One of our favorite parts of San Diego Comic Con for the past few years have been the wide variety of virtual reality experiences fans can enjoy. As VR has become more prominent companies have used it as a way to put people right into the middle of their favorite stories. Whether they are on the exhibit hall floor or tucked away in off-sites, we love to check them out.
This year Warner Bros. and New Line Cimena were on hand to promote the upcoming, two-part film IT.
If you’re familiar with either the original book or the 1990 miniseries of the same name then you know it’s a pretty creepy story. I mean, there’s a supernatural, killer clown stalking kids in suburban Maine. But fans at SDCC this year got to take the creepiness one step further by going inside the new film with FLOAT: A Cinematic VR Experience, a virtual experience built by SunnyBoy Entertainment.
The SDCC experience was hosted in a creepy school bus tucked away inside the Petco Interactive Zone and was split into two parts. The first saw everyone crowded into a small space meant to resemble the sewer system the Losers’ Club end up traipsing through in the film. The second had everyone sitting in swivel chairs with their own VR headsets and headphones, experiencing the terror of IT for themselves.
If I’m being honest, the first half was probably the best part of the experience.
The sounds were creepy and air randomly blew into the ‘tunnel’ without warning. Underneath your feet, the floor was made to look like water was running through the sewers with various items being swept along through the pipes. And really nothing is creepier than unsettling laughter in an enclosed space. Especially when some of the people you’re with are easily started. (So at times it wasn’t just creepy but also a little hilarious.)
It’s sadly something you can’t replicate at home.
However, if you’re curious about the second part – the actual VR experience – then you’re in luck. You can actually experience it for yourself right now! The IT folks uploaded the experience online and you can watch it either in your browser or on your mobile phone over at the FLOAT website. Or check it out on the film’s official Facebook page.
Either way, definitely check it out. It’s only about four minutes long but it has got some serious jump scares – especially if you take advantage of the 360° perspective. There’s a couple moments that still get me every time!