Just when we thought we’ve managed to scare ourselves silly with insane mazes at Knott’s Scary Farm or Halloween Horror Night, Gizzy B and I puffed up our chests and marched on over to Blumhouse’s The Purge: Fear the Night. Last year, Blumhouse had their first Halloween event which we sadly missed. This year, Gizzy B and I were determined to find out what this ‘immersive theatrical horror experience’ is all about. Armed with our friend, the Daywalker, we braved downtown Los Angeles to find something else to fear besides the parking prices around the Staples Center.
Getting to the venue was exciting — it took place at the Variety Arts Theatre, an unassuming building from the 1920s on Figeuroa. It was the perfect space for what we witnessed that night.
Trying to write about what we saw and felt that night would be kind of a disservice to the whole experience. I know there are horror aficionados out there who might scoff at my singing praise for this event but I can only go by my own personal experience.
It is hard to describe the feeling you get when men are yelling at you and ordering you to face the wall on your knee. The hostage situation was fake but the slight fear I felt when shit went down was definitely real! All the running and ‘avoiding danger’ made you remember what it meant to fear the dark . . . and to fear dangerous people (human beings, not the supernatural) with weapons (fake ones but in the moment, those are still scary!).
No, I didn’t watch the Purge movie so I can’t make any comparisons but I thought the way they set up the “plot” of the event was done quite well. You got the gist quickly and I have never been a part of an immersive theatre — it was rad! The actors were great, fun and were dedicated to the whole experience for the participating audience. Our group (of about 10 or so people) consisted of hipsters who were ‘too cool to be scared’ who once or twice tried to engage the actors out of the story. The actors were cool and stayed within their characters, which I appreciated since the rest of us non-hipsters were trying to get the full experience.
I loved that we had to go into small groups. Although, I am not sure I am a fan of the very beginning when they make you go through a short maze on your own. Walking down a pitch black hallway on my own with the expectancy of someone might come after me really screwed with my mental facilities. I was ready to knock down the walls and make a run for it.
After the first two scenes of plot set-up, I had to put my camera away. There was too much running and directions we had to follow.
We were put on a mission which was a lot of fun (still scary though, by the way) and gross some times (be ready to possibly get wet by really nasty looking water). We got to scream our way through the building. Not the hipsters though — hipsters, obviously, do not scream. Haha. Despite their too-cool-attitude, those guys were kind of funny too and I am sure our reactions amused them all night. Sadly, I did not survive the Purge. I won’t tell you how I “died” in case it’s a spoiler for people who are hoping to go before the event ends this week but I did get this cool mask in the end.
I recommend this event to anyone who loves to be scared. There is something cathartic about going through The Purge Live. All my frustrations and stress? It disappeared somewhere in between my shrieking and laughing hysterically while I hoped no one would actually try and stab me with a knife. I think I was just glad to be alive in the end.
The production for this event was really good and I am not sure I can just go back to regular ol’ mazes for my yearly Halloween fright. I think this has become my version of adrenaline-extreme-sport-junkie-activity!
Check out www.purgethelive.com!