Talk about a high-stakes team-building exercise!
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Imagine being trapped in a petrifying haunted house. Now add your co-workers, a little bit of virtual reality, and the terrifying antagonists from the "Saw" franchise to the equation, and you've the "Jigsaw: Survive the Trap" escape room from this year's New York Comic Con.
An "escape room" is just that — a room that tasks its occupants with escaping through teamwork and the collective problem-solving abilities of the people brave enough (or crazy enough) to be locked in with you. Teams are typically up against a ticking clock to increase the stakes, and some use life-or-death themes to put extra stress on participants, like zombie apocalypse scenarios, prison breaks, Harry Potter-style Tri-wizard tournaments, and disease outbreaks.
Escape rooms have expanded across the United States from major cities like Los Angeles and New York to Birmingham and Kansas City — but the "Jigsaw" version might be a little bit more terrifying than most.
Jenefer Brown, Lionsgate’s SVP of Global Live and Location Based Entertainment, said that bringing a "Saw"-themed escape room to New York Comic Con seemed logical, considering the theme of the franchise.
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“More than 200,000 fans attended New York Comic Con this year," Brown told Fox News. "We know from the success of the franchise that these fans are our core audience. At the same time, escape rooms have been booming. It felt like a recipe for success.”
“We wanted our fans to have a genuine emotional experience tied to Jigsaw," added Evan Fisk, the Vice President of Digital Marketing at Lionsgate. "John Kramer famously gives people the chance to escape the traps he sets. Building an escape room offered a chance to let our fans experience the fun and fear of playing Jigsaw's game, without the danger.”
Fox News also got the chance to try out the "Jigsaw"-themed attraction, and terror immediately swept over our rugged team of four. My team’s descent into madness began in a claustrophobic virtual reality room, made even smaller with a costumed Jigsaw in the corner. Each player was then attached to an ominous chain by the arm — a throwback to the original Saw movie, where the unlucky victims are chained to a wall and given a saw strong enough to chop of a foot but too weak to cut through the metal links.
Menacing chain? Check. Unsettling Jigsaw in corner? Check. Our abject terror was soon exacerbated by Jigsaw’s sinister voice delivering his instructions, and setting the gruesome scene of the impending escape room.
Once my co-workers and I were briefed on the storyline, we were marched into the escape room. The five-minute timer was set, the door was slammed shut, our adrenaline started pumping, and it was go-time. So did we perish?
Watch the video to find out our fates, then catch "Jigsaw" in theaters on October 27.