According to our friends over at Collider, Crawl director Alexandre Aja has already lined up his next project, an "interactive haunted house" movie for Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment. The as-yet-untitled film (and its many branching narratives) will be written by Jeff Howard (Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House), Nick Simon (The Girl in the Photographs), and Aja himself.
Lots of names in that mix. Moreover: lots of ambition. The concept of an "interactive movie" is not new, though one would need to do a little digging in order to name more than a few that were worth a damn (Steven Sodebergh's Mosaic would be one; Black Mirror: Bandersnatch might be another, depending on how you felt about that episode). How does Amblin plan on executing the project?
"To develop the project, Amblin Partners is working with Kino Industries’ CtrlMovie technology, which empowers filmmakers to create branched narrative, interactive feature films that allow audiences to influence the storyline. Using an app on their cell phones, audience members will be able to vote in the theater to decide what characters will do at pivotal points in the narrative, meaning that Aja’s film will have a different plot, ending and even running time depending on the audience’s choices."
On the one hand, we're big fans of just about everyone involved here (especially Aja, whose Crawl is possibly the most slept-on movie of the entire summer), and are curious to see what they come up with. On the other hand, the idea of a movie where the narrative unfolds based on the whims of its audience members, all of whom will be on their cell phones inside the theaters showing this film, fills us with loathing and dread. One has to wonder if the concept might not be better served via a streaming platform, with audience members controlling the film's twists and turns with their remote controls (a la Bandersnatch).
As of this writing there's nothing further to report about Aja's next project, but obviously this is an idea we expect you, the gentle BMD readers of the world, to have strong opinions about. Let us know what you think via the comments below, and stay tuned for further updates on Alexandre Aja's Untitled Interactive Haunted House Movie as they become available.
(Note: Header photo by Gage Skidmore, used with permission via Flickr)