Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of Comic-Con.
Open Road Films‘ End of Watch turned out to be a cop movie shot from a sort of “found footage” perspective while not actually resorting to that now-tiresome gag, and the Silent Hill sequel was pretty creepy and scary in 3D. End Of Watch director David Ayer opened the panel by saying the last time he was in San Diego, he was serving on a nuclear submarine. Via video, Jake Gyllenhaal introduced some clips, one of which was an uninterrupted shot from an in-car camera as the movie’s two cops (Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena) chase a perp’s car, then get out and make the bust. A more conventionally edited scene had the two buddies cracking racial jokes at each other, with Gyllenhaal imagining a nagging Mexican wife and Pena imagining a boring white wife who likes flavored coffee. A third scene was a nightmarish POV thing with Gyllenhaal rescuing someone from a burning house – very tight camera, heavy heartbeats and sound distortion on the soundtrack, ending with subjective POV shot of being treated by firemen for smoke inhalation. <!–more–>Ayer emphasized the realism of the movie – said he showed it to cops and they liked it, the training he put his actors through (Pena said he had gotten badly overweight, like “Chris Farley running uphill,” so getting in shape was hard). Much of it does rely on almost found-footage – cop-cams and the like – the stuff that isn’t was often shot with cameras attached to the actors themselves. The clip about the wives was improv – Ayers added “My wife’s Mexican, so I get it.” It was shot in 22 days, not including reshoots.
The Silent Hill footage looked amazing in 3D, with a large spider made of mannequin parts looking appropriately weird and scary, plus those creepy, faceless nurses are back. It’s a sequel to the first movie, based closely on the third game but workable as a standalone film to the casual fan (and full of easter eggs in the background for hardcore fans). Following this footage, they showed a trailer for the new Halloween Horror Nights attraction that will headline at Universal Studios in Hollywood and Florida.
Silent Hill director Michael J. Bassett joked that “There’s a lot of Hobbit fans out there – we don’t want to scare you too much.” The clips shown, we were told, are some of the only ones that appropriate enough, rather than bloody hard-R violence. Actress Adelaide Clemens screamed loudly before every take, as she demonstrated for the crowd in attendance. Will Sean Bean die in the movie, as he does in most films? “Yes and no. Not in the way you’d expect,” said Bassett.