Come to the DARK SIDE…of SDCC that is! Just follow this handy guide we’ve put together of all the scariest things to see and do at San Diego Comic Con 2016 and you’ll be well on your way!
Luckily for sci-fi and horror fans, this year’s SDCC coincides with the 3oth anniversary of ALIENS, James Cameron’s epic sci-fi action horror sequel that garnered seven Academy Award noms. On Saturday, fans won’t want to miss the ALIENS: 30th Anniversary panel (http://sched.co/7gJM) with writer/director James Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd joining cast members Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Michael Biehn, and Paul Reiser for a look back the iconic classic. A bonus for fans who aren’t attending Comic Con – Variety reports that Fox will be using YouTube’s new mobile live streaming service to connect live with a global audience, allowing the cast to answer fan questions via app! Don’t miss it. Saturday, July 23rd, 3:15-4:15, Hall H.
There will also be two – yes two – ALIENS screenings during SDCC – one on Wednesday at 7:00pm at the Balboa Theater (tix $12) and a special screening on Saturday night at the UA Horton Plaza (sold out but waitlist available via Gofobo).
Other horror movies screening during SDCC include:
Lights Out (Warner Bros.), UA Horton Plaza, Wednesday at 10:00pm. This early, free screening was recently announced with tix available here while they last. We caught an early screening of this movie, which is produced by James Wan and inspired by writer/director David F. Sandberg’s creepy viral short, and all we can say is – hold on to your popcorn!
Don’t Breathe, UA Horton Plaza, Thursday at 10:00pm.
The Woods (Lionsgate), Friday at 7:00pm, TBA. Written by Simon Barrett and directed by Adam Wingard (the creative duo behind You’re Next and The Guest) The Woods is being marketed as one of the scariest movies ever made, and given that we’ve enjoyed Wingard and Barrett’s other collaborative creations, we’re intrigued. According to sdccblog.com, fans hoping to score entry to the special screening will need to stop by Lionsgate Booth at #4045.
The Final Girls w/ the writers in attendance. Saturday 11:55pm, Ken Cinemas 4061 Adams.
In addition toThe Final Girls screening, there will also be a panel, The Final Girls & the Future of the Midnight Movie, on Saturday July 23, 5:30pm – 6:30pm, Horton Grand Theatre, which will feature creatives and select cast behind 2015’s cult-classic in the making, The Final Girls, and actual fan-favorite final girls from horror films throughout the years!
Technically, HBO‘s GAME of THRONES may not be classified as “horror,” but the series features enough untimely deaths and zombie-esque White Walkers to make it close enough for us. In addition to their big Hall H Panel & Q&A Discussion on Friday (2:15-3:15)(http://sched.co/7fni) there is also an offsite GOT “Hall of Faces” activation, where fans can become “no one” and add their face to the great hall. If you’re lucky you may even have a shot at sitting on the Iron Throne. Thurs-Sun @ the L Street Fine Art Gallery, 628, L Street.
Speaking of offsite events… While there’s no panel for FX’s American Horror Story this year ahead of its Season 6 premiere, FOX/FX is putting on an offsite event, FXhibition where AHS fans will be able to face their fears and embark on a unique journey through terrifying encounters inspired by the hair-raising series at the American Horror Story Fearless VR Experience. Thurs-Sun @ the Hilton Bayfront Park.
Also at FXhibition, fans who enjoy their horror with big dose of campy musical comedy can do the time warp again via an immersive Rocky Horror Picture Show VR Experience tied in with FOX TV’s upcoming remake of the cult classic. Executive-produced by Lou Adler, Gail Berman, and Kenny Ortega, FOX’s re-imaging is set to air in October as a 2-hour television event. Fans interested in catching a sneak peak of the new RHPS can join cast and producers for an exclusive first look at the two-hour event during a panel on Thursday July 21, 8:15pm – 10:45pm in Room 6DE.
For fans of the original Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975, directed by Jim Sharman, starring Tim Curry. R) it will be screening Sat night / Sunday morning 12:10 am Marriott Marina Ballroom D. Let’s do the Time Warp again!
