REVIEW: CREEP LA
October 6, 2016
Our review of this years Creep LA:
I have been to CreepLA. Both years. I am honestly baffled at the hype surrounding this one.
While in line I recalled to my group how strange last years maze was. Not in the sense of it being uncomfortable, suspenseful or horrific but due to us being paired with another group who was blacked-out drunk. They were obviously intoxicated from the beginning as they began falling over props, interrupting the actors, and not listening. It was extremely disruptive and disrespectful to us and the talent. We were puzzled why Creep didn’t choose to kick them out.
So you could imagine my surprise once we signed our paperwork and entered the haunt that we were dumped out the initial hallway into A BAR. Yet there was nothing remarkable about this room besides some half-baked attempts at creating a spooky atmosphere in the form of low lighting, people wearing masks and a solitary ghoul dancing alone while touching herself. The only suspense I had was that we would end up again in a group of drunk people interrupting the whole experience.
We began to look around out of boredom. Tucked away in a corner stood sculptures by the LA buzz artist Sarah Sitkin (from her last show at Superchief Gallery). As we began discussing it one of the Creep LA actors interrupted us to state that the sculptures were “created” by an artist named Erebus Burwyck. Thats right, Erebus, the personification of darkness from Greek mythology. This fictional character, who’s bio was described on a plaque above a couch, was “influenced” by Aleister Crowley and transcendental meditation which led him to find “the darkness” within his art (I’m honestly surprised they didn’t throw in Marjorie Cameron for more MOCA/cult cred). (Cont. below...)
After waiting in the bar for a majority of the plays run time, the maze sadly continued on as a vague adventure lacking narrative and with inconsequential references to hip modern art. The plot involving Erebus is forgotten quickly as the story sloppily moves along. The scares themselves were mediocre at best. The arty dance sequences, references to sex, and half-naked people jumping on cages (SIA/ Ryan Heffington style) throughout the maze left us feeling confused and disappointed. It ends with a mediocre dark maze (which one of us got to the exit in under one minute) that leaves you in an empty parking lot with no real conclusion. So if the thought of contemporary art or its patrons scare you, then maybe this maze is for you.
We really wanted to love this one. We tried. While it is admirable that they pay their talent well and are donating the bar's proceeds to Art Of Elysium, the reality of making a haunt this ambitious is that it requires an enormous amount of resources and finances. There is no doubt that we all recognize the labor that was put into this event. However the threshold to meet is high, as dozens of amazing haunts exist int he LA area. The amazing interactive plays (“Delusion”) and original dark mazes (Haunted Hayride, Urban Death, + “Rob Zombies "Great American Nightmare" (2013) are pretty tough for anyone to compete with.
We understand that these things are not easy to get right. There's a certain feeling- a roller coaster of emotions- that need to exist in order for mazes to be executed well. Within Creep LA you feel more theater and art in its experience than fear, fun, or suspense. Perhaps this is a case of growing too fast for their own good as it is very obvious that they have more resources at their disposal than most haunts. If the talent and money could be channeled into something more powerful then they could quickly become one of the best haunts in LA. But for now, as our large group of haunt fans left, we sat in that empty parking lot, unfulfilled, realizing that we all just spent $40 to mostly hang out in a bar.
What did you think?
October 05, 2016