First I thought that this was just a fictional version of that real haunted house thing (that I couldn’t remember the name of). You know the one, right? The one where you basically pay two guys a shit ton of money to kidnap you and torture you and whatever. Some people are addicted and they go way too many times because they are insane? Well, I didn’t realize that the name was also called “Blackout” until I looked it up. I was like, oh right, so apparently, this is a non-fiction documentary with real people who have really been through the Blackout experience a few times and then are asked not to come back.
For a while I’ve been interested in what exactly happens during one of the experiences. I mean, more in detail. Not because I want to do it (I never have wanted to do it) but because I want to know what they are getting away with exactly and what people are stupid enough to pay to have done to them. I’m talking a high amount of money to be repeatedly and psychologically tortured for some reason.
From their own website:
Experiences vary and are custom-tailored for each participant.
An experience can last anywhere from two days to a full month.
Prices for private events start at $8,000 (within the United States)
and a $1,000 retainer is necessary to even begin
a serious conversation with us about what is possible. (Source)
I’m not going to sit here and be a hard ass and tell people what they should and shouldn’t spend their money on. I’m not going to be a lame ass and order that these people shut down or be shut down. Whatever idiots want to spend their hard earned money on is okay but I cannot, for the life of me, understand this.
Now, this documentary follows three people (There are four to start with but one guy only goes twice before never wanting to go again, quite frankly after the first time I’d have stopped if I was dumb enough to go at all). The first time shows minimal stuff (I’m sure the actual experience is longer than what they show the people going through). At least I would hope because if you are paying 8 grand just to get suffocated and slapped for 5 minutes you are a total idiot.
Moving on, so these people are like “addicts” I guess? Also, they call themselves survivors. The more they attend the experience the more intense it gets. The experience becomes personally tailored to their own fears and whatever. The people in it are kind of…boring? Like I could kind of care less why they do this or what it is. Since there was minimal filming allowed of the actual experience and the actual area where they film (and the creators only talked about what they do for about 5 minutes at the end) it felt pointless. It felt like I watched 80 minutes of something promoted as horrific and terrifying that never actually got to the horrific and terrifying part.
I admit if I was dumb enough to actually attend the experience (which I never would be) it would be scary in there. You get a safeword, though, so if you can’t handle it you just give them the safeword. I’ve heard through the interwebs that’s not true, that there are reports of them ignoring your safeword. Though, I could also be thinking of another horror ‘experience’ which takes place in some guy’s backyard. Apparently there are a lot of psychopaths charging people thousands of dollars to slap them around, nearly drown them, and abuse them in the United States and I cannot actually remember if this is the one I was thinking of (and it just gained more traction) or if I’m thinking of two different things. I also am not sure I care.
I like horror and being afraid in a “safe way” as much as the next jerk, but this is above and beyond awful. In my opinion. If someone wants to do it, more power to them, but it won’t stop me from thinking they are stupid. The documentary painfully attempts to portray these people as…sympathetic? Maybe? Like there is some weird almost focus on these people trying to come to terms on why they keep going back. In a psychological sense I can maybe see the appeal somewhat but as a person with a brain, I can’t understand it at all. This isn’t like playing a scary game or watching a movie that scares you. This is paying thousands of dollars to enter into a situation where you are physically and psychologically abused. Repeatedly.
Despite what these two “creators” say about it being performance art and that’s it, I doubt that as well. If I had to guess, they are probably getting off on being able to consensually torture and scare the crap out of people and get paid. It’s like some sick form of BDSM without the sex. Even though an adrenaline rush can be akin to a sexual experience for a lot of people (not trying to kink shame) I’m still unsure I get the point of actually joining this experience and watching this documentary. What I’d be far more interested in is why the fuck the creators are this way, getting passed the bullshit about “Blah blah this is PERFORMANCE art and we don’t get ANYTHING out of it ourselves” bullshit, and what 100% happens, detail for detail. I also want to hear from the people who hated it, think it’s disgusting, and explain what really happened. The documentary was clearly authorized by these people, so you know they won’t make themselves look bad. I want the other end of the story. I want to know what’s really going on there, not the sheltered version where the creators look like genius artists.
This can all be summed up in one word: Disappointment.
I’m not sure why this was created other than to pimp out the experience and make people curious so they would pay money. The whole idea of “we don’t want anyone to do this” or “no one should be doing this because it’s fucked up”. Like the South Park episode where Cartman is advertising his theme park and how no one can come? It’s like that except with bizarre almost sexual torture and grotesque shit that people pay insane amounts of money for.
I guess the only question I have is how do I audition to be one of the actresses in one of their actual shows because, considering the money they must be making off of morons who are seeking a thrill, I’d make bank to play a victim in one of their “shows”.