While we’re on the topics of FOX, re-imaginings, classics and sneak peeks: get ready for heads to spin, because FOX is offering up a special preview screening of the full first episode of their The Exorcist series on Friday, with stars Alfonso Herrera, Ben Daniels, Hannah Kasulka, Brianne Howey and Geena Davis and writer/producer Jeremy Slater in attendance. The Academy Award-nominated The Exorcist terrified audiences around the world. Now, more than four decades later, The Exorcist returns as a contemporary psychological TV thriller on FOX this fall, following the story of two very different priests tackling one family’s case of terrifying demonic possession. Friday July 22, 6:00pm – 7:00pm in Room 6A *Side note: We had a chance to catch a preview screening of The Exorcist premiere last month, and we were compelled! Check it out for yourself on Friday!
If that’s not enough in the way of demonic possession-themed entertainment for you, never fear. There’s always Robert Kirkman’s Outcast: When in Rome panel. Outcast is Cinemax’s newest series about a young man who has been plagued by demonic possession all his life, who finds help in a preacher with personal demons of his own. Executive producers Robert Kirkman and Chris Black and cast members Patrick Fugit, Philip Glenister, Wrenn Schmidt, Brent Spiner, and Reg E Cathey will discuss their experience with Outcast season 1 and look ahead to the already green-lit season 2. Saturday, July 23rd, 5:15-6:15pm, Room 6BCF.
Still not enough possession? You can also catch AMC’s Preacher panel on Friday, 6:30-8:30 in Hall H with executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, comic book co-creator and series co-executive producer Garth Ennis and members of the cast including Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, Joseph Gilgun, Ian Colletti and Graham McTavish. The panel will be moderated by Kevin Smith, and the panelists will do a live reading of the newest episode followed by a Q&A session.
Since all these possession- related panels happen to fall on Friday evening, you probably won’t be able to attend them all, so be sure to choose your demons wisely!
Moving on from demonic possessions to demonic plague / evil dead (which is totally a different category), fans of STARZ’ Ash Vs. Evil Dead will be able to catch the Season 2 World Premiere Screening with introduction by cast and executive producers on Saturday July 23 10:00pm – 11:00pm. Room 6DE
Also on tap in the Evil Dead department: Space Goat: Evil Dead 2 and Beyond. Evil Dead fans rejoice. The Ash vs Deadites adventures you want are being published by Space Goat. Surprise guests! All things Space Goat Publishing, prepared just for you! Certified groovy! Friday July 22, 12:00pm – 1:00pm Room 28DE
Moving on from demons to zombies…Skybound’s The Walking Dead panel will feature creator Robert Kirkman, longtime artist of The Walking Dead Charlie Adlard, and Skybound Entertainment editorial director Sean Mackiewicz discussing all things The Walking Dead and what’s to come for the comics series as it approaches its 160th issue. Thursday July 21 4:30pm – 5:30pm, Room 6DE
As for the tv series, Season 7 of AMC’s The Walking Dead debuts in October, and as usual there will be a Hall H panel featuring all your faves discussing the shocking finale of season 6 and a sneak peek into season 7. Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Chandler Riggs, Sonequa Martin-Green, Michael Cudlitz, Josh McDermitt, Ross Marquand, Christian Serratos, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan join executive producer and showrunner Scott M. Gimple, executive producer Robert Kirkman, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, executive producer Dave Alpert, and sfx makeup supervisor and executive producer Greg Nicotero in a panel moderated by Chris Hardwick. Friday July 22, Hall H 1:00pm – 2:00pm
AMC’s companion and prequel series, Fear The Walking Dead is hosting a panel to discuss where the series left off in May’s finale and what to look forward to when it picks up in August. A Q&A session will be followed by an official sneak preview of the 2nd half of season 2. Friday July 22 12:00pm – 1:00pm, Hall H. Also, according to the good folks over at sdccblog.com, Fear the Walking Dead will also be hosting a cool offsite in the form of… a yacht! The Fear The Walking Dead Abigail Offsite will allow fans to re-create life aboard the Abigail. Thurs.-Sat., Fifth Avenue Pier (behind the Convention Center), 9:00a-9:00p, free, open to ages 13+.
