Halloween is less than 24 hours away and if you are looking for something a little different to do and happen to be in LA, you might want to check out Blumhouse’s, The Purge: Fear the Night. Running through the weekend, this interactive horror experience is not your traditional haunted house. I got to experience it first hand and I can tell you that it is definitely worth the price of admission. Hit the jump to check out my review of The Purge: Fear the Night.
Halloween is my favorite time of the year. I always hit up every scary movie, haunted house, backyard maze, pumpkin patch, and hayride that I can find. With big attractions like Knott’s Scary Farms and Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, you can get some pretty amazing and intricate haunted mazes. Starting last year, Blumhouse Productions decided to do something different and opened up their own haunted house. This year they did it again and modeled their interactive horror experience off the movie The Purge. Which, if you aren’t familiar with, is about a future USA where for 12 hours every year all crime is legal. Opening weekend was rough for Fear the Night, with lots of negative reviews popping up online, but Blumhouse made good and reimbursed everyone and invited them back after reworking the experience. I was able to check out the 2.0 version.
If you are planning on checking it out for yourself then skip to the last paragraph as I will be posting some spoilers…
Upon entering the old building just blocks from the Staples center, you go through a security checkpoint where you are shown a newscast along with the rules and are given a level 10 badge that will protect you from any harm during this year’s “Purge”. Now let me say, I love taking my wife to these kinds of things, because after going to haunted houses for the past 20 years, I just don’t get scared anymore. She, on the other hand, is terrified. So I get to live vicariously through her. You can imagine my sadistic delight when the very first thing they do is separate you from your group send you in by yourself! You feel your way through a short maze, in pitch black, until breaking through into a theatre where a politician is giving a speech. You are seated and rejoined with your group until you are invited backstage to meet the news anchor from the broadcast you saw at the security checkpoint. From this stage on is where the interactive experience begins.
During your meet and greet with the news broadcaster, a group of “Constitutionalists” break in, kill the news team, and take your group hostage. From here on out, you are taken from set piece to set piece doing everything they say. You really are treated like a hostage. You’re yelled at, lined up against walls, forced to your knees, ordered to complete tasks—you even deliver a baby. The goal of the Constitutionalists is to stop The Purge from happening. The set pieces are really well done, considering everything takes place within one building. They have simulated trucks you ride in, hospitals, apartment buildings, and a really well done outdoor garden. At each room your group in instructed to complete some sort of task before you can move on. People in your group may receive items or leadership roles needed for your survival. There were a couple people from our group who were taken at one point or another and replaced with someone from a different group. We did not meet up again until the very end. Eventually, government friendly agents save you from the Constitutionalists in a pretty cool shootout involving snipers with laser dots streaming through the fog. In the final room a member of your group sacrifices themselves with the aid of a neat trick. Making it look like they have exploded from being electrocuted, but sure enough they are safe and sound and given a prize for their troubles.
Overall, The Purge: Fear the Night was unlike any of the other haunted houses I have ever been to. It substitutes cheap, quick scares for an all encompassing experience. While it wasn’t always scary or coherent, it was a ton of fun and took about 45 minutes to get through. If you are looking for the biggest scare of your life or can’t really suspend your disbelief, you might want to take a pass on this one. However, if you don’t nitpick or act too cool for it, you will have a blast and it will be well worth the price of admission. So if you are around the LA area from now until this Sunday, go and check out The Purge: Fear the Night!