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“Chatterbox” looks just creepy enough to make interactive films interesting

Interactive filmmaking isn’t exactly new–people have been creating choose-your-own-adventure style films since the Laserdisc–but until recently, it’s never actually been good. Now, as digital technology makes the form a more seamless experience for the audience, and the web makes experimentation increasingly viable for low-budget and independent filmmakers, big players are getting back into it.

Netflix launched a pair of interactive, viewer-guided kids’ programs in June, HBO is debuting Steven Soderbergh’s mysterious Mosaic as an app in November (followed by a more conventional release in January), and acclaimed filmmaking duo Daniels released an interactive short starring Girls‘ Alex Karpovsky last year. And today comes word of a new interactive horror series called Chatterbox from Adaptive Studios.

The eight- to 12-minute story drops the viewer inside an insane asylum with the task of getting the hell out of there. “There’s no one set path of storyline to conform to,” Adaptive partner T.J. Barrack says. “One story world or character can have a multitude of outcomes. That’s the beauty of these projects for the viewer and the creator.”

While “beauty” isn’t the first word that comes to mind from the disturbing, flourescent-light drenched imagery in the trailer, we’re interested in seeing all of the ways this might unfold.DS