Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Banshee Chapter

I got to see this film in McConomy Auditorium at CMU as part of Spring Carnival, and afterwards I had the privilege of hosting a Q&A session with the director (Blair Erickson) and producer (Corey Moosa). It's a fun horror movie with a lot of jump-scare moments, very much inspired by the 1986 horror film From Beyond which is based on the H.P. Lovecraft story of the same name. I like any movie that mentions the pineal gland, and I'm always fascinated by films of Lovecraft stories. The film brings the pineal gland up to date by having it activated not by a electronic tuning fork, but rather by a variant on the psychotropic drug DMT. Interestingly, this film will have a place in history, as it is one of the first films converted to VR. It is available on Mac for the Oculus Rift. I haven't tried that, but I understand that the scary moments are very scary, but the handheld camera scenes can be a little hard to take, "motion discomfort"-wise. Talking to Blair and his team, they are pursuing the dream of VR movies -- I was quite pleased to learn that they had taken Building Virtual Worlds with Randy Pausch back in its early days -- they were surprised to learn that I teach it now! It will be quite interesting to see what they come up with next.

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