Incubus is an upcoming film about six teenagers who break into what they believe is an abandoned factory for shelter. A little late, they discover they are mistaken and aren’t alone in this trap. Unfortunately, the only one with the key to escape and survival is a coma patient who is being experimented on while locked in a shatterproof cube.
However, Incubus isn’t your run of the mill horror film. AOL’s RED is trying something new with a “direct-to-download” premiere. RED, an online home for teens, is excited Tara Reid’s newest psychological thriller will be the first mainstream teen movie to premiere exclusively online.
Beginning October 31, Incubus will be available for download from AOL’s RED. There are two options for download. A fee of $7.99 will purchase Incubus, or $3.49 will rent the film for five days. Consider it one-click shopping for the price of a movie ticket. Only you won’t be able to burn it to a DVD.
It also happens to coincide with the launch of AOL’s RED on the open Web and “exemplifies the type of edgy, relevant content” AOL’s Kids &Teens department Senior Vice President Malcolm Bird feels their reputation is built upon.
Considering the primary demographic for horror films is traditionally teenage moviegoers, releasing the film on a teen website seems the ideal way to target that audience. With the recent trend for fans to seek alternatives to the in-theater experience, the Internet seems a viable new method for film distribution. Or at least, that is what the folks at Automatic, the distributor of Incubus, seem to think.
Oh, and if you have any reservations about this whole direct-to-download thing, don’t worry too much. Adam Shapiro, the longtime TV and film producer, is one of the guys behind this. If he’s banking on this idea, I’m willing to at least give it a try. Let’s just hope it fares better than the heavily promoted indie film Waterborne, which sold only a few hundred copies on Google Video. Hopefully AOL’s Red site will continue attracting four million teens a month once it goes to the open Web on October 17, 2006.
The release of a new film via new methods seems an appropriate time for cross-promotional opportunities too, right? RED thinks so, so they’ve announced their Scary Movie Contest, challenging fans to create and submit their own scary movies. The finalists will be posted on RED and the winner will be determined by the most votes.
If a film about a CIA project researching the paranormal and abandoned 20 years ago interests you, it might be worth downloading Incubus on Halloween. If finding a teen hot spot online with videos, comics, news, games, and music is your thing, AOL’s RED is definitely for you.