Monday, May 11, 2015
INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3
Into the Further 4D Experience in PhillyBy Tinsel & Tine Blog Contributor - Mikhail Revlock
I didn’t know how to prepare for the Into the Further 4D Experience. The team at Allied warned it would be a mix of frights old-fashioned and newfangled, a fresh take on the haunted house model, a virtual preview of the third chapter of the Insidious saga…
On May 2nd, during the South Street Spring Festival, I find the Into the Further 4D Experience parked between South and Lombard. Comprised of two semi-trailers adorned with bold red and white lettering, it is impossible to miss. I employ my press credentials to circumnavigate the line, and enter a flickering hallway lined with old-timey radios and spooky portraits. A naked mannequin in a gas mask reclines on a bench, his hands clasped in his lap.
I am assigned to Room 2. As I proceed down another hallway, bursts of abrasive sounds generate a palpable feeling of dread. A door flies opens, and a mustachioed man in white face paint touches my arm and chases me into my designated room. When I reflexively utter, “Oh God,” he cries, “There is no God here!” and slams the door shut. I wait in the flat screen-equipped closet, watching a montage of staircases, grandfather clocks, and creepy faces scored by industrial sound effects. It is scary the first time but yields diminishing returns over the course of three or four loops. The left wall finally opens, and a woman in a white dress beckons me inside. She places the Oculus Rift over my eyes and ears. I see a red door. As I turn my head, the door remains fixed in the center of my vision. The system has crashed, the illusion of suspense ruptured. “We’re going to have to restart the computer,” the woman tells me. “This could take a while.”
It’s back to the flickering waiting room. Ten minutes later, the attendant ushers me down the hallway once again. The mustachioed man is still acting in character, chortling maniacally and chiding me for looking back at him. He is my favorite part of the show, and I regret never interviewing him. I reenter the virtual world. The red door opens to a living room, where Lin Shaye (Insidious, There’s Something About Mary) sits on a couch and warns me of evil spirits. A tea set falls over, and a saucer is hurtled at my head. The room goes dark. Figures draped in white sheets crowd around me. A ghoulish woman pops up. That’s pretty much it. As I take off my headset and leave the trailer, I step on a rug that triggers the final scare, and a camera captures my bewildered reaction.
Although the Into the Further 4D Experience is enjoyably creepy, I find myself underwhelmed by the Oculus Rift. It feels less like a final product than a beta version, and the developer of the device has confirmed that he is still ironing out the kinks. A mounted headset designed to immerse the user in the digital universe of his choice, the Rift is scheduled to introduce virtual reality to living rooms across the country at some point in Q1 2016. I don’t think it’s ready for primetime just yet. The picture is often blurry, and only the toppling tea set really made me jump. As usual, the practical effects trump the CGI-abetted one - I suspect that the mustachioed man will haunt my dreams for many nights to come.
INSIDIOUS CH 3 (click for trailer)
Opens in theaters June 5, 2015
Go back to the beginning
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