Courtesy JFI Productions

The haunted house is a staple within the realm of horror. It is the setting we all revert back to when we think of a scary story. The house with secrets. The house that carries with it a dark energy. We mustn’t go inside a haunted house, oh no…Because what we might find may spell our end. It is to the haunted house that JFI Productions returns to in their latest iteration of CREEP LA. Taking place at The Ghost Light located at The Three Clubs, Hollywood, CA, the team once again pulls us deep into their world. Over the course of what amounts to three acts, attendees will peel back the layers on this creepy haunted house story, and find themselves immersed in the world in a way that only JFI can deliver.

It’s been approximately two weeks since I’ve seen the show and it hasn’t left my mind. Providing no real hints outside of what has been posted on social media pages, all attendees learn prior to arriving at The Ghost Light is that they were drawn here and that we’ll be joining someone in the dark. Two statements that, while vague, carry with it a depth of ominousness. Would it really be a CREEP production, though, if we did not have a sense of the ominous? That feeling never quite leaves attendees throughout the course of this immersive show.

As a general warning, there will be some mild spoilers to provide context to things that I explain. If you are seeking to avoid those prior to attending the show, mayhaps you don’t read further? If you are fine with proceeding, let’s get into it.

CREEP‘s story, at least from what I broke down, seems to take part over the course of three acts. Attendees enter a bar filled with a range of eccentric characters, with each group of attendees occupying a seated section of the bar. This particular section of the show also helps ease in attendees. For those who are seeking to immerse and interact with characters, there is ample opportunity to do so. For those who just want to take a step back and watch what is going on, that is an option as well. The best of both worlds. We get snippets of the story relayed via dialogue, spoken word performance, news reports, and more. The different techniques used to convey this info allows even the most casual person to take something in before we transition into the Black Box portion of the show.

Courtesy JFI Productions

As attendees enter into the Black Box space, it’s difficult not to have your breath taken away. The production design and what JFI Productions has managed to do in the space they have been given is nothing short of amazing. For Act 2, attendees will get the chance to walk through the town that was previously mentioned in the bar in those expositional snippets. Don’t be like me, though, and get completely sucked in by the work because you will stray. Straying is bad in a production like this that needs to move at a specific pace. The actors in this particular section go all in, leaning into that “creep” factor that helps make the hair stand on end. They also provide little breadcrumbs of detail to help attendees in their quest to stitch together the story. Eventually, though, all roads lead to that haunted house.

The haunted house, the house that feeds and stokes the fires of negativity in a person’s soul, seems deceptive. This is by design. Once attendees step through those doors, however, it’s a race against time to try to make our way out. And, let me tell you, the execution of this particular section is adrenalin-inducing. For this reviewer, the high-speed feel at times reminded me of Delusion, with how action-oriented at times it could be. One downside, though rather insignificant, was that I wish we got more time in certain rooms to take in all the detail. The devil is in the details…

The critiques that I had have probably been resolved since opening, but I will include them here. Because of how time-sensitive the rotation is between each group in that opening bar sequence, there were bits during opening night that dragged. While I was in there with my group, whether by design or not, the actors started repeating themselves. This seemed a bit of a flaw that didn’t make sense with the whole story I realized once done with the show. However, I dismissed it as an opening night thing and something that could be smoothed out throughout the run once the team got that onboarding process with the groups finessed. Another note more for the attendees is that there are subtle drops that you can easily miss if you aren’t paying attention. From one clumsy person to you, dear reader, please heed your steps.

Overall, JFI continues to impress, even with COVID protocols and more. What the team has managed to do with the space they’ve been given is astounding. To poke fun at the story of how one never leaves the haunted house in this CREEP show, who would want to? Between the on-point performances delivered with unnerving aplomb from the actors to the intricately detailed set designs, it’s hard not to want to leave. Of the shows available out there this season, CREEP is definitely the one that should be the highest priority this season.

Tickets for CREEP LA are $95 per person (2 ticket minimum) and for ADULTS ONLY 21+. They are currently listed as sold out, but you never know if they may add more tickets. For more information, please visit: www.CreepLA.com.

Sarah Musnicky
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Experiences, Immersive

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