VR will be the downfall of humanity. We know it, you know it, and we all know that Palmer Luckey knows it. You can see it in his evil little eyes. The Oculus Rift personal info dragnet hidden in the user agreement has nothing to do with Facebook. Know your enemy, as the old adage has it. You’re already dead; you just don’t know it yet.
On that cheerful note let’s talk about The Call Up, the debut feature film of writer/director Charles Barker. It could be – and, let’s face it, probably is – a documentary from the future trying in vain to warn us of VR’s inevitable descent into evil. A group of Young People are invited to beta test a hyper-realistic virtual reality game that, going by the trailer, is halfway between Call of Duty and Rainbow Six. This involves not just headsets, but full body gear including buttock-hugging lycra (little surprise, perhaps, given the fact that the suits were designed by Robert Allsop whose work includes X-Men). Once in these “gamer suits” (ahem), the Young People find a game that initially seems completely awesome but, of course, turns out to be somewhat sinister. For one thing, if you die in the game then (you guessed it) you die in real life. DUN-DUN-DAAAHHHNN!! You can’t class that as a spoiler, by the way. It’s in the trailer up there.
You likely won’t recognise most (or all) of the young cast, but many of them have Hollywood history behind them, having appeared in movies including Love & Friendship, The Anomaly, Dracula Untold, Zero Dark Thirty, and Snow White and the Huntsman. The SciFi London Film Festival certainly has faith in the film, as it’s been recently announced that The Call Up will close the festival this year on its final day, Friday 6th May. The Call Up will then see a theatrical release on May 20th, and a DVD/digital release on May 23rd. If this movie has intrigued you, you can follow the official Twitter account which has some behind-the-scenes photos tweeted from over the last two years or so.