I like being scared. I crave it, in fact.
I am constantly seeking out scary movies and books in what often feels like a fruitless search. Maybe I've got nerves of steel, but I'm usually left underwhelmed. That doesn't stop me from my mission though, which I suppose is how I ended up at the Toronto opening night of Séance, a play of sorts starring Nicholas Wallace and directed by Luke Brown.
The show isn't so much a play as it is an immersive experiment, hosted by Wallace, an illusionist and fan/skeptic of all things supernatural. With a heavy Victorian tone (the creepiest era, don't front), the show plays on all the senses of the audience, quickening heartbeats with spooky tales that lead up to an interactive seance.
While I don't want to give too much away (what fun would that be?) I will say that I was genuinely frightened at the peak of the show, gripping my friend Laura's hand and reminding myself that it was all just entertainment ... right?
My scare-seeking brain got exactly what it asked for. The thrill that I was seeking from my favourite movie genre played out before my eyes during the performance, and I thought I was gonna pee my damn pants.
But, with fear comes adrenaline, and with adrenaline comes pure giddiness. After the show ended, I shook it off and immediately took to social media to recommend it to everyone who had the willingness to be spooked senseless.
Whether you're a stone-cold skeptic or a gimme-more ghost fanatic, the show will find a way to give you the shivers, and thankfully for Toronto locals, it's running until October 11th. Go out and get a dang ticket, I order you!
But if you're not a local, what are you to do?
Well, you can always pick up a scary book or join me in an October-long horror movie marathon. Three films that I thought of during Séance and would recommend to anyone seeking a similar scare:
- The very brilliant The Others (which contains the best line, "Are you mad?! I am your daughter!" which I regularly shriek at my annoyed sister).
- The classic, The Innocents, starring Deborah Kerr and based on The Turn Of The Screw, a beautifully shot black and white tale of ghostly possession. Bonus: it's available in full on YouTube.
- The more recent The Awakening, which features dreamy-meets-creepy 1920s English set design, creepy children in uniform, and a haunted dollhouse. I jumped a few times during this one.