Stanley Film Festival Experience: Catatonic VR Chair Will Freak You out

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By Devin Faraci

One of the longest lines at this year’s Stanley Film Festival wasn’t for a movie, per se. It was a line that queued, twelve hours a day, in the hotel lobby, full of people waiting to take a seat in a wheelchair, strap on a VR headset and be taken on a tour of a creepy, haunted asylum in fully immersive 3D. 

Called Catatonic, Guy Shelmerdine’s horror experience is a huge advertisement for the future of virtual reality. Shelmerdine is a filmmaker, and Catatonic is, essentially, a film that you experience in a very unique way. Shelmerdine set up 8 Go-Pro cameras on a wheelchair and then rolled that chair through an abandoned hospital in Pasadena, capturing 360 degrees of what is basically a haunted house experience. Stitched together and made stereo, the five minute film becomes a truly enveloping experience, showcasing just how effective VR is at scaring you.

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