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Bedeviling unwary haunt goers

October 26, 2017

DEVILED_Wednesdays_at_ZJU_200Every year the moon turns fuller, the nights longer and Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre conjures up fiendish delights. This year Deviled harries the psyche with demons truly out of a malady of the mind.

Deviled is both with and without description. As an experience unfolding before you; a vaguely remembered nightmare which still steals your breath in the daylight. Pressing your attention as far forward as you safely dare, you were warned to stay on this side of the demon safety line, you try to see what you’re seeing. How many heads and feet was that!? Turning your head to the side to try and get a better perspective a mass of flesh flows on stage to replace the previous horror.

I get ahead of myself, it starts with the claustrophobia. A dark, should be lobby, room with hangings forcing you to the center, keeping you safely away from the edges of reality through which you are being ushered. Pushing in further, motion and shadows compel you to listen to your instructions and move to what you hope is safety.

Huddle as close to the caution line as you can, the presence of those around you will be your only comfort. You’ll need it, once the show starts, beyond the safety line, that dark expanse of stage; where tension cracks on the air waiting for demons to usher forth, twisted, bent oddly, and shaped inhumanly.

Deviled feels like the vast expanse of maybe, that dust mote with which the flood waters of fear coalesce around, horror precipitating through the aether to pour down upon the earth of body, cold clammy fear sweat. Anxiety from the ‘what if’, the ‘what’s next’.

I was able to see as much, sitting on the riser, I could see the audience quite well, I could see the held breath waiting, and even after adjusted to fear presently pulsating on stage there was tension, apprehension that the next horror will be too close and too familiar. I saw audience members shiver, shaking off horrors, the skin crawling spine tickle following shock.

Deviled feels like it devils you, plagues at you. Deviled has that familiarity of “how the fuck did they know about my nightmare thing”, the closest I can think of is the Weeping Angels. When my friends and I tried to describe how horrible it was, we said “the WA were ripped out of our collective unconscious nightmares.”.

That’s Deviled, it feels like a nightmare we’ve all had, and it won’t stop… When is it over, when do we get to wake up?

 

Deviled (Directed by Brandon Slezak) runs Wednesday nights through November 15th 8:30p 9:30p 10:30p

For more information visit: www.zombiejoes.com

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