The Horror Honeys: When Marketing Departments Attack!

When Marketing Departments Attack!

A Revenge Honey Top Five Offenders List by Linnie

Director/Writer Dude: GUYS! GUYS! GUYS! I have THE BEST idea ever! You'll never believe it. It's so amazing and original! No one has ever done anything like this before!

Team of Producers: GREAT! We have been waiting to hear an original idea for ages. What have you got?

DWD: We shoot an entire film, guerrilla style, in the Mall of America. No permits! Just random shots, filming around people! It will be amazing! A true piece of experimental cinema for the ages!

ToP: Awesome! We love it! The marketing team will lose their minds over it! But uh... DWD... what's the story?

(long pause)


Starting with an awesome concept but believing that a concept is enough to carry an entire film has become far too commonplace in horror cinema, especially in the last decade.

Darth Maul Demon is why we can't have nice things.
When you have a bunch of back-patting enablers sitting around telling each other how awesome they are, regardless of whether or not the original concept IS solid, the whole movie will never actually get off the ground in any sort of tangible way. Sometimes this will lead to a movie that is half good, while other times it leads to a squandered concept. In the worst cases, viewers end up with a hyped marketing scheme but absolutely nothing of substance to back it up.

Totally looking at you. This is ALL your fault.
The following five films I believe are the worst recent offenders of either squandering a great concept or engaging in deceptive marketing to the detriment of those unfortunate enough to see the films. If any of my choices piss you off, put it in a letter and mail it to me care of the Paper Shredding Department at Honey HQ.

Insidious (2010)

When I saw James Wan's Insidious for the first time, I was enthralled... for about half of the film. The idea that a child could be haunted, and not a dwelling, was awesome and the lack of control was a fascinating spin on the typical ghost story. But then... it became about astral projection. And Tiny Tim. And a Darth Maul looking demon designed by a makeup department who had apparently never bothered to google "black and red makeup palette." Worst of all, not only was the concept wasted in one film, but it was totally blown in a second movie that went on to rip off Sleepaway Camp. And now, we're getting a prequel...

The Purge (2013)

In order to keep the American people nice and docile, once a year, they are allowed to do whatever the fuck all they want. That idea isn't just terrifying: it's a brilliant concept for a movie. Just imagine what life would be like for the poor and defenseless as they are left at the mercy of the rich and powerful with the means to give in to their inner, most primal violence. Except... never mind! Let's just make a home invasion film that pretty much looks identical to The Strangers. But with significantly less tension, no political or emotional impact, and almost no logic.

Who needs logic? I has good idea!
The sequel made strides toward grabbing ahold of the promise of the original idea, but in my opinion, squandered it further on making Frank Grillo look like 80s era Stallone for an hour and a half. Yet, we're getting a third movie. So, maybe this one will finally get it right?

Escape from Tomorrow (2013)

A psychological horror film shot guerrilla style in Disney World without the permission of the Walt Disney Company, chronicling a family man's descent into madness while at the the happiest place on earth? How could that not be amazing, right? Except... the story of how Escape from Tomorrow was filmed is the only interesting thing about it. If you took out the setting and the lame post-production horror CGI cliches, all you have is a eye-rollingly uninspired story about a deplorable father using his children to stalk teenage girls in a desperate attempt to cling to his youth that wouldn't be worthy of Woody Allen on his worst day. This film was a prime example of gimmick + marketing = hype. Some people may have been snowed. I was not one of them.

Because they couldn't be bothered with your bullshit.

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2013... sort of? But actually 2006... technically.)

How can you get people really excited about your mediocre, generic teen slasher? Don't mention that it was shelved for those exact reasons and then wait until your star is actually famous before you start making a big deal about it. All the Boys Love Mandy Love was filmed seven years before it was actually released and seven years before anyone had heard of Amber Heard. (Ha. Word play.) Its production team tried to make a big deal about the fact no one had seen it, and it worked... until people actually saw the film and discovered that it wasn't anything special. However, if you want to experience a serious mindfuck, watch Mandy Lane and Machete Kills one after the other, both released in 2013.


A Serbian Film (2010)

There is little more frustrating than total garbage cloaked in the guise of politically dissident art. Srdjan Spasojevic's A Serbian Film has gained a reputation as the most shocking movie ever made, but there is one major problem with that classification: it's stupid. The heavy-handed attempt to horrify can't hide the fact that movie is ineptly made and pointlessly grotesque. This movie is like a reverse version of The Ring video: if you've had the displeasure of seeing it, it's your sworn duty to stop everyone you meet from suffering the same fate.

PS - I'm not putting any pictures from A Serbian Film in my list. So here is a kitty riding a laser unicorn. Enjoy.

Na na na na na, 8-bit unicorn kitty PEW!

Has movie marketing ever driven you mad?
Let Linnie know on Twitter: @linnieloowho