Wednesday, October 11, 2017

REVIEW: Knott's Scary Farm 2017

Honestly, I had no intention of writing about Knott's Scary Farm this year. It will forever hold a special place in my heart, as the oldest and best of the southern California theme park haunts, but I also think lots of other websites, blogs, and publications offer much more in-depth coverage than I do. Plus, I thought it was just going to be another standard year at the Haunt, that I wouldn't have much to say beyond a cursory, "That was cool."

Dude. I was wrong. Because Knott's wasn't just cool this year. It was SUPER FUCKING COOL.

I had so much fun that it totally reified my love for Knott's, haunts, and even Halloween itself. If I had to point to just one reason why this happened, I could do it in two words: Dark Ride.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

REVIEW: Creep LA 2017

Our evening begins on a nondescript loading dock outside of a building in a part of downtown Los Angeles that feels miles away from the trendy bars and restaurants that have started to spring up in the area. This section of town is all concrete and asphalt and sickly yellow-green streetlights. We are herded into groups of 8 and given black bandannas to cover our mouths shortly before we enter a sparsely decorated room illuminated only by candlelight, where we wait. And wait.

And then...she enters.

I'm uncomfortable and nervous and titillated and disoriented. This can only be Creep.

Photo by Hatbox Photography

Creep LA - perhaps the most exciting new haunt I experienced during last year's haunt season - has done it again with their new iteration, a partnership with the popular podcast/Amazon Prime series Lore.  In a world full of jump scares and gore, Creep brings the slow-burn, lingering terror. This experience is not about horrific set pieces and chainsaw chase-outs; rather, it's about catching something out of the corner of your eye, connecting with an actor who is inhabiting a character so fully that you're not even sure if they're acting anymore, losing yourself in the story and surrendering completely to the darkness.

Photo by Hatbox Photography

In fact, Creep isn't really a haunt or a maze at all - it's fully immersive, interactive theater, closer in spirit to New York's Sleep No More than it is to Knott's Scary Farm or Halloween Horror Nights. You become part of the action, moving from room to room, meeting new characters, and yes, even being touched by them from time to time. (Rest assured you won't be harmed or antagonized.)

Photo by Hatbox Photography 

The fairy tales, myths and legends of Lore are a natural fit for Creep, which always prioritizes storytelling above cheap scares. While I think it's best to head in knowing as little as possible about what to expect, I'll gladly tantalize you with a few keywords: Forest. Coffin. Asylum. Seance. Lobotomy. Doll. Wolf. (And as with most of life's best experiences, the whole thing wraps up with cocktails.)

Intrigued? Don't sleep, creeps: Creep LA: Lore runs through November 12, and many dates are already sold out. Grab your tickets now before they fade into the fog.

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


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