Chapter 16: Text Message
When Su Min opened his eyes, he found himself sitting on a chair.
The headset the cinema had provided him was still on his head, so he took it off and set it aside. Then, he looked up to the big screen.
Projected on the screen were the end credits acknowledging the actors. To the left were the names of the characters he’d just experienced the horror movie with; to the right were the names of the actors behind those characters. Naturally, he did not know them.
For reasons he himself couldn’t understand, Su Min stayed until the very end reading the credits.
Every cannon fodder, no matter how small the role they played, had been credited. Even Zhou Runian, who had very few lines, was mentioned in the cast.
However, as if he’d just appeared out of thin air, Jing Xian’s name never arose.
The name Jing Xian personally gave him also never showed up.
Su Min was clueless as to why that was. This was his first time using holographic technology, so he didn’t understand its operation theory.
Not much was said online. It merely mentioned that each cannon fodder role could meet or interact with characters one have never seen before.
After a minute, the movie ended.
The lights in the cinema suddenly turned on. A staff member who had just came in saw Su Min sitting in a daze and thought that he was still terrified.
He stepped forward and inquired, “Mr. Su, are you alright?”
Before, they thought that he would request for help early on in the movie. After all, he was the first audience member nationwide to experience a horror movie. Who would’ve imagined that he’d come out after the finale.
Su Min shook his head and said, “I’m fine.”
The staff member relaxed, “Everything is okay. ‘University Thriller’ had already finished broadcasting. You can come out and rest in a moment.”
He took hold of the headset.
Standing up, Su Min followed him as he walked and asked, “For the role you guys arranged for me, did the content include Jing Xian?”
“Yes,” the staff answered. “In the script, Please, Jing Xian failed and your character died. We didn’t expect Mr. Su to be so strong and survive until the big ending. As the first audience member to experience a horror movie, you were very outstanding.”
In romance movies, not many people would necessarily live until the finale, much less in horror movies where people dropped like flies.
Su Min hesitated, but then asked, “I lived until the end. The movie I was in, will it be re-released?”
He was still concerned about this subject.
“It will take three days to know,” the staff replied.
“You guys will score it?” Su Min asked.
According to the information online, a movie involving audience participation could only be re-released when a certain score was reached.
The staff member said, “Yes. We still need to get a few well-known film critics to score your performance and contact the people behind the movie. If the criteria for re-screening is met, we will contact you and give you the corresponding new movie ticket.”
Su Min now just wanted a high score.
Outside, the movie hall was bustling with activity. People were talking about newly released movies, but very little mentioned “University Thriller”. Of the few who did, they only watched it the ordinary way.
Su Min stood in front of the poster.
Now he knew who those people were. At the front was Lin Xiao Yan, followed by her roommates, and behind them was Lin Yiri and another person. At the very back was Su Ya and Jiang Hui, looking the same as they did when they died.
The boy beside Lin Yiri, he recalled, was the same classmate that pursued Lin Xiao Yan. It was assumed that because of Su Min’s intervention, that boy turned into a cannon fodder.
Su Min didn’t feel anything.
He still remembered the last scene, where the three people survived by the skin of their teeth as they watched what had happened that year.
At first, he thought that “University Thriller” was a rotten film. Now, after experiencing it himself, he thought that aside from some bugs, it could be considered ‘not bad’.
It was a normal campus horror movie. The plot wasn’t chaotic, and the mystery behind it wasn’t unnecessarily complicated.
This director finally succeeded in making a film.
On the side, a schoolgirl carrying popcorn walked over with her best friend and said, “Actually, I really want to experience a horror movie with my boyfriend.”
Her best friend said, “If by any chance you encounter a ghost, your relationship could easily crumble. A horror movie can cause you two to break up, do you want that?”
The schoolgirl replied, “This kind of thing, you need to see it for yourself.”
After speaking, she felt her confidence wane, “Ai, never mind. Forget it, we’ll watch it the ordinary way.”
There were so many crises inside, it was easy for a dent to show in their relationship.
Her best friend shifted the topic, “Today, I heard that the cinema’s celebrating its first audience member who experienced a horror movie.”
The schoolgirl muttered, “Who knows if he survived.”
The two girls gradually walked away. Su Min, who was listening in from the corner, felt a little embarrassed.
The cinema actually celebrated. They must’ve held back his private information, or else he feared that his phone would’ve already blown up.
Right at this time, his phone rang.
His roommate, Li Wenxin, asked, “Su Min, did you come out alive?”
Su Min said, “I’m in the hall.”
The two roommates experienced the same romance film. They were still excited from playing in the same movie as their Gods and Goddesses.
If a person went to see a movie alone, even if the theater was full of people, they would still only experience the movie themselves.
However, the cinema had family mode, lover mode, and friend mode for the people who wanted to experience the movie with others. Like this, they didn’t have to have fun alone.
