Pop Quiz, hotshot.
You’ve got a horror movie to sell. It’s a remake of one of the genre’s modern-day classics, a film that damn near everyone has either seen or at least is familiar with the plot and iconic moments thereof. One of the small handful of genuine horror (as opposed to “suspense” or “thriller”) entries alongside “Exorcist” and “Rosemary’s Baby” to be recognized as great, important films even outside their often-disregarded genre. Based on a book by easily the most famous living author of horror or anything else on the planet.
What’s more, said book (and original film) are absolutely loaded with button-pushing themes and imagery about evergreen Important Subjects like female sexuality, bullying, child-abuse and religious extremism.Your cast? Headlined by Julianne Moore, one of the most lauded actresses in the business, and superstar child actress Chloe Grace Moritz on the cusp of her “I intend to still be doing this as an adult!” step into the teen stardom maelstrom. Your director? Kimberly Pierce, best known for the critical and awards darling “Boys Don’t Cry.”
So! Given all that, how would you choose to market this film, which, by all accounts and evidence, is primed to be a serious, perhaps even noteworthy work?
Well, if you answered “Unfunny reference to a tired, ancient Internet Meme,” you might have a future working for MGM/ScreenGems, which has unveiled the below-pictured, head-slappingly stupid “motion poster” for the remake of “Carrie.”
“Keep Calm And CARRIE On.” Because the prom, and because there’s a crown on that old British WWII poster that was hanging up next to “The Kiss” on every other college dorm wall a decade ago.
I’d love to know what the logic was in deciding that making your own movie into a joke was the best way to sell this; though I suspect it’s something like the resident overpaid Social Media Strategist opining that it would be good for them if Tumblr got on a “Carrie on” viral kick and deciding to start it themselves. Self-meme-ing famously failed to make “Snakes On A Plane” happen at the boxoffice, but at least that was always going to be a throwaway movie. I can’t really see deciding that this was the way to go for something that was previously being pitched as a serious film.