There’s also a Resident Evil 20th Anniversary panel (http://sched.co/7fmh). Two decades have passed since survival horror fans first opened the ominous doors to the zombie-filled mansion. Celebrate this milestone for the iconic survival horror series by hearing from the team at Capcom on what’s in store for Resident Evil fans this year. Friday July 22, 11:30am – 12:30pm, Room 6BCF
Moving on From Zombies to Vampires, fans of toothy bloodsuckers will perhaps want to catch one of the following panels:
The Strain (http://sched.co/7f13) The munchers are back! The Strain, FX’s action-packed vampire thriller based on the bestselling books from Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, returns August 28. Get an exclusive sneak peek of the upcoming third season, plus the debut of a Comic-Con exclusive original video that’s sure to go viral.. Thursday July 21 3:15pm – 4:15pm Ballroom 20. Note: The Strain will also be featured at FX’s aforementioned FXhibition offsite at the Hilton Bayfront with a 25-foot “infected” Lady Liberty statue
Van Helsing (http://sched.co/7f1g) Premiering exclusive first-look footage from Syfy’s new series Van Helsing.Thursday July 21, 5:00pm – 6:00pm, Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront
The Vampire Diaries (http://sched.co/7gHp)The cast and creative team behind The Vampire Diaries return to San Diego for an exciting eighth appearance. Series stars will join executive producers for a video screening and Q&A session. From Bonanza Productions Inc., Outerbanks Entertainment, and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, The Vampire Diaries airs Fridays at 8/7c on The CW. Saturday, July 23, 11:00am – 11:45am. Ballroom 20
Maybe Vampires aren’t your bag, but maybe Murder Mystery is more your style? If so, you’ll want to check out the Bates Motel and Scream Queens panels.
Bates Motel on A&E (http://sched.co/7fo6) A&E’s hit drama series Bates Motel returns to SDCC on the heels of the pivotal season 4. Cast members Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, and Nestor Carbonell , along with creators and executive producers Kerry Ehrin and Carlton Cuse, reveal exclusive content from the new season. Friday July 22, 2016 3:30pm – 4:30pm Room 6A
Scream Queens(http://sched.co/7fp9) It’s the return of the Chanels! From award-winning executive producers Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan, season 2 of Scream Queens graduates from the college campus and into an abandoned hospital purchased by Dean Munch (Jamie Lee Curtis). Set two years later, the Chanels (Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd, and Abigail Breslin), Hester (Lea Michele), and Zayday (Keke Palmer) are now hospital employees as they embark on another terrifyingly funny murder mystery full of the most fascinating and bizarre medical cases ever diagnosed. Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, and others engage in a star-studded season 1 tell-all, with exclusive details on the new season premiering this fall on Fox. There’s a new killer in town, but this time… it’s no devil! Friday July 22 6:45pm – 7:45pm Ballroom 20
If your spooky interests lean more toward the paranormal, then don’t miss the Supernatural Special Video Presentation and Q&A on Sunday, featuring everyone’s favorite fictional ghost-fighting brothers Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles). Also on hand will be Misha Collins, and Mark A. Sheppard, along with executive producers Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb to answer questions from the audience about what’s in store for the 12th season of this exciting series. The 12th season of Supernatural will premiere this fall in its new Thursday time period at 9/8c on The CW. The series is produced by Kripke Enterprises Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television. Sunday July 24, 2016 11:15am – 12:15pm. Hall H
If you’re into real life paranormal investigating check out Destination America’s Supernatural Super-panel, where ghost-hunting superstars Nick Groff, Katrina Weidman, Adam Berry, Amy Bruni and John Zaffis unite to regale you with tales of their darkest, creepiest, and most life-altering paranormal experiences. Throughout their combined career they have more than 10,000 horrifying haunts under their belts, from the Exorcist house, to the Stanley Hotel and many more hotspots. Also, they will discuss how the work of Lorraine Warren and the original paranormal Holy Grail of “The Conjuring” led them to where they are today. Moderated by Jessica Chobot (Nerdist News). Enter to win the chance to join a ghost hunt for one of Destination America’s hit shows and other prizes at this can’t miss event. Friday July 22, 2016 7:00pm – 8:00pm. Room 7AB
We can’t close out our guide without mentioning two of the biggest, most anticipated panels of the convention, both of which will cover upcoming movies that have the potential to offer at least little bit of scary (and a whole lot of awesome!):
Warner Bros. Pictures (http://sched.co/7gI5), which will feature a sneak peek at upcoming releases including Suicide Squad, Kong: Skull Islandand Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them among othersSaturday July 23, 2016 11:30am – 1:30pm Hall H. *Side note: Warner Bros. is also taking over 6000 square feet of the Hard Rock Hotel to recreate Suicide Squad‘s Belle Reve penitentiary (how cool is that?).
