Darren Lynn Bousman brings a whole new level to horror with Theatre Macabre!

October in Los Angeles offers several ways for horror fans to celebrate. There are haunted houses, theme parks, escape rooms and pretty much everything else you can think of. Yet Darren Lynn Bousman has something splendidly twisted to offer with Theatre Macabre. More than just a walk through a scary maze with actors and props, this celebration of the depraved and the twisted gives those in attendance a chance to choose their own fate or adventure while transported back in time, lost in a perfectly eerie location - a secret one at that. 

This unforgettable experience is inspired by the famed and feared Grand Guignol - a Paris theatre that specialized in horror themed entertainment from its opening in 1897 until it closed in 1962. Branching out from his earlier immersive theatrical experiences, Bousman decided to take on this controversial theatre for his latest venture, and create a strange and impressively inventive trip. It is one where you can let yourself live like the main character in a frightful tale of intrigue, horror with perhaps a little bloodshed and sex thrown in for good measure. Why the Grand Guilgnol? Bousman offered this:

“My two partners in this venture, Gordon Bijelonic and Clint Sears and I were struggling after The Tension Experience… We wanted to create a new IP but weren’t sure how to tackle it… Our first one of these was about the CULT… The second about a SEX CLUB… so where the f*ck do you go after that?  

Well… What about the Grand Guignol?  Us theatre people are a crazy lot.. But the Grand Guignol was whole other level crazy… The acts of depravity they displayed were off the charts!  It seemed like the perfect entrance point.

What I think is cool about what the writers (Clint Sears and Bryan Bishop) were able to construct here is this is a show SET in a Grand Guignol like theatre, but it’s whats happened back stage, and behind the curtain that is actually more interesting!”

darren lynn bousman theatre macabre horror halloween immersive experienceLast night, I found myself lost in the world of the Theatre Macabre. The location - they ask in cryptic emails that you don’t share - is sent to you hours before you are scheduled to arrive. Once you do, it is much like going to a haunted and abandoned building. Without the fanfare, merch and food vendors, or a ticket booth, you just wait by the doors. The tickets are pricey, but after my own experience it is well worth it for this unique display of the absurd, the bizarre and the horrific. Plus, there is alcohol included in the ticket price. And once you RSVP, the strange journey already begins thanks to above mentioned eerie emails. As the doors open to this alternate universe of terror, Bousman offers this advice.

“Explore… and TALK TO PEOPLE… you have to unlock, and engage… NOTHING will come easy… DO NOT BE PASSIVE.   This is not a movie… You are NOT a passive viewer… You are the camera… and it’s up to you to decide where to point it, and who to engage with… YOU are your own storyteller.”

My own experience was exactly that. I found myself exploring my own thoughts and ideas about who I would be in this world, and frankly shite got dark in the best of ways. Theatre Macabre is one of the most impressive theatrical experiences I’ve ever had. In fact, every single audience member that was in my time slot had a very different story play out. This is the rare attraction that you can easily find new experiences every time you attend. Aside from a few rules - one very strict one involving NO cell phones  - you are free to explore and speak to the strangers that you meet. In fact, one of the “patrons” of the Theatre whispered in my ear, “What happens at the Theatre Macabre, stays here.” But be careful who you trust...

Open throughout October until November 4th, this is a perfect attraction for those looking for something new. It may be pricey, but it is one of the most memorable, creepy and atmospheric ways to spend your horror holiday dollars. If you live in the Los Angeles area and have the funds, I highly recommend the thrills that wait behind the curtain at the Theatre Macabre! You can check out the website for all the information you need here.

darren lynn bousman theatre macabre horror halloween october haunts immersive experience

Source: AITH



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