Trailer, Release Info: Dutch Techno-Thriller “APP” and its Second Screen ExperienceMovies/TV,News Samuel Zimmerman
APP may not be a movie for those worried about our growing dependence on smartphones, or the omnipresent nature technology has in our daily lives. The Dutch thriller, coming soon from RAM Releasing (who just put out Korean film HIDE AND SEEK), finds a young woman at the mercy of a sinister app installed on her phone. And while viewers watch her ordeal, they’ll also experience it as an accompanying app aims to provide a singular, multimedia experience.
In APP, “Anna lives with her best friend Sophie, and balances psychology classes with supporting her brother and his recovery following a traumatic motorcycle accident. She’s never far from her cellphone, and after a night of partying in the dorms, Anna wakes up groggy and hungover only to find that a new app has been inexplicably added to it. Initially helpful and clever, IRIS soon begins behaving mysteriously, answering personal questions it shouldn’t know the answers to, and sending inappropriate images to her contacts. When it becomes clear she can’t simply delete the unwanted, evil app, Anna’s efforts to confront it will set in motion a fearful series of events that will put her life, and that of her roommate and her fragile brother, in fatal danger.”
The app accompanying director Bobbt Boerman’s APP is also monikered IRIS, and “is equipped with sonic technology that triggers additional content during the movie – off-screen text messages between characters, an alternative angle in a scene, and more. Though not required for viewing (and enjoying!) the action-packed APP, the intentional use of the second screen makes it a ground-breaking achievement in the continuing convergence of film and technology.”
There’s some similar work happening with RIDES web series like DIRTY WORK and horror anthology DARK WALL, in which supplemental content sent to your phone enhances the story. It’s certainly kind of neat, but hopefully those who check out APP in theaters will be wise enough not to engage it in the dark. But weirdly, RAM seems to be encouraging just that: “RAM Releasing was created to push boundaries,” VP of Distribution Rebeca Conget said. “APP challenges the bad name cellphones have gotten in movie theaters, and does it in an entirely ingenious way. Boermans’ film will have you rethinking how you watch movies.”
You can check out the trailer for APP below, and see the film in theaters and on digital download May 9. Please don’t take out your phone if you choose the former though. It will always be a bad look.