Movies sometimes have an alternative ending hidden in their DVD extras, but apart from that it’s a fair assumption that they’ll have a set start, a middle and an end. That could all be about to change, though. Interactive cinema is coming to London – and we were among the first to try out Vue’s new concept.
'Late Shift' – a classic ordinary-guy-gets-caught-up-in-a-crime-caper movie – has seven possible endings and offers viewers 170 different options. With the CtrlMovie app, you and your fellow cinemagoers are put in charge of the narrative. You have five seconds to vote on each dilemma. The majority rules.
It starts out with simple ‘Sliding Doors’-style problems – does he get on the tube or help a lost tourist? – but the questions get darker as the minutes pass. Your choices shape what kind of person the protagonist is. How likeable? How culpable? Does he protect others or save himself? Does he speak up or stay silent? How far will he go? It’s down to you and the power is surprisingly fun.
Gleeful laughs rippled through the theatre when we collectively made an especially cruel decision. When our choice resulted in a bloody or shocking plot twist we were left feeling strangely complicit.
The decisions you make dictate how the film concludes as well as how long it runs for, making each viewing a completely different experience.
The data collected could be fascinating, too. How bloodthirsty are you compared to your friends? Do some cities make more violent choices? Apparently, in our screening, we are pretty mean. ‘A weird bunch’, according to CtrlMovie. Journalists, eh?
Vue is considering plans to roll out the CtrlMovie concept for the public in the new year.
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