WonderCon Wrap-Up: Scary Scenes From "The Hills Have Eyes," "The Omen" and "Silent Hill"

More insights from this year's WonderCon, as we were treated to a trio of upcoming horror flicks: "The Hills Have Eyes," "The Omen," and "Silent Hill."

One of the day's biggest panels kicked off with an appearance by frightmaster Wes Craven, who sat down with three stars of his upcoming remake?of his own 1977 classic, "The Hills Have Eyes" -- Vinessa Shaw, Aaron Stanford, and Dan Byrd. As with the original, this remake tells the story of a suburban family whose car breaks down on a road trip through the desert, who find themselves battling for survival with a band of unsocialized, murderous hill people.

The 1977 "Hills" was scripted and directed by Craven himself, who now takes a producing credit and leaves the direction and screenplay adaptation to Alexandre Aja. Aja's French axe-murderer thriller "High Tension" established him last year in the confidences of gore-hounds, and Craven's repeated endorsements at the panel suggest that the master is very happy indeed with his successor.

After fielding questions (Craven revealed he'd approved dailies remotely during production while on the set of his own thriller, "Red Eye") the panel presented a short scene from "Hills;" short, but the rolling soundtrack, dim atmosphere and, oh yeah, that freaky scary guy that pops up out of nowhere all made the scene incredibly tense. The clip, however, was upstaged by a question from the audience as a fan asked Craven himself for her money back from watching 2005's "Cursed."

Craven took it in stride, advising her to watch the "Cursed" DVD "to see the movie that [he] made." Then he slyly plotted her demise.

Vinessa Shaw talks about "The Hills Have Eyes"

Aaron Stanford (AKA "X2's" Pyro) at the "Hills" panel

Director John Moore came out next to talk about another horror remake: his summer thriller, "The Omen." A trailer screened: a simple pan slowly moving through an empty playground, coming to rest on a young boy on a swing. An EVIL young boy on a swing, that is. It was simple, but effective; see it here.

Moore also presented a few more hilarious teaser trailers (in one, a little girl playing inside hears a noise, wanders to the window and drops her dolly in shock as she sees the ground outside littered with dead birds; in another, a man sits on his porch with his family, constructing cross after cross as his wife nails them frantically to their house).

We were also treated to preview a scene from "The Omen," which has updated the ages and political standing of evil little Damien's parents to reflect a younger, more upwardly mobile (and professionally hungry) couple than the original. Moore played the birthday party scene (so similar to that in the original that the word "homage" was thrown around), perhaps one of the most notorious parts of the original "Omen," in which a nanny joyfully hangs herself in front of a lavish birthday celebration.

With Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles as the tortured, horrified parents, creepy little newcomer Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick as Damien, and an appearance by Mia Farrow as Mrs. Baylock, Moore's "Omen" just may succeed with a wide audience where the previous four installments ("The Omen" (1976), "Damien: Omen II" (1978), "The Final Conflict" (1981) and "Omen IV: The Awakening" (1991)) had grown increasingly campy and diluted.

Last but not least, actress Deborah Kara Unger arrived to introduce a clip from "Silent Hill," an upcoming thriller based on the bone-chilling video game of the same name. Gore fans will be pleased; of the entire day's panel, this was the first clip preceded by a warning to parents to shield the eyes of their children, and was it ever warranted. In this clip, central character Rose (Radha Mitchell) is fleeing an unseen terror along with a class full of children and women; one woman falls behind, and is caught by a deadly creature; gasps ensue as the audience collectively recoils in visceral disgust. If that sounds like your kind of thing, this movie is for you.



Renny Abraham

I'm definitely keeping my eyes open for Silent Hill. I liked the original Omen - not really interested in the remake. Wes Craven's 'Cursed' sucked big time!! I'll stay away from this one.

Feb 16 - 10:58 PM

Scott Weinberg

Scott Weinberg

Silent Hill is one of my most geekily anticipated movies of the year. Can't wait to see what Gans and Avary have put together here!

Feb 17 - 04:26 AM


David Jones

I dont know what makes people think Silent Hill looks good. It reminds me of The Ring, The Grudge, quick shots, darkly lit movies, crappy endings, yuck. Mrs Reagan's advice still holds true--JUST SAY NO!

Feb 17 - 06:01 AM


First Last

whatever i like japanese horror that doesn't really need mass amounts of gore every few seconds. I rather have a nice story slowly builded with tension and then bam. i love the ring and the grudge so yup =) i'm seeing silent hill, but i bet there will be some gore in it.

Feb 17 - 11:26 AM


Rocket Punch

Silent Hill. This movie might be able to undo all the bad that Dr Boll done to "video game" movies. But as Yoda would put it, "clouded everything, the darkside is"

***BTW, have you wonder why Yoda, the master of all master Jedi, just can't learn simple english???***

Feb 17 - 02:38 PM


Daniel James

I'm looking forward to The HILLS HAVE EYES. I like my horror simple, bloody and never supernatural. And just a dash of camp. That said i adored Cursed, the R rated version that is...

Feb 17 - 05:28 PM


Paul Barrett

Actually all three of these sound good to me, but maybe I'm just a masochist.

Feb 18 - 06:55 AM


mike shinoda

[b]French Directors[/b]
there are 2 french directors for this movies ! Silent Hil and The Hills have eyes sound very good to me ! they are so talented

Feb 19 - 04:13 AM


Kevin Levan

While I really hate horror remakes, I saw 'The Hills Have Eyes' trailer and it looked insteresting. Creepy in that sort of simple 'Wolf Creek' way.

I'll pass on the others. Also, the 'Hard Candy' trailer looked interesting.

Feb 19 - 07:25 PM

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