Mulholland Dr. and The Ring producer Neal Edelstein has created an Apple-only app that's really a horror movie. "I wanted to tell a ghost story in a different way because of the way technology was moving," he told The Wrap. "It wasn’t really until I saw [the iPad] that I went, 'OK, this is it… now I can do it.' I did not want to have a script laying around that I couldn’t get made. I wanted this really kind of unpredictable, disjointed schedule, and I also wanted the pieces to be completely unpredictable."
Haunting Melissa, written by True Crime novelist Andrew Klavan, is available as a free downloadable app. Viewers can watch the first chapter of the found-footage horror film for free, but to continue the story, they can pay per episode or for a "season pass." (A pass is available for $6.00/$14.99 in HD, and individual eps are available for 99 cents/$1.99 in HD.) Since Edelstein is relying solely on word of mouth and social media for advertising, viewers who help spread the word can watch the second episode for free. For added mystery, Edelstein revealed that each new episode is set to arrive minutes, hours or days after the previous episode ends. "Everyone’s experience is going to be different unless they all watch it on day one," he said.
It took the filmmaker two years to create the concept for Haunting Melissa, and there's already a sequel in the works. Is this the future of horror and a novel way to reinvigorate the found-footage genre, or just another gimmick bound to bore?