Confession: An Immersive Horror Experience is not something I’d usually be interested in seeing. When the words ‘horror’ and ‘scare-fest’ are used to describe something I run the other way. ‘Chicken’ is the best descriptor for a viewer like me. Give me gore any day but I get nervous when I think about being scared. Entering the theater, it’s evident they’ve taken ‘immersive’ to a new level.
The foyer looks like an abandoned entrance with leaves blown in and the performance itself isn’t on a stage. It’s a circular room with the audience seated around the edge. Curtains and other props cover the walls and hang from the roof, setting the stage for this post-apocalyptic story. Here’s a friendly hint, take a warm coat. Maybe even some gloves and a blanket. This experience is full bodied. The ‘weather’, smells and touches all echo the setting.
The anticipation builds as you wait for the show to begin. It’s eery. The music is unsettling, a tinkling melody that sets you on edge. It feels like an eternity, shivering and looking about this room, before Daimon [Ryan S McNally] bursts through the door in a panic. McNally wowed in this role. His fear was real. His ‘Nemesis’ was real. The audience experienced this world through his eyes. My favourite part of this show was the recordings Daimon watched on his camera. It added an emphasis on reality, picturing his family together before the outbreak. It allowed this feeling of ‘what if this really happened’ to settle in my gut.
Mara [Kate Lloyd] was an interesting addition. At first glance she’s just another survivor but throughout the show more details get unearthed. Lloyd portrayed a strong character with a high pitch scream (I’m not exaggerating, it was actually impressive) which was a great contrast against the frazzled Daimon and his cunning Nemesis [Zack Inglis]. I’m not going to explain Inglis’ character, I’ll let that unravel itself in your mind during the show.
The entire show I was wary of things (bugs, zombies, anything…) jumping out and grabbing me. I kept my legs coiled tight and raised from the floor. Just in case. The infected played their role exceptionally well. I jumped every time they banged on the door or scratched on the glass. They were a little too good in their roles. Their makeup and costumes were captivating. The use of coloured contacts add an extra shock factor.
Hanna [Devetta Ridgwell] was exceptionally well played. Ridgwell was onstage for most of the show and never broke the intensity of her character. Her confliction and anger resonated with the audience. Once the show finished we made our way to the exit, stepping over the remains of the ‘infected’. I tried to keep my distance, waiting for one last scare.
Confession was an experience. I would like to say pleasurable but it was still full of frights. I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys a good scare and even for those who think it might be too scary. I survived, and thoroughly enjoyed, the show and so will you.
Confession is showing at Hamilton Hill Memorial Hall for a limited season. This is an MA 15+ event. Tickets and more information available at www.darkpsychicproductions.com . Photography by Jarrad Sharman of JS photography and Imaging.
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