An unsuspecting white trailer peers behind a chain link fence with a sign ominously warning “Beware of dog”. Having the expectation that I would be encountering something strange, this setting seemed eerily familiar. This trailer park looked like any other. Brightly colored lawn chairs placed haphazardly in front of a dirt stained trailer shell. Headlights from a pickup truck reflected vibrant green blades of Astroturf. Pink flamingos, broken television set, and other discarded items strewn aimlessly across the lawn framing this modest home.  Suddenly, a clearly frazzled and disoriented girl appears in a red plaid shirt. “They are coming! We need to find the key and get out of here,” she shrieks. Her sincerity penetrates your initial defensive mechanisms of denial and confusion and it becomes apparent that you too are in danger. If you don’t act quickly, you will become more intimately acquainted with these Strangers than you intended.

The Strangers Experience is a roughly 10 minute immersive horror pop-up experience designed to give you an introduction to the upcoming film, THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT, arriving in theaters March 9, 2018. Unlike a traditional haunted house, this experience features a narrative component, well-designed blocking and action sequences, escape room elements and individualized attention paid to participants who enter in groups of 4-5. This is not an extreme experience although well-timed jump scares add to sense of urgency and adrenaline rush. Given that this experience is a pop-up, the set design especially stands out as an impressive element that helps immerse participants in the narrative. Guests are asked to be active participants in solving puzzles, looking for items, and following directives. Bending down and being in tight spaces are also requested of participants in this experience. Although this event has horror elements, it also incorporates a lighthearted feel that leaves participants with a smile on their face as they escape the trailer through a surprise exit.

By experiencing Strangers, participants should be able to get a sense of what to expect from the movie without any spoilers. You will encounter your favorite characters, Dollface, Pin-Up Girl and the Man in the Mask. Although the characters do not speak, you get a sense of their personalities through their mannerisms and uniquely threatening encounters. The pick-up truck from the movie is also featured and integrates themes from the film that fans of THE STRANGERS can recognize and appreciate. The Strangers pop-up can leave participants with the wish that the experience was longer which appears to be an intentional decision to promote the film.  Escape room enthusiasts may also lament running out of time to solve a puzzle in the experience which also may have been a purposeful decision made by the curator. If you are a fan of horror, immersive theater, or the Strangers’ franchise, you will likely enjoy this well-designed immersive experience.

The Strangers Experience will be running from now until March 11, 2018. Tickets are free and can be acquired HERETHE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT arrives in theaters nationwide March 9th.

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From a young age, Danielle has been drawn to all things creepy, cute, and weird. In 2017, she fell in love with horror by way of immersive theater and never looked back. Her passion for consumption of Southern California’s spooky art forms has brought her to haunts, film screenings, escape rooms, immersive theater and pop-up events. With a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, she is specifically interested in exploring the psychological aspects of horror.
Immersive

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