An interactive art experience featuring some classic scary movies.
Have you dreamed of being a guest at the Overlook Hotel? Dying to give Georgie a balloon? Meet waiting room characters of Beetlejuice? Hang with The Lost Boys? Ultra Productions is here to serve up nightmares to please even the darkest souls.
The I Like Scary Movies (#ILSM) Experience has enjoyed residence in Los Angeles since late spring. My ghoul squad and I have been racking our brains and pouring over our schedules to find a weekend where we were all available to attend. We finally found a day. The last day of the exhibition. Phew. We made it just in time! And it was definitely worth it.
Part art exhibition, part interactive experience. ILSM takes you on a photo-op journey through five classic scary movies.
The experience took place at The Desmond on Wilshire Blvd. Our group climbed the staircase to the lobby where our tickets were scanned and a quick speech was given about the do’s and don’ts of interacting with the art. We entered through a red door into our first film. The Shining. A giant REDRUM sculpture greets us as we enter and we’re told to check out both the elevator room and shower room. Along with the redrum window and a “Here’s Johnny!” broken wood door before proceeding on. This experience is one-way. Once you move on to the next room, there is no going back.
The third Shining room was dedicated to the infamous room No. 237. Trippy orange and red geometric pattered carpet lined the floor and walls. You can take a photo with the tricycle or the twins and peer through hotel doors. Behind one slashed door is the iconic furry bear-man. Get close enough to peek inside and the door jumps and vibrates in your face!
We were headed to Derry to meet IT.
The staff showed us through a hidden door in the carpeted wall to travel to the next room. We were headed to Derry to meet IT. But first we had to walk through one of those carnival tunnels. You know, those dizzying contraptions where the tube spins around while you walk on a platform through the middle. Your brain knows you’re not moving, but it feels like your going to fall over and spin forever.
In the center of the large room is pile of toys and missing children posters topped with “I Heart Derry” balloons and floating kids. You can climb inside the towering sculpture and stick your hand into scary toothy mouths. You could climb into a coffin surrounded by clowns. Take a balloon from Pennywise while wearing a yellow raincoat. I skipped the raincoat. Given it was really hot inside the exhibit and this was the last day. I doubt that raincoat had ever been cleaned. Ewww. I did partake in the Penny for your Fears wall. You write your fear on a slip of red paper in exchange for a limited edition Pennywise Penny.
One, two Freddy’s coming for you.
Next up was Nightmare on Elm Street. Aww Freddy the original nightmare. As much as I was scared of him as a kid, I now feel a certain affection for him. His punchy (often cheesy) one-liners and obsession with misbehaving teens. He and Jason are the original 80s cult slashers. I will always love them. I was a little disappointed in these set-ups in comparison to the two previous exhibits. A large skull filled throne with Freddy glove prop, a mannequin taking a selfie in front of a hedge hand. Meh… The best by far, was the over sized Freddy glove with movable razor fingers. Also the hopscotch board on the hallway floor between rooms was a nice detail.
We were told by one of the staff that this was the most crowded they had seen the exhibit since it opened. I expected crowds, especially on the last day. The lines moved quickly enough. Until now. We entered another hot stuffy hallway and came to an immediate standstill. We were headed to the Beetlejuice waiting room. Aptly named considering the wait time we endured. Honestly if it wasn’t so hot, it wouldn’t have been too bad. Plus no drinks, not even water bottles were allowed inside so we were all parched and getting cranky.
Meet the creator, Maximillian of Ultra Productions.
Once again, the staff was friendly and tried their best to be accommodating. They offered people waiting in the back of the line to move forward to the rest of the rooms, then get back in line for this particular set-up. As we were almost smack dab in the middle we decided to wait it out. While waiting we met the creator, Maximillian and his wife. He was nice enough to take a photo with us and listen to our suggestions for their future horror pop-ups. The Thing would be amazing. So many creative options for interactivity. Also Friday the 13th or even Freddy v. Jason. It would be really cool if you and your friend could face off as them in the gruesome duel.
Now serving 9,998,383,750,000
Eventually our line moved up. Passed a gloriously placed air conditioner and we were shown into the first Beetlejuice room. I can see why the wait for this room was so popular. You could dive into the other side (a foam pit) and slide down beside Adam and Barbara. Both scenes just begging to be boomeranged.
Then take a picture as the shrunken head man, or as shark bait. Get frisky with the lady sawed-in-half. So many great photo ops in this room alone. The other Beetlejuice room had Dante’s Inferno and Beetlejuice’s grave. If you walked too quickly from one room to the next, you might miss the art installation of the smoking man. Too fragile to interact with, it was set just inside a roped off doorway but the attention to detail was fantastic.
Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die.
The final set of rooms was for The Lost Boys. Consisting of David’s lair on one end and the train tracks on the other. I love the colors. The lair is vibrant red, black and green. Whereas the train tracks are faded blue and pale purple. Complete with constructed fog. Hanging from the tracks may have been my favorite photo op.
The final room had an over-sized take-out container of worms, I mean noodles, that you could crawl inside. Man did we need hand sanitizer after this! The other end of the room was a gift shop. I wish they would have kept all the Lost Boys set-ups together. And the gift shop in a separate final room. It really messed with the flow and the lighting was way too bright compared to the other Lost Boys room.
You exit out the gift shop through a creepy stairwell that spits you out onto a random Los Angeles side street. It was a weird ending but appropriate. As if you just left this other worldly experience and are thrust back into the humdrum of your own reality. Leaving you wondering, was it real or all just a beautiful nightmare.
As a scary movie fan, this experience is a must. It has now left Los Angeles and traveling to other cities. Check out their website for upcoming dates and locations. http://www.ilikescarymoviesexperience.com/