Thursday,August 15,2019 at 3:00PM
JA in Alexandre Aja,Horror,Steven Spielberg,William Castle

byJason Adams

I fear that in delivering this news I will be able to actually see the liver spots pop up on the tips of my typing fingers and travel with sudden immediacy up my arms -- something like a smaller version of that scene at the end ofIndiana Jones and the Last Crusadewhere the dude turns to a skeleton and dust in ten flat seconds.But throw all the "Old Man Yells At Clouds"memes at me you must,the news thatCrawldirector Alexandre Aja and producer Steven Spielberg -- who has recently made headlines about the sanctity of the movie-going experience,cough cough -- areteaming up to bring interactive-by-cell-phone"Choose Your Own Adventure"type storytelling to movie theaters makes my thin skin shudder and die...

We don't know much about the horror film itself except that it's about a haunted house and that the very talented horror writer-director Mike Flanagan (Gerald's GameandThe Haunting of Hill House) came up with the story.And oh right also that viewers will be encouraged to sit in a movie theater with their cell phones wide open flashing and blinking and buzzing and whirring so they can use an app where they vote on the scene-to-scene outcomes of the film unfolding on the big screen in front of them.Something like Netflix's recentBandersnatchexperiment,but in a theater full of people.

In-theater gimmicks and horror films have a long storied history,of course -- you could very well make the case that that king of the gimmick William Castle,were he alive today and therefore the world's oldest living human being himself,would've loved this sort of thing.Watching a horror film,like watching a comedy film,usually benefits from the communal experience -- we jump and we laugh and we scream together,feeding off of that energy.How different is this from Castle electrifying people's seats duringThe Tingler,really?What are your thoughts about this,Film Experience readers?

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