Riding the Movies: My 4DX Experience

Just when you thought the premium theatre experience hit its peak with VIP cinemas, earlier this month Cineplex opened their first cinema outfitted with 4DX technology. Located at the Cineplex Yonge and Dundas, 4DX adds a variety of environmental effects to make movie-going a truly immersive experience. With me having some Scene reward points to spare, I was able to forgo the somewhat hefty $24.99 price tag and give 4DX a try for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I will now break down my experience by listing all the environmental effects and how they were utilized during the film.

Motion, Vibration, and Ticklers
This effect, which is essentially the same as D-Box, worried me a bit, since I am a person prone to motion sickness. However, even though the chairs moved along with the camera, I was comfortable enough in by seat that I did not feel any dizziness. Also, thankfully the chairs are not moving for the entire running time. As for the vibration, the chairs would often vibrate at the smallest little action, with there being no real difference in levels. The ticklers were the same as vibration, expect focused on only certain areas.

Water and Rain
If there is one environmental effect that I considered somewhat annoying, it is getting sprayed in the face when characters get splashed. Thankfully, there is button on the chair that gives you the option to turn off the water effects. However, often there would be scenes in rain with no water effect (or just a slight sprinkle). Thank goodness there were no full-on rainstorm effects in this film.

This is a subtle smoke machine effect, which is used in Fantastic Beasts during the Warner Bros logo and the climax.

This is one of the more constant effects, where you would often feel a breeze. I heard previous reports that the wind was distracting and made dialogue hard to hear, but I was fine with it from where I was sitting.

This effect involved strobe lights in the cinema, which would go off for a split second. In Fantastic Beasts, the effect was often used along with wand flashes.

Noticed no bubble effects during Fantastic Beasts

This is an odd one. While there were indeed scents in the film, I could not identify where the scent was supposed to be in the film. The most common scent for me in Fantastic Beasts was either cherry or pine.

The lack of snow disappointed me, since there was at least one opportunity for such an effect in Fantastic Beasts.

In conclusion, I would say that while better than expected, seeing a film in 4DX is more a novelty than anything else. This is a cinema experience that essentially turns the film into an amusement park ride and it’s only something I would recommend doing every one and a while for certain types of films.

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).