Solo Haunt – Into the Black Tests Your Sanity
Into the Black is an ambitious 4-part attraction boasting a completely solo experience through the Black family’s haunted mansion which is plagued by demons.
The 25-minute film sets up the history of the Black family and their penchant for the occult. The Black house, built in 1866, is now sought after by a group of paranormal students. But when the team enters the woods, they might not like what they find… And they might not make it out alive.
I enjoyed the idea of the movie as a precursor to the physical attraction. Albeit a little long and slightly cheesy, it set up the narrative of the haunt well. It offers a sneak preview of what to expect in the Black house, added a human element, and allowed for callbacks within the haunt, which was a nice touch and clearly thought-out.
The VR Experience
A short VR experience accompanies the haunt at the Pomona Fairplex. Running at around 5-10 minutes, it gives haunt-goers a glimpse of life in the Black house, and shows how deep the father has gotten in the occult and devil worship. Favoring a creepy mood instead of “torture” tactics and shock value, the VR utilized some physical elements that sent tingles up my spine and added some amusing little jumps.
While it was fun, I recommend doing the VR before walking through the haunt. It wasn’t as impactful as the haunt itself, and might have made the haunt even richer had I known the characters and locations from the VR before the experience.
Taking place after the research team from the film went missing, I enter the Black house completely alone. Hallways were lit by small red lanterns as I felt my way in the dark, nervous to see what lurked around the next corner. Twisting in on itself, the house holds many hidden places for demons to hide. Were those footsteps I heard behind me? Wandering through the house, I couldn’t tell what was real and what my mind thought it saw in the darkness. The tension kept building and building until I found sweet relief in a jump scare, only for it to start all over again.
I found the Black house haunt the strongest part of the experience. The production value was amazing, from the dimly-lit and finely decorated sets to the fully costumed actors (who were brilliantly creepy). I wish there were more sets, in addition to the plentiful hallways, to see because I know they would be awesome. Not only do you go in alone, but the haunt is quite long and nerve wracking. From the kitchen to the bedroom, from the dining area to a church, there was a lot to take in, and to miss. While the dim lights allowed for many jump scares, I would’ve liked slightly more light around the sets to see how much thought and detail went into the house. There were also some scares that I completely didn’t see coming, which was a lot of fun. I spent the long haunt eyes ping-ponging around me, astutely aware of every little noise I heard, waiting for something to come get me. I screamed many times and found myself giggling like a maniac afterward.
The behind-the-scenes documentary is not yet available and was unable to be reviewed.
Into the Black is a progressive and well-done event to add to your Halloween experience. It was apparent how much time and effort went into the event and I loved the multi-part aspect of the narrative. High on nyctophobia and xenophobia, and light on gore and “torture,” Into the Black will make your mind play tricks on you and send goosebumps up your spine. If you’re brave enough to go through alone, definitely give this moody, demonic treat a try.
Into the Black runs from 2p-Midnight on select days through October 31st.
Buy Tickets: https://www.intotheblack.biz/tickets.html