Theaters release warning after 'Incredibles 2' scenes cause concerns Submitted: 06/19/2018
Story By Allie Herrera

Theaters release warning after 'Incredibles 2' scenes cause concerns
RHINELANDER - Fourteen years later and a family of superheroes are back on the big screen, but Incredibles 2 is also sparking some concerns. 

After the movie's box office opening, movie theaters like Rouman Cinema in Rhinelander got a letter from Disney. 

"There's some elements of the story with some of the characters, like the villain in particular, where they identify that there could be concern because of some of the strobing effects that are used," said Rouman Cinema owner George Rouman.

Those strobing effects caused some people to take to social media. Disney then contacted theaters encouraging them to let their customers know the strobe and flashing lights could cause some problems.

The message says, "It has come to our attention that some lighting effects in Incredibles 2 may affect photosensitive viewers. Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend that you provide at the box office and other appropriate places a notice to your customers containing the following: 'Incredibles 2 contains a sequence of flashing lights which may affect customers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy or other photosensitivities.'" 

Rouman put two copies of the notice at his box office. 

Dr. Matthew Johnson with the Eye Clinic of Wisconsin says it's a worthy warning, but people don't have to panic. 

"Folks who have history of migraine headaches or history of traumatic brain injury, a lot of them are more sensitive to certain visual stimulations," said Johnson. 

Johnson says photosensitivity can be related to the brightness of lights and flicker frequency. He says certain people could experience eye strain, headaches, or migraines. 

The American Epilepsy Society sent Newswatch 12 this statement about
Incredibles 2: "For people with photosensitive epilepsy, flashing lights or patterns can trigger a seizure. Photosensitivity occurs in approximately 0.3-3% of people with epilepsy. It is more common in patients with certain forms of epilepsy. Most people with epilepsy are not photosensitive. We can identify those at risk by using light stimulation during an electroencephalogram (EEG), which measures electrical activity in the brain. People with photosensitive epilepsy can reduce their risk by watching with the lights on or being further away from the stimulus. People who think they may be at risk should consult their clinician. 

How flashing lights or patterns can trigger seizures is not entirely clear, but some studies suggest it is linked to the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that transmits visual information to the rest of the brain. Certain patterns and flashing light may stimulate areas of the cortex that in turn trigger abnormal electrical activity in the neurons, or nerve cells, of the cortex."

George Rouman says this information is important to share with his customers. He adds the theater hasn't had any concerns. 

"Hopefully everyone can use their judgement about whether or not they feel that they would have to caution themselves by attending," said Rouman.

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