Best VR movies (2024)

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Best VR movies (2024)

VR movies are a relatively new form of entertainment that allows viewers to experience a story in a fully immersive and interactive way. Unlike traditional movies, VR movies are designed to be experienced through a VR headset, which allows the viewer to explore the environment and interact with the characters in the story. What’s more, it’s important to note that VR technology can be a powerful storytelling tool in the hands of experienced filmmakers. While it’s a relatively new art form, we’ve already seen some incredible immersive films released on VR headsets in recent years.

 

Best Virtual Reality Movies

These are all 'VR movies' (movies made for Virtual Reality), rather than just watching normal movies in VR.

Marco and Polo Go Round

“I wish every day didn’t have to start and end in chaos.” — Marco

Today is Marco’s 32nd birthday and he wakes up feeling a little tired because he just ended an argument with his girlfriend Polo before he went to bed last night. He walks to the kitchen and sees a birthday cake on the table that Polo has made especially for him. In the course of his conversation with Polo, everything becomes unusual, plates, knives, table and chairs… One by one, items flew up to the ceiling and even out of the roof. The gravity in the whole house seems to have changed… 

Marco and Polo Go Round is the first VR production of item 7 Film Productions in Montreal, Canada. The film uses surrealistic elements to abstract the falling apart of a couple’s relationship into a weightless space, and where will Marco and Polo’s relationship go?

It was released in 2021 and was shown on Tribeca Film Festival, which was a popular one among the festival.

Duration: 12 minutes

Easiest way to watch: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1826490/Marco__Polo_Go_Round/

Paper Birds

“Music is the bridge between worlds. It can open spaces in the invisible realm. It can create and destroy.”

The main character of Paper Birds is a nearsighted child named Toto, who has only 20% of the vision of an ordinary child, but is a genius on the accordion of Bando. Every morning, he gets up early to practice. He prefers the company of music rather than crowds.

Although he thinks his sister is always very fussed and he always quarrels with her, when his sister is taken away by someone, he tries everything to bring her back. On the way to find his sister, he will use his deep piano to open the way to the unknowable world. 

Unlike most narrative works that use VR as a spherical screen to present a story, Paper Birds effectively takes advantage of the three-dimensional spatial presentation of the VR medium in its storytelling and narrative approach. It perfectly demonstrates the possibility of parallel narratives in different scenes at the same time, and blends it with the perfect mix of screen angles and scene transitions, making it an eye-catching experience. While immersed in the story world, the physical interaction, exploration in the scenes, and gesture tracking to create special effects on the screen, all allow the audience to immerse themselves in the world of magic.

Paper Birds, a co-production of 3Dar, Baobab Studio and Oculus, shares many similarities with 3Dar’s previous film Gloomy Eyes – the story takes place in a dark world, the scenes are presented in 360 degrees of movement, and the audience needs to move their bodies in response to the scenes. The audience needs to move their bodies according to the scene. The surprise is that Paper Birds is neither a game nor a single narrative. This whimsical VR film forgoes joystick controls and instead uses hand interaction to render images that lead visitors into the unknown.

Duration: 30 minutes

Easiest way to watch: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1752810/PAPER_BIRDS/

 Allumette

“Allumette is a VR Film , which Evokes Character Presence in a Beautiful Virtual World” — Road to VR

Allumette is a VR film that tells the story of a young girl named Allumette who lives in a city in the clouds, which was loosely inspired by The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen. The film was directed by Eugene Chung and produced by Penrose Studios, which is a VR content studio that specializes in creating immersive and interactive experiences.

One of the unique aspects of Allumette is that the entire film takes place in a miniature city that the viewer can explore. The film was created using a combination of traditional animation techniques and VR technology, which gives the film a unique look and feel. The film also features a beautiful score by composer Austin Wintory.

Allumette was released in 2016 and received widespread critical acclaim. The film won the Best VR Experience award at the 2016 Venice Film Festival and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Interactive Program.

