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Television is flooded with commercials for pills that claim they can stop everything from constipation to heart attacks and suicidal thoughts. These miracle cures seem too good to be true…until the fine print is rambled off warning of side effects that range from the irksome (nausea) to the terrifying (internal bleeding, death, murderous rages). For his last directorial effort before retiring, Steven Soderbergh took on a drama called Side Effects that centers on the unintended repercussions of experimental medication through the story of a young woman, played by The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo's Rooney Mara, and her doctor, portrayed by Jude Law.
Last month, we were stunned by the film's first trailer, but now Open Road Films is offering a new and unnerving bit of viral marketing for the upcoming thriller by unveiling a website for the film's central drug Ablixa, which includes this ad for the pill:
With stock images of happy people and the motto "Take Back Tomorrow" prominently displayed around it's commercial, TryAblixa.com seems like your average prescription medication site…until you notice Jude Law staring at you beneath an offer for a free evaluation. Click the link and what happens next is a virtual session where Law—as Ablixa professional Dr. Jonathan Banks M.D.—asks you questions to determine if you are depressed and in need of the wonder drug. You can either use your mouse or your computer's microphone to interact with him as he stares directly out at you and asks personal questions in a very direct manner. I can say with confidence it will be the strangest part of your day.
Side Effects opens February 8th, 2013.