The first room is small and reminiscent of any ordinary art gallery or museum: white walls providing a neutral background for the abstractly violent paintings and sculptures on display. A plaque with Cesar A. Cruz’s quote “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable” greets us. For those who have experienced the immersive theater of Creep LA before—and for those who have not—the quote is both promising and ominous.
Enter the HAUS OF CREEP.
JFI Productions newest show, HAUS OF CREEP, lives up to its name and legacy. HAUS OF CREEP takes us into the dark and twisted world of modern art…and makes us part of the show. The opening room is just a warm-up…but barely. The real show, once you get inside, gets progressively darker and more bizarre before spiraling into utter, demented chaos.
Last season with their show Awake, Creep La brought us into a dreamworld. This year, in HAUS OF CREEP, we’re thrust into the delightfully seedy and playfully perverted underbelly of the art world. At times, it feels like we’ve slipped into an alternate dimension. The artists we meet are gregarious and warm…until they’re not. During one particularly disturbing sequence, an artist encouraged me to join her in verbally abusing her protogée (another actor, don’t worry). She then led my friend and me into a tiny dressing room, handed us pens and slips of paper, and told us to write down the worst thing we had ever done.
In another sequence, we were herded into a set where a prototypical Sad-Mad-Crazy Clown was throwing a birthday party, complete with party hats and balloons. Later on, we were led blindfolded into a room, lightly caressed by a performer and then watched the performer being tormented by a vicious and predatory marionette.
HAUS OF CREEP doesn’t shy away from going there. The show swings wildly from funny to chilling and from dreamy to hellish. It’s not a haunt—Creep LA explicitly states that it is not intended to be a haunted house. No one is popping out at unsuspecting audience members with a roaring chainsaw. Rather, it’s a fully immersive experience that relies on its audience’s participation and suspension of disbelief.
If you’re looking for an experience unlike any you’ve had before, this is where you need to go. Even though its run is during Halloween Season, HAUS OF CREEP is not bound to the holiday. It’s not really bound at all. It’s unhinged in the best way. It’s art.
It comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable.
For more information, or to purchase tickets to HAUS OF CREEP click here.