Something different this time. We are teaming up with Scareflix & Thrill in hopes of bringing an amazing immersive horror experience to the UK – and to pave the way for more of these productions. Please, give this a read, and sign the petition over here. The pitch:
Drug trials. Government overwatch. Covered in blood. Dystopian societies. Satanic cults. MK Ultra. Police brutality. Mind control. Unidentified liquids. Project Montauk. Signing away your soul. Hallucinations. Conspiracy theories. Otherworldly rituals.
Do those phrases entice your interest? Do they tickle that very particular spot, sensitive to mystery, suspense and dread? Do you crave total immersion into a world that’s close enough to the border between fantasy and reality to make you doubt it isn’t all very, very real? Let me introduce you to Fringe Immersive, a collective of self-proclaimed movie nerds and theatre geeks based in New York, producing cinematic, immersive experiences, often geared towards the horror crowd.
In 2013, they produced the first piece of their Dead of Night trilogy, where audiences were thrown head first in a dystopian police state. In the midst of air raid sirens, everyone was assured this was all happening for their protection, but evidently, the truth was a lot darker. The second and third parts of Dead of Night each followed a radically different story line, with 2014’s Initiation being bathed in cult mythos and secret societies, and 2015’s MK Ultra being all about government-licensed drug testing, sci-fi horror and mind control. Radically different story lines, but all connected through the intense interaction of the show with its participants. Small groups of people entered, were separated, were subjected to weird, personal, gross and bizarre moments, and ultimately left completely baffled.
Very little information about these shows can be found. Tickets were limited. Just a small number of dates. The first Dead of Night show was rebooted recently as Dystopia, featuring Russ McKamey, effectively being banned from happening in NY, and eventually going through in New Jersey. Later this year, in November, the entire trilogy is being rebooted as well, as Dread The Night – such a shame it’s a transatlantic flight away for us Europeans.
But, does it have to be? A few months back, a partnership was announced between Fringe Immersive and AtmosFEAR entertainment – each producing a show in collaboration with each other and Russ McKamey: the aforementioned Dystopia in the US, and Snuffhouse: After Dark in the UK. Apart from this collaboration, the minds behind Cracked Survival Experience recently announced they were working along with Heretic, an infamous horror collective based in LA, for their next incarnation of Cracked. The Heretic crew will actually be flying over to produce their part of the event, set to take place in April 2017. Evidently, there is enough interest in immersive scare entertainment in the UK. The door is open for an exchange of ideas, a migration of US horror ideas into an expanding UK scare market.
Based on all that – and the existing partnership between Fringe Immersive and AtmosFEAR, we can only state the obvious. We want, we crave, we deserve a faithful reproduction of the Dead of Night trilogy in the UK, true to the ideas of Fringe Immersive. A scene per scene remake of the three different events, conserving the original creative vision, but for a completely new audience.
We, the writers of Scareflix&Thrill and Europehaunts, we love to be immersed in a story, to be pushed to our limits, and to be scared out of our wits. We truly believe not only that a UK reboot of Dead of Night will be fantastic, but also that it will be capable of filling a gap in the UK scare scene. As of yet, plenty of scare parks offer a great number of boo haunts. On the other side, a couple of extreme attractions will use physical and psychological tactics to push participants to their limits. However, there is a lot of room for experiences that are heavily reliant on story, scene setting and theatrics, while still making the experience immersive and personal by only letting small groups go through, and by using a high level of personal interaction and contact between actors and participants.
If you believe in immersive theatre, if you want to be baffled, if you want to leave an experience like this reeling with enthusiasm and adrenalin, if you want to repeat scenes in your head for days or weeks after, if you maybe just enjoy our silly writings and want another page or two to read – hell, if you just want us to be able to experience something we immensely enjoy because you’re simply a very nice person – please sign this petition, as a sign to Fringe Immersive, AtmosFEAR, or anyone who might be interested in starting or continuing an immersive experience of their own, that the interest and enthusiasm is right here. We hope this can be a new step, paving the way for many more immersive theatrical experiences to follow.
More info about Fringe Immersive: A retrospect after the first two Dead of Night shows, a review of MK ULTRA, and their official Facebook page.
James Collins – Scareflix&Thrill
Mathias Verduyckt – EuropeHaunts