Rest assured, Late Shift is still great fun to “watch,” even if you’re unlikely to get the ending you want.
Late Shift Synopsis
College student Matt Thompson believes in what he studies: that life is a series of conscious and subconscious choices, and that rationality can help make the correct decisions. Is this belief going to help him survive the outrageous events he encounters one evening while part-timing as a parking lot assistant? You, as part of the audience, get to decide. You will determine Matt’s fate in this interactive, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure (CYOA) movie feature developed by CtrlMovie.
To be honest, I was sceptical when I read about Late Shift coming to Singapore’s Golden Village cinemas.
I’m a huge Choose-Your-Own-Adventure fan. In recent years, I also enjoyed “interactive” CYOA movies such as Bandersnatch and High.
But to “play” together with a whole cinema of strangers? And with story routes taken determined by numeric majority? My views could be shaded by being in one too many quarrelsome MMORPG raids, but the mechanics sound like a recipe for frustration and distaste.
It’s like, so many things could go “wrong,” yes? People with no idea of what’s going on, and are just choosing blindly. Trolls always opting for the most ridiculous choices, etc. I could go on and on with this.
Well, perhaps I was lucky last evening, it didn’t turn out the way I thought it would. While my session still ended with one of the poorer ending, i.e., the frenzy one, the whole viewing/playing experience was surprisingly fun. Even hilarious at parts.
Much of this has to do with the lively people I was watching with. Being a Saturday, there were many young couples, of course. But there were also large groups of middle-aged dudes, i.e., guys like me, who enthusiastically cheered and sneered at every other choice selection screen.
As inconsiderate as it would seem in writing, one such viewer was the “life” of the show throughout too. He quite vocally encouraged the most audacious choices whenever those were presented. As in, the choices a true CYOA reader would go for, to bring forth the most outrageous outcomes.
I can only presume these “uncles” were all, like me, lifelong gamers. As well as 80s kids well familiar with the interactive genre. (Our skills are kinda outdated, though, as evident by our ending)
As for other technicalities/mechanics of Late Shift, and the CTRLMovie tech empowering everything, I have to say I’m surprised by the number of choices. I know the show’s based on a 2016 game but I didn’t expect so many story branches to be incorporated.
Many choices come hard and fast too! Many times, the movie doesn’t even give you more than a few seconds to react. * Have to say too that some choices don’t seem to carry any real weight as far as narrative diversion is concerned, and that there are quite a few plot conveniences to accommodate such diversions when they happen.
But in all, it was still great fun. Occasionally frustrating when the choice I prefer doesn’t happen, but nonetheless still entertaining.
Retrospectively, I guess watching on a quiet weekend afternoon would heighten one’s chances of getting the choices and endings one prefers.
Would one want that, though? Besides, all endings are long available on YouTube. ** To me, this show is all about collective entertainment.
* Here’s how it works. Before watching, you must download the CtrlMovie app into your smartphone. (The usher reminded me when I entered and before the movie started, there was also a QR code on the screen to scan) Once the movie starts, KEEP YOUR PHONE ON. Don’t switch off the screen; it will dim when not in use. Whenever choices appear, they will show on your phone, so just tap the one that you want. Note too that you are only given a few seconds to react. If you need to unlock your screen and all that, you will miss your chance.
** GV allows you to rewatch/replay Late Shift at a reduced ticket price, so I shouldn’t be sharing this. But here are the endings.
Check out my other snappy movie reviews.