The Purge: Breakout—an interactive horror experience based on the upcoming film The Purge: Anarchy—was the most intense experience ever, and sadly, by the time you read this, you will no longer be able to do it.
Like Halloween Horror Nights on steroids, The Purge: Breakout was not for the faint of heart. It began with a small group of six or less being sent into the fictional house of a deranged killer 30 minutes before Purge Night. If you aren’t familiar with the original film, this is a night where all crime, including and especially murder, is legal for 12 hours. Almost immediately after entering, you encounter a bound and gagged girl covered in blood, and the adventure starts.
Instead of the passive experience of a normal haunted house, where one simply wanders through to the end, this is a very active experience where you and your group must do whatever it takes to find your way out of the house before being purged. Finding keys in the dark, unlocking locks, looking for clues by sticking your hands into toilets and garbage disposals are all part of the experience.
The girl who you must free in the beginning serves as a sort of guide, loosely helping nudge you along when you aren’t sure what to do next.
The constant countdown of time blaring over the speakers every few minutes is utterly nerve wracking, and really puts you into the tense moment. If you haven’t found an escape by the time the clock runs out, which my team did not, the ear-splitting screams of the bloody girl combined with the emergency broadcast system announcing the commencement of the annual purge, are nearly enough to give you a heart attack.
Pulse pounding and sweat dripping, the last help the girl gives you is to hide in this dark hallway. It is here that you await your fate until you have finally been purged.
I personally hated the first film, but this experience was one of the coolest things I have been a part of. If the organizers know what’s good for them, they will turn this into a full-time thing and devote their energy into making more super-intense experiences like this one, and less into making dull films.