This Halloween 'horror film' is a PSA about social mobility

Short film by the UK's Social Mobility Foundation depicts an evil elitist boss

Published On
Oct 25, 2022

Editor's Pick

Ahead of Halloween, a trailer and posters for a new horror movie set in a corporate firm are appearing in the U.K. Watch a little closer and you'll find it's actually a PSA about the real "horrors" of class mobility. 

Stay Down poster ads along a brick wall with trees in background in daytime

The short film, "Stay Down," was devised by nonprofit the Social Mobility Foundation and agency Creature London to highlight the gaping inequalities that still exist in British society and, in this particular case, the corproate workplace.

Directed by Thomas James and produced by OB Management, it's set in a typical corporate office. It features a working-class hero, played by Michael Socha ("This is England") trying to work his way up the corporate ladder but being held down by discrimination from his elitist boss (Jonathan Hyde) amid competition from a creepy rival who's been to all the right schools.

The 60 second trailer, set to a haunting cover of Radiohead’s "No Surprises" performed by up and coming Scottish-Chinese singer songwriter Seil Lien, follows familiar horror movie tropes but eventually cuts to reveal the campaign’s messaging: "Some Horrors aren’t fiction. Classism is still holding people down."

It will air in cinemas across the U.K.  supported by billboards and in print ads in this Halloween weekend's "Guardian" newspaper. The full film, which will be around 15 minutes long, will launch at an event next week and will be available to stream via by the Roundhouse, British Film Institute and the Social Mobility Foundation's "Department for Opportunities" website. 

Stay Down poster at on billboard on roadside of apartment building complex at night

“Classism survives when it’s allowed to hide in the shadows,"  said John Osborne, creative director at Creature London, in a statement. "We knew we had to continue our unexpected category approach to cut through and shine attention on the issue. To get people talking, of course, but ultimately to apply pressure on those in power holding others down simply because of their background.”


Stay Down billboard ad at bus stop in London at night


Oct 25, 2022
Client :
Social Mobility Foundation
Agency :
Chief Creative Officer :
Ben Middleton
Chief Creative Officer :
Stu Outhwaite
Creative Director :
John Osborne
Creative :
Adi Hussain
Design :
Ryan MacEachem
Head of Integrated Production :
Kristie Girvan
Producer :
Lilly Alter
Account Director :
Ciara O'Brien
Senior Account Manager :
Alice Mercer
New Business & Marketing Director :
Kelly Taylor
Strategist :
Jenika Hadipour
Production :
OB Management
Director :
Thomas James
Head of Production / EP :
Sam Holmes
Producer :
Rob Jelley
Producer :
Marija Djikic
Adam Barnett
Edit House :
Whitehouse Post
Editor :
Jake Armstrong
Grade :
Black Kite Studios
Alex Dubrocard
Colorist :
Richard Fearon
Music Company :
Major Tom
Head of Production & Music Supervisor :
Jacob Wheeler
Music :
Composer :
Högni Egilsson
Performer :
Seil Lien
Sound House :
Sound Engineer :
Mike Bovill
Media :
Strategy & Planning :
Lisa Thompson
Media Partner :
City Outdoor
Media Partner :
Clear Channel
Media Partner :
Pearl & Dean
Media Partner :
Media Partner :
Mail Metro Media
Media Partner :

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