Last year, Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch took the internet by storm. The unique episode of the popular series, Black Mirror, was crafted in a way that brought back memories of the choose-your-own-adventure books we used to read when we were kids, in which we got to make decisions for the protagonist and choose the path the character journeys on. While I wasn’t a huge fan of Bandersnatch, there’s no denying that it’s an interesting concept. Now, we might get something similar on the big screen. According to Collider, Crawl director Alexandre Aja is currently working on an “interactive haunted house” movie for Steven Spielberg’s production company, Amblin Entertainment. It will be getting a big-screen release.
The currently untitled film will be written by Alexandre Aja alongside Jeff Howard (The Haunting of Hill House) and Nick Simon (The Girl in the Photographs). But how on earth does Aja plan on executing the project? Per Collider:
To develop the project, Amblin Partners is working with Kino Industries’ CtrlMovie technology, which empowers filmmakers to create branched narrative, interactive feature films that allow audiences to influence the storyline. Using an app on their cell phones, audience members will be able to vote in the theater to decide what characters will do at pivotal points in the narrative, meaning that Aja’s film will have a different plot, ending and even running time depending on the audience’s choices.
Looking at the glass half-full, we’ve got a great lineup of creatives here. Alexandre Aja’s surprisingly thrilling Crawl is probably the most fun I’ve had at the theatres all summer. We also have Jeff Howard who not only wrote a couple of episodes of the brilliant The Haunting of Hill House, he also wonderfully penned the screenplay adaptation of Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game.
But the cynical side of me keeps imagining a theatre filled with people on their cellphones and that sounds like an absolute nightmare. I’ve also not been a fan of the format in general, preferring instead to watch a writer and director’s story play out, instead of making decisions for a character.