Creep LA burst onto the Southern California Halloween attraction scene last year and wowed fans of all types with its powerful blend of haunted house terror and intense theatrical style. Created by Justin Fix, Creep was a huge success and amassed quite a loyal following in a very short amount of time, from curious horror fans to an impressive list of Hollywood celebrities. The question on our mind was, following a great debut year, what would come next for Justin and his team?
In Southern California, new haunts not only need to succeed well in their first year – they need to follow that success with bigger, bolder events to retain their foothold and gain traction for the future. The second year is a huge hurdle to clear – some haunts get so beat up their first year, they don’t even bother returning; others go completely over-the-top and try to be something they’re not, completely ruining the momentum they did have.
The evolution of Creep LA is brilliant. We attended the attraction’s opening night this past week, and it was stunning how polished and ready the entire Creep crew was; honestly, it felt like this group and production was a well-oiled machine. I can only imagine how much better they will be toward the end of their run this season!
Creep is not a “haunted house”, nor is it simply “theater”. It’s not at all family-friendly. Nor is it “extreme” in the way other similar events such as Blackout or Heretic are. Creep is an interesting hybrid – a dark place somewhere between traditional adult haunts and the more intense attractions. In speaking with Justin about it (the interview is below), we agreed that it’s kind of an “extreme lite” attraction; a “gateway drug” to the more intense productions out there.
Located between Echo Park and Cypress Park in Los Angeles, Creep is hidden away in an industrial area – when arriving, look carefully for signage on the street, because it’s easy to miss the first time around. On the outside, Creep is merely a cluster of warehouses; what’s hidden within is pretty fantastic.
Creep LA is a time slot-governed attraction, and they were very punctual; don’t show up late. In small groups, guests are ushered into one of the buildings, where their freedoms and notions of what to expect are instantly stripped away. After signing waivers (you know you will – all the cool kids are doing it these days), guests are moved further into the experience – a bar lounge where all have come to celebrate the life and art of Erebus Burwyck as the Hunter’s Moon approaches. The lounge is comfortable, with entrancing music playing and deep red light accenting the faces of friends – and strangers. The mix of people is curious – couples, older men, older women, older women that were once men, creepers, lovers and everything in between. This is the brilliance of Creep LA – you let yourself be drawn in to the show, and become part of it.
I’m not going to divulge much more than this. What takes place after groups are taken away from the lounge into something much more dark – that is up to you to explore and find out.
What I will say is that Creep’s strength is its crew; wonderfully talented actors all, this haunt features a world-class group of men and women that are among the best “characters” we’ve ever encountered in an event like this. They’re frightening, amusing, sexy, gritty, and raw – in turn, that’s exactly what Creep LA 2016 is at every twist and turn in the journey further into the Darkness.
For those wondering if you might get separated from your group, the answer is you might. And if this happens to you, the show takes on a much different tone and aspect – you will experience things others do not. In turn, if you do happen to become separated from your friends or loved ones, you also miss out on some of what they experience, too. As a haunt fan, that is a mixed bag for me personally – because I don’t want to miss anything when I visit a haunt. That said, Creep is living theater – a “choose your own adventure” of sorts… only make no mistake – you aren’t going to be choosing much of anything; others will do that for you.
A lot of people aren’t into haunt experiences that are overtly sexual in nature, and I totally get that. Creep LA does have a much stronger undercurrent of raw sexuality this year – but it’s not pornographic, it’s not demeaning, nor are you going to be dragged out of your group and stripped of your clothing. No one is going to molest you, and no one is going to cross the fine line of okay/not okay during Creep. There’s no live nudity that we saw, nor is there anything shocking or over-the-top that guests are forced to endure; it’s not that kind of haunt. It’s sensual in a way that makes you want to watch. Like a voyeur. Like a creep.
While the storyline is a bit of a challenge to follow if you’re looking for something terribly linear, all you have to do is step back and recognize the common thread – secrets. Secrets that we all have, that exist in the Darkness within all of us. Sexual desires. Violent outbursts. That is the common thread that strings guests along further and further into the world of Creep.
And in the end, it’s masterful.
Huge love and kudos to the entire Creep LA team on a job so well done this year! We cannot recommend this event highly enough. Go. Become one with the Darkness and get your Creep on, Los Angeles!
- Rick West