Let me start off by saying, Cartharsis did all of the right things to have me reeling before my scheduled arrival.
A near social media black out, no reviews, no spoilers... a rare set up for any occasion now-a-days.
I can't even make it though without getting my favorite tv shows spoiled, much less an event.
Weeks prior, I submitted a photo to the Catharsis team showing them what sin I am a slave to and I was selected as the face of Vanity for the production.
Day of the event, I felt anxious not knowing what to expect or worse, what I would leave the event having seen or done.
We pull up to a dark building with no signs of life or a viable business on the other side of town. At this point, the boyfriend starts saying exactly what I have been thinking in the back of my mind, "What did I get us into?", "Is this legitimate?", "I did tell my co-workers where I was going so someone would surely notice I was missing and have a lead on where to find us, right??". Like chickens, we waited for another group to enter before we make our way inside.
The entrance was vague but promising. To be honest, the Seven Deadly Sins bar ruined a bit of the ambiance for us... it was busy, full of obnoxious people shouting Harry Potter spells and the bartender could in no way keep up with the capacity. The furnishings were redeeming and were able to bring me back into the story line.
I went into the experience with just my boyfriend. I am going to try not to give away any spoilers so I am going to do my best to describe our feelings and favorite parts... First of all, I would agree with the descriptions of others claiming the experience was 'unsettling', 'creepy' and 'uncomfortable'. I feel like I am hooked on immersive theater and Catharsis has inspired me completely to take what I have learned about fear and make something happen with it.
In the experience, it was sensory... smells, tastes, touching, sights and sounds that are ingrained into my memory.
My favorite experience was being grabbed by the hand by an actor, told 'Run, he is coming' and running with her in panic down a darkened hallway. The boyfriend's favorite parts were the sets and details. We were both blindfolded at some points. We both were marked with different materials and left in a state in which we could not return to public immediately. (Funny side story if you want a spoiler, on the way home we stopped to get more, uh, provisions... I thought I got all the blood off but missed a swipe. Everyone went quiet when I entered the store and remained quiet until I left... they too wondered if it was real.) They separated us at times in the event. It was weird not knowing how his experience was varying from mine... then you are made to see it. The ending is abrupt but continues the story. I was a bit disappointed that our individual sins were not addressed... It would have made it more personal. I think there were more opportunities to incorporate more frightening experiences without sexuality or gore.
But overall... I think I'm hooked. The boyfriend does not feel the same way but perhaps it is because he got the grunt of the abuse?
Catharsis has now come to a close but as long a the 'Penumbra Corporation' exists... so will the dark world surrounding it.
Stay tuned to @fearcatharsis on social media for updates on the next recruitment *cough* I mean, theater event.
- xoxo, Pretty Scary