Delusion Creator on Reaper’s Remorse: ‘The Most Terrifying Delusion Yet’

Delusion is a horror, interactive play where you get to be part of the story, and it’s coming back with a vengeance! Reaper’s Remorse, the next tale in the Delusion universe, is returning back to its horror roots, and it’s said to be the most terrifying yet. Nerd Reactor had the chance to chat with creator Jon Braver on what he has in store for guests in the Los Angeles area this year including a new creepy location, story, characters, and tips on how to have the best experience at this year’s Delusion.

With the world on pause in 2020, Braver had some time to rethink for Delusion. He was working on projects and knew that it would be returning to the horror genre. This year, Braver is now a part of 13th Floor Entertainment Group, a company that produces live events and location-based entertainment experiences like LA’s Haunted Hayride. Guests can definitely expect to be scared and disturbed.

Returning to Horror

“It was always in the back of my mind,” Braver said. “I knew the next show was going to be a terrifying show. It’s just a matter of where I was going to host it.”

“I set out to make this the most terrifying delusion yet,” he added. “That was my goal. Yeah, I was trying to make this the most horrific mushroom trip ever. And yeah, so far the show just keeps building, and there’ll be some very memorable moments in the show.”

Reaper’s Remorse Trailer

To get a sense of Reaper’s Remorse, a trailer has been released, giving guests a glimpse of what to expect with the story and the creepiness that lurks within.

“The trailer speaks to the energy of the show in every way,” Braver said. “Yeah, it’s pretty sick. I think everybody who worked in this trailer did such a killer job, with 13th Floor editing. And then Victor Matthews, he’s the sound designer on that. So if you put the headphones on and listen to that trailer, it’s just pretty sick. It’s pretty simple what he did with that.”

13th Floor Collaboration

With 13th Floor, it has definitely lifted some of the burdens with producing an interactive, horror play.

“This is the first time we have a big, well-oiled apparatus machine behind us that helped alleviate the stresses of the previous shows, whereas I was producing these shows in the past along with other people,” he said. “But they’re financing the show, and they’re helping in all different departments, getting us going. Our goal is to really expand the fan base because right now, we’ve been kind of stagnant in our diehard Delusional fans in LA. That’s a product of a few different things, one being it’s seasonal. It goes up, it comes back down, and then people get interested in other things. Hence the 13th Floor collaboration.”

Braver is the Director of Immersive Experiences at 13th Floor, and he’ll be doing a lot of different things and activations throughout the years besides Delusion. With this collaboration, however, the company is helping him expand on the Delusion concept with the open-world narrative. Previous shows would usually have guests show up for the one-hour experience, and after that was done, they would be on their merry way.

The Future of Delusion

“This is our first time venturing into what do we believe to be the future of these kinds of experiences, which is a combination of open-world and narrative,” Braver tells Nerd Reactor. “The narrative place sticking to the true form of Delusion, while the open world is a hauntingly beautiful addition to the story that you can partake in at whim. So there’s going to be about 10 different story threads. It’s kind of like a weird eerie scavenger hunt that you can go on whenever you like. You have a drink, there’s going to be a full bar, food, you’re gonna have dinner there. And then in between all that, you go with your friends and go on these story quests, these mini-adventures.”

That means if guests have a 10 p.m. show, they can come at 7 p.m., have drinks at 7:30 p.m., and then hang out. But don’t get too drunk, because you won’t be let in. There are story threads you can experience, and these will be loosely connected to what you’ll see in the actual play, and they might help shape the world even further. After that, guests can have their campfire moment and talk about what they did in the play, and then they can continue to go on the other four or five story threads.

In addition to these story threads and the one-hour play, there’s the VIP experience with the purchase of a $30 ticket upgrade. This will give guests access to a second floor with exclusive story threads, a game room, and a dark arts lounge and bar. VIP guests can interact with a very strange and eccentric resident who lives up there.

“The big draw will be that along with this experience called Her Private Collection from Esther Phillips, who is our lead character here,” Braver explained. “So she’s got some more personal items that you can experience and move through this space where it helps further define her backstory as you move through a dark and eerie second floor. That’ll probably be about 10 minutes or so of that. And then you go to the bar and hang out there in the VIP lounge with an eccentric magician and resident. So there’ll be some strange character up there.”

Don’t worry if you can’t get the VIP tickets, since if you’re on the first floor, you’ll have access to the outdoor lounge and the inside first floor, which will have the story threads and strange artifacts mentioned in the synopsis below.

Reaper’s Remorse Synopsis

There are some dead that won’t let go. Clutching to this world by whatever threads they can find. Pretty red shoes. A shotgun. A loved one left behind. And although these strands of life can be as innocent as a child’s toy… everything has its price. A price only Esther Phillips can afford.

She lives alone. A solemn collector surrounded by artifacts that not only tell tales but carry the very souls they’re tied to. An ethereal prison of those unwilling to let go. Esther’s latest acquisition may be her greatest yet… if she would only go near. Fear, anger and regret bleed from it. Things decay, but memories can linger.

A rare invitation has been extended to you, fellow lovers of the occult. An exclusive evening to play your part in the haunting and epic story of Esther Phillips. There are some dead that won’t let go. And there are others that must make them.

“They’re clutching to these threads of life,” Braver said of the strange artifacts. “And if you lean in close, you’ll be able to hear some of their voices and some of the things that they’re saying into these strange artifacts like an hourglass or an old photo. These are not just objects that you look at, but they actually capture the soul. She believes she is a caretaker of these people in limbo. The whole idea is that she has her latest acquisition, and it is something that she needs to share with other people. So you’re coming to her private party, the first party that she’s ever really held at this at her home, and witnessing the unveiling of her latest startup or latest acquisition.”

A Whole Night Experience

With the story threads, play, and VIP experience, Braver encourages guests to stay for the whole night.

“I think we’ve achieved that balance in terms of the open-world experience and the narrative,” Braver said. “I think it’s gonna be a full night out. So yeah, this is the first year we want people to come early and stay late. Like you can come for the whole night. You can spend 6:30 p.m. to midnight there if you want to just hang out. It’ll be fun.”

The Phillips Mansion

Finding the venue is always challenging when creating a story for Delusion, and Braver found the location for Reaper’s Remorse with the Phillips Mansion in Pomona, CA. It’s an old mansion that has existed since the late 1800s, and it was built by Louis Phillips, the wealthiest man in Los Angeles County in the 1890s.

“You find the venue, which I found a couple of years ago through a location manager,” Braver said about the process. “I was working on something else, and I wasn’t able to procure it. I felt it just wasn’t right at the time for me. After I did Blue Blade I was like, ‘I want to do horror.’ This place was gnawing at me. I remember this place in Pomona. So I went back out there again. This was the end of the last year, something like that, and I was like, ‘You know what? This is a pretty spectacular place.’ And in fact, it’s the best Delusion venue ever for many reasons. Logistically, we have no neighbors, no parking issue. You know, free parking.”

“People will be driving for a little bit to come out here,” he added. “That’s a bit of a destination in Pomona but it’s not that bad. Say you get annoyed with traffic and you get out there, I guarantee once you come to this house and you see it in this strange industrial park with a train behind it that goes by three to four times every hour with a mountain behind it, especially at night, the sound of the train, it’s like, ‘What is this place? How does this place exist here?’ You are absolutely transported. Everything that just happened prior to your arrival just melts away.”

Reaper’s Remorse tickets are currently on sale on the Delusion website.

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