Duration: 20 minutes

Easiest way to watch:https://store.steampowered.com/app/460850/Allumette/

 Invasion!

“The sense that you have fur lingers, even after the experience.”  (Viewer acts as a bunny in VR)  — NY Times

Invasion! is a VR film that tells the story of a group of aliens who invade Earth with the intention of taking over the planet. The film was directed by Eric Darnell and produced by Baobab Studios, which is a VR content studio that specializes in creating immersive and interactive experiences.

One of the unique aspects of Invasion! is that the viewer plays a role in the story. As the aliens invade Earth, the viewer is transported to the alien’s spaceship and becomes a character in the story. The film also features the voice talents of Ethan Hawke and Elizabeth Banks.

Invasion! was released in 2016 and received widespread critical acclaim. The film won the Best VR Experience award at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Interactive Program.

Duration: 6 minutes

Easiest way to watchhttps://store.steampowered.com/app/503630/INVASION/

 The Rose and I

“For you, I will do anything. Touch the stars in the sky no matter how high they might be… “

The Rose and I is a VR film that tells the story of a boy who befriends a magical rose, which was inspired by Chapter VII of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince and focuses on the excitement of a first meeting between a boy and a rose. The rose is said to represent the turbulent love affair between Saint-Exupéry and his Spanish wife.. The film was directed by Eugene Chung and produced by Penrose Studios, which is a VR content studio that specializes in creating immersive and interactive experiences.

One of the unique aspects of The Rose and I is that the viewer can interact with the environment and characters in the story. For example, viewers can water the rose and watch it grow, or they can play catch with the boy. The film also features a beautiful score by composer Scot Stafford.

The Rose and I was released in 2016 and received widespread critical acclaim. The film won the Best VR Experience award at the 2016 Unity Vision Summit and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Interactive Program.

Duration: 5 minutes

Easiest way to watchhttps://store.steampowered.com/app/396060/The_Rose_and_I/

The Passengers

“The course of each story is affected according to what they say, where they look, and what they do with their hands.”

The Passengers is inspired by a real-life experience close to Quebec filmmaker Ziad Touma. Several years ago, two of his colleagues were on a train to Geneva, chatting with the passengers around them, and learned something from them. This experience became the initial idea for The Passengers – the time on the train may be one of the few times that busy modern people have to face themselves.

The viewer can choose to bring in one of the four main characters at the beginning of the experience (a woman who is considering preparing for pregnancy, a man who cannot bravely pursue love, an elderly man who gets Alzheimer’s disease, a child with divorced parents) and experience pieces of the character’s life during the journey, truly tell their deep desires and thoughts. The story you see is different depending on the role chosen. The experience also incorporates eye-tracking of the participants, and as the audience looks at different places, the memories being shown will be different.

Duration: 10 minutes 

Easiest way to watchhttps://store.steampowered.com/app/2258060/The_Passengers/

The Great C by Kite & Lightning

Clare, a young woman with fiancé, must decide whether to accept the rules of her harsh society or fight against the oppressive powers that created it.

The Great C is a VR film that tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world where a powerful machine known as the Great C rules over humanity. The film was directed by Kite & Lightning co-founder John Likens and produced by the studio.

One of the unique aspects of The Great C is that the viewer can interact with the environment and characters in the story. For example, viewers can explore the ruins of the world and interact with the characters they encounter. The film also features a beautiful score by composer Jeremy Turner.

The Great C was released in 2018 and received widespread critical acclaim. The film won the Best VR Experience award at the 2018 Raindance Film Festival and was nominated for several other awards.

Duration: +30 minutes

Easiest way to watch: https://store.steampowered.com/app/841460/The_Great_C/

The Invisible Hours by Tequila Works

“Players will need to make careful decisions about where to be, and when, in order to unravel the mystery.”

The Invisible Hours is a VR film that tells the story of a murder mystery set in a Victorian mansion. The film was directed by Raul Rubio Munarriz and produced by Tequila Works, which is a video game development studio that specializes in creating immersive and interactive experiences.

