The Willows: A new interactive horror theatre in a mansion from the minds of Creep LA

Creep Los Angeles' The Willows

Credit: Hatbox Photography

It was sunset as I was arriving in a delightful neighborhood to check out a new horror interactive theatrical experience, The Willows. It’s produced by JFI Productions, the creative minds behind Creep Los Angeles. I was then given an address for parking, with an email instructing me to meet with a gentleman. Soon our small group quickly filled up to 12 people. We all had no idea what to expect, and this is coming from a guy who went to JFI Productions’ Creep Los Angeles shows.

A black van arrives, and the first half of the group enters. Everyone then had to wear an eye mask in the van. The mood is set and we are blindly taken to a “secret” mansion by the Willows. Upon entering, I saw the grand stairs that led to the second floor. The servants came to greet us, who were very gracious and helpful. A few members of our group went upstairs to store their belongings. I came light so I proceeded to the common area where the family introduced themselves to me. One thing that was prevalent during the interactions was the fate of Jonathan. Who is he, and why is he so important to the family?

Creep Los Angeles' The Willows

One of the servants asked if I could help bring some food to the dinner table. (Yes, we’re going to have dinner!) I obliged and was able to get a sense of my surroundings as I maneuver throughout the house. Once the table was ready, our group went to the dinner table. Each seat had a name reserved for us, so I did feel honored. It’s here where we get a sense of the family’s relationship with each other and their off-kilter personalities. In addition, the servants came to pour wine, and we had light snacks including my favorite, potato soup. (It was damn tasty!)

Things started to get rolling once dinner was over. Little by little, our group separated and ventured off with the other family members. We would play fun games, and some uncomfortable ones. This is the case if you’re a member of the opposite sex. I had a unique experience where I had to sneak in the backyard while trying to evade a creepy man with a bag over his face. (And I will see him many more times throughout the story.) Things got more intense as another guest and I had to hide underneath the bed to avoid detection. As the tale progressed, the family started to get weirder and weirder. There was a moment where I had to lie down next to a corpse. (I had to remind myself that it’s all fake.)

Creep Los Angeles' The Willows

Credit: Hatbox Photography

The whole experience took around 2 and a half hours, with the bulk of it involving mingling with the guests and the Willows. Would I recommend it? Yes, and that’s only if you’re willing to commit to the story and are in a good group. I have talked about this with other group members after it was over. They genuinely seem to be enjoying it. There was one who said that it wasn’t his thing and that he couldn’t get into it. It’s not for everyone, and to truly enjoy your stay at the Willows, you must engulf yourself in the story and participate and interact with the family and guests. (A smaller group would have helped.)

JFI Productions has really stepped it up, and it’s one of the creepiest and bizarre theatrical adventures in LA. I do have one suggestion though, and that is for them to be strict on the rules. Having experienced The Tension Experience in LA, I would have preferred the family to get nastier and stricter if a person gets out of line. (As in no second chances if they goof around or heckle.)

The Willows is different from JFI Productions’ other productions since it’s happening outside of the Halloween season. It has been selling out, and that’s a good thing. People are embracing the interactive theatre format. Therefore we’ll definitely see more of these types of entertainment in the future.

For more info, visit CreepLA.com.

Disclaimer

  • All ticket sales are final & non-refundable.
  • No admission under 21.
  • “The Willows” is not recommended for audience members who are not comfortable with walking, standing, climbing stairs, heights, moments of complete darkness, mature themes, or being in close proximity to strangers and performers. Your attendance and punctuality are stressed, as this show is created for you.
  • The duration of your evening will last roughly 2.5 hours (including arrival/departure).
  • They reserve the right to refuse or remove guests from the show due to inappropriate behavior at any time without refund or re-admittance.
  • Please arrive sober. Drink and light food provided throughout the performance.
  • Due to the nature of the location, “The Willows” is not wheelchair accessible.
  • Please follow all directions and instructions; inability to follow instructions could result in removal.
  • No intermission or breaks; however restroom is available on site.

Dress Code for The Willows

Casual Cocktail (*Please no Graphic T-Shirts, Shorts, Flip Flops, Hats, Sunglasses, Distressed/Ripped Jeans)

About author

John 'Spartan' Nguyen
John 'Spartan' Nguyen 8925 posts

Assassin, scoundrel, editor-in-chief.

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