Careful: That runaway baby carriage carries a devil baby. It might startle you. It might even scare you. But worst of all, it just might spew some fake vomit on you. (Fake or real, vomit is nasty stuff.) Yeah, it's that bad. And still, bad as it is, the viral video of the "Devil Baby Attack" that preceded the movie "Devil's Due" as a promotion is still better than the movie. As marketing goes, however, it's a hit.
Yahoo Movies posted part of the viral video Jan. 16. It starts by showing how the special effects guys used an animatronic baby (the "devil baby"), wired it up, and sent it rolling around the streets of New York. When solicitous and/or curious passersby check on what looks like an abandoned carriage, the devil baby attacks. That is, it sits up and screams at whoever happens to be there, sometimes hurling a stream of vomit at the pranked individuals. By the Saturday, the official "Devil Baby Attack" video had scored 33.8 million views on YouTube.
Well, it was bound to happen: The viral video pushed out ahead of a movie actually turns out to be better than what it promotes. According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, the film just cleared $3.5 million its first day in theaters. It will still make back its production costs ($7 million) and then some, which means those that are responsible for it could decide to make a sequel.
Or they could take the money and make something that Rotten Tomatoes could see posting higher than 32 percent among moviegoers (as of Saturday, Jan. 18).
So why is the "Devil Baby Attacks" video so much better than the movie? For one thing, it is more realistic, apparently. The reactions of the people in the video to the shrieking and vomiting child is entertaining (even more, the one guy who just simply stands there staring back at the howling child). According to Mark Kermode at The Guardian, the only thing truly terrifying about "Devil's Due" is its blatant number of rip-offs of other movies. Kermode generously labeled the practice "derivative."
Roger Ebert, in his scathing review of the film, may have had the best suggestion for the future of the movie. He suggests producers include the "Devil Baby Attacks" viral prank video in the bonus section of the DVD when it is released.
"Hopefully when the movie hits Blu-ray," he wrote, "the producers will remember to include some of this footage amongst the other bonus material. Actually, they might be better off simply releasing the hidden camera footage as the main feature and sticking the entirety of "Devil's Due" in the deleted scenes section where it belongs."