They Promoted A Bad Horror Film With Anti-Trump Fake News. ‘A Cure For Wellness’ Died Anyway

Creating fake news to promote a movie seems to be more about creating anti-Trump fake news than promoting a horror/mystery movie.

What, they couldn’t sell the script any other way?

20th Century Fox used multiple fake news sites to promote its film “A Cure for Wellness” which hit theaters today. A bit about the film later. But somehow the idea was hatched in some Hollywood publicist conference room to create a bunch of websites for the Sacramento Dispatch, Houston Leader, the Salt Lake Guardian, the New York Morning Post and the Indianapolis Gazette.

These sites were then seeded with stories like “BOMBSHELL: Trump and Putin Spotted at Swiss Resort Prior to Election.” Harmless stuff, right? Nobody’s the wiser. Here’s the Sacramento Dispatch in “archive mode” before the fake sites redirected to the official movie website.

Note the ad for the movie above the headline. Cute.

And we wonder why Trump keeps drumming on about “fake news.” Maybe because it’s out there, for real. Only some of it’s not-so-subtle leftwing bias in the main stream media. This stuff is just red meat for social activists. I wonder how many of them thought it was real?

For what it’s worth (nothing), Fox issued a very real apology for the fake news.

“In raising awareness for our films, we do our best to push the boundaries of traditional marketing in order to creatively express our message to consumers. In this case, we got it wrong. The digital campaign was inappropriate on every level, especially given the trust we work to build every day with our consumers,” the statement said.

“We have reviewed our internal approval process and made appropriate changes to ensure that every part of a campaign is elevated to and vetted by management in order to avoid this type of mistake in the future. We sincerely apologize.”

“We got it wrong.” Ya think?

They got more than the film’s promotion wrong, according to Rotten Tomatoes. The crowdsourced film-rating site gives it a 41 percent rating, with 50 percent deeming it “rotten.” Here’s a sample of critic comments so far.

At 90 minutes it could have been an eerie, tricky, well-crafted thriller. At two hours its wheels start to fall off. And then it continues to limp along for another 30 minutes, after which you wonder what the point of it all was in the first place. (Adam Graham, Detroit News)

Any movie physician would declare Wellness not healthy enough to stand on its own two feet as horror. (NPR)

Grotesque, but not in the good way, like you want. (Sonny Bunch, Washington Free Beacon)

A few movie-goers chipped in too.

I feel dead inside. (Joey Traverso)

I dunno where I stand with this movie, to be honest. I went from really hating it, to really liking it, to accepting it for what it was, an awful horror film that is so bad it’s actually entertaining…If you and your buddies want to get together and laugh at a film that probably wasn’t suppose to be funny, this is the film for you. Otherwise, pass.

The only reviewer who seemed to like the Gore Verbinski (“Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy, “The Ring”) horror flick is A.O. Scott of the New York Times (and it’s debatable). Reading Scott’s review, I felt like a survivor in a sex lube factory explosion. I needed a shower.

I guess one fake news site deserves another (that’s a cheap shot, but so is the movie).

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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