The new movie The Cured takes place in a world that’s been ravaged by an outbreak of a disease that turned people into murderous zombies. That may sound like a familiar premise, but the twist is that it’s set after that disease has been ostensibly cured (hence the name), the surviving victims beginning to reintegrate into a society that still doesn’t fully trust them.
Ellen Page stars as Abbie, whose husband was killed during the outbreak. She takes in Senan (Sam Keeley), her brother-in-law who has been cured after being infected himself. Not everyone in the area is thrilled with having Senan back, nor are they happy with Abbie’s decision. Those fears may be well-founded as the tension between the cured and those in “normal” society seems to be growing toward a showdown.
The first poster tells us “The cure is just the beginning” as we seen an extreme close-up of someone inspecting their own eyeball in the mirror, seemingly checking for signs of infection.
That same tagline is used on the second poster, which shows Luke looking at himself in the mirror. But while he seems normal on the one side he’s obviously infected and in full zombie mode in his reflection, which seems ominous.
As the trailer opens Abbie is talking about how life has changed since the outbreak of a virus that turned people into a sort of zombie and how long it was before anyone could safely go back to the cities. Her brother-in-law Senan is among those who were successfully cured and is reluctantly being welcomed back into society. It becomes clear that while he tells her he was separated long ago from his brother – her husband – that may not be the whole truth. There’s still prejudice in “normal” people against the previously-infected, which may be justified. Those who have been cured aren’t quite as civilized as they want people to believe and are actually just biding their time until they can turn the tide in their favor once again.
It’s a pretty tight trailer in terms of offering up thrilling moments. There are plenty of jump-cut cliches on display, but you can’t do much about that. While it might offer a bit too much of the story, leaving few surprises for the eventual audience, it also kind of hints that it’s going to contain more discussion and exploration of issues like prejudice and giving people a second chance than other films have.
Online and Social
IFC Films’ official website for the movie is pretty basic, without a lot going on. There’s just the trailer, a poster, synopsis and cast and crew list. There were no social pages created but it did get significant promotion on IFC’s own Facebook, Twitter and other profiles.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
Nothing I’ve seen, which isn’t super-surprising as it’s a small release.
Media and Publicity
It debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival with a pretty successful screening that lead to IFC Films acquiring it for distribution. Page, while promoting Flatliners, talked about how the script came to her and what attracted her to the project. The actress also did some social and online interviews and Q&As but that seems to be about it.
I can’t say this is an enormously effective campaign because it’s not. In particular I could have used a bit more publicity and press from the filmmakers talking about what they were trying to do with the story and reinforcing some of its themes.
As I stated at the outset, movies about zombie virus outbreaks aren’t exactly new or original. But a story about how prejudice follows someone even after they’ve been cleared to come back into society could have a lot to say about how we deal with veterans, convicts and more that are asked to reintegrate into a system they’ve been out of for a period of time. Very little of that comes through in the campaign, though, which is more focused on selling this as simply a slight variation on a familiar theme.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.