When I was told that I was assigned to review a VR film, I was quite mind blown! Mainly because I had no idea that there was such a thing as an interactive movie, yet alone the idea seemed extremely interesting.
Based on Jack Heath‘s book 300 Minutes of Danger, we engage in a story of survival. Nassim, a normal teenager is instantly taken hostage. His captor is a wanted criminal whose name isn’t given to the viewer and is only known as ‘the technician woman‘. In a case of mistaken identity, Nassim is heavily battered and poisoned by his captor who is in search of an item known as the “Blood Stone”. While death’s clock ticks mercilessly, Nassim must use every instinct he has to secure the antidote and survive.
Although I have had numerous run ins with VR experiences in the past (particularly with video games), never have I experienced a film where I literally become the main character. It is so unique to progress through the cinematic storyline up close, with the inside thoughts and emotions of the protagonist.
The VR approach it’s definitely a game changer in the film industry. You’re more in touch with the film on a deeper level in terms that you not only step into the shoes of the protagonist, but you also step into their world, their environment and instantly become part of the movie itself.
I found myself countless times moving to Nassim‘s lead, when he was struck across the face by the ‘technician lady‘. I followed every motion as if I was the one being attacked. Even with the screen changing for the next scene, I found myself always scoping out the new surrounding and thinking, “Where is ‘the technician woman’? What is she going to do next?”
Experiencing 30 Minutes of Danger really made me feel my life was on the line. It had me desperately thinking, “Where is the cure? I need to find it before the poison kills me!” The sense of survival is so strong when witnessing 30 Minutes of Danger and it carried my emotions consistently throughout the film.
What also works in this film is that although characters and backstory are not explained, it is not needed. This is because it’s a case of an unexpected break in, where it could happen at any moment, at anytime, to anyone.
I really enjoyed the suspense that 30 Minutes of Danger held and the nervousness you get from the situation and environments that you are placed in. The VR definitely amplifies the experience and made it an even more unique journey to take part in. The film turned out to be shorter than I expected (8 mins), which was the only… I wouldn’t say negative but it was that engaging that I would have liked it to be longer.
Writer and director, Grant Scicluna advised our team that this was one of ten in a series yet to come. I wanted to see more of 30 Minutes of Danger and I am extremely intrigued to see where his following suspenseful masterpiece will take audiences next!