We love horror movies. We also love futurism and overwrought speculation. With transhumanism and the Singularity entering the mainstream–much to the chagrin of its esoteric handlers–we found ourselves trying to imagine what horror movies would be like in 50 years. By then technology will have evolved to near incomprehensible levels and the entertainment industry will have to evolve along with it.
Will this mean the death of movie theaters? Not necessarily. Movie theaters will probably remain as a low income source of entertainment. Horror movies seen in the theater will incorporate holographic zombies and other bells and whistles. However, consumers who can afford the glittery new technologies of the transhumanist age will likely upgrade their entertainment experience and enjoy horror movies from the comfort of their own heads.
Virtual reality horror
Virtual reality has been promised to us for years, with little in the way of actualization. But make no mistake, it is coming, and when they get those haptic interfaces perfected you’re going to see an incredible exodus of consumers leaving traditional forms of media and switching to virtual.
Horror movies will take particularly well to the medium because of their reliance on sensory thrills. Personalized haunted house adventures will be common, with users able to pick and choose plot elements and characters they want incorporated. It’s not a traditional movie–more of a video game permutation–but who can honestly say they wouldn’t want to play a character in the World War Z movie, fighting zombies without fear of death?
Found footage Snuff
We know that with the development of Google Glass and other augmented reality innovations, people will be experiencing their everyday lives in the context of interfaces and web browsers overlaid onto the natural world. With eye implants, it will also be possible to record experiences and we anticipate the development of a robust entertainment market out of this. Ever seen the movie Strange Days? Right on the money.
The logical end game of this technological trend for the found footage horror genre is real life snuff footage. Yes, snuff. Videos of people dying. Will people pay top dollar to witness the harrowing thrills and terrors of a serial killer victim’s final hours? You bet your ass we–they will.
RPGs for the singularity age
Movies are destined for a 3.0 revolution that will incorporate the audience into a kind of live action scavenger hunt. You’re turning up clues, plot points, discovering who the killer is (real time, interactive Se7en) or acquiring the anti-zombie serum. The development of Google Glass and, further down the line, augmented reality chips will allow entertainment producers to put together elaborately constructed interfaces coupled with real life environments, by which ‘audience members’ become proxy detectives/participants. Imagine The Game or eXistenZ with a browser window and a search bar to find out what the hell something is.
We call this ‘interface horror’, or RPGs for the Singularity age, and partakers will welcome terrifying pop-ups and surprises into their daily lives just to make things more exciting. This will be kind of like hyperlink fiction for the transhumanist age, and the possibilities are near endless.