The idea of ‘interacting’ with a horror film isn’t new – famous examples include the ‘punishment poll’ in William Castle’s Mr Sardonicus (1961) and the ‘werewolf break’ in The Beast Must Die (1974).
But these days, things are much, much more sophisticated, as the forthcoming British horror I Saw Black Clouds shows.
This latest offering from Shropshire-based Ghost Dog Films [who gave us the gloriously retro Crucible of the Vampire (2017) and its accompanying graphic novel] is really interactive: you don’t just get to decide the villain’s fate or identify the werewolf. Here you actually make decisions for the characters and choose their actions.
As the press pack from video game developer and distributor, Wales Interactive, explains: “I Saw Black Clouds is an interactive psychological thriller with supernatural elements and branching storylines.
“How you connect with the characters and the moral choices you make along the way will affect what you discover, the journey you take, and the resolution you find at the end.
“Your decisions will not only change individual scenes, but could present you with an entirely different storyline that can be discovered on multiple playthroughs.”
It’s a fascinating idea, and perhaps best described as a computer game rather than a movie [but I know nothing about computer games, so don’t listen to me].
It’s due for release in the first quarter of 2021 on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC and Mac. It will be released on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S at a later date, to be confirmed.
I Saw Black Clouds concerns Kristina (Nicole O’Neill), who returns to her hometown after the unexpected death of a close friend.
There she unearths a string of dark secrets and a truth that turns out to be far more harrowing than she could have imagined.
A spooky movie-style trailer is out now, and a longer gameplay trailer is due in February [I write this in late January 2021]. For more conventional old folk like me, there will be a straight movie version to follow the game, probably in 2022.
Written and directed by Iain Ross-McNamee, I Saw Black Clouds also stars Rachel Jackson, Larry Rew, and Aaron Jeffcoate.
And if you look carefully in the wedding and funeral scenes, you may spot me and Mrs W [we were kindly invited to join the filming for a day in pre-Covid January 2019], and you will definitely see the outstanding Richard Oliver as the Reverend Peter. I know several vicars in real life, and he is most convincing!
To make sure you get your hands on the game ASAP, you can Wishlist a copy on STEAM.
If you’re interested in British horror films, you’ll find plenty of interest elsewhere on this blog.
And if you’re involved in film or any area of arts and entertainment, please check out the services of Weltch Media here.