Midsummer Scream 2017 showcased a broad spectrum of horror-themed action, from groundbreaking announcements to terrifying mini-haunts. Yet, one of the most anticipatory, intriguing and exciting events at the convention was a peek behind the curtain of Larry Bones’ brand new Into the Black experience, a Victorian Gothic nightmare set to invade the Fairplex in Pomona every weekend from October 6 through Halloween. And even more importantly, the movie portion of Into the Black is premiered–and we have it for you at the end of this article!
Bones was on-hand to lead Midsummer Scream attendees Into the Black itself, elaborating on the experience’s four-part nature: first, a 25-minute short film designed to act as a prologue of sorts to the second portion, the haunted experience itself (through which guests will traverse all by their lonesome). Once guests emerge, a 13-minute virtual reality experience will be waiting for them as part three, and once they go home, they can watch the fourth and final installment, a behind-the-scenes documentary detailing the entire process.
Joined by actresses Aubree Garman and Claire Dunlap, and VR director Ted Dougherty, Bones and Co. spoke with moderator Shawn Marshall about a variety of topics, including the ambitious nature of this multi-tiered attraction.
“I don’t want to feel like these are three separate entities,” said Bones. “I want to feel like they’re all part of one integral story, and if you miss out on one part, you’re going to miss out on one integral part of the story.”
The film portion, which was screened in its entirety for the very first time at the panel, is populated with actors that Bones knew personally from his days at Halloween Horror Nights.
“We were working together a little at Horror Nights last year,” said Garman, telling the story of the first time she met Bones. “And this one night, [Larry and wife Cheryl Bones] were watching three people scrub this prosthetic off my face, and I just see this look of horror in Larry’s eyes as he’s like, ‘Don’t do it anymore, you’re going to pull her face off!’”
“After that, he started talking to me every night, after my face was taken off, and he pulled me aside once, and he was like, ‘If I brought a paper for you to sign that said you can’t talk about what I want to talk to you about, would you sign it?’”, she said with a laugh. Garman would go on to be cast as her namesake, Aubree, in Into the Black.
The immersion that guests will feel, going from watching the short film to walking through the haunted experience to putting on the VR headset, is one of the most important parts of Into the Black, as Bones stressed the importance of his brainchild being a completely solo experience.
“I knew, the day that I was going to do this, that the one thing that I knew that had to be true is that you would walk through alone,” said Bones, as Dunlap (who plays Isabella Black in the film and VR experience) bristled at the thought. “I’ve seen so many years of [Halloween] Horror Nights and conga lines and all that stuff, that I knew personally: […] ‘Where do you find that fear?’ By being by yourself.”
Eager hauntgoers can venture Into the Black now, with tickets priced at $29 available on IntoTheBlack.biz (experiencing the VR portion will cost an additional $13).