Virtual reality is the perfect space to explore horror. After all, what better way to scare people who have grown accustomed to the traditional horror film experience than by putting them in the horror film? And who better to do it than a modern master of the genre, Alexandre Aja — with some help from none other than Freddy Krueger himself?
Aja, the director of films such as The Hills Have Eyes and Piranha 3D, has a new VR horror anthology called Campfire Creepers, and featuring an appearance by Robert Englund. Produced by Oculus, Future Lighthouse, and Dark Corner (which specializes in horror-themed VR experiences), Campfire Creepers brings "classic campfire stories to life" as kids take turns telling spooky stories. Though the official site compares it to Creepshow and Tales From the Crypt, it feels much more in line with Are You Afraid of the Dark?
The first episode, "The Skull of Sam," follows a couple in the woods who encounter a creepy stranger who wants to add them to his "unique collection." Englund stars in that episode.
In the second episode, "Midnight March," a group of sadistic counselors force their campers on a march through the woods when one of the campers decides to turn the tables on his bullies. Both episodes will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival as part of the Immersive program. "Skull of Sam" will be part of the Cinema360 collection, and "Midnight March" is part of the Virtual Arcade. Haptic motion seats will be part of the Tribeca screening experience.
"This was my chance to play in the deeply nostalgic space of late ’70s and ’80s horror anthology classics, while also engaging with a new filmmaking medium that is still thrillingly open to innovation," Aja said in a statement. "My goal was to craft a rollercoaster ride of twists and scares that will have you jumping back in fright — and then laughing at yourself once you’ve taken the headset off."
If you can't get to the Tribeca Film Festival, both episodes of Campfire Creepers are available for download to your Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear on April 21. No VR headset? You can watch on your smartphone with the Dark Corner app.