Know your limits, people. If you can’t stomach violence, steer clear of a Quentin Tarantino film. If horror’s not your thing, skip Eli Roth’s cannibal feature, The Green Inferno. And if towering heights induce vertigo, think long and hard before plunking down cash for a 3D IMAX ticket to Robert Zemeckis’ newest endeavor, The Walk.
If you weren’t aware, The Walk retells the remarkable (and true) story of wirewalker Philippe Petit, who strung a line between the existing towers of the World Trade Center in 1974 and walked across it… multiple times. Robert Zemeckis uses modern technology – 3D cameras and every square inch of the IMAX screen – to place viewers ON the wire with Petit. And as you might expect, audience members are having a hard time with it.
That Tweet was shared by Mark Harris following press screenings of The Walk prior to its debut at the New York Film Festival. His sentiments were shared by Denise Widman, board director of the Boston Jewish Film Festival, who told the NY Post:
The last 20 minutes of the film, I had to look away a couple of times because of the sensation of the height. I felt a little bit queasy. I felt nervous. It was a tingling sensation and some anxiety.
The entire point of Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk, if we’re being honest, is to experience the vertigo-inducing thrills of stepping out onto that wire with Philippe Petit, so that we can hope to understand how he felt while pulling off the impossible. And there were moments in my own screening when I felt like I was going to have to step out of the theater and regain my internal balance. For me, the one scene that affected me the most happens BEFORE the actual walk. Petit (Joseph Gordon Levitt) takes the steps to the top of one of the towers and analyzes the vista for the first time. He steps out onto a metallic beam, and we get our first look down.
Honestly, I feared my palms would never stop sweating.
Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk has opened exclusively in 3D IMAX. It will expand to more theaters in the coming weeks. Bring a vomit bag. You won’t regret it.