This fall, the Variety Arts Theater in Downtown Los Angeles will be host to The Purge: Fear The Night, a first-of-its-kind attraction for the Halloween season. For those of savvy readers who follow the haunt business religiously, you’ll undoubtedly know that this location was used last year for the Blumhouse Of Horrors, which was Blumhouse Productions first attempt into the haunted attraction business.
This year Blumhouse, Hollywood’s premier boutique horror movie studio, decided to completely change their approach to a scary attraction and re-invent the wheel entirely. Fear The Night will completely revolve around their 2013 summer thriller, “The Purge.” In the movie, America has decided to turn a blind eye to illegal activity for a twelve-hour period each year to curb over-crowding in jails, help the economy and even lower unemployment. During this time, all government services are suspended including police, fire and hospitals. It’s an edge-of-your-seat thriller set in the non-so-distant future that leaves audience members questioning their own moral compass.
To bring Fear The Night to life, Jason Blum, CEO and founder of Blumhouse Productions, turned to the creators of the Blackout Haunted House experience, Josh Randall and Kristjan Thorgeirsson. Jason had gone through Blackout several years ago (without calling “safety!”) and became an instant fan. When he wanted to take his haunted house to the next level and make it a truly intimate experience, these guys naturally jumped to the top of the list.
As Josh Randall assured me when we spoke the other day, Fear The Night is not an extension of the Blackout brand. There will be no bag over the head or sucking on tampons. To further the point, he didn’t really know what to classify this new experience as either. It’s not really a haunted house. There are no monsters hiding in coffins waiting to pop out and scare you and no gore. Sorry haunt fans.
Fear The Night takes place within the world of “The Purge,” but is a completely original story. Instead of focusing on how one family survives the night, this new adventure examines the government’s side of the story.
Upon entering America’s New Founders Headquarters, guests are given a guided tour of the facilities during the first half of the night. Each room provides them a chance to get to know the new characters created for this show, in addition to getting a lay of the land and some much needed back story for what happens next.
The second half of the evening is when delegates/audience members get free reign over the New Founders Headquarters and… You guessed it. Chaos ensues. Everyone is given an ID and this card will give you access to certain rooms. Just like a real government, certain things are classified and not everyone has equal access.
It’s a truly personal experience, where you get to choose how and where you want to spend your time. Maybe a particular character piqued your interest during the tour and you want to follow their journey once the purge begins. Perhaps you want to pick a room filled with filing cabinets where you can pull out files to get some dirt on these new government officials. It’s even possible that you’ll be in a room that suddenly gets raided by a band of psycho killers looking for the Vice President! Everyone will walk away with something different.
Fear The Night is about a different type of terror, one that doesn’t necessarily make you jump out of your skin every 90 seconds from someone popping out at you from a corner. Josh, Kristjan and the creative team at Blumhouse are stretching the boundaries of the horror genre, a “haunt” attraction and immersive theater. As a self-proclaimed connoisseur of themed entertainment, this new concept is fresh, exciting and truly groundbreaking.
If you’re looking for something completely different to get your juices flowing this Halloween season, The Purge: Fear The Night will stand out from any other attraction in the world. This isn’t a 20 minute walk through, it’s a three hour event. Tickets should definitely be bought in advance at www.purgelive.com. I would love to hear anyone’s experience who goes through, as I am a huge fan of immersive theater. Feel free to leave comments below.