We’re coming up to the best time of the year: Film4 FrightFest. To get us in the mood for a good scare a new viral video has been unleashed for the Sam Raimi produced shocker, The Possession. Given this is a Jewish spin on a predominantly Catholic sub-genre ((based on the Dibbuk Box tale) will it pull any new moves for audience’s to enjoy or merely change a dog collar for curly sideburns?
Viral online marketing is the new way to plug a movie’s imminent release with all sorts of clips and websites helping to package a movie and things begin early – sometimes well over a year before general release. The problem (if we can label it such) is this: are films now consumed as part of an overall ‘product’ and do blitzkrieg ads ruin a film’s enjoyment by creating higher expectations?
Movie advertising, of course, is nothing remotely new and studios will do nearly anything to get bums on seats, but what effect is online marketing having on movie consumption? We might be over-analysing things for the casual reader and be guilty of fanning the flames by even showing this very clip. But we must have choice and supporting films is what we do. Whether big budget or zero budget. And do we really keep these things in mind after we’ve seen them? The perfect way to see a film is go by its title alone but that’s dreaming. Especially in this day and age.
A poster advertising The Possession was banned earlier in the year from public display (you can see the offending one-sheet below the viral clip) after it was deemed unsuitable. Wimps. They did the same thing with The Last Exorcism. Banning posters seems rather odd. But in a positive way, it makes people aware of the flick and more likely will check it out at the cinema.
Demonic possession movies have been making a come back the past few years with a slew of titles from studios and independent producers. Of course the power of Christ compels genre fans to these movies like a moth to flame. Let us know your thoughts on this viral clip and anything else for that matter (on films, obviously). Is marketing going gaga or should we just embrace it? After all, whether a film review, feature article or interview – we’re all advertisers of some sort, whether you’ve a mighty opinion of yourself, a famous critic or a blogger/hack who copies and pastes any press release that comes into their inbox in order to chase hits, brown nose studios and PR agencies. It’s just different levels and standards along the way.
The Possession opens on 31st August and screens at FrightFest on Monday 27th. The film is directed by Nightwatch helmer Ole Bornedal, who also went to Hollywood and reshot his breakout Norwegian chiller starring Ewan McGregor and Josh Brolin.
Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie Brenek (Kyra Sedgwick) see little cause for alarm when their youngest daughter Em becomes oddly obsessed with an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale. But as Em’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, the couple fears the presence of a malevolent force in their midst, only to discover that the box was built to contain a dibbuk, a dislocated spirit that inhabits and ultimately devours its human host.
Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan (WATCHMEN) and Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”), THE POSSESSION is directed by Ole Bornedal (NIGHTWATCH), written by Juliet Snowden & Stiles White, and produced by horror master Sam Raimi along with Robert Tapert and J.R. Young. Lionsgate and Ghost House Pictures present.
UK Release Date: 31st August
US Release Date: 31st August