One of the unique aspects of The Invisible Hours is that the viewer can explore the mansion and follow different characters as they try to solve the murder mystery. The film also features a non-linear narrative, which means that the viewer can watch the story unfold in different ways depending on which characters they choose to follow.

The Invisible Hours was released in 2017. The film was nominated for several awards, including Best VR Experience at the 2018 Raindance Film Festival and Best Interactive Storytelling at the 2018 SXSW Gaming Awards.

Duration: 20 minutes for main story + extras

Easiest way to watch: https://store.steampowered.com/app/582560/The_Invisible_Hours/

 Dear Angelica

Dear Angelica, You were such an incredible actress. But the movies you made. They were never just stories.

Dear Angelica is a VR film that tells the story of a young woman named Jessica who is writing a letter to her mother, Angelica, who passed away. The film was directed by Saschka Unseld and produced by Oculus Story Studio, which was a division of Oculus VR dedicated to creating VR films and experiences.

One of the unique aspects of Dear Angelica is that the entire film is hand-painted in VR. The artists used a tool called Quill to create the film’s visuals, which gives the film a dreamlike quality. The film also features the voice talents of Mae Whitman and Geena Davis.

Dear Angelica was released in 2017 and received widespread critical acclaim. The film won the Best VR Experience award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Interactive Program.

Duration: 13 minutes

 Gloomy Eyes(2019)

"In this eternal night, our love shines brighter than the stars."

Gloomy Eyes is an innovative virtual reality animation co-directed by French directors Jerome Combe and Chloé Rochereuil. Winner of the "Best VR Experience Award" at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival (2019) and the "Storytelling Jury Award" at SXSW (2019).

The story tells a forbidden love story between a surviving human girl and a zombie boy. They face not only their emotional entanglements with each other, but also the challenges and crises facing the world they live in. As the plot thickens, viewers will be transported into a fantasy world filled with romance, fantasy and deep emotions, experiencing touching dialogues and adventures between two very different life forms.

The production team utilized fully hand-crafted animation techniques, combining real-world, live-action elements with the infinite possibilities of virtual reality to create a breathtaking visual experience.

Duration: 30 minutes

Easiest way to watch: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1111620/Gloomy_Eyes/

Best movies about Virtual Reality

The Matrix (1999)
A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers. The film explores a simulated reality and has become a cultural icon in discussions about VR.

Ready Player One (2018)
In a dystopian future, people escape their harsh realities by entering the OASIS, a virtual reality world. The story follows a young man who competes in a treasure hunt within the OASIS to gain control of the virtual universe.

Tron (1982)
A computer programmer is transported into the digital world of a mainframe computer where he has to fight against a malevolent software. The film was groundbreaking in its visual effects and conceptualization of a virtual world.

Tron: Legacy (2010)
The sequel to "Tron," this film follows the son of the original protagonist as he gets pulled into the same digital world where he discovers his father has been trapped for years.
The Thirteenth Floor (1999)
A computer scientist running a virtual reality simulation discovers a murder, leading him to unravel deeper and unsettling truths about the nature of reality.

eXistenZ (1999)
This psychological thriller explores the line between reality and game. A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged.

Avatar (2009)
Though not entirely about VR, the film involves the use of avatars in a simulated environment. Humans use advanced technology to control avatars on the alien world of Pandora, blending elements of virtual reality and physical reality.

Virtuosity (1995)
A former cop is tasked with hunting down an escaped virtual reality serial killer, SID 6.7, who has been created by combining the personalities of multiple killers.

The Lawnmower Man (1992)
A scientist uses virtual reality technology to enhance the intelligence of a simple gardener, leading to unforeseen and dangerous consequences.

Summer Wars (2009)
This Japanese animated film revolves around a virtual world called OZ, where a high school student must stop an AI program from wreaking havoc both in the virtual and real worlds.

More VR movie platforms

Check out Google Spotlight for VR movies as well as Deo. Both include many VR movies for you to choose from.

 

How are VR movies made?

