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PR Fear Factor

23 January 2017 | Lloyd Hughes

There’s nothing better than a good scare prank.

One of the few things in life I find genuinely hilarious is other people’s terror.

It’s probably quite petty of me, but it is all fun and games…until someone has a heart attack of course, then the joke is generally brought to an abrupt end.

I can’t be the only one who loves watching someone take fright though, as scare prank videos tend to do brilliantly on social media.

And it seems the marketing team for the forthcoming film Rings are well aware of that. It’s due out in cinemas in the next few weeks, and is the sequel to the terrifying horror movie where some crazy girl comes crawling out of the screen and murders you a few days after watching a certain video.

The original film is genuinely unnerving, and, with a lot to live up to, the sequel needs to be at its fear-inducing best if horror audiences are to be satisfied.

A cracking stunt from the film’s promoters then has got things off to a good start, where a series of screens set up in a television store also has one fake screen that allows a person dressed in the creepy girl’s attire to crawl out. Cue abject terror for most of those caught unaware in store.

Generally speaking, I tend to think these are fake, mainly down to the aforementioned heart attack and the potential fallout should that happen. But, unless this is some seriously good acting in the video, it doesn’t appear to be faked in this instance, so kudos to them. This sense of authenticity much improves the appeal of the stunt. You want to watch something that you actually believe in after all, and it certainly adds to its shareability.

I’d like to think that should I be in this situation I’d shrug in disdain, roll my eyes and say "pathetic" unflinchingly like the best of them, while in reality I know I’d be fleeing in terror with the worst of them. It's that sense of 'what if that was me' that tends to grasp people's imagination.

We’ve blogged about similar horror stunts in the past, as they’re usually a real PR win.

Everyone likes a scare it seems.