Review by MICHAEL FONTAINEJune 23, 2016 my haunt life original article
What I liked
The fact that they tried something new and it worked really well!
What I didn't like
The audio portion could have had a bigger impact
My overall impression
This was one of my top picks for this year’s Fringe. Knowing that the writer goes to the same haunts and other immersive experiences as I do made me really excited that some of those influences would be used..and they were. This is one of the better truly immersive experiences. You walk around Hollywood, but this is not a touristy walking tour.
You first meet with the doctors from Shine Labs and they tell you about how we were selected for a reason (they say they were watching us and all we do). Then we were told to use the headphones and a soundtrack that is given to you. This will help you read people’s thoughts.
On your adventure, you come into contact with various people and they tell separate parts of the story. Some people in our group were given clues, others given more background of a situation, etc. At the end of the journey, you do learn about a certain person. Each of the stops of this piece had a mini plot that worked into the overall story arc. These situations really blurred the line between real life and art and people’s emotions. The first scene in particular has had a lot of people speak up. For someone like me, knowing it is a performance, do I stand by and listen and watch or do I act how I would in real life? Both situations have happened.
There were a couple things that stuck out to me though. While we found “someone”, we never got a full explanation on where she went/how she became how she is currently. I’m glad we found her, but wondered what happened to her since the party. Another thing is the soundtrack was mostly mood music, which was great, but there was such an opportunity to take this with the next level. In one scene, we actually do hear the performer’s thoughts and it was SO powerful. If more of the interactions we had were like this, this would be a next level type of thing that would walk along with the best of the best. One last thing I wanted to mention, is the ending is somewhat confusing. We are told that the choice is ours, but when the ending happens, we have no choice. We tried, but it was made clear that we shouldn’t. Overall, this was a great, adventurous, fun, and impressive piece of immersive art. I’m really excited to see what this group comes up with next