Do not open the door!!!: Japan haunted house goes to the drive-in

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Tokyo (AFP)

A car horn beeps, and the horror begins: a bloody murder, and devastating zombies. But this disc-in the haunted house in Japan protects against the most terrifying enemy of all — coronavirus.

The interior of a car, you’ll be able to shout as loudly as they wish, with no mask required, as the hideous creatures smeared with blood swarm to them.

In fact, the new format might even be more scary than a traditional haunted house, producer Kenta Iwana, 25, told AFP.

“At the drive-in haunted house, the customers are confined in a car, so they can’t escape the horror until the end,” he said.

“It makes it even more scary for them. ”

Iwana came with the drive-in the solution after struggling with a string of cancellations of the epidemic of the coronavirus has taken over.

“It’s because of a haunted house creates an environment with three Cs,” he said, referring to the conditions of Japanese experts warn of the risk of the spread of the virus: confined spaces, crowded places and close contact settings.

“Orders classic-style haunted houses that have been cancelled one after the other, we have lost about 80 percent of our customers. ”

The team is typically hired to set up haunted house experiences in amusement parks and similar venues.

A normal experience could involve a central window with actors playing the ghosts quietly the result of the visitors and the whispering directly into the ears of their scare — all impossible in the age of sars coronavirus.

– ‘Want to scare’ –

Iwana and his team Kowagarasetai to say, “A squad of wanting to make afraid” — first tried to create coronavirus-compatible performance wearing masks painted with fake blood and play recorded screams rather than releasing the actual.

But most of their events have been cancelled, anyway.

“We’ve even had Halloween events scheduled in October and November cancelled,” said Ayaka Imaide, 34 years old, at the head of the team.

Iwana, who have left the university to become a ghost producer house, I wondered if a drive-in format can work in the place.

The stories of ghosts and haunted houses are popular forms of entertainment in Japan and are associated in particular with the summer, although the reasons for the link are not clear.

Iwana says that it has been said that the tradition began when up-and-coming kabuki actors began to carry stories of the ghosts in the hot summer months, when the star, the actors have taken leave.

Behind the windshield –

Kota Hanegawa, 28, plays a blood-soaked killer in the team, even if he admits that he is not a big fan of scary things.

He said that the new format — with the players on the outside accompanied by a soundtrack and narration playing inside the car — has a few positive points, notably in terms of public comment.

“I can get very close to customers, even if they are behind the windshield,” said Hanegawa.

“It is interesting to see their reactions if near, while keeping the social distance. ”

Imaide said she hoped the new format would lift the state of mind of the artists in difficulty in the course of the pandemic.

“Maybe we should just not do anything and keep the head down,” she said severely, for under a full face of zombie make-up.

“I don’t know what is the right thing to do, it is… But we want to continue to offer a haunted house, even if it means that we need to change the style a bit. We want many people to enjoy it, to enjoy the fear. ”

Japan is coronavirus the state of emergency has already been raised, and some amusement parks are slowly beginning to reopen, with restrictions on the guests.

But the team is going forward with its concept car for now, and tickets for his first dates in the next month, in Tokyo, the garage have already been sold.

Imaide hope guests will feel comfortable to let loose and get the full terrifying experience.

“Leave all of your fears, it’s the way to enjoy it,” she advised.

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