Nothing spells "excitement" quite like watching a tornado launch sharks at tough-talking action heroes with chainsaws — except perhaps watching it with mood lighting. Syfy's upcoming so-bad-it's-good sequel, Sharknado 2: The Second One, will sync up with Philips smart light bulbs to light a room for every ominous storm and frenzied chainsaw battle.
To experience the "light track," as Syfy calls it, you'll need an iOS device with the free Syfy Sync and Philips Hue apps, a cable or satellite subscription and some Philips Hue light bulbs. When Sharknado and Sharknado 2 play back-to-back on the Syfy Channel on Jul. 30 at 7 PM, the apps and the bulbs will work in conjunction to set the mood with varying light levels and colors.
The apps function via audio cues from a user's television (meaning that if you want to watch the movie with headphones, you'll have to forego the pretty lightshow). In theory, this will keep the lights and the movies in sync, as users with different providers may experience a few seconds' delay on the broadcast.
Lighting up Sharknado 2 is a fun idea, but there's no reason why the technology should have to stop there. Other companies could take a cue from Syfy and develop their own light tracks for movies with either Philips or other smart bulb companies.
That said, cinéastes will have to evaluate whether this technology enhances their viewing experience (especially since a starter set of Philips Hue bulbs runs about $200). Movie theaters don't use colored lighting, and technology that seems fun in Sharknado 2 could easily seem tacky when watching The Godfather or even lighter fare like Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Keep an eye on Internet forums this Wednesday and Thursday to see how fans react to the lightshow. That could be an early indication of whether we'll see more of them.