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Arts and Entertainment

A Downtown Gallery Turns Into A Macabre Art Show & Escape Room This Weekend

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The Think Tank Gallery will be transformed into a grotesque horror show, complete with a 30-minute escape room, starting this Saturday October 8th and running through Halloween. If you ever wanted to see an eyeless mask with a vagina mouth, then this would be the art show for you.

Think Tank Gallery has had some really interesting pieces over the last several months, including a cake maze, the immersive haunt ALONE, and a number of site-specific theater pieces. This one, called Trap House, is a delightfully macabre collection of works from numerous artists, including Dick Smith (make-up special effects, The Exorcist), Melissa Coulter, Ave Rose and Monster Pappa. Expect busts of Blue Velvet antagonist Frank Booth and Twin Peaks' The Man From Another Place. Enjoy a silver Cthulhu, and a vampire deer perched upon a scarlet sofa. Revel in a glass-top coffee table held up by three grinning skulls, or perhaps you'd prefer to linger in front of a colorful illustration of a gruesome murder scene from Battle Royale.

The seasonally appropriate art exhibit is accompanied by a series of immersive horror experiences, including an escape room. The escape room was designed by Universal Studio Japan's Adam Milicevic and the effects artist Evan Hedges (13th Floor haunted house). The room can fit up to six people at a time, and tells the story of a GG Allin-esque punk icon named Evan Mayhew. You'll find yourselves in his recording studio, which is only a front for something a lot more sinister than making edgy songs. We previewed the room earlier this week, and it's a little lewd and a lot of fun. There is an actor in the room who may help you out, though she's a bit frazzles, and there's a mild amount of gore. Additionally, actions completed in the game will provoke reactions outside in the gallery, and there's even a secret window that allows viewers to peer between rooms. Tickets are $35.

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A lounge in the back hosted by Sailor Jerry's will allow a spoiler-free area to talk about the escape, and a variety of other events will also take place in the space throughout the month.

On October 16th and 23rd, the gallery will host Serial Killer Speed Dating, which is basically like dating in real life. You meet a lot of potential matches, and at least a few of them have a very dark secret they'd like to share with you. The 16th is for those who identify as straight, while the 23rd is for those who are LGBTQ. There will also be a few comedy and variety shows, a pop-up dinner club, and we'd be lying if we said we weren't excited about Screenshot Production's new immersive theater piece, The Rope. In The Rope, guests will go on a choose-your-own-adventure through a strange and mysterious underworld.

According to Screenshot:

Groups of six will gather around a crackling bonfire in a dark cavern as a Shaman bids all to drink from a dark substance that will transport their consciousness into this forgotten world. From there, each in the group will be led deeper into the world on their own unique quest that will not only separate them from their group, but from the very fabric of reality itself.

A short preview of The Rope at horror con ScareLA had us following a frayed rope into the dark, which led us to a variety of bizarre characters.

Trap House is open for public viewing from October 8-31. Hours are 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weeknights, and noon to midnight on weekends. It is closed on Tuesdays. Seeing the show is free, other events require tickets.

Think Tank Gallery is located at 939 Maple Ave. in downtown Los Angeles.

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