In a bold and darkly humorous move, Lionsgate has taken parody to a whole new level by recreating an almost shot-for-shot ad featuring Billy the Puppet from the Saw franchise.
This unexpected twist on Nicole Kidman’s overwrought 2021 AMC Theatres commercial, which celebrates the magic of the moviegoing experience, has certainly caught the attention of audiences and movie enthusiasts alike.
And it’s why it’s our Reel Ad of the Week.
Kidman’s original ad, created by ad agency Barkley, became a meme sensation when it was released, thanks to its melodramatic portrayal of the joy of watching films in theaters. C’mon, Nicole has not sat in a theater with a bunch of annoying, phone-addicted millennials in like never.
Thankfully, Lionsgate’s parody takes a starkly different route.
In the parody, Billy the Puppet delivers an ominously dark monologue: “We come to the theaters to scream, to beg, to play.” His eerie words take a chilling turn as he describes the gruesome scenes and horrors that moviegoers can expect from the upcoming Saw X movie, scheduled for release on September 29.
This sinister twist on Kidman’s heartfelt line (“Somehow, heartbreak feels good in a place like this”) couldn’t be more different from the original. Watch below:
The parody was initially posted on YouTube and X (formerly Twitter) but was mysteriously taken down shortly thereafter. Fans have speculated that AMC, the subject of the parody, might have taken issue with the dark and gruesome turn that the ad took. As of now, neither Lionsgate nor AMC has officially commented on the takedown.
Bringing movie enthusiasts back into theaters has been a top priority for cinema chains ever since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the industry. In August, Regal Cinemas joined the ranks of theaters creatively attempting to lure audiences back with a series of amusing ads created by agency Quality Meats and directed by Story’s Andy Richter.
Lionsgate’s Saw X parody ad demonstrates that humor, albeit of a rather dark and twisted variety, can be an effective tool to rekindle the magic of moviegoing and engage audiences in a memorable way. Whether or not this edgy approach will sit well with all viewers remains to be seen, but it undeniably adds an intriguing layer to the marketing campaign for Saw X as it prepares to make its gruesome return to the big screen.