Some movies are surefire hits at Comic-Con — others have more at stake when they go before the devoted fans in San Diego. Los Angeles Times film writer John Horn takes a look at what projects could most benefit from an enthusiastic reception in a Thursday Calendar cover story.
Just as some movies are impervious to bad reviews, there are films that debut at Comic-Con International in San Diego whose fates simply cannot be doomed. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I” won’t likely suffer if Warner Bros. does nothing more than hold up one of star Daniel Radcliffe’s dirty socks before thousands of the movie’s fans.
Any number of other films — particularly those flying just below the pop culture radar — face a more perilous test at the annual gathering of comic book, fantasy and sci-fi fans running Thursday through Sunday. Take a movie that isn’t that good, and the Comic-Con throng can bury it alive: Examine the carcass of last year’s “Sorority Row.” But if the movie rocks Hall H, the vast room where most big film presentations are held, you potentially have the next “300,” “Zombieland” or “District 9.”
Squeezed between star-laden presentations on Saturday for the big-budget spectacles “Green Lantern” and “Thor,” filmmaker Matt Reeves will showcase several minutes of clips from “Let Me In,” the writer-director’s adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s adolescent angst/vampire novel “Let the Right One In” (which was previously made into a 2008 Swedish-language feature).
“It is an unveiling. It will all be footage that no one has ever seen,” said Reeves, whose last film was 2008′s alien invasion thriller “Cloverfield.” Reeves faces a tricky challenge as some are familiar (perhaps too much so) with the source material, while many others know nothing about the book or the earlier film. “Let Me In” lands in theaters on Oct. 1.
So in just a few Comic-Con minutes, Reeves must prove to the hard-core “Let the Right One In” fans that he’s been faithful to the underlying story — “The ideal reaction would be, ‘I’m willing to give that a shot, even though I loved the original,’ ” he said — while simultaneously trying to attract new followers to a story he believes is both original and personal. “What I would hope is that as people leave Hall H, they would say, ‘That looks really different and looks like an amazing story,’ ” Reeves said.
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Photo: “Let Me In.” Credit: Overture Films
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