IT’S not every day a cinema trip comes with safety guidelines, but that’s all part of the 4DX experience.

I’ve never been to see a film in 4DX and honestly wasn’t even aware this was an option at Cineworld on Renfrew Street, so I took the chance when I was asked if I wanted to review the experience of seeing Wonka in this format.

On entering the screen, I was struck by the high bright red seats with footrests and realised this was probably going to be a more immersive experience than I had anticipated – and warnings telling viewers not to wear delicate clothing as it could be damaged and a ban on hot drinks confirmed that.

Cineworld describes 4DX as an “exhilarating way to watch a film” and it features effects like water, wind, scent, strobe lighting and moving seats.

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Glasgow Times:

I noticed a button on my arm next to the words ‘water on, water off’ and I tentatively switched it to ‘on’ thinking if I’m going to review this experience I need the full effect – though spotting some nozzles which appeared to be pointed directly at my face from the seat in front shortly after had me considering switching it back to off.

From director Paul King, musical fantasy Wonka is a prequel to the 1971 classic Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring Timothée Chalamet in the title role.

The film opens with Wonka arriving in an unnamed city by boat, and within the first minute I experienced the moving seats, wind and water effects (and yes, those nozzles were directed right at me), with the seats moving in rhythm with both the waves and Chalamet’s choreography.  

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

And when Wonka gets hit with a mop on the legs, those of us in the audience even had what felt like feather duster swiping our ankles.

There’s guidance before the film starts that 4DX is not suitable for people who suffer from motion sickness and it’s clear to see why as the chairs move for much of the film in response to what’s happening on the screen.

But for those of us who don’t, I actually found it quite relaxing and if you’re someone who falls asleep in the cinema, this might be a solution to the problem – but if the movement is enough to keep you awake, the water in the face will be.

The chairs also come with footrests which I found made these seats much more comfortable than those in standard screens.

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Glasgow Times:

Of course, the film centres around Wonka’s chocolate creations and his dreams to open a shop at the Galeries Gourmet and the screening wouldn't be complete without a special limited edition chocolate scent which has been created for 4DX.

I didn’t pick up on a chocolate scent in the screening, though there were some florally scents sprayed into the room throughout.

Wonka is a fantastic family-friendly adventure and if you’ve ever wanted to try out 4DX I think this is the perfect screening to get a taste for it – who wouldn’t want to be transported to a world filled with ‘hover chocs’ that help you fly?

Glasgow Times:

The visual effects are stunning and the various songs throughout are catchy, with Chalamet giving a rendition of Pure Imagination towards the end.

The 4DX experience is not suitable for all cinemagoers*, but for those who are able to attend a screening and want to get fully immersed in another world I think it’s worth the extra cash, especially if it’s a film you’ve been eager to see.

Though I think I’d probably avoid picking up some popcorn in case that ended up all over myself or the person sitting next to me.

A ticket to see Wonka in 4DX at Cineworld on Renfrew Street costs £12.69 for adults, children, students and seniors.**

*4DX presentations are not suitable for:

  • Those with high blood pressure, heart conditions, back or neck conditions, epilepsy or any type of serious medical condition
  • Elderly, disables, blind persons and pregnant women
  • Persons who are prone to motion sickness or persons who are physically or mentally sensitive
  • Intoxicated persons
  • Children under the age of four
  • Persons under 3ft 4in tall or people weighing over 265 lbs

**prices are correct at the time of writing according to the Cineworld app