TFF2016: VR Arcade

The New York Times photographed this writer at the Arcade.  Credit: Benjamin Norman

          There were so many virtual reality experiences at Tribeca Film Festival’s Virtual Arcade this year I didn’t have time to experience them all, but what I tried, I dug.  Wanting to shoot footage for Monster Nation, my horror YouTube channel—pluggy plug plug—I started with the two horror offerings.  Christmas VR is a spin-off of Scott Stewart’s segment from Holidays, in which Seth Green acquires a hot new headset through nefarious means and is shown more than he bargained for.  The experience effectively retells the tale for those who didn’t see the movie, but unfortunately it doesn’t offer much new.  On the plus side, there’s gore and a bit of (straight) S&M.

            More satisfying was Anthony C. Ferrante’s Killer Deal, starring Sharknado’s Ian Ziering and his hot daddy physique.  Killer Deal works because it knows exactly what it is and strives for no more or less.  It’s a creepy slasher romp confined to one environment and with copious amounts of blood and eye candy.  Even the killer is ripped!  I screamed out loud, and then laughed at myself for being tricked.  It’s a good time.

            On a more fantastical note, Dragon Flight is essentially a demo for a forthcoming virtual game—but what a demo!  Users get to climb on a dragon’s back, fly over castles, and shoot fire at other dragons.  It’s too short but a lot of fun.  Then there’s Invasion, which plays like a trailer for an animated comedy I’d like to see.  Ethan Hawke narrates with a nod to War of the Worlds, and when aliens land on Earth they encounter more than they bargained for: bunnies!  It’s exactly as cute and whimsical as it sounds.           

            There are several other experiences, including an exploration of Pluto with input from NASA.  If you go, let me know what your own favorites were!

            Follow me on Twitter: @HeyLockwood.  See more footage from the VR arcade in the next episode on


on April 20, 2016