10 Movies that Caught My Attention at Comic Con ’10

There weren’t a lot of Surprises at Comic Con this year. Other than Disney’s announcement of a Guillermo Del Toro-helmed “Haunted Mansion” and Marvel’s aside about rights to “The Punisher” being back in the company’s hands, there weren’t a whole lot of breaking news items.

But it doesn’t mean Comic Con ’10 was a wash. There were plenty of films that debuted in Hall H that make for a very promising end of the year and start to 2011.  There were some we’d never heard of or seen anything from and others we’ve been waiting to glimpse for a long time. Below is a list of ten movies that upped their excitement factor with presentations at this year’s Con.

10. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

The word on Friday was that some genuine screams were coming from Hall H when Guillermo Del Toro presented “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark,” a film co-written and produced by himself and directed by newbie Troy Nixey. Co-starring Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes, the story follows a little girl (what’s with Del Toro and little girls in horror films?) who goes to stay with her father and his girlfriend and accidentally unleashes demons from within the chimney who want to take her down to their world. Although the scares were not 100 percent original, they were effective. Del Toro, known for his uncensored language, went as far as to say the film is “as serious as a [expletive] attack of gonorrhea.” Those of you who’ve had the inflammatory infection can be the judge of that come January 21.

9. Let Me In

When people heard about this American remake of the acclaimed Swedish film “Let the Right One In” about a pre-teen vampire and her relationship with a young boy, just about everyone gave it the stink eye. So it’s a huge compliment to director Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield”) that there’s a lot of discussion out in the blogosphere these days about whether “Let Me In” has what it takes to defy the rash generalization. Conventioneers were impressed by the performances of young stars Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee in the couple of clips as well as veteran Richard Jenkins. Could this be 2010’s it horror film? It certainly comes out at the right time of year on Oct. 1.

8. Super

James Gunn (“Slither”) wouldn’t strike anyone as being able to do anything outside of films that involve the undead, but “Super” looks to change a lot of minds. The “Dawn of the Dead” remake scribe’s newest film had stars Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Nathan Fillion all take a pay cut in order to be a part of this film, which says a lot about a script. The film, which doesn’t have a U.S. distributor at the moment, stars Wilson as a man who puts on a costume to fight injustice after his wife (Tyler) leaves him for a drug dealer. It might be the latest average-guy-decides-to-be-superhero film, but a couple clips had audiences laughing hard. Wilson and Page (who plays his somewhat insane sidekick) are not your typical comedic talents, so this could be a surprise, even if it only gets a small release. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long.

7. RED

We all marked our calendars for October 15 when the first “RED” (Retired Extremely Dangerous) trailer hit the web a couple weeks back. Well, the showing was equally impressive at Comic Con for this film based on a DC Comic about the most talented of CIA agents – who are in retirement. Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich all co-star and more cameos await. They showed off a second trailer, which you can watch here at Apple. The film looks great, plus it could be the first comic-based action film to heavily appeal to an older audience.

6. Skyline

When I scanned the movie panel list for possible duds, it wasn’t too hard to circle a sci-fi/horror film from the directors of “Alien v. Predator: Requiem,” but footage of this independently made film with in-house special effects work was called by many who covered the event as somewhere between “District 9,” “Cloverfield” and “Independence Day.” That’s a heck a complimentary description. The Strause brothers’ film is about alien ships that invade Earth and drop giant blue balls of light down that draw in humans (and make them go bye-bye). Much of the film was made inside one of the brothers’ house. Expect a viral marketing campaign to get going soon as this particular invasion begins November 15.

Check out the top five at PlayerAffinity.com


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