Jon Braver reveals vampire lore for Delusion: His Crimson Queen

delusion his crimson queen

Delusion, the immersive and interactive horror theatre experience, is returning this fall with “His Crimson Queen.” The initial run for the show is sold out, but there is still hope for a possible extension.

The show is premiering in October, and if you’re wondering what to expect, we have plenty of new information. Nerd Reactor got the chance to chat with Delusion creator Jon Braver on what fans can anticipate, why the show was on hiatus in 2015, the absent year-round show and more.

“It was kind of a crazy year,” Braver tells Nerd Reactor about their defunct 2015 year-round production. “I found an amazing space, wrote a show and started to design it. I had to pull the plug on it because we weren’t able to pay that kind of rent for the amount the show was going to cost. It was a total financial issue. Unfortunately we lost out on this really cool warehouse space. So that one kind of died out. Looking for a venue is always the biggest [issue]. We couldn’t find one in time to make it work. I wrote a show that was way too expensive.”

That doesn’t mean that he’s going to give up on it.

“It was ambitious,” the creator said. “We’re going to make it happen at some point.”

Braver had another reason why the Delusion was absent last year.

“My mother passed away last year, and that was a major blow. That was kind of a personal issue that kept me away from it. I took time off. It was well needed. I made a little haunted house for my daughter.”

After some time off, Braver is back at it again this year with a sold-out show. He explains that future tickets might be available.

“We’re going to plan to extend,” a hopeful Braver replied. “I’m hoping that the city will allow us to extend the permits. If we can do that, we can extend hopefully until December 11th. It’s always been down to the city and how cool they are with working with us. LA has this great art scene. They sometimes don’t make it very easy. We’re doing a commercial thing at a residential property, and that has an incredible amount of obstacles to overcome. Fans seem to love it, and we love doing it. It comes with a lot of headaches, but we’re making it happen again this year.”

Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty on what fans can expect from Delusion’s “His Crimson Queen.”

“We haven’t talked at all exactly about what the show is really centered around. Maybe you can get it out of me because I actually had a margarita before this call,” Braver tells Nerd Reactor. “It takes place in 1935. The audience are children of this distant father and a mother who died in the fire when they were very young. Except they find out in the beginning that their mother didn’t die in the fire, and that she was actually captured by someone and taken to a villa… a very old villa in 1935, prohibition era.

The story is centered around something I wanted to touch upon for a few years but never did because it was a bit cliche and overdone. I decided I wanted to do my own take on vampire lore. It’s the first time I ever mentioned what the show was kind of about. I’m okay with people knowing about that. We’re touching upon an old-school Interview with the Vampire sort of feel to this year’s story. The audience are learning more about who they are and what they can actually do. They enter this mansion. There’s a very strange family that lives in this mansion. Actually, there’s more than one family. They find out that there’s a twisted family dynamic where there used to be one family, and now they’ve split off into two other ones and sort of take over separate villas while trying to keep the audience’s mother away from them.

The great thing about the vampire lore is that there [are all kinds] of vampire lore out there. It’s my own take on it. There’s a lot more to it than that. That’s part of the basic premise, where you rescue your parents.”

With the vampire setting, the participants can experience a different yet beautiful world.

“They can definitely expect a beautifully haunting world when they step into it like other years,” Braver explains. “Being able to step into that old-world style and really lose themselves completely in this. Their interactions will be similar to other years. They will have to find their moment to speak up, help out, or venture off into [a different] direction and be left on their own. It all serves the story in a way where the audience will have to do activities to help. We put a ridiculous amount of trust in the audience. We’re hoping that people will play along.

The interaction this year is more along the lines of the supernatural. [I’m not trying] to scare somebody to death. The idea of Delusion is never ‘This is the scariest thing’ or ‘This is the most frighten you’ll ever be.’ It’s never supposed to be that way. I never say it is that. If people get terrified, then wonderful. It’s all about an eerie story we’re trying to tell. With that said, this year I believe we’ll probably have the most frightening moment in any of the shows that we’ve ever done in the finale sequence. I’ll put that out there.”

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