ByAlex Aronson, writer at
I write and film things for the interweb. I love horror and all things pop culture.
Alex Aronson

In the depths of the interweb you are bound to find things that have long been dead and buried. Before social media was even a thing, movie studios used to have to find various other ways to promote their latest flicks. Let me take you back to the early millennium as we rediscover really fun marketing ideas used to promote some of your favorite horror flicks of the early 2000s.

Not all these films make the list, but check out the best horror films of the early 2000s here:

Freddy Vs. Jason Wrestling (2003)

When it came time for two of horror's biggest icons to face off in Freddy vs. Jason, New Line Cinema wasted no time pitting the heavyweights against each other. During one of the film's press conferences, the titular characters found themselves on a WWE pregame-style panel. It's actually pretty hilarious, and you can watch it below!

House Of Wax Reality Show (2005)

Back in 2005, the world was a different place. Reality television was still in its infancy, and Paris Hilton was on the cover of every tabloid magazine. When it was time to promote the teen slasher remake of the classic Vincent Price film House of Wax, Warner Bros. decided to partner with MTV to document the film's making.

Before the movie's release, MTV aired an eight-part TV series called Movie Life: House of Wax, chronicling the behind-the-scenes drama of the horror film. We got to see the film's star Chad Michael Murray propose to his then-girlfriend Sophia Bush, co-star Paris Hilton tour Australia to promote her album, and the entire sound stage burn down! It's actually a pretty fun watch, and all of the episodes are on YouTube. If you were a fan of this film, I recommend it!

House Of Wax: See Paris Die!

While we're on the subject of House of Wax, we can't forget another infamous promotional tactic the producers used. At the time of the film's release, its star Paris Hilton was pretty much a household name. She was ubiquitous and very much the Kim Kardashian of her time. The filmmakers knew this and decided to capitalize on her fame. One of the taglines of the movie was "See Paris Die!" Hilton had a sense of humor about it, and encouraged the tagline's use.

Hilton at the "House of Wax" premiere.
Hilton at the "House of Wax" premiere.

Valentine Website (2001)

Want to know what the internet was like in 2001? Take a look at the promotional website for the teen slasher Valentine. The website is still up and running! And even after all these years, the site is still interactive!

"Valentine" promotional website.
"Valentine" promotional website.

Saw VI Reality Show (2008)

'Scream Queens' VH1
'Scream Queens' VH1

Following in the footsteps of House of Wax, the Saw franchise also had its own reality show. This one was a little different to the former, because it didn't chronicle the actual making of the film. Instead, it was a game show that pitted 10 wannabe actresses against each other to see who would be the next scream queen.

The original Scream Queens ran on VH1 for two seasons from 2008–2010. The winner of each season received a role in the next Saw installment, and included celebrity judges like Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, and actresses Jaime King and Shawnee Smith. Season 1 winner Tanedra Howard had a role in the opener of Saw VI and even returned for Saw 3D a year later. Season 2 winner Gabby West earned a role in Saw 3D. The episodes are all on YouTube, perfect for your binging needs.

Seed Of Chucky Protection (2004)

As the Chucky franchise has progressed, the films have grown sillier and more ridiculous. When time came to release Seed of Chucky in 2004, the movie studio dropped some promotional swag that well and truly fit the theme of the movie. Items included T-shirts, a stress ball — and condoms.

Condoms and a stress ball? How inspired.
Condoms and a stress ball? How inspired.

Blair Witch 2 Documentary (2000)

One of the things that made the original Blair Witch Project such a cultural phenomenon was the fact that many people believed it was a real event they were witnessing. Some of this is due in part to the documentary Curse of the Blair Witch, which aired on the Syfy channel prior to the film's release. The documentary featured teachers, investigators and family members of the film's main stars, making it all seem so real.

In an attempt to replicate the success of the first film, when it came time to pop out the sequel Book of Shadows, the studio attempted the same tactic. Syfy aired another mocumentary, Book of Shadows, making the events of the second film seem all the more real. This second stab at success failed, as that film bombed big time at the box office. The documentary never aired again and was never released on home video. Luckily for us you can catch it on YouTube!

You can also see Curse of the Blair Witch below, the documentary produced for the first film.

And don't forget to catch the Blair Witch reboot at cinemas now. Tell us which promotional strategy you found most entertaining?


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