On Wednesday, July 18th, New Line Cinema brought a few of the upcoming horror films on their slate to the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con for the Second Annual ScareDiego celebration, giving attendees some insights to a trio of terror-filled cinematic treats, including Andy Muschietti’s IT Chapter Two, Corin Hardy’s The Nun, and The Curse of La Llorona from first-time feature filmmaker Michael Chaves. We also had the opportunity to hear from many of the creatives involved with The Nun and The Curse of La Llorona, both in front of, and behind, the camera.

Hosted by Rotten Tomatoes’ always entertaining Grae Drake, the night kicked off with an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the happenings on the set of IT Chapter Two, where Muschietti promised us that he’s ready to scare the hell out of us with his sequel, and also showed us a few sketches of potential creature designs for the film. We were also shown some footage from the epic IT Chapter Two table read, featuring the younger cast members we all know and love, as well as the new additions to the IT universe, including Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, James Ransone, Jay Ryan, Isaiah Mustafa, and Andy Bean. Bill Skarsgard makes a few appearances as Pennywise, but most of his footage are just extreme close-ups on his face (and it’s hard to tell because of the way the footage was shot, but some of the design elements to his makeup seemed bolder in color, and a bit more exaggerated too. Considering that it’s still very early on in the production process for IT Chapter Two, it was great that both New Line and Muschietti wanted to still give fans a taste of what’s to come.

Next up was the presentation for The Curse of La Llorona, which featured appearances from director Chaves, and a few folks who co-star in the film together: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, and Patricia Valesquez. They dove into the real-life inspiration behind La Llorona, the Mexican folklore about a vengeful spirit who wants to steal children away, due to the loss she suffered back when she was still mortal, and set up the first of several clips – this one featuring two young boys who are being chased by La Llorona. We also saw an entire sequence featuring Cardellini and her onscreen brood who end up being terrorized by the fearsome spectre, and then a sizzle real. Chaves has set The Curse of La Llorona in the 1970s, and I love the way he shot and composited various set pieces felt wholly entrenched in the aesthetic from four decades ago.

It also looked like, by the clips edited together in the final montage, that La Llorona just might also belong to The Conjuring universe as well. Time will only tell there, but it seems like one shot in particular might give us some clues (and Wan is a producer on the film, too). In either case, we’ll know for sure once the film hits theaters next year.

Closing out ScareDiego 2018 was another Wan produced effort, The Nun, which gives us more of the memorably horrifying demon Valak, who was first introduced in The Conjuring 2. To give us a deep-dive into the film, Drake brought out Hardy, as well as cast members Taissa Farmiga and Ingrid Bisu (who happens to hail from Romania, the shooting location for The Nun). It seems that, based on what we saw at the event, Hardy is tapping into a Gothic horror aesthetic, and it works beautifully in favor of the tone of the material. The cinematography is gorgeous, bringing a sense of grandiosity to the movie’s visual style, and you could almost feel the sense of dread hanging over each and every shot. Hardy is a director who impressed me greatly with his efforts on The Hollow, and I love how The Nun has this confident and polished gleam to everything we’ve seen so far, which makes it feel like it is ready to effortlessly join the ranks of the other impressive films that comprise The Conjuring universe.

There were also a few gnarly sequences that we got to see, including one character being whipped mercilessly by an unseen assailant, and I must admit, I was already excited for The Nun, but now my enthusiasm has reached peak heights. I loved how it looked perfectly at home in this cinematic universe, all while looking like nothing we have seen from these films thus far. Plus, there was a stunning scene set in a foggy moor that felt like it was crafted precisely for me (foggy locales are my cinematic catnip). It might be weird to say this, but The Nun feels poised to be this New Wave Hammer Horror endeavor, and I am all about that. Oh, and New Line filled the theater with dozens of faceless nuns, so yeah, The Nun feels like it’s going to be a lot of fun for fans.

Keep it tuned here for more coverage from The Nun and The Curse of La Llorona over the next few days as well, as we’ve got several great interviews coming your way, right here on Daily Dead.

  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    Heather A. Wixson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, until she followed her dreams and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. A 14-year veteran in the world of horror entertainment journalism, Wixson fell in love with genre films at a very early age, and has spent more than a decade as a writer and supporter of preserving the history of horror and science fiction cinema. Throughout her career, Wixson has contributed to several notable websites, including Fangoria, Dread Central, Terror Tube, and FEARnet, and she currently serves as the Managing Editor for Daily Dead, which has been her home since 2013. She's also written for both Fangoria Magazine & ReMind Magazine, and her latest book project, Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume One will be released on October 20, 2021.