Horror film has in-cinema second-screen experience

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CNET Editor

Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.

Dutch horror movie App will encourage audiences to use its companion app to enhance to the film-watching experience.

A still from the film.
(Credit: 2CFilm)

Traditionally, using your phone in the cinema is a no-no, but App by director Bobby Boermans wants to change that, having created a second-screen app designed to be used in the cinema.

The film, which appears to involve a killer version of Siri called Iris, has a free app for both Android and iOS. The app was designed by Service2Media and uses the automatic content recognition technology seen in Shazam and Soundhound. The app then tracks the progression of the film and sends text messages to the viewer in real-time.

It's certainly an ambitious project, and it seems to have some serious support — Variety first reported that the film will open on 110 screens in the Netherlands on 4 April. There's no news about distribution to English-speaking countries.

Could App's app add enough of a difference to the film's experience to make it worth putting up with a cinema full of people staring at their phones? It remains to be seen, but one thing is sure: if it's even mildly successful, we won't have to wait too long for the obligatory US remake.

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I visited the preview last night, in Amsterdam. Admit I was both eager to see if the technology would work but mainly what it would do for the movie. Really loved it! This can be huge, both in movies and TV (games, shows, series etc).It is not a distraction when used right but can really add.Couple of examples of how it was used:- sad girl parks car. On mobile, one sees 'social feeds' - so not looking at big screen. The moment I looked back the big screen, a train runs her over with big noice and drama. I jump of my seat!- double angle shots - main character drive around a campus. Big screen has close ups of her turning corners etc. Mobile shows an view from above- following her over the lot.- 'mail' and 'chat' as side story lines among the characters. 'Facebook chat' between the good guys, 'skype chat' among the bad guys while the good guy researches the premises.- 'viewing' the actor's 'mobile' - if she plays a youtube video, the big screen is an overview shot of her emotion, the small screen is the video.Really cool!

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