Movies on the Oculus Rift aren’t really movies. They would follow almost none of the century-old rules set by the medium as audiences would explore 360-degree environments instead of the cinematic frame determined by the director. That doesn’t mean we can’t dream.
Months ago, I posed the question what movie you’d want to watch in the world of virtual reality. There were some obvious picks and also some risqué ones. Yes, porn will be a thing on the Oculus Rift, but let’s stick with appropriately clothed cinema, shall we?
Here are 12 films that we can’t help but think would be excellent in full 360 degrees.
The number one requested movie by a lot was Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity. Interestingly enough, the digital studio Framestore, the team responsible for all those lush space visuals, has already transitioned some of its attention to VR by creating various experience with the Oculus Rift, such as HBO’s “Ascend the Wall” as well as the recent Marriott “Teleporter.” No doubt, a 360-degree view of Gravity’s orbital drama would be breathtaking.
It was flawless in 3D, and the same old-fashioned shooting techniques that make Jurassic Park amazing in 3D are the same techniques that would make it amazing in VR.
Enter the Void
Every film by director Gaspar Noé challenges its audience, and Enter the Void is no different. However, what makes this trippy and intense English-language French film so VR ready is the way it’s actually filmed. The movie’s most prominent perspective is either first-person or an over-the-shoulder shot (shown above) during which a recently killed American drug dealer has an out-of-body experience. These unique POVs gives the entire movie a voyeuristic vibe, which would only be multiplied in virtual reality.
Being John Malkovich
How about Being John Malkovich? That movie is trippy enough, but the scenes inside John’s body would be even more surreal in the Rift.
…You know…if that’s something you’re into.
The Blair Witch Project (With Barf Bag Included)
This film is really a stand-in for any shaky cam film, including Cloverfield or even Diary of the Dead. One of the main complaints of The Blair Witch Project is that the unstable camera breeds nausea, something that even accurate head-tracking or future Rift iterations probably couldn’t solve. Despite possible vomit-inducing moments, future films that place the audience as one of the Blair Witch teens running through the woods would take horror to a whole other level.
I’ll vote for the original Alien…with its spooky dark airshafts galore. The feeling of being “immersed” in a world and then jammed into a claustrophobic tunnel seems like a brilliant idea.
Good news, everyone! The recent Alien: Isolation video game has support for Oculus Rift, so…this dream is already coming true.
I think that GIF pretty much explains it.
Any Movie by Terry Gilliam
For me, just about any Terry Gilliam flick or similar, as many had such busy sets – you could spend a lot of time looking around and trying to take in all the details of each scene.
So, you probably never want to experience a Texas funeral IRL. With the Oculus Rift, you don’t have to! Buried is a film by Rodrigo Cortés starring Ryan Reynolds who is, as the titled suggests, buried alive with just a Zippo lighter and a BlackBerry. This might actually be the most plausible first step into 360-degree film as the entire set, for the most part, is pretty limited.
The Fifth Element
The Fifth Element. There is so much going on in the scenery that it would be awesome to just walk around. Especially Fhloston Paradise and the main concert hall, the temple, and the city.
The Last Starfighter
As soon as virtual reality held the promise of becoming a commercial venture, the first thing I thought of was space battles — and The Last Starfighter has equally as epic zero G dogfights as Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica. Of course, game developers had similar ideas as Eve: Valkyrie is basically The Last Starfighter but a video game, which was also a video game in the movie. Wait…I’m confused.
The Big Lebowski
The Big Lebowski…. I’d love to sit in a bar with the Dude.
Got any other cinematic additions that would be an awesome trip in a virtual world?