JACKIE MOY

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Haunted House

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The Armory before the Mission

The Armory before the Mission

Interiors

Interiors

The Armory is a dark intimidating fortress, the facade repels visitors, the interior eats light. Underused for a number of years, the building has served many functions. The latest occupant is an online pornography empire. The Armory is ideally suited to porn production, the activity inside is completely invisible to the surrounding community. Industrial sized barrels of lube line a long wall. Freshly showered casually dressed women crisscross the lobby, drawing speculative stares.  I recently scored a free ticket to their immersive haunted house. I was curious to see how they would manage to merge sex with fear.

The scariest moment of the haunted house occurs in the absolute beginning. Forming a single file line, black hoods are placed over our heads. We are given a rope to guide us through a pitch black corridor. I am terrified until my hood comes off. 

The sex scenes make me uncomfortable. In most scenes a clothed male character is torturing, killing or devouring a naked woman. The tour guide instructs us to be quiet and not speak to the performers, curtailing interaction. I observe the faces of some of the people on our tour, they seem to be visibly aroused :( . As the scene reaches its climax, we are ordered to run out of the room. I feel a pang of guilt, fleeing the scene, even though it is fake. 

In one of the vignettes, we pile into a hospital room where an 'insane' doctor is torturing a young woman. She is disturbingly believable, until she starts doing yoga moves. The doctor's method of torture is putting her into advanced yoga postures. It kills the terrifying buildup. In another scene, a priest orders a nude nun to punish herself with various instruments. He then starts hammering nails into his own face. It tries too hard to be alternative. It fails to shock or scare me.

The set underutilizes the natural creepiness of the building. You couldn't pay me to spend the night alone in here. In the basement a river flows underneath the city! Emphasis should be placed on this unique feature. The typical Halloween decorations detract from the natural ambiance. The prosthetic limbs and organs are really unconvincing, even in dim lighting. Ordinary hallways connect the scenes, serving as a sensory palate cleanser. Instead of building fear through a careful sequence, the feeling is paused or diminished.

 As someone who scares incredibly easily, I exit perfectly calm and collected. I had fun and finally got to see the inside of this building.