Last year’s The Purge was a breakout hit. Audiences enjoyed the tense atmosphere of a family under siege, and the violence that exploded when the situation came to a head. This year’s sequel, The Purge: Anarchy takes the story to the streets as a group of citizens tries to survive the annual “Purge”, 12 hours when all crime is legal and all public services have been suspended. Universal and Blumhouse are doing something very cool to promote the movie by taking The Purge: Breakout Experience across the country. It’s an interactive horror experience that’s a lot more fun than your average haunted house, and is definitely something you should do when it’s in your city.
This weekend only, The Purge: Breakout is in Atlanta, and I got to run through it this afternoon. Hit the jump to read about my fate, check out the trailer, and click here to learn more about The Purge: Breakout.
What makes The Purge: Breakout different than your average haunted house is that it’s an “Escape the Room” puzzle. The set-up is that it’s thirty minutes before The Purge begins, you and your team have been kidnapped by a maniac, and so you only have thirty minutes to escape before he kills you*. You and your team must scour his “home” (the experience is set up in giant trailers) to find items and clues that will help you escape before time runs out.
Two fellow movie journalists and I went into the experience, and the maximum number of people allowed is six. Additionally, we were in sort of a “preview night” where not all of the items were in ideal working conditions, so, for example, if we tried to enter a code, the device was very finicky about accepting it even though the code was correct. Additionally, we were allowed to use the flashlights on our cell phones, and no cell phone use is allowed for the general public. That’s going to be problematic since it’s pretty dark, although you should still be able to manage it if you keep your eyes sharp (don’t be the guy in the horror movie whose glasses are stepped on and he must therefore perish).
Aside from the technical glitches, the experience is fair, and does a good job of guiding you through so you don’t get completely stuck. However, the onus is still on you to find the clues, solve the puzzles, and work as a team. That last one is important because while it sounds like more people means faster problem-solving, you’re in cramped quarters and surrounded by creepy shit. If you don’t stay organized, you’re going to lose. Additionally, the experience has little tricks up its sleeve to keep you on edge…
I’m proud to say my team did fairly well, and almost made it to the end, and perhaps if not for those technical glitches, me and my fellow participants may have survived, although our course was probably easier than what the public will get to experience. They don’t want you to succeed, but you can survive! But win or lose, it’s a damn fun time, and there’s a memento waiting for you at the end.
Protip: When you order your ticket, enter “PURGE10″ to take $10 off.
Here’s the trailer:
The Purge: Anarchy opens July 18th.
*We were told that the reasoning is that kidnapping is a lesser charge, so he’s willing to risk it just so he can slaughter you. He may be insane, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to work the legal system.