It’s also worth mentioning that VR movie production is still a relatively new field, and both hobbyists and professional creators are still working to solve some of the challenges that come with it. However, the unique opportunities it provides for storytelling make it an exciting area to watch in the coming years.

As for specific VR filmmaker studios, we already have Oculus Story Studio, Penrose Studios, Baobab Studios, Within, Felix & Paul Studios, Kite & Lightning, which are all likely to continue producing high-quality VR films and experiences. Additionally, we may see new studios emerge and established studios expand their VR offerings as the medium becomes more popular and accessible.

While VR movie production is still a relatively new field, there are several tools and techniques that creators can use to bring their stories to life in VR.

One of the most important things to consider when making a VR movie is the unique nature of the medium. Unlike traditional movies, VR movies allow the viewer to interact with the environment and characters in the story. This can range from looking around to even interacting with the environment and changing the story’s outcome. It blurs into being a game. This means that creators need to think carefully about how they want the viewer to experience the story and what kind of interactions they want to allow.

Another important consideration is the technology used to create the VR movie. There are several tools available that can help creators bring their stories to life in VR, including:

Unity

Unity is a popular game engine that can be used to create VR experiences. It offers a wide range of tools and features that can help creators build immersive and interactive worlds.

Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine is another popular game engine that can be used to create VR experiences. It offers advanced graphics and physics capabilities that can help creators create realistic and engaging environments.

Quill

Quill is a VR painting and animation tool that was used to create the visuals for Dear Angelica by Oculus Story Studio. It allows artists to create hand-painted VR scenes and characters, which can give the film a unique and dreamlike quality.

Maya

Maya is a 3D modeling and animation tool that can be used to create assets for VR movies. It offers a wide range of features and plugins that can help creators bring their ideas to life.

In addition to these tools, creators also need to consider the hardware requirements for their VR movies. VR movies typically require a high-end VR headset and a powerful computer to run smoothly. Creators also need to consider how they want to distribute their VR movies and what platforms they want to target.

Overall, making a VR movie requires a unique set of skills and tools. However, the unique opportunities it provides for storytelling make it an exciting area to explore. If you’re interested in making a VR movie, I would recommend starting by experimenting with some of the tools and techniques mentioned above and seeing where your creativity takes you.

Features of great VR Movies

Based on the current state of VR movie production, it’s difficult to say exactly what people care about when it comes to VR movies. However, given the unique opportunities that VR provides for immersive storytelling, it’s likely that people are interested in experiencing stories in a more immersive and interactive way than traditional movies can offer. Some of the key factors that may be important to people when it comes to VR movies include:

Immersion

VR movies have the potential to transport viewers to entirely new worlds and allow them to experience stories in a more immersive way than traditional movies. This can be a major draw for people who are looking for a more engaging and interactive movie-watching experience.

Interactivity

VR movies can also offer a level of interactivity that traditional movies can’t match. For example, viewers may be able to make choices that affect the outcome of the story, or they may be able to explore the environment in a more interactive way.

Storytelling 

While the technology behind VR movies is certainly impressive, ultimately it’s the quality of the storytelling that will determine whether a VR movie is successful or not. As such, people are likely to be drawn to VR movies that offer compelling and emotionally resonant stories.

Summary

Given the rapid pace of technological advancement and the growing interest in VR storytelling, it’s likely that we’ll see continued growth and innovation in the coming years.

As for the best VR headset to watch these movies and experiences, it depends on your personal preferences and budget. It’s important to do your research and find the one that’s right for you. Here, please allow me to introduce to you our Pimax Crystal, which has the highest pixel amount of any consumer VR headset, packed with tons of features to enhance image quality. It has QLED and Mini-Led panels for life-like graphics and local dimming for vibrant colors. It also has real glass lenses which are interchangeable for a bigger FOV. It does PCVR and standalone mode. Maybe we will share with you in detail about the best VR headsets to watch VR movies in the coming blog one day.

In short, it is good for enjoying VR movies. Thanks for your time. Bye-bye, see you next blog!

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