REVIEW: New 4DX at Castleford puts viewers in the picture

Cinemas aren't just about going to watch films anymore it seems.

Friday, 1st June 2018, 3:41 pm
Updated Friday, 1st June 2018, 3:47 pm

In a world brimming with new technology, the demand to bring it to the silver screen to provide a more ‘immersive’ experience has become a must-have for large cinema chains.

Step forward Cineworld at Castleford and it’s new 4DX auditorium experience.

You not only sit in front of a screen of epic size, but you’re perched on super high-tech seats that move in all direction in tandem with the action on screen.

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Nothing new there you might think, well this goes a step further.

The seats have pressure pads in the base and the back. If someone gets punched from behind on screen, you get a whack in the back too, albeit, slightly gentler.

If there’s a car chase, you can feel the wind in your hair (courtesy of fans in the chair in front of you) and somewhat brilliantly, if there’s smoke, rain or snow, you get the same effect in the auditorium with small amounts dropping from above.

Castleford is only the second cinema in Yorkshire to have 4DX installed, and general manager Chris Musgrave is hopeful it will revolutionise how we watch movies.

At a special premier of the technology at Castleford this week, he told the Express: “It’s fantastic, it’s perfect for Castleford.

“It’s a great attraction for families because it’s so interactive and ties in with the whole attraction of Xscape, with action and adventure.

“The whole experience is so immersive, it’s so much more than just sitting there viewing a film.

“The technology in these seats is incredible, there’s nothing quite like this experience.”

The tech sounds brilliant, but it all sounds a bit gimmicky - so is it any good?

The new Star Wars film, Solo, was probably the perfect movie to show off the capabilities of 4DX this week.

From the moments the film starts, you can feel the chairs begin to move and shake and it can all feel a little unnerving.

But once you get used to it, and you forget that you’re in a seat packed with technology, it really does make you feel like you’re a part of the action, especially with it being screened in 3D as well.

During intense fight scenes (which are plentiful in Star Wars) it can become a little overwhelming, which I suppose reflects what’s happening in front of you.

The most realistic moments I found were during huge, landscape-panning shots on screen, when the seats slowly tilt with the camera. I even found my head tilting with the action.

It’s fair to say not every film would suit the 4DX, I can’t imagine a courtroom drama or a rom com testing its capabilities.

For action-packed adrenalin blockbusters, it really puts you in the picture.

The new Jurassic Park movie looks like a blast in 4DX, courtesy of a trailer shown before Star Wars, and it’s more than likely to keep the most easily-bored youngsters entertained throughout.

You could argue it’s quite gimmicky, and quite costly at £17.10 for an adult and £14.60 for a child, but it’s a lot of fun too as bit of a treat.