In a continuing quest to expand on its scary franchises and fill the demand for “year-round horror,” Lionsgate plans to open a “Blair Witch”-themed escape attraction sometime this summer, project representatives told TheWrap.
Although a specific date has not been chosen, Escape Blair Witch will mostly likely open in July, says Jason Egan, creator of the new multimillion-dollar, multimedia attraction, as well as Lionsgate’s movie theme Saw Escape attraction in Vegas.
Escape Blair Witch is set in a re-creation of a dilapidated 100-year-old house in an eerie backwoods, complete with requisite woodsy smells (though really only a few minutes drive off the Vegas Strip). It differs from most escape room attractions because rather than a single-room experience, it will feature 10 escape rooms within one structure that visitors can go through in about an hour.
Tickets will be priced at $44.99.
“I like to build up slowly and, towards the end, all hell breaks loose,” Egan said.
Rather than the common disembodied voice on speaker found in many escape rooms, Egan said that each group going through the rooms will be accompanied by an appropriately costumed actor to make sure the group completes each escape in the sequence. “We are not going to stop people from seeing a finale,” he said.
Egan added that the actor can serve to undertake tasks that visitors may be too timid or claustrophobic to complete, like going through a crawl space. “Not everybody wants to do it, but an actor can do it,” he said.
Jenefer Brown, Lionsgate’s EVP and head of Global Live, Interactive & Location Based Entertainment, told TheWrap that Escape Blair Witch is part of Lionsgate’s “macro-goal to create an ecosystem for our content,” which happens to include a lot of horror (“SAW,” “Blair Witch,” “American Psycho”). Along with the Saw and Blair Witch escapes, Lionsgate also has a “Saw”-themed roller coaster ride that opened in Thorpe Park in the U.K. in March 2009.
“We really think that it’s not only in Vegas, there’s a huge demand for horror,” Brown said. “If you look at box office, horror movies were increasing in market share in the years prior to the pandemic…there’s a fan base with a penchant for horror, and it isn’t limited to one month of the year.”
“We don’t see horror as for Halloween only. It’s a year round business,” Brown said.
Lionsgate plans to expand with further horror-themed attractions in the future. The company also has horror gaming plans, include a “Blair Witch” VR and “Evil Dead: The Game.”