Using some clever voice recognition technology in partnership with standard mobile phones, a horror film firm has come up with a novel viewing experience for fans of frightening films: interactive audience participation.
The idea is simple enough. Flyers urging potential audience members to submit their mobile numbers to the service are distributed and then during the showing of a film, one member of the audience will be chosen at random to answer a call from the onscreen character.
That call will be controlled using software that can work out what the audience member is telling the character to do and the appropriate outcome relating to their instructions will be played out on-screen.
According to its creators, the software is capable enough to work out basic instructions, but it cannot hold an entire conversation with the audience member, because this would obviously require the film maker to record an infinite number of variations of the same scene.
The interactive horror movie idea does allow the course of a film’s plot to be changed. Presumably in a horror film this means that the hero or heroine will either live or die by the hands of the killer based on the audience member’s instructions.
There is no doubt that an audience member getting a call during a horror film will increase the level of tension, but it could equally break the level of immersion that those not involved in the call are feeling. The firm behind the idea will have to get some top quality productions on board to make it a worthwhile venture.