“Why got to a movie theatre when I can just wait for the movie to come out on Netflix, etc? It’s way cheaper.”
We’ve all had that thought.
For me, I continue to go to movies for one reason:
To trigger the ‘movie high.’
A ‘movie high’ is that feeling you get when you watch such a good movie that when you leave the movie theatre, the real world seems fake or unreal. Everyone else is going about their lives while you’re standing there, outside the theatre, soaking in your emotions, still wrecked from the rapid catharsis the film just gave you. It’s a great feeling. It’s essentially an condensed espresso shot of awe. And awe is addictive.
My most recent cases of when this happened to me when I saw Whiplash, Arrival, Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk. These movies all have brilliant narratives that could be appreciated watching them at home, but the cinema provides such a better experience. Truly appreciating a film requires you to suspend your disbelief, which is essentially you willingly letting yourself get hypnotized, for the sake of enjoyment. The theatre is a technological structure with the sole purpose of making that self-hypnosis as easy as possible. It’s a dark room, preventing any distractions. The screen is giant and vibrant, so as to trick your eyes into thinking you, yourself, are in that environment shown in the screen. The 3D stereos with ground-shaking subwoofers spellbinds your ears. Put that together, and you have a teleportation device for the human consciousness.
When I watch a movie on Netflix. I am me, on my bed watching a film on a TV. When I watch a movie at a theatre, I am the protagonist living in that world. Because I am in that world, what ever action sequences occur, what ever catharsis occurs, I am more emotionally moved. When the film is absolutely exceptional, I get ‘movie high,’ which is an experience worth paying for.
With that being said, here’s every director I’d go to the movie theatre for, for the chance of getting a high:
- Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim, Hot Fuzz, Baby Driver)
- Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Enemy, Prisoners, Blade Runner 2049)
- Christoper Nolan (Memento, The Prestige, Dark Knight, Interstellar, Dunkirk)
- Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Grand Budapest Hotel)
- Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer)
- The Wachowskis (Matrix series, Cloud Atlas)
- Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Dredd, Annihilation)
- Leigh Whannell (Upgrade, Saw)
- Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)
The ‘movie high’ is triggered easier by a theatre screen than your phone screen, due to how well the theatre hijacks the senses. VR is even more so, and that’s what excites me about this medium.
This is a spoiler alert, but at the end of the movie, “The Fog,” the protagonist must assist the suicide of his own child via a gun to the head. Imagine in VR, in first-person, you were the one who has to pull the trigger. What an intense experience it would be for each viewer. It would change them, more than a movie about the same plot would. That’s why VR is worth exploring.
I'm on Twitter @shoinwolfe if you ever want to talk.