VR Reviews | The best in virtual reality content

The Invisible Man

General

Direction Production VR Price
Hugo Keijzer Ellen Utrecht, Maurice Schutte 360Kings Free

Nick and Kid have half a million euros in heroine stashed in an upstate barn. But they also have a debt to pay – to Frank. When Frank suddenly shows up at their’ hideout, they have no choice but to oblige in a sadistic game of Russian Roulette. Each click of the chamber reveals a little bit more about each character in the room.

This is the storyline for The Invisible Man, a new Virtual Reality dark drama released by Midnight Pictures and The Secret Lab, both based in Amsterdam. The 10-minute film recently premiered in The Loft inside the city’s new A’dam Tower, but is now available for general release at theinvisibleman.film.

To date, virtual reality is being written and produced almost exclusively for commercial use – for advertising and brand experiences. Midnight Pictures and The Secret Lab were eager to test the VR waters with a more narrative-driven film – a film shot completely independent of commercial influences.

“Our aim is to produce narrative-driven films across all genres, including virtual reality. The VR industry is developing at lightspeed in places like Los Angeles, but in Europe there’s little experimentation being done. As a new medium, VR is extremely interesting.” Midnight Pictures producer Ellen Utrecht

To speed up their Virtual Reality learning curve, Midnight Pictures and digital creative agency The Secret Lab teamed up to create the VR short. Midnight Pictures brought the narrative know-how, The Secret Lab the technical expertise. Producer Maurice Schutte of The Secret Lab says both were necessary to create The Invisible Man.

Working from a script written by John Weich, The Invisible Man was directed by Hugo Keijzer who, together with Utrecht, founded Midnight Pictures last year. Keijzer’s is currently working on his first feature film ‘Only You’ a psychological thriller.

“There’s a lot of buzz around virtual reality, but not a lot of hands-on experimentation with narrative. Nothing beats doing,” says Keijzer. “We learned so much on this project. Not just how to shoot, but the extra demands VR puts on the production team, on set designers and especially on actors.”

Although just 10 minutes long, it is impossible to take all the action simultaneously. How does Frank know which chamber the bullet lies? And what role does the viewer play in the drama? It may take you 5 viewings to figure it out, but in The Invisible Man the answers are all around you, literally.

A short single-take heist film – with a twist.
  • Very innovative use of the first-person POV
  • Great use of music
  • Well-designed end credits
  • No visible stitching artifacts
  • Some jump cuts on elements within the frame
  • Super-imposed images somewhat overused
  • Some criminally poor acting (sorry)

8 of 10

10 of 10

6 of 10

Best viewed via the YouTube mobile app, in maximum resolution using a headset.