Animals On The Loose pits Bear Grylls – and you – against the dangers of the African savannah. From your sofa, you are taken on an adventure to save a number of animals escaped from a wildlife reserve. Across three challenges, you’ll be faced with decisions that will determine the outcome of this Netflix original film. Will you manage to save all the animals?
Participating in this interactive movie creates the same level of urgency as in a video game – the amount of sudden pressure to choose a course of action as the timer counts down makes this anything but a passive experience. Though stressful, this format means you find yourself far more engaged in the events than you would likely feel otherwise.
This is not a film you would switch on for a calm night in. More than once, you risk the possibility of making a wrong decision and causing the premature death of poor Bear Grylls, who takes one for the team and follows your instructions: from serving as live bait in order to capture a lion, to eating a leech for an energy boost, the British adventurer is certainly committed.
The story is short and simple, broken into four acts – the three missions and a wrap-up conclusion. It is clearly a film that is defined by its interactivity and immediacy, aware that anything too long has the potential of losing the audience’s interest. As it is, it allows viewers to play with the new technology in a manner that is straightforward and ultimately enjoyable.
Grylls, in his usual fashion, does provide survival tips and offer up information about the environment around him. These inform the decisions you make within the story, as well as educating the audience in the same way the original TV series does. This adds to the tension and keeps your focus up as you wonder what will prove relevant to the story.
Grylls spends most of the time talking directly into the camera, which works to further remove any semblance of a fourth wall between the screen and the watcher. This is only heightened when director Ben Simms places the camera in a first-person perspective, allowing the viewer to be in the moment and ‘experience’ the events of the film. This is definitely a boon to this style of film.
Animals On The Loose: A You Vs Wild Movie introduces new possibilities for interactivity in films. The combination of high-stakes events and the decision timer keeps you on your toes and forces the participating audience to keep focused and engaged. For a wildly absorbing adventure, Animals On The Loose is the way to go!
Animals On The Loose: A You Vs Wild Movie is out now on Netflix.