For the last few years, prior to the pandemic when we all felt like we were in one, Escape rooms have become increasingly popular among groups of friends and work colleagues. The premise is simple; a group of people are locked in a room and must solve series of puzzles, challenges and conundrums in 60 minutes to release themselves. Now, following the success of other movie based escape rooms, The Blair Witch Project is getting its own terrifying attraction from the mind behind Lionsgate's Saw Escape challenge.
Escape Blair Witch will be coming to Las Vegas in July and will see those brave enough to take on the challenge entering a purpose built 100-year-old eerie property in dark and sinister backwoods. Rather than taking place in a single room, like most escape rooms, the attraction will boast ten rooms of tense time-based puzzles to be solved within an hour. We can only assume that if the challenge is not completed within the given time, it will not end well for those trapped inside.
As guests enter, they will immediately be transported to the lifelike small village of Burkittsville, Maryland to investigate mysterious happenings and disappearances within the community. Investigators will then need to work together to escape multiple rooms that bring the classic film and the curse of the Blair Witch to life. Trekking through the iconic Black Hills Forest will be just one of the memorable dramatic and terrifying elements that provides exciting twists, putting guests to the test.
"Fans will be able to immerse themselves like never before in the Black Hills forest from The Blair Witch," said EVP & Head of Lionsgate Global Live, Interactive, & Location Based Entertainment, Jenefer Brown. "We are thrilled to partner with Egan Escape Productions again, and by launching Escape Blair Witch alongside The Official Saw Escape, Las Vegas will become the can't-miss destination for great Lionsgate horror experiences all year round."
Blair Witch is the latest in a long line of movies to get some kind of escape room adaptation. The phenomenon has been around for decades in various forms, having been included in some haunted house attractions and scavenger hunts that have seen people given challenges to find objects or "escape" from an attraction. The idea of solving clues to gain access to new places has also been longstanding in video games, where even back in the 80s player of some of the earliest games had spend hours solving clues, finding keys and giving the gold to the dragon in order to advance to the next level. Additionally, the principal became the basis for TV shows The Adventure Game, The Crystal Maze and Knightmare. Escape rooms in their current format have been around for almost 20 years, with the earliest concept being True Dungeon from 2003, which was seen at GenCon Indy in Indianapolis. Over the following decade, the principle became popular in Japan and we all know where that leads.
With suspense and horror being a big draw when it comes to this kind of attraction, franchises such as the Walking Dead have already been used to provide puzzlers thrills and scares as they try to solve the often perplexing lock combinations and security passwords that allow them to win the room. More family orientated escape rooms have included many based loosely on the world of Harry Potter, in which an elderly wizard will encourage gamers to "unlock the secret chamber and prevent the Dark Lord's return".
Designer of the Blair Witch experience, Jason Egan, commented, "I like to build up slowly and, towards the end, all hell breaks loose." His comments suggest that no matter how well you do in the puzzles themselves, you are going to experience the harrowing story's end whatever happens.
With The Conjuring and Quiet Place sequels dominating the box office, video games based on Friday 13th and The Evil Dead in the works and a never-ending stream of projects by horror master Stephen King in production at any one time, it is safe to say that horror is very much back from the grave and isn't shuffling off into the crypt anytime soon.
Blair Witch Escape experience arrives in Vegas in July with tickets priced around $45.