'Distorted Reality' VR Trailer Evokes Paranoid Fear of Your Smart Home

When Alexa tries to brainwash you.

What if you were bipolar and suddenly became suspicious that your smart home device was not only listening to everything you did but also actively brainwashing you with synthetic telepathy? That’s the latest paranoid freakshow that the VR horror experience Distorted Reality wants to warn you about.

Developer OneTouch VR debuted a trailer for Distorted Reality at E3 2018 last week, and it’s a 10-minute VR experience that accompanies Distorted, the feature-length film starring John Cusack and Christina Ricci about the same capitalistic dystopia. In the feature film, Ricci plays a young bipolar woman who moves into a state-of-the-art “smart apartment” called “The Pinnacle” with her husband (Brendan Fletcher). But conspiracy theorist and investigative journalist Vernon Sarsfield (John Cusack) helps her realize that they’re actually guinea pigs in an experiment involving “synthetic telepathy,” a kind of high-tech brainwashing.

Distorted Reality, the terrifying accompanying VR experience, focuses on the same actors and characters in specific settings from the movie.

Christina Ricci in 'Distorted'.

Minds Eye Entertainment

The bizarre VR experience is loaded with tense scenes, and though it’s a bit tough to discern what’s going on the trailer, somebody says that Lauren (Christina Ricci) is suffering through some kind of full-on “psychotic break.”

Everyone else is acting strangely, so it seems like we’re seeing this world filtered through her psychosis. Which makes this VR experience literally crazy. What’s really going on here? And exactly where does John Cusack’s conspiracy theorist fit into everything? Is he even “real”?

Take a look at the full movie trailer for a clearer picture of what you can expect:

Distorted Reality was shot with 16 synchronized GoPro Hero4s filmed with GoPro Odyssey under jump, which translates to this being one of the most visually impressive VR experiences in recent memory. If you’re able to watch the trailer in VR, you can get a full 360-degree view of the set without seeing any of the crew, making it a truly immersive cinematic experience.

In many ways, this could be the future of movie special features, especially for creepy horror movies with intense atmospheres like this one.

The film Distorted hits theaters on June 22, but the 360-degree Distorted Reality VR experience is currently available via OneTouch VR on Google Daydream, Oculus Go and Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, iOS, and also on PlayStation VR via the Littlstar application.

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