Mobile users are usually told to mute their devices when the theater lights go down, but this is probably the first time they've been encouraged to use them during the movie. Sadako 3D 2, the sequel to Japan's high-concept reboot of the legendary Ringu series, will be enhanced with a “Smartphone 4D” app designed to run in tandem with the theatrical version.
According to a story in the Hollywood Reporter, Sadako 3D 2 audience members can download the app, which will deliver “vibration, flash and sound special effects as well as extra visuals.” (In Sadako 3D, one of the title ghost's victims became trapped in a mobile phone, so these enhancements will likely involve the audience in the sequel's storyline.) While the application is being touted as the first of its kind, it does recall the old lo-fi William Castle movie gimmicks accompanying movies like The Tingler, in which random audience members were goosed by electric motors beneath their seats to enhance the onscreen scares. This app is just kicking that concept to the next level.
The film's promoters also hinted that the enhanced experience might not end when the patrons leave the theater... like the doomed victims in The Ring and its many sequels, they might get that dreaded call from Sadako herself.
Sadako 3D 2 is set to premiere in Japan on August 30th. There's no word as to whether the “4D” app will be available outside of Japan in the future, but there's a chance it might happen once Sadako 3D and its sequel receive a wider release.