Virtual Reality Will Change Horror Forever (NSFW)

My following article below was originally published by SERIOUS WONDER:

VR horror

Today is Halloween and what better day than this to envelop yourself in nothing but absolute horror films and video games!? All my life I’ve watched and enjoyed horror films. In fact, one of the earliest memories that I can recall is me and my mother watching Bram Stoker’s Dracula when I was about 4-years-old. Since then, I can’t get enough of it.

It’s the very reason why I’m so excited about virtual reality – whether it be via Oculus Rift or other growing competitors in the VR film and gaming market. Yes, VR is going to basically transform everything, from films to the internet itself. But as a horror fanatic, I can’t help but feel that the horror genre will become the most engrossing facet of VR gaming and film. After all, where films and video games lacked in the horror genre was that sense of being submersed.

Horror films made a huge comeback in the last few years with the behind-the-lens, “found footage” point of view. Reason being because it brought a somewhat new sense of realism in story line. But it wasn’t enough, as it is now becoming quite the cliché lately. This is where VR comes to the rescue. In fact, what is being purported as the very first feature length VR film is an Oculus Rift horror! Banshee Chapter is now available for download to all Mac users.

On crowdfunding website Indiegogo, a team of horror film veterans (those who brought you Jeepers CreepersFinal Destination, and Pumpkinhead) are seeking to fund a collaborative VR horror film, titled Hell Mountain. Unlike Banshee Chapter, which was a 3D film edited to accommodate VR gear, Hell Mountain would be the first ever horror film that is solely developed for VR experience.

And then we have VR horror gaming. If you’re like me, I subscribe to many well-known Youtuber channels and wait for those VR gaming walkthroughs – especially if it’s a horror game. What I noticed, as a gamer myself for over 20 years, is that these gamers are experiencing something totally different from what previous non-VR horror games provided – absolute terror! Not only are you able to look around yourself, but given the right gear, you can also walk wherever you wish and experience true horror in all its terrifying glory.

Questions race through your head, “Should I walk down this hall?,” “Should I go in this dark room?,” “Should I look behind me?” Just watching it is frightening enough. Now imagine experiencing it yourself! As you’ll notice when you watch any one of the videos provided in this article, VR changes not only what you experience in horror gaming, but how you experience it as well. After all, you’re now officially part of the game, and your line of sight is ripe for manipulation susceptibility. Whatever the game developer wants you to see (or, should I say, what they want you to think you saw), you will see, whether you like it or not.

The same thing goes for VR horror films. Imagine walking into a theater, about to watch the latest upcoming horror film. Though instead of 3D glasses, you’re fitted with VR goggles. No matter where you sit – or stand, perhaps – your point of view will likely be different from the person’s next to you. You may try to reach out, but how will you react if you actually touch someone? What if, in your point of view, you missed something, but the person behind you didn’t and started screaming? What you become frightened of and how you are frightened will change forever via VR.

Getting scared by a horror film or game is one of the most intense feelings you can go through. And yet, it’s very addictive. That rush of adrenaline when something pops out in front of you, or that breathing sound just over your shoulder – there’s nothing quite like it. What would you do if VR allowed you to actually be in the film or game, and what if you’re able to run away? Would you? That is the power of VR for the horror genre.

So instead of going out and trick-or-treating, stay home, strap on your VR headset, and prepare yourself for some good ol’ fashion horror! And remember, none of it is actually real…….or is it? Happy Halloween!

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