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Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween 2011: Haunted Play Presents Delusion

I almost got stabbed in the face with a knife, best Halloween ever! The man behind my attempted murder Jon Braver has made an amazing contribution to the Haunted House genre in LA. The man you see sulking in the shadows above has a lot to answer for!

Haunted Play Presents Delusion

Haunted Play Venue
2218 S. Harvard Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018
Oct 21-23 then picks up again on the 26- 31st

After a day of rigging explosions and other stunts for the next Batman movie coming out you'd think Jon Braver would want to kick back and play video games like he usually does, but no! He has to create one of the best Halloween experiences to hit LA in years.

Even though Jon said he was more inspired by the classic horror films The Shining and Alien, which are more about suspense than blood and gut moments, you can't shake the connection if you've played a video game in the horror genre when you enter. There's even a bit of of prologue just like a video game start. I'm not saying it's just a gamer event at all. It's also like starring in your own horror movie!

Entering it with free hot cocoa, yum, and a tarot card reader to a side, just builds up the experience as you make your way to the front the door that opens on it's own. You"ll of course notice the green light and fog of the mansion from the street. Making the house look so out of place on the street.

You enter a mansion of things gone wrong. You see your transported back to 1910 and are asked to visit the mansion of Dr. Lowell's assistant Charles. Dr. Lowell has been performing experiments on his patients, experiments that have evolved them and given them powers. This will reminded me you of Bioshock if you ever played it. They can create things out of their own mind or change reality. They have psychic and telekinetic powers that you see manifested.

(Warning spoilers ahead, skip to after spoilers below)
As I entered I was greeted by a worrisome Charles, Dr Lowell's assistant, with my group and was immediately scared and rushed to safety to escape the murderous patients. Through the kitchen we trekked and were warned by Charles, "Don't ever go into the basement". After two incidents with some stellar special effects we had to sit down for dinner. Dinner with a very mad woman who was hungry for more than what was already on the table. Sitting at the table was it's own spooky affair.
I'll just say, watch what you eat, the good that will do. "Ahhh!" I heard from someone at our dining table. I was in luck as a woman in are group was so frightened from the scares she received she went catatonic, her boyfriend had to help her into the next room we were rushed into. Charles pleading with her to hurry. She was too afraid to move.

Now to get the key.

You see Charles had a mental block and couldn't get the keys in possession of the man who might be dead lounging in the parlor. Playing cards strewn out on the floor. One of us had to get the keys. Who else, but me. Any gamer, any 80's movie goer, it just has to be you. Let's say the results and suspense are well worth it.

Another rush after getting the key and were upstairs. Sadly, um... Charles gets pulled away from us. I mean he really gets pulled away. We're now with Dr. Lowell's wife. She isn't happy what he's been up to, the patients aren't happy with her, they like what Dr. Lowell's been up to, giving them powers, evolving them.

We go through more rooms each with a new horror that talks directly to us. Dirty secrets about messed up children are let out as are some very naughty kids. "Ahhh" I screamed as something shocking came over me.

Now we had to escape, we had no other place to go other than the basement. Warned not to enter by Charles, we trenched down the stair case. Before us in a stunning lighting effect was Dr. Lowell himself.

We just enter the boss fight.

 Spouting utter nonsense about his sick ideals Dr. Lowell approached all of us up close. The mad scientist who made this hellish house, well Jon really made it.  A final confrontation between him in his wife. What is the conclusion?

(End of spoilers)

The stunts you see, just from the start, are better than any other you'll find in LA at any scare or haunt event. They're real stunts. I mean as soon as you step in, you'll go, did that really just happen? My eyes might have come out of my head from all the sights I saw.
Construction and production values are proffesional level, it's not just some fan made expereince, well it is, but Jon is a proffesional stunt rigger. So think movie level stunts happening before you.

So, how did this Haunted house come out about? Jon had a location scout as a friend show him the house and as soon as he saw it, he knew he had to do something. It almost came to fruition last year, this house has been two years in the making and it shows. This was the same house used in House of 1,000 Corpses, you horror nerds.

He's been doing haunted houses since 1996 in Chicago. He doesn't want to stop with Delusion, just one diversion from his company Haunted Play. This might be the only chance to check out this experience at this residence. Jon wants to do something new, maybe tour the country doing more haunted houses. "Not to be the same", he said. Sure, he could do it every year and slightly change the layout, but it would just be the same.

Thanks to Lora Ivanova who set up TTDILA attending the event and was taking tickets of patrons. Another part of how great the event was the helpful staff like Lora. The stuntman and actors also get an A+.

Little touches like porta-potties and hot cocoa show a sense of knowing what the customer needs. BTW if your friends go in ,give it about 15 minutes, head to the porta potties to give them an extra scare when they get out, if they get out. Just pop out and scare them.

So head out for a night, that also beats the crowding and long lines of any theme park. You've never experienced a haunted house like this.
Reviews on Yelp put it in a good light, even though it may be green and spooky.