Entertainment, Hands-On

4DX Now in GSC IOI City Mall – Is It Worth Trying?

Golden Screen Cinemas just launched a 4DX hall in GSC IOI City Mall, making it the third cinema to feature the “cinematic experience.” The first two cinemas to get the 4DX treatment are GSC Paradigm Mall JB and GSC 1 Utama – the latter had it installed back in December 2018.

So what is 4DX? GSC invited us to a screening of Wonder Park in 4DX to see what the experience is all about, and we have to say: it’s definitely an interesting experience.

4DX is developed by South Korean company CJ 4DPLEX, and GSC is collaborating with the company to bring the experience to Malaysian moviegoers. Basically, 4DX aims to make the cinema experience more immersive by using 21 special effects.

What kind of special effects? It ranges from “motion-synchronised” seats, weather effects (rain, snow, lightning, wind, etc), and get this: scent. These effects are achieved through the use of lighting, fans, motorised seats, and actual sprinkles of water.

Because the seats will move (and trust me, it can move quite erratically), you are not allowed to bring in hot drinks into the cinema hall. Actually, I’d advise against bringing any form of liquid if you plan to watch a movie in 4DX: the chance of your drink spilling from the seat movements is quite high. Same goes for popcorn, of course.

But if you really want to bring drinks and popcorn into the 4DX hall, it’s definitely allowed. Only hot drinks are outright banned.

So how is it like watching a movie in 4DX? Almost like being on a theme park ride – almost. As mentioned, the seats can move very erratically, and it syncs with what’s going on in the movie. In fact, there was actually a roller coaster scene at one point, and I was hoping I could put on a seat belt. Okay, I may be exaggerating a little bit, but the seat can definitely throw you around quite a bit.

As for the weather effects, it’s quite an elaborate setup too, especially the wind effect. The fans situated at the top of the 4DX hall is capable of producing very strong winds, and it can get pretty chilly. I definitely regret not bringing a jacket into the hall.

The water sprays also add another layer of immersion to the 4DX hall. Don’t worry, it’s a very light spray; you definitely won’t be soaked by it. If you’re wondering where the water spray comes from, it’s from the back of the seat directly in front of you. Don’t like having water sprayed at you? Thankfully enough, it’s possible to switch the feature off.

Overall, I find the 4DX experience quite fascinating, but there is one thing I don’t quite like. Occasionally, the headrest area of your seat will blow a gush of air to the back of your head, which…can get quite annoying. Depending on where you are resting your head, the wind may be blown directly into your ear. Needless to say, this is not a pleasant experience.

Also, even though 4DX supposedly offers scents for further immersion, I didn’t notice any particular smell while I was watching Wonder Park. Granted, it may not be implemented in this particular movie.

Naturally, 4DX movies are more costly than your standard cinema hall. On average, you can expect to pay about double the price of a regular movie ticket for the 4DX experience. Personally, I think it’s a fair amount to charge – the motorised seats, among other things, need more maintenance than your standard cinema hall.

To learn more about 4DX, you can do so over here. If you’d like to experience it for yourself, there are a few new movies that will be offered in 4DX. These include Dumbo, Shazam, and of course, Avengers: Endgame. It’s definitely worth trying out, but just be mindful of your drinks and popcorn when the seat starts throwing you about.