Saturday, December 24, 2011

A True "Nightmare (Before Christmas)" Comes to Life on the Lower East Side

The creators of the critically acclaimed "Nightmare" themed haunted houses (as described in WGINY's Halloween suggestions post) are at it again. Not even two months past the thrills and chills of Halloween, the creative team behind Nightmare brought back, and significantly expanded, a popular nightmarish attraction for a limited time--"The Experiment," originally developed in conjunction with Nightmare's 2011 "Fairy Tales" haunted house, is a 50-minute off-Broadway show where every audience member is a potential, no, a probable, subject.

The show at "Los Kabayitos Laboratorio" ran from December 9-23. Although WGINY did not get to experience "The Experiment" until the night before it closed, I still felt it deserved some recognition here, and by way of this review, I hope that the creators are encouraged to develop more attractions like this, and/or re-open this show for a longer engagement.

According to the creators, "[s]tudies have shown that the anxiety of the holiday season, coupled with seasonal depression, heightens the neurotransmitters associated with feelings of fear," and "The Experiment" exploits "those levels of fear for an adrenaline rushing 50 minutes of twisted holiday pleasure."

This "Nightmare (Before Christmas)" was no kids' show. Rather, the very limits of participants' fears were tested and re-tested in a small, poorly lit lab, controlled by two rather mad scientists. Those who did not do as these stern scientists said, found themselves relegated to a special corner reserved for cowards (and anyone with food or animal allergies was advised to tell the experimenters at the beginning of the show...). Every moment kept the audience on the edge of their seats, or cuddled up in their friends' seats, afraid of what might happen next. If you've ever seen TV's "Fear Factor," then you may have some idea of what audience members experienced during "The Experiment." What do you fear? Pain? The dark? Humiliation? Large flying cockroaches that enjoy burrowing into their prey? Ten tests conducted by the scientists explored these fears and more, using participants from the audience as test subjects.

I definitely left this show with the heebie-jeebies, and a paranoid feeling all the way home that someone, or something, was watching me. Even as I type this, my mind reverts back to the fear I experienced at this show just two nights ago, of the terrifying and revolting things I saw (and didn't see...) that made me cower and cringe.

Glancing at the time now, it looks as though this will post just in time to actually be up the night before Christmas... so, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. Mwuahahahaha....

1 comment:

  1. I couldnt believe the humiliation experiment. that was fun. what happened the night you went?