From behind, Li Wenxin patted Su Min on the shoulder, “Your complexion looks better than I thought. Was the horror movie not scary?”
Wasn’t it scarier to turn pale?
Su Min smiled, “It’s not bad, not terrible.”
To be more precise, the horror was not directed at him but at other people.
“Wa, isn’t there the possibility of a re-release?” Li Wenxin exclaimed in admiration, “When that time comes, I must go and see it.”
Re-released movies couldn’t be seen holographically. If others wanted to experience it, their only option was the original movie.
The release period of a movie was usually two to three weeks.
So, a movie was generally in theaters for only around that time period. If it was a hit in the box office, however, the cinema could prolong that period to a month.
Su Min said, “That depends on my score.”
Li Wenxin said, “But you’re our major’s top student. How can this kind of horror movie stump you? Come, let’s go eat hotpot.”
His other roommate, Wang Di, said, “Okay, hot pot it is.”
New Century Cinema was located in the most prosperous place. Surrounding it were countless of stores, including the hottest chain of hotpot restaurants.
When he went out, Su Min subconsciously raised his head.
Hanging on top of the cinema was a giant red banner. It read:【Warmly celebrating the first audience member in New Century Cinema to experience a horror movie!】
Before he left, the cinema staff chased after him and handed over a flower basket with some fruits inside.
Su Min’s face showed a hint of confusion.
Li Wenxin and Wang Di burst out into loud laughter.
Wang Di teased, “Your first time was dedicated to a horror movie.”
Li Wenxin echoed, “Come, let us warmly celebrate your success on surviving until the end of a horror movie!”
Su Min thought that fortunately, his name wasn’t on the banner.
Naeda Translations. Do not re-upload.
It was just 8 o’clock in the evening. There were a lot of people in the hotpot restaurant, but luckily, a table was open when they went in.
After ordering, Li Wenxin and Wang Di discussed the romance movie they’d just experienced, vexed on what they could’ve done to improve it.
Su Min didn’t interrupt, his mind thinking of other things.
He estimated that the first batch of audience members for “University Thriller” should’ve already came out, so he could look up the real plot online.
A quick search of the movie title on Weibo showed all kinds of movie reviews.
“It isn’t bad, not a rotten film. There were some scary scenes, including one of a ghost who hung herself. Swaying and swaying, it was quite frightening.”
“The heroine was very good-looking. The plot was a bit simple, but the logic made sense. Though, that teacher was really a spicy chicken1, ah.”
“The girl who hung herself was really miserable. Her confession was rejected, but she got violated. That teacher is a beast in human skin. Look at his high fail rate–he definitely threatened students.”
“This movie teaches us two things: don’t put power plug all over the place, and a fire extinguisher is a must have. You see, if they had a fire extinguisher, they wouldn’t have died.”
“The ones who died on the elevator had it worse; they were trapped inside alive and died like that everyday. The director is really cruel.”
Refreshing Weibo, Su Min got a thorough understanding of the whole story.
Similar to what he’d experienced, Jiang Hui was indeed secretly in love with the teacher. She had sent the birthday card in advance and wanted to confess while doing so.
As a result, Teacher Chen threatened her, and she was later violated. In the end, she chose to hang herself, and the news was found out by Su Ya.
At that time, it was the second day grades were out. In the two classes of students, there were dozens who had received a failing grade. They banded together and bought a cake, begging Teacher Chen to change their grade, or at least disclose the topic of the makeup exam.
Su Ya came for a confrontation but ended up falling down the building.
The students arrived just in time to witness everything. They lost their heads out of fear and, in their panic, accidentally knocked over the cake. The fallen candle lit the power plug on fire. From thereon, everything got out of control.
That was the context behind what Su Min had seen.
In fact, the plot was very simple. The director created a few events in the school, resulting in the name “University Thriller”. Some heard that at first, the name was originally “12:00 Thriller”.
Su Min put away his phone and began to eat the hotpot.
For three days after leaving the cinema, Su Min did not go see other movies.
Online, there was still a lot of speculation about the first viewer to experience a horror movie, but the common consensus was that he only survived for at most three minute. Some even said that he died before the opening titles.
Su Min was too lazy to refute them.
He searched for some movie reviews. In three days’ time, there were already thousands of people who posted reviews. Among them, there were even a few who tried the new holographic technology.
However, none of those people lived to the end. The most terrible thing was going in and out without really seeing anything.
Although they experienced it, they did not meet Jing Xian like him.
Because the cinema had not contacted him during these three days, he felt that a re-release was impossible.
Unexpectedly, when he was studying on the third night, Su Min received a text message.
It was sent by New Century Cinema.
“【New Century Cinema】Hello, Audience Member Su Min. Three days ago at 6:30 PM, you participated in the movie “University Thriller”. The score for your experience has reached the criteria for a re-release, and the release time has already been set. Please log into the official website for further details. We ask that you send us your address as soon as possible so we can send you the new movie ticket...”