PVR-Inox, India’s largest cinema chain, has been implementing impactful marketing tools to promote new films, in this case, a horror film. In a recent initiative, the chain used fear to show what it is like to see a horror film alone, on a big screen, in this case – Insidious: The Red Door.
The campaign started with a post on PVR Cinema’s Instagram page, inviting people who dare to watch the last installment of the Insidious movie alone in the theatre.
The contest received overwhelming response and at the end of the week a winner was chosen by lucky draw. The winner was then invited to be the only person in the audience for the day’s last showing of Insidious: The Red Door at a plush PVR Inox theatre.
Hidden cameras captured what actually transpired in the hall. The winner was frightened to death and had his own imaginations running wild. He made it to the exit before the film ended.
The hidden camera film, directed by Titus Upputuru, shows the winner walking into the theatre like a star. With sunglasses on, chewing gum, he walks into the theatre looking every bit the winner that he was.
He makes it into the dark theatre after picking up his favorite caramelized popcorn and chilled cold drink.
After settling down in the theatre, smiling to himself, he starts enjoying the film. But soon the scary scenes in the film start to take their toll on him and he begins to be increasingly frightened. When the service staff brings him the hot dog that he had ordered, he sees a red apparition behind him.
He feels spooky hands running towards his neck but as he looks back, he sees no one. When he can no longer take the intense scenes from the film combined with the scary sounds, he runs down the stairs, tripping over. and falling down. He quickly picks himself up and heads out. The horrors do not seem to be over him, as he senses something vile in his car, in the parking lot.
The film ends with the line ‘Enter the darkness, if you dare’. The film was produced by The Titus Upputuru Company.
Speaking about the campaign, director Upputuru said, “It is one thing to watch a horror film on a small screen at home. It is quite another to watch it on a big screen, alone. It was great fun shooting the film. The task was not just to capture the protagonist’s feelings and emotions but to manifest what was going on in his mind. That was the big challenge. There were several elements that we used to create the atmosphere of fear. The colors, the mirrors, the lonely top shots, the red apparition, the creepy hands, the sounds, and the edit, all went into making the experience both real and surreal.”
Shony Panjikaran, general manager and head, Sony Pictures Releasing International, India said, “We embarked on a thrilling journey with PVR Inox, creating a captivating tale to unveil the final chapter of Insidious. This horror-filled promotion explores the consequences when one dares to venture into the chilling world of fear, alone at a cinema. From an Instagram contest that sparked an overwhelming response, Vicky emerged as the brave victor who stepped into the darkness, only to have his senses tested to the limit. Insidious: The Red Door delivers an unforgettable cinematic experience which needs to be witnessed on the big screen, like the grandest screens at PVR INOX. The campaign is on air across digital platforms and generating great engagement.”