Taking Insidious Even Further

Wednesday, August 17 2011
Taking Insidious Even Further

It’s the highest-earning horror film of 2011 at cinemas, has performed way beyond expectations and now is making its way to home entertainment.

Insidious boasted incredible word of mouth, strong marketing that played up the audience response and some great imagery for the campaign. With the way effectively paved for Momentum’s DVD and Blu-ray release by another impressive marketing push, the company is now readying itself for the August bow.

The film boasts a built-in pedigree, given that it comes from Leigh Whannell and James Wan who have hugely successful horror franchises such as Saw and Paranormal Activity among the titles they can put on their CV.

Of the two, however, it is the latter that is more akin to Insidious. The film eschews the torture porn stylings so beloved of post-Saw horrors, preferring instead the faux verite look and feel of Paranormal Activity. Instead of throwing gore at the proceedings, Insidious has more of a post-Paranormal, found footage, haunted house style, that while feeling contemporary is also a tad more old-fashioned, giving genuine chills and fights rather than bludgeoning the viewer into submission.

As our regular screening correspondent Alex Kidd., someone who knows a thing or two about horror, notes: “I think it works as it goes totally back to the basics of horror and genuinely tries to scare you.

“Unknown horror in the home is far more unnerving than killers and monsters as it’s more universal.”

In fact, Kidd believes, it even outdoes arguably its closest contemporary. “We’ve also not had a really well made ghost film like this for quite a while,” he continues. “Paranormal Activity, with its found footage style is the closest but Insidious is a finely crafted tension builder the likes of which we’ve not had for a while. Also it’s the type of film that spreads by word of mouth as it’s so genuinely unsettling.”

Momentum’s Clare Dundrow concurs. “Insidious is really returning to the old school of horror, and creating a new niche for itself in 2011.

“It’s not gory horror which has lead the market for so long, its returning to the idea that alternative entities can exist alongside us, and houses – and people –  can be haunted. Paranormal Activity is a prime example of how this type of horror really fascinates people and sends old-fashioned shivers up our spines.”

The box office backs this up.

“Insidious really captured the imagination of the public,” continues Dundrow. “It really got into their heads and made them check their wardrobes and under their beds when they got home from the cinema.

“From such fantastic horror pedigree [the aforementioned Wan and Whannell] their theory of no false scares really paid off. The nature of the scares and the imagination that went into creating the characters really did set this film apart from any others this year and word of mouth spread wildly.”

Obviously, now Momentum needs to capitalise on that strong word of mouth in time for its release.

As Dundrow says: “Our objective is to build on the success of the theatrical release and the fact its the biggest horror film of the year, and to make Insidious the must own horror film of the year on DVD and Blu-ray.

“We’ll work up the menace surrounding the film and ask the question ‘dare you watch it alone?’”

We’ve already detailed some of Momentum’s marketing activity on our newsletter, with online leading the way ahead of TV (see here, but in the meantime here’s a sample quote: “We will incorporate some very cool innovative ideas spreading the word and reminding people just how scary this film is to watch with a few surprises thrown in. Our TV campaign will be scaring people out of their wits literally, and reminding the public that even if you watch it with friends, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be safe…”)

As Dundrow notes: “Our obvious comparable is Paranormal Activity purely because of the connections to the films, and the type of horror film it is.” With the success of that franchise leading the way, the haunted horror film really is making a comeback…

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