And Marvel Studios Presentation (http://sched.co/7gK5) during which Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige and special guests will provide an inside look at the ever expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, including the mystical and super-amazing looking Doctor Strange. Saturday July 23 5:30pm – 6:45pm Hall H
Also on Tap:
The World Premiere of Batman: The Killing Joke (http://sched.co/7fpi). Delve into the demented history of the Dark Knight’s arch nemesis, The Joker, as he sets out to prove insanity is only a horrifying moment away for anyone in the latest DC Universe Original Movie, Batman: The Killing Joke. Based on one of the bestselling graphic novels of all time, this R-rated, feature-length animated film brings together some of the key creative team behind Batman: The Animated Series with executive producer Bruce Timm (Justice League: Gods & Monsters) at the helm and Kevin Conroy (Justice League), and Mark Hamill (Star Wars) returning to their seminal roles as Batman and The Joker, respectively. Hear how the graphic novel transitioned to animated thriller, and then witness the world premiere of this highly anticipated film. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, Batman: The Killing Joke arrives July 26 on Digital HD and August 2 on Blu-ray and DVD. Friday July 22 9:00pm – 12:00am Ballroom 20
Bold Voice of Contemporary Horror: What’s Next on Your Must-See List
Love The Witch? The Invitation? The Babadook? It Follows? You’re Next? Experts including horror streaming service Shudder’s curator Sam Zimmerman, Sundance Film Festival’s Adam Montgomery, XYZ Films’ Mette Marie Katz and Spectrevision’s Elijah Wood and more as they discuss the indie horror movies that everyone will be talking about next. From festival darlings to hugely anticipated films that just wrapped production, this is the place to come to find out what to keep an eye out for in the coming year. Not for the faint of heart! Filmmakers on the panel include producer Eric B. Fleischman (Carnage Park) and writer/director Sophia Takal (Always Shine). Moderated byClarke Wolfe (Collider/Nerdist). Friday July 22, 2016 6:00pm – 7:00pm Room 7AB
One final offsite mention: Super7 is hosting a Skeletor’s Lair pop-up shop which will have some diabolical Masters of the Universe apparel available! Skeletor will once again take over Super7 San Diego as his lair, but his diabolical plans remain a mystery! Perhaps Skeletor will use the space to plan his evil agenda for the week.. or perhaps he will release some amazing He-Man and Masters of the Universe San Diego Comic-Con exclusives! The Lair will be located at 701 8th Avenue, and open for the duration of SDCC and also stocked with MOTU new releases and exclusives. Warning: It will be no small task to gain access to Skeletor’s Lair! One must venture to the Super7 Booth #4945 and obtain a Power Token. You will then take this coin to 701 8th Avenue (corner of G Street) and present it to gain entry into the Skeletor’s Lair Pop-Up Shop (Yes, you will keep your token!).
The aforementioned creeps, spooks, thrills, chills and horrors should satisfy the darkest corners of your Comic Con soul. If not, please see the following other resources, you beast! –
There are a ton of other scary-skewing panels that we haven’t mentioned. Here’s a link to the list of “Horror and Suspence”- related panels on Comic Con’s Site: https://comiccon2016.sched.org/tag/Horror+and+Suspense?iframe=no&w=i:680;&sidebar=no&bg=no
And some other cool resources: