No Safe Word: Illiuminating ‘The Blackout Experiments’

Do you like to be scared? How far is too far? How much pain and humiliation are you willing to pay for and endure?

These are all questions that one should ask themselves before participating in ‘extreme’ haunted attractions that can be found across the nation. I know what you’re thinking, all haunted houses pride themselves on being the ‘scariest’ and ‘most intense’ experiences. But let us ask you this, are you left pantsless on a downtown street at the end of these attractions? Do regular haunts truly victimize you and leave you questioning the sound of your home settling at night?

Blackout does. At least, according to the participants of the 2016 documentary The Blackout Experiments.

Discovering the Darkness

Thanks to the Final Girls Horrorcast, we were able to delve into this interesting documentary. Before that, Blackout was really just the urban legend that you knew existed in reality but were too coy to truly take the steps alone in the dark.

There are no chainsaws, ghosts or demons in this house. All that waits for you is a lonely walk in an odd building, the exploitation of your personal fears, and the people waiting for you in the dark.

In Here, The Rules Get Twisted

In most of these October attractions, you gather a group of friends and walk through in a group. The rules are simple: Don’t touch and you won’t be touched; enjoy your time getting scared with your friends. This is not Blackout. This attraction is focused on solidarity and pushing guests to their mental and sometimes physical limits.

This house requires a contract to be signed and for good reason. Past Blackout houses have:

  • Simulated sexual assault,
  • Waterboarded customers,
  • Stripped customers,
  • And use other militant torture tactics.

All of this is and more is experienced alone in the darkness with only a safe word to give you comfort.

Psychotherapy

While the documentary doesn’t give you a full walk-through of Blackout, it does give you a taste of what the four featured participants experienced. They are the main focus of this documentary and their mental journey is what keeps viewers watching. From the first trip to the attraction, some of their lives begin to spiral in some strangely positive ways; almost as if the house was a form of therapy to help them battle past trauma.

Their stories are dark, interesting, and something that most of us would only want to watch from a safe distance. The voyeurism here is the real deal, but by renting this movie, you’ll only truly be able to see how deep this rabbit hole goes.

How Extreme Would You Go?

Extreme haunted attractions are a popular trend in the attractions industry. From the hellhole that is McKamey Manor to mainstream attractions leaders like Busch Gardens’ Howl – O – Scream, the dare to enter is always available to the brave. The real question is, how much are you willing to pay in order to get legally abused.

Extreme haunts can be found all over the country, it’s just a matter of knowing where to look. If participating in a real rough and tumble in the darkness with a hooded stranger isn’t your cup of tea, you could safely watch this documentary or the fictional horror franchise, The Houses October Built to get a good idea of what these houses are like in reality and in fictional pop culture.

Rating and Warnings:

We give this documentary a B. Yes, it was entertaining but there were more than a few moments where it dragged. Being a shorter documentary, we felt that there wasn’t enough run time to waste on so many drawn-out reactionary close-ups. Still, for the rental price, it’s an enjoyable hour-and-a-half.

While Metroplague had a good time with The Blackout Experiments, avoid this film if:

  • Intense sexual situations bother you,
  • Publis humiliation makes you uncomfortable,
  • You just can’t handle extremely mature and real situations.

We now leave you with these questions: Would you do it? What would push your limits?

 

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