New Line Cinema descended Wednesday night to San Diego Comic-Con with their second annual ScareDiego event, to present our newest nightmares. James Wan, mastermind behind The Conjuring cinematic universe, lead the charge of directors and presenting both a new entry in the movie world of the Warren family, and a film adaptation of the folktale of La Llorona. Oh, and the Loser’s Club also had a small but significant presence with It: Chapter 2.
While none of the cast could make it to ScareDiego, director Andy Muschietti introduced a “making of” montage via video message. “Bring your adult diapers to the theater”, said Muschietti before showing some behind the scene clips showing a few new and disturbing images of everyone’s favorite dancing clown. Then they showed and a certain scene at a Chinese restaurant where the adult version of The Losers Club meets for the first time in decades. We see Bill Hader as Richie banging a gong before he says “’Sup losers? So what do you want to talk about”? Muschietti also promised that they would “crank up the horror aspect” this time. It: Chapter 2 comes out on September 6, 2019.
Then we got to the main event. The film no one really knew anything about until a few days ago, the James Wan-produced film (there were a bunch of those), The Curse of La Llorona (previously titled the Children). Directed by Michael Chaves and written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis, La Llorona is based on perhaps the best-known latino folktale, about the ghost of a weeping woman who terrorizes and snatches children to claim as her own. Chaves came to ScareDiego to introduce some clips of the film, together with stars Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, and Patricia Velasquez.
We saw three extended clips of La Llorona, all of them featured children being terrorized by the weeping woman, one being almost drowned by her. The film certainly lives up to James Wan’s signature love for jump scares and practical monsters that will make characters miserable. Director Michael Chavez compares the film to a 70’s crime thriller, with a supernatural monster. The cast went on to talk about creepy occurrences that happened while making the film. Cruz had an unbreakable bracelet suddenly break in half, while Velasquez said she saw the real La Llorona at her home. “She is very real. Ask one Latin person at 60, even 70 years old if they stopped believing in La Llorona, they will say no.”, says Velasquez, who promises the film is very respectful to the Hispanic legend. “We grew up being scared shitless of La Llorona,” said Cruz. “Now we can share that with you.” There was also a joke about La Llorona separating children from their parents way before Trump. The Curse of La Llorona is scheduled for release April 19, 2019.
Then came time for the latest installment in The Conjuring universe, The Nun. Director Corin Hardy and stars Taissa Farmiga and Ingrid Bisu introduced a clip show that featured a man being buried alive, a nun hanging herself after being haunted by the film’s titular nun, a snake coming out of a kid’s mouth and lots of upside-down crosses and nuns being scared. Hardy says the film is their origin story for everything that comes later in the franchise, and spoke about filming in castles and villages in Romania, which was a treat for Bucharest-born Ingrid Bisu. “We will finally be known for something other than Dracula! We are ready for something fresh.” And Farmiga praised the performance of Bonnie Aarons, who plays the nun, “She gets so much joy out of scaring the shit out of you.” After showing an extended trailer for the film, Corin Hardy brought a little nun doll to the stage, a group of nuns showed up at The Horton Grand Theatre to scare everyone in the room. The Nun will be released September 8, 2018.
Finally, James Wan came back on stage with writer/director Gary Gauberman to officially announce the third Annabelle film. While they couldn’t say much, he said the film was a coming home for the haunted doll, as it will show when the Warrens brought her back to their museum. “She activates all the artifacts in the Museum and sets out to terrorize the Warrens’ daughter, Judy,” said Gauberman. James Wan called it “A Night at the Museum with Annabelle.” Though it sounds more like Goosebumps. Annabelle 3 will be released July 3, 2019.