fodschwazzle: (Sandy hole)
The Well (2002)

PG-13 / 2 min / Art-house, horror / 18 October 2002 (USA)

Your rating: *********- 9/10
Ratings: 3.2/10 from 291,001 users Metascore: 23/100
Reviews: 1901 user / 20 critic / 3 from

A collection of images with a grainy filter portends a terrible fate in this viral video from late 2002.

User Reviews:

**-------- Not scary. Why didd I waist a minute and a have on this. (posted 10/31/2002)

I cant believe this. Its takingme longer to right this review than it did too watch the movie. My friends are soo dumb. One of them callled me after and told me seven days in a scary voice like what does that even mean Jennifer?!

5 of 42 people said this review was useful. Do you agree? Yes/No

*******--- Seven Days (posted 11/06/2002)

I shared this with no one, and it’s the seventh day, and I’m still alive! Obviously no one is going to fall for this prank. OH MY GOD WHY IS MY TV TURNING ON ALL OF A SUDDEN

30 of 41 people said this review was useful. Do you agree? Yes/No

*--------- Either don’t watch it or make a copy when you do. Save yourself. (posted 11/30/2002)

My best friend watched this video before sending it to us through burned DVDs. One of the friends she sent it to did not share it and was recently found dead underneath her coffee table with the Sunday comic page from the newspaper covering her face.

I am a skeptic. I don’t believe in most of what I hear or read. Even reliable sources often say things that I question. I may not have connected this thing in my mind, but I shared the video with my boyfriend, and he was found sprawled across his tile floor after running from something. I don’t know what.

DVD is the way to go. Whatever it is that does this doesn’t like VHS copies, since they’re already closing video stores. My boyfriend made VHS copies and put them into cases at the video store, but I guess no one checked them out.

Go ahead and call me a troll. I know this is like a chain letter from back when you owned so many AOL discs that you started to use them as disposable serving plates for individual microwavable pizzas. I can prove I’m valid. You can find the obituaries of my friend and boyfriend at (read more-click here).

1 of 38 people said this review was useful. Do you agree? Yes/No

Your Review: (posted 11/12/2008)

*********- Suspenseful, atmospheric cuts tie together an innovative advertising scheme.

I’m not sure what this video is selling, but it’s clear what they’re trying to achieve. Viral marketing is the latest trend in a tradition of finding new ways to sell a product. Remember when “I believe in Harvey Dent” was plastered all over the internet a year ago, leading to the fantastic success of The Dark Knight this summer? Selling a new product seems to be a blend of creating something worthwhile and perturbing the target audience until they want it.

In this case, the video is being sent like a chain message. “Watch this or within seven days your mother will implode!” you might have read, or some other, similarly spurious claim almost guaranteed to skyrocket a product to success once the product is actually revealed. In this case, the video itself manages to match the claims being made about it; this is one spooky clip.

We start with a flickering image of what seems to be a solar eclipse. Because of the title of the clip and a later image, I surmise that it’s probably taken from the inside of a well, looking up as the well gets covered. This is shot alongside an undulating electrical sound. The image cuts to static, and we hear a shrill, almost “dial-up” modem sound. When the sound ceases, the static changes into red, rolling waves. Is it supposed to be blood? Is it blood?

We then cut to a shot of a woman combing her hair in an ornate, oval mirror, heavy green filter over the rest of the video. Graphical distortions stop her for a moment, the mirror changes which side of the room it sits upon, and a girl (or a blob of hair that could be a girl) is reflected in it, walking or gliding backwards. The scene jumps back to the reflected woman combing her hair, but she’s turned to the left, admiringly looking at the spot where the mirror was previously.

If that sounds strange in terms of description, the next cuts are stranger still. In seconds, we’re shown a spike dripping something red, a man in a white paneled house glaring at us from the window, and a breezy, bleak coastline. All of the rest of the video has sounds that basically amount to a variety of electronic bird sounds and gurgling.

We then get a mash-up of disturbing visuals. It’s surprising that this passed censors if it was going to sell, for example, jewelry or pants. A human mouth appears to be shooting some kind of extra-long tongue right into the camera, a finger is punctured and the nail is uprooted by the spike we saw earlier, a tree is set on fire, a mass of maggots metamorphoses into a sea of partially submerged humans crawling against each other, and a centipede messes up someone’s furniture. It’s an early form of viral marketing, but the crudely cut together images definitely captured an audience.

The last shot is of a stone well in a forest of leafless trees. It’s an eerie still, and we watch it expecting something to come out; instead, the video stops.

Just what is this a commercial for, exactly? It’s hard to say. Probably something that starts with the letter “O.” There’s no actual words in the video, so it seems likely that it comes from a different country. Regardless, I teach a class in multimedia advertising and have found this to be a useful tool in showing how even crude attempts at viral marketing managed to reach massive audiences in the first years of the 21st century.

Speaking of which, here is the video. We no longer have to track down DVDs of the original in order to see it.

142 out of 154 people said your review was useful!


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