It says a lot about the state of horror within the movie industry that a huge studio like Warner Bros. opened their presentation with DC and superhero movies and closed it with horror. Horror has always had a dedicated and loyal fanbase but between IT: Chapter One and the The Conjuring universe not only is horror mainstream it's also very well done. You can no longer look down on the horror the way people used to look down on science fiction, fantasy, or superhero movies.
Warner Bros. kicked it off with more footage from The Curse of La Llorona which has already premiered at South by Southwest and will be released soon. We also got a look at Annabelle Comes Home but it appears to be the same trailer that was released back on the 30th. However, the scene with the doll or something underneath the covers did get a huge reaction from the crowd. The other scene from The Curse of La Llorona with the clear umbrella also got a lot of crowd reaction.
Even though we only got a quick look at Steven King's Doctor Sleep, that brief glimpse delivered. For those who might be unfamiliar with the title, one look in the mirror makes the point: REDRUM reminds everyone exactly what this is about. Many have lofty expectations for this one, while at the same time understanding that Kubrik (and Nicholson and co.) might just be an impossible act to follow. Director Mike Flanagan appears undaunted though, he's been on a roll with the Netflix The Haunting of Hill House series among other horror projects of recent times, and I'm just going to automatically assume that a film director who was born in Salem understood the magnitude of the historic horror that he took on here. Ewan McGregor as the grown-up Danny Torrance is some good casting, and what we saw of Doctor Sleep looks promising.
The big one was IT: Chapter 2. The first movie was a huge blockbuster and a critical darling that everyone seemed to love. They made the wise decision to not try and fit the entire book into one movie so now we have the second half with the Losers club as adults. Director Andy Muschietti took to the stage to introduce the footage to the highly anticipated sequel.
The trailer opened with a now adult Beverly, played by Jessica Chastain, coming home to her old apartment. On the door it says Kersh and an old woman answers. Beverly is looking for her father but Mrs. Kersh explains to her that her father dies and invites her in. Beverly explores the old apartment, finds the poem that Ben wrote her, and Mrs. Kersh asks her hat it's like to be home. They sit down for tea and things start to get a little weird.
Mrs. Kersh is acting a little off. She puts on strange music that sets an odd tone and there appear to be at least five flies on one of the windows. She comments about how hot it can get in Derry and how it can make you want to die. Then she says something that is a giant red flag; "You know what they say about death? No one who dies in Derry ever really dies" and stops moving for a good minute or two.
Mrs. Kersh re-animates eventually and there is a ding in the kitchen. There are cookies but even as Mrs. Kersh leaves to get the cookies Beverly stands and says she is ready to go. Mrs. Kersh insists she stay and Beverly looks at some pictures on the wall. In the background of the dark kitchen, we can see Mrs. Kersh just around the corner, watching Beverly, as she explains that she moved to Derry with her father. We see a photo of a man who is a clown. Mrs. Kersh is in still in the background, it almost looks like she could be naked, and we hear her say. "I was always Daddy's little girl. What about you? Are you still Daddy's little girl, Beverly? Are you?!" Mrs. Kersh, or more than likely Pennywise, rushes Beverly and the scene cuts to black.
We go to a more traditional trailer now. We see the Losers club as adults looking at a reflection of their childhood selves in the window of a shop. We see some flashbacks to the first movie and James McAvoy as Bill tell Beverly: "We can do this. We have to stick together." We see a sea of red balloons in the sky as Pennywise looks down at the city. Pennywise rips his own face out and pops out of the darkness in another shot to tell us "hello". Hello indeed.
Even if you're not a horror fan there is something that is a lot of fun about watching horror with big crowds. They brought out the cast and Muschietti talked about how important it was to cast kids and adults that actually look like they could the same person.
The panel ended with four release dates for horror fans: The Curse of La Llorona on April 19, 2019. Annabelle Comes Home on June 28, 2019. IT: Chapter 2 on September 6, 2019. And finally an announced release date of September 11, 2020.