatever startles her, but you can bet it was creepy stuff.

Del Toro showed off his funnier side during this panel, and after the teaser ran he shouted “What the fuck was that?! I shit my pants!” He was joined on this panel by the director, Nixey (who didn’t say a whole lot), and went on to share how Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was one of his favorite movies as a kid, and how we sought it out and acquired it when he got the chance. Del Toro also made it clear that he wanted to keep what made the original so great going strong. No need to fix what’s not broken.

Speaking of not fixing what’s not broken, del Toro also touched on the rating of the movie. He shares that they initially went for a PG-13 rating (which was expected) but that the scares were just too big and the MPAA gave him what he calls “a badge of honor” R-rating for “pervasive scariness.” Awesome. When asked if there was something he could do about the R-rating (which most studios see as a negative toward box office performance), he stated that Miramax was behind it and they weren’t going to chicken out, that there was no need to fix a perfectly good horror. “If there are children in the audience it’s too late…Sesame Street, the word of the day is ‘motherfucker,'” he joked. “Horror has to have balls,” he added, “and those balls have to be sweaty and ripe.” As you can tell, del Toro was on a roll. This is why I love this man so very much.

After all the great del Toro quotes they got to showing off a scene from the beginning of the movie. It’s unclear whether this footage will ever be released for the public to see, but we’ll sum it up to give you an idea of what to expect from the movie.

The clip opens at night outside of a mansion. Inside the mansion there’s a maid dusting when the doorbell of a door inside the mansion suddenly rings. She goes to the door, opens it, and proceeds to call out to a Mr. Blackwood. When there’s no answer, she almost leaves, but decides to investigate further, calling out to Mr. Blackwood again. She then hears a voice telling her to come down some stairs to them. She proceeds down the steps slowly, but tumbles over a wire set up at the bottom of the steps, landing on her back. Mr. Blackwood then appears, his mouth bleeding and teeth missing. He hovers over the maid and says “I’m very, very sorry. They made me do it.” He places a chisel in her mouth and raises a hammer, adding “If I want to see my child again, you must understand” before slamming his hammer down to the maid’s bloody screams.

Blackwood collects all of the maid’s teeth and adds them to a bowl filled with other bloody teeth. We hear a voice coming from a nearby ash pit that’s saying “Daddy?” Blackwood goes to the pit and begins explaining to it how he’s brought them something to eat, but not children’s teeth like they wanted. He asks the pit to accept the teeth in exchange for his son, but a voice responds simply “Your son is ours,” or something along those lines. Blackwood yells out to his son to grab his hand in a last-ditch effort to get him back, but something flies out of the pit and attacks him before he’s dragged down to join his son.

That concluded the clip. Some intensely scary footage and a hilarious Guillermo del Toro promising a great new horror with an ending that will “hit you like a motherfucker.”

Have I mentioned how much I love that man?

During the Q&A, del Toro mentioned a few projects coming up that he would be announcing (not that he’s desperate for work). He talked about a horror TV show he’ll be announcing soon, and also his next film project, which will be horror as well.

Panel Photos

Photos by Dave3

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Topics: Movies, News, SDCC
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