Researchers invent insane horror movie-enhancing electric chair
Who among us hasn’t thought, at one time or another, “I wish there was some sort of device that enhanced the horror movie experience by stimulating piloerection on the forearm through electrostatic force?”
I know I haven’t, but guess what? Japanese researchers at the University of Electro-Communications have done exactly that, building on the 4D movie experience with something they call the Chilly Chair.
With apologies to the late, great William Castle, who pretty much did exactly the same thing in 1959 when he wired theatre seats to deliver a mild electric shock during his film The Tingler, the Chilly Chair uses an electrostatic charge to literally make your hair stand on end.
The idea is to fool the autonomic nervous system by mimicking the physiological effects of fear, with the ultimate goal being to produce a chair that causes you to shit your pants (unverified). According to the research team, led by a man with the unlikely name of Shogo Fukushima, “We revealed that the piloerection system has enhancement effect on surprise feeling.”
As of publication, exhibitors in North America plan to introduce the Chilly Chair to theatres roughly never. Although we hope that Japanese filmmakers continue to enhance the horror movie experience through the more traditional method of making films that are actually fucking scary…
You can follow Adrian Mack's contribution to the lobotomizing techno-nightmare known as Twitter at @AdrianMacked.