Facebook’s Oculus Rift is getting its first 3D virtual reality feature film in Banshee Chapter, an indie sci-fi horror executive produced by Star Trek‘s Zachary Quinto that’s hitting the next-gen virtual reality platform today – for free.
The low budget frightener, loosely based on H.P. Lovecraft’s From Beyond, tracks a journalist investigating the disappearance of her old college friend and his ties to a secret experimental drug. Silence of the Lambs‘ Ted Levine, Sleepy Hollow‘s Katia Winter and True Blood‘s Michael McMillian star for first time director Blair Erickson in the film produced by Sunchaser Entertainment’s Stephanie Riggs and Before the Door’s Corey Moosa and Sean Akers, and Christian Arnold-Beutel.
Banshee Chapter debuted last December on VOD to modest fanfare. But that was before Facebook bought Oculus Rift in a $2 billion deal, heralding it as the next big thing in social communications and entertainment. Erickson also happens to be a transmedia veteran who’s created interactive and virtual reality campaigns for studios like Warner Bros., Fox, and DreamWorks. His San Francisco-based startup Jamwix teamed with the film’s U.S. distributor XLrator Media to release Banshee Chapter: Oculus Rift Edition via Jamwix’s proprietary software Chimera. (Download it here.)
“This is an incredibly exciting moment for technology and entertainment,” said Erickson. “We were thrilled to begin unlocking the potential of the next generation storytelling experiences in virtual reality.” Oculus Rift is currently only available to developers, but a consumer release is rumored for 2015. Not one of the early adopters? Banshee Chapter is still available on iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, and other “traditional” digital channels.