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“THE BASEMENT: A LIVE ESCAPE ROOM EXPERIENCE” (Haunt Review)

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An inverted take on the haunt experience, escape rooms have been around since as early as 2006. However, in the last 12 to 18 months, escape rooms have become increasingly prevalent in pop culture, especially in the Los Angeles region. For those unfamiliar, these types of self-inflicted hellholes allow the patron(s) to have a chance at escaping their doom through secret clues hidden around the enclosure in question. The experience can be frightening yet strangely exciting, and THE BASEMENT is no exception!

Fangorias audacious West Coast sector, pictured below, decided to pay a visit to THE BASEMENT to see what heinousness they had to offer. Before commencing, it was made known that we were entering the lair of “Edward,” a disturbed serial killer of the cannibalistic variety, and that we had a limited amount of time to find our way out of there before we were to be gassed and turned into meals on Edward’s dinner plate. There was a waiver signed, and safety details provided, including the specifics of a large panic button in case of an emergency.

Some helpful hints were offered, one of which being to not over-think the clues. Great! This was going to be easy, right?! WrongEach participant had a hood placed over their head and in complete darkness, was lead into their awaiting destinyWe found ourselves in a dark, bleak room with the decorative touches of an accomplished serial killer, complete with blood-stained sheets and dismembered body parts on reckless exhibition

(from left to right) Jared Rivet (writer), Dave Parker (director, THE HILLS RUN RED), Ama Lea (FANGO Photographer), Mike Mendez (director, BIG ASS SPIDER), Alyse Wax (writer), FANGO's Camilla Jackson, FANGO's Rebekah McKendry, Elric Kane (KILLER POV co-host), Axelle Carolyn (director, SOULMATE), Brian Collins (writer, Badass Digest), and Buz Wallick (cinematographer, NEVER SLEEP AGAIN).

(from left to right) Jared Rivet (writer), Dave Parker (director, THE HILLS RUN RED), Ama Lea (FANGO Photographer), Mike Mendez (director, BIG ASS SPIDER), Alyse Wax (writer), FANGO’s Camilla Jackson, FANGO’s Rebekah McKendry, Elric Kane (KILLER POV co-host), Axelle Carolyn (director, SOULMATE), Brian Collins (writer, Badass Digest), and Buz Wallick (cinematographer, NEVER SLEEP AGAIN).

Our sinister host, Edward, had been ‘”kind” enough to leave us a few well-hidden clues including jigsaw puzzles, secret trap doors and hidden keys. . Whether or not his bravado paid off, I will not say, but that incident was just one of the gag reflex-inducing atrocities that were to be endured over the evening.

With a total of 45 minutes to solve the puzzles and find our way out, suspense hung thick in the air with a warning going off every ten or so minutes to alert us of our diminishing time. At one point, we were surprised to have one of Edwards deranged captives turn up, who seemingly was on edge about Edwards impending arrival. Ominous to say the least.

This is not an easy escape room to erm… escape. Clues, codes and carefully hidden keys did not come easily for the Fango crew, and with THE BASEMENT possessing a 12% success rate for first timers, we were not too hard on ourselves for not going home with an “I Survived The Basement” T-shirt. Plans are currently underway for Fangoria to make their triumphant return!

Bookings can be made for groups of up to 12 people and it is an excellent opportunity for team building and camaraderieFor tickets and prices, or those wanting to take a shot at escaping the evil clutches of the ‘Lectorous’ Edward.

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About the author
Camilla Jackson
Camilla is an actress, writer, film-maker, musician, and horror junkie. She is new to FANGORIA and has a healthy knowledge of all things horror, particularly 70's - 90's films where she interviews writers, directors and actors for Australian cinephile group CINEMANIACS. In her spare time, Camilla writes screenplays, walks dogs, and scours the internet for bargains. She also had a small part in the remake of Australian telekinetic chiller, PATRICK. Currently she is training at The Groundlings and moonlights playing ethereal guitar in a cape.
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