Just when it seemed like movie fans were reaching a critical mass of 3-D fatigue, at least one company is rolling the dice on adding yet another dimension to our movie-going experience.
Besides the suspicious-sounding "back ticklers," the 4-DX system being peddled by the CJ Group offers a number of advanced enhancements that sounds really interesting - or totally annoying, depending on your outlook. This includes "tiny nozzles that spray water, mist, bubbles, air and odors from a collection of 1,000 scents," as well as "giant fans and strobe lights to simulate wind, lightning flashes and explosions." These effects are carefully programmed for each movie.
For instance, as per the Los Angeles Times, viewers get a squirt of water shot at them during "Prometheus" so we too can experience the delight of feeling squishy alien bits at the same time as the characters.
Of course, film fans will remember experiences in enhanced viewing experiences with older technology, such as when people who sat down to watch William Castle's "The Tingler" got a buzz during the Vincent Price classic. A recent screening of "The Tingler" in a New York theater included a similar experience, and the audience was happy to take part in the retro experience. John Water offered the dubious pleasure of "Odorama" for his movie "Polyester," which allowed viewers to scratch and sniff scenes like pizza and poo.
More recently, moviegoers seeing "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World," were treated to similar scratch 'n' sniff experiences called Aroma-Scope. These are novelty experiences, though, and not necessarily for the same audience that would go see a blockbuster in four dimensions.
Although the CJ Group claims that its movies do very well internationally, whether or not they'll play Stateside is another question. It seems that audiences are increasingly wary of increased prices for a questionable return on investment. And whether or not theaters will sign up for the cost of the 4DX system when they're already pressed to shell out money for digital projection on top of flagging ticket sales is another question entirely.
Would you pay another $8 per ticket for the 4-D experience?