SDCC: Fox’s Victor Frankenstein Trailer and Maze Runner Goes Horror

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Victor Frankenstein

Victor Frankenstein at Comic-Con

Saturday was an exciting day at San Diego Comic-Con, with panels and footage shown from Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak and Michael Dougherty’s Krampus. Later on, 20th Century Fox debuted the first trailer and an extended clip from Paul McGuinan’s Victor Frankenstein, starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, who some might know better from The Woman in Black or Horns

The movie, which has just shifted its release date back to Thanksgiving, looks plenty scary. It also looks like it will be quite fun, based on how it handles the relationship between Victor Frankenstein (McAvoy) and his loyal assistant Igor (Radcliffe). 

Most of the trailer goes about introducing McCoy’s title character and his obsession with experiments.  Victor tells Igor that they’ll be part of a scientific enterprise that will change the world. “We will create life out of death,” he tells him and then we immediately get the first “It’s alive!” of the trailer as his experiment works. “You realize how significant this is?” Igor asks enthusiastically. “Oh I have an inkling,” Frankenstein responds.

Frankenstein is confronted by Deputy Inspector Turpin (Andrew Scott from Sherlock) about “missing body parts” and he’s questioned by a woman (possibly Jessica Findlay’s Lorelei?) asking whether he’s afraid to challenge the natural order, as she mispronounces his name and he corrects her. (A little Young Frankenstein joke). 

While Igor admires Frankenstein, it certainly seems like he’s beginning to question his scientist friend’s motives and sanity as they get deeper into the experiments. The title cards say “The Legend is Reborn,” before we see lots of quick shots of various creatures chasing after them, as well as the famous monster that grabs its creator.

From this trailer, we get a good idea of how big Victor’s ego is. The relationship between the duo seems similar to that of Sherlock Holmes and Watson, particularly in the recent Downey-Law movies. This was confirmed during a rousing panel with director Paul McGuinan, McAvoy and Radcliffe, the latter two who made lots of off-color innuendo about their “bromantic” bond.
 
Afterwards, they showed the first full clip from the film, which involves Victor showing his fellow scientists his latest experiment to bring the dead back to life. It opens with Victor and Igor walking down the halls of the university where he calls out to everyone that they’re doing a presentation “in Hall H” (was that inadvertent or did they know while shooting they’d show this scene at Comic-Con?).

“Since the beginning of modern medicine there has been an assumption regarding the state of mortality,” is how the presentation starts, and he orders his assistant Igor over to the electrical switch. Victor gets a devoted “Yes, master” in response. “I give to you life by my own creation,” as he pulls a sheet off something that’s lying on the table, which turns out to be a small half-sized body of some kind.  He explains that he had built this “homunculus” out of various body parts and he calls for those in attendance to come closer to see what he’s doing. “Now by the miracle of electricity, I give you in 3.. 2…1…” and he zaps the body with an electrical charge causing flies that were resting inside of the bodyto fly out as the others start backing away from the stench. Meanwhile, there’s a snarky blonde guy nearby (Finnegan played by Freddie Fox), who clearly isn’t a fan of Frankenstein. He applauds the failure and makes snide comments. “This is an exquisite show of depraved lunacy,” he chides.

Victor orders Igor to increase the charge and he shocks it again, but nothing happens.  He then calls for a full charge and zaps it again and nothing happens. Then, the eye opens and Victor proclaims “You see? It’s alive.” An arm juts out from the body sending Victor flying to the other side of the room as the creature gets up. It seems to be a cross between a decomposed dog with a monkey’s head that starts screeching and runs out the door and down the stairs. Victor follows him, and ends up in a dark laboratory. He looks up, and sees the creature on a shelf above him as it dives off and the clip ends. 

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

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Before that section of the panel, though, Maze Runner: the Scorch Trials director Wes Ball proudly proclaimed that he was trying to create a different look and feel with the sequel to 2014’s young adult adaptation. He then premiered a surprisingly eerie clip as proof.

You see, the world in which James Dashner’s The Maze Runner takes place has become infected with a deadly virus that’s wiped out most of the population. As we learn in the sequel, many of the infected are still alive, although they’ve been transformed into deadly creatures known as “Cranks.” 

Ball proceeded to show a clip that had the film’s stars Thomas (Dylan O’Brien from Teen Wolf) and Brenda (Rosa Salazar) walking through an underground sewer-like tunnel with just their flashlights.. It was an eerie moment, as they walked slowly through the tunnel and they reach a section that’s covered in what look like red vines. As they figure out what they’re looking at, they’re startled by a shrill shriek coming from one of the side tunnels that turns out to be a gnarl,y infected rat which Brenda stomps on. It runs off into the shadows only to be grabbed by a hand coming from out of the vine-covered wall. It’s actually one of the infected “cranks” caught in the vines that slowly starts ripping its way out. It wakes up others around it, and they lumber towards the duo, each of them looking quite dilapidated and horrific due to the effects of the virus. As the duo run away, they come out into the daylight to find the tunnel dead-ends at a deep pit outside. They hear another loud shriek behind them. 

So again, while The Maze Runner itself was more of an action movie with a science fiction bent, it looks like Ball is trying to incorporate more straight horror into the sequel even with the general premise of the group of teens from the first movie arriving at a facility where they have nefarious purposes.  The film seems to be veering more towards the territory of things like World War Z and The Walking Dead. The clip shown was as scary as anything in either of those.

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Weekend: Aug. 22, 2019, Aug. 25, 2019

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