10 Desperate Ways To Market Horror Movies

Fake stabbings, pro wrestling tie-ins, public funerals, and "See Paris Die!"

House of Wax See Paris Die Paris Hilton
Warner Bros.

For the movie business, a great marketing campaign can make the difference between financial success or failure.

If you're spending $10 million, $50 million or even sometimes over $100 million on putting a film together, it's obvious as to why a studio and distributor would want to market their movie in a way that has people chomping at the bit to take a trip to their local cinema - in turn ramping up the box office take and hopefully spinning a significant profit.

While some films decide to drum up attention merely by pushing out plentiful trailers, promotional art and having their stars do the usual press rounds, there are those other offerings that go all out with rather desperate ad campaigns designed to make their picture stand out in an industry that is forever churning out new movies.

Of course, at times these eager marketing campaigns can actually be a stroke of genius, yet there are those times where such desperate moves spectacularly blow up in a distributor's face.

With that in mind, then, here are ten such examples of horror films that thought outside the box when it came to their promo push.

10. Stage A Fake Stabbing Incident - My Soul To Take

House of Wax See Paris Die Paris Hilton
Rogue Pictures

It may not be prime Wes Craven, but the iconic filmmaker's 2010 My Soul to Take has plenty to please horror hounds. Like the rest of the movies featured here, though, this slasher offering had a pretty rough marketing manoeuvre up its sleeve.

Somewhere along the way, Rogue Pictures decided to go with the ill-conceived idea of staging a faux stabbing at the New York premiere of My Soul to Take.

As the cast and crew of the picture assembled, two men got into an argument and one stabbed the other with a clearly fake knife. From there, Rogue put this video on YouTube as part of a boneheaded plan to have people rushing to cinemas to see this latest Craven effort.

Far from having that desired effect, this awful PR stunt was viewed by most people as classless, done in poor taste, and something which made My Soul to Take look like a skippable farce of a feature.

Sure, My Soul to Take isn't Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes or The People Under the Stairs, but it's a Wes Craven movie that deserved to be seen by more people. And with this desperate marketing move, Rogue Pictures soured the film before it was even released.


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