Horror Film 'Don't Breathe' is the First to Use Snapchat's 360 Degree Ads

Don't Breathe isn't exactly a haunted house movie, it's more of a 'home invasion gone wrong' movie about a group of teens who attempt to burgle the home of an old blind veteran, only to find that he's more capable than they could have ever assumed. And far more malicious. It's been reviewing very well, and looks like it'll wind up being one of the most successful horror films of the summer, but that's not what we're interested in.

Recently, Snapchat developed a new kind of video advertising for the platform - 360 video. They behave in the same way as a standard Snapchat video ad, a 10 second clip, with the difference being that you can swipe them up to access a 360 degree version of the same video. Don't Breathe has become the first thing to actually make use of this fascinating new feature.

It's already up in the US, and UK and Australian users will get it before too long. The decision to do this may have stemmed from the fact that the film's director, Fede Alvarez, originally worked in the medium of YouTube. In fact, it was the success of one of his YouTube shorts which enabled him to make his cinematic debut - the 2013 remake of Evil Dead. His knowledge of social media promotion was likely instrumental in Sony's distribution plan for this film.

Alongside the 360 ad, the film's production team hosted a 'digital experience' for social media influencers in Spain, arming them with GoPro cameras, night vision goggles and sending them on a treasure hunt through a recreation of the film's central location. A few months ago, they also posted a different 360 ad on YouTube which actually guides you through the basement as the hapless home invaders are tormented by the film's antagonist.

In the Snapchat version, viewers can actually move forward, rather than just being moved along on an imagined rail as with most 360 videos, turning the short experience into a kind of game. This is the latest chapter in an ever increasing saga of clever digital advertising ploys for horror films, from the Carrie remake's coffee shop prank to the ChatRoulette campaign used for The Last Exorcism. It could even be argued that the first real horror legends now popularised by sites like Creepypasta were promotional tools for horror films, such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Blair Witch Project.

Don't Breathe premiers worldwide on August 26th.

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