Fantastic Fest Blog: Day 1 - Let Me In And Mother's Day

Fantastic Fest 2010 began with a bang. Matt Reeves' Let Me In served as the opening night film at the Paramount theatre in downtown Austin. You can watch my previously recorded review/reaction to the film here.

In his opening night introduction, Fantastic Fest founder Tim League ripped off a velcro-suit to reveal a "not-so-modest Viking battle gear" outfit.

He was joined on stage by Fantastic Fest staff and special guest Eugenio Mira, whose film Agnosia is playing at the fest.  It also happened to be Eugenio's birthday and as a sign of gratitude for his wonderful support of the festival (his film The Birthday showed at the very first Fantastic Fest six years ago).

Matt Reeves showed up with a handfull of cast members: Kodi Smit-McPhee (the co-lead, who also appeared in The Road), Elias Koteas and Dylan Minnette (the bully in the remake who is better known as Jack Shepard's son in the flash-sideways final season of Lost).

Chloë Grace Moretz and Richard Jenkins couldn't make it, but Overture Films made up for that fact in a big way — with a surprise appearance by composer Michael Giacchino (Star Trek, Up, Lost) who brought a local Austin boys choir on stage to perform his Let Me In score.

The only thing that might have been cooler is if the choir performed the score live during the film, but that might have been distracting for many of the people in attendance taking in the film for the first time (the Fantastic Fest screening was the third time I've seen the film). I recorded a couple clips of the choir in action with my trusted iPhone. You can watch the clips below:

After the screening, the Alamo Drafthouse held an 80's Dance Party back at the Highball in South Austin. As with all of the Drafthouse events, they got all of the details right including a photo area complete with 80's glasses, hats and props, Now-And-Laters (the popular 1980's candy which has a big part in the film) were included in dishes of fake snow on every table, and even a custom Now-And-Later fusion cocktail was available at the bar. Side note: Now-and-laters are not nearly as good as I remembered (and some of them are quite hard... this is a kid's candy?).

At the party I got a chance to tell Giacchino how much I love his work (and I'm pretty sure I might have scared him with my obvious fanboy enthusiasm). I was also able to convince Matt, Kodi, Dylan and Michael to sign my newly purchased Olly Moss-designed Let Me In Fantastic Fest poster.

How cool is that? I don't usually do the autograph thing, but I decided this was a great and appropriate opportunity (some journalists bring posters for actors to sign at junkets, which always rubs me the wrong way).

In interviewed Matt earlier in the day, and you will see that online sometime next week. He also showed me an intense deleted scene from the movie which we will be lucky enough to premiere the week of release. Reeves even gave us an intro/explanation which gives some much needed context for the clip.

Reeves is a great guy, very down to earth, and you can tell he's anxious to have audiences give his film a chance (I hope they do).

Next up was a midnight screening of Darren Lynn Bousman's Mother's Day. You can read the review I penned at 5:00am up on the site. One of the reasons the Alamo Drafthouse is the coolest movie theater on the planet is in the details — they make every screening an experience. Every seat at the screening had a dish containing a small cookie and glass of milk, along with a note from "Mother" (not pictured) giving motherly advice to the audience members.

Above Photo thanks to symigoddess, Some other photos credit: The Alamo Drafthouse

I'll return in a bit with my blog from the second day of the fest, which will include mini reviews of I Saw The Devil and Rare Exports.