A new Dutch horror film called App has an interesting gimmick – it uses the audience’s cell phones as part of the plot. The synopsis of App goes like this: a psychology student named Anna (Hannah Hoekstra) who can’t be separated from her smart phone finds herself the victim of an app (mobile application) called “Iris” that begins distributing compromising photographs, videos and text messages about her, and delves deeper into her personal life, exposing all of her deepest secrets.
Image from App (2013)
The director, Dutch filmmaker Bobby Boermans, encourages viewers to get their smartphones out for the movie. They will be able to download a free app for their phone that displays content which is synced with the film. As the character of Anna receives codes from the app in the film, the viewer’s app will also get them, among other things. People in the audience should keep their cell phones in their lap when watching. The phones will vibrate when their app has new content for them to view.
App is produced by 2CFilm, which was founded by entertainment firm Imagine Nation. Robin de Levita, chief creative officer, said this about the movie:
It’s a well paced thriller, but there are 35 moments in the movie when you can get additional information or content that will enrich the experience. For example, there could be two people in a room with a bomb ticking, only they don’t know about it. On the second screen, the audience would know how much time is remaining.
It remains to be seen how this gimmick works out for the creators of App. It brings to mind other concepts like the three different endings for Clue, vibrating theater seats for The Tingler (aka “Percepto”), or Castle’s “Illusion-O” effect for 13 Ghosts.
App opens on April 4, 2013. It is directed by Bobby Boermans and stars Hannah Hoekstra, Isis Cabolet, Robert de Hoog, Matthijs van de Sande Bakhuyzen and Jeroen Spitz Berger.
Sources for this article: PSFK, Official Site.