An image of a box looking not too dissimilar from that of the box from Hellraiser with the caption “Xmas is a time for giving. On the 8th December, for one night only, Faceless Ventures X will be producing gifts to be unwrapped. No details will be released prior to the show. This is for you to Unwrap.”. Faceless Ventures doing what they do best: building anticipation.
For those not familiar with Faceless Ventures, it’s rare for them to not release any information for their less extreme shows – Fraternity, Diary of a Deceased, and others all had the basic storyline revealed to us; this was not the case with Unwrapped which received a scare rating of ‘3’, which indicates that mild aggressive physical contact is used during the show.
After a lot of anticipation and nervousness, Emz and I arrived at the Mexborough Business Centre, Faceless Ventures’ playground. The anticipation didn’t have much time to build beyond that, as we were on the verge of being late: a quick toilet break, and we were in.
We’re led through very familiar corridors with two others, making us a group of four, before being led to the top of a very familiar staircase. We’re handed something – a jury pass – and are told to put it on. The stairwell door swings open and a member of the court escorts us to the court room which was made up of two lines of tables facing each other from across the room with a stand for the judge at one end of the room.
We were told to sit down, and we began pouring ourselves a glass of water, or at least tried to before we were back on our feet for the Right Honourable Judge as he entered his court room. We sat back down and the premise of the show was explained to us: it was a court case of Faceless Ventures vs the world: one by one, Lee, Sarah, Rosalie, and James all took the stand to plead their case, and it was up to us to decide whether they were guilty of crimes against the scare industry.
As each person took to the stand, we were given a little glimpse of four very different and very unique shows, some I have done, some I haven’t done, and others which have turned legend: Lee took us through the first scene of Diary of a Deceased, while Sarah took us through Primrose Unknown Project’s The Pit. we were then given a brief recess and a free drink on the house – a gross concoction not too far removed from a Virgin Mary. Once we were ‘refreshed’, Rosalie took us through a small game of HVRTING, with James wrapping up the defendants case by taking us through one of the most psychologically demanding games in Cracked, all whilst keeping the show at a scare rating 3.
Once we returned – or rather was saved by Blake – Blake went on to explain why he does Cracked and the reasoning behind its creation and existence. The defendants were asked to leave the room whilst we analysed the final pieces of evidence, which included plenty of reviews from past shows (some of which came from here), as well as videos from ScareTrack‘s Mikey Stuart and Haunting.net‘s Taylor Winters, who each put their case forward for and against the scare industry: as a firm supporter, I found myself smiling and nodding along with what both had to say though it was refreshing and extremely interesting to hear my thoughts echoed by others in the industry.
The video was over and the defendants returned, along with all the actors who stood behind us menacingly – the one time I felt like something might go wrong. We were each handed a paddle with one side saying “guilty” and the other side saying “not guilty”, and after a few moments of silence we all made up our minds – not guilty. Suddenly, Pat Benetar’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot blares out and I absolutely lose it and start clapping along whilst the cast of the show begin dancing and celebrating their decision to go free – who knew jury duty could be so entertaining?!
This bit will probably make the show sound like the show wasn’t inclusive of new people, but you can read Emz’s review here if you’re looking for a review from someone fresh – this really isn’t the case, this show just had a lot of meaning for me as 2018 has been pretty shite (as I’m sure it has been for you too), and it was an unexpected but entirely necessary and welcome gift to be reminded of all the good times I’ve had with the Faceless Ventures family and that no matter how shit it all can get, there’s always gunna be good times ahead.
Thank you Faceless Ventures for everything that you do – keep up the amazing work (even if I do think you should be found guilty for choosing that awful pic of me)! ❤