Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review: Haunted Play Presents "DELUSION"

It seems like every year, just as I'm starting to feel like I might be (gasp) a little burnt out on haunted houses, a new (or at least new-to-me) attraction comes along that restores my faith in Halloween and, you know, humanity as a whole. Quick recap of this phenomenon: 2008, Universal Halloween Horror Nights - I hadn't been in years and I was absolutely floored by how rad it was. 2009, L.A. Haunted Hayride's inaugural year - a totally unique experience for me, as it was my very first haunted hayride. 2010, Reign of Terror in Thousand Oaks - I couldn't believe the attention to detail and length of the maze. And what takes the creepy cake this year? A haunted house/theater hybrid known as Haunted Play presents "DELUSION."

Much has been made about one very specific aspect of Delusion's online FAQ:
  • Q: Will they touch me?
  • A: All haunted houses say their actors won’t touch you. That is NOT the case here.

This is basically the haunted house equivalent of the old Psycho trick of killing off the star of a horror movie well before the end of the film - it creates anticipation and makes the audience feel like all bets are off, and absolutely anything could happen. Well, rest assured that you probably will be touched if you attend Delusion, but it probably won't be as traumatic or violent as what you're imagining! (But really...who knows? Mwahaha.)

Yet my favorite aspect of this play/attraction isn't wondering whether or not the actors would touch me - it was being able to walk through such a fabulously creepy crumbling old mansion. Yes, the above photo is actually where Delusion takes place - an eerie, rundown, Haunted Mansion-esque estate. And the interior is even more deliciously spooky, with the kind of attention to detail that really makes a haunt.

Since Delusion was created by a Hollywood stuntman, you're probably expecting some cool stunts, right? Again, you won't be disappointed. The actors in this haunted play execute stunts more sophisticated than anything I've seen in a haunted house. When one of the "patients" (check out the website for the full Delusion backstory) laughs maniacally and then suddenly flies up out of view, it's like witnessing something out of The Exorcist in real life. Likewise when another character is dragged down the hall kicking and screaming by an unseen force. You expect these kinds of effects in movies, but not at a haunted house.

Another quality that sets Delusion apart is the fact that it forces you to become an active participant in the story. You will be asked to perform certain tasks, and your life (and the lives of your dozen or so companions) may hang in the balance. Oh, and wear comfortable shoes - you may be running from room to room in order to evade the ghouls!

Halloween is just two days away, but if you're looking for some last minute scares, I recommend trying to fit this one in. And if you miss out this year, go ahead and mark your calendar for October 2012 - I guarantee Haunted Play is going to be one to watch for many Halloweens to come.

Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary passes to review this event.

1 comment:

trickortreat said...

OMG! I sooo want to go! But can they please do it in January? October is a busy month for those of us only pretending our houses look like that one.


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