Pretty much since the start of running this site, a question keeps popping up, over and over.
“Can we run this on the site?”
And whilst we’ve pushed it sometimes (see our Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire review for a good example), we’ve pretty much mostly justified everything that’s on the site as far as relevance to horror/scare attractions go.
The problem that I’m personally finding every time that this question arises is twofold
1 – It’s arbitrary – it’s not like there’s any sponsors or obligations that enforce a strict rule of what’s appropriate to cover and what isn’t.
2 – It’s becoming increasingly apparent that leading the site with the word ‘scare’ is reductive in this burgeoning world of immersive theatre and events that are dark in theme but devoid of ‘scares’. In certain cases, it’s diminishing of the event when I have to drop in a rating for the ‘Scare Factor’ section of the review.
Which brings us to what we do about it. I think it comes down to three things:
1 – We’re going to cover stuff as and when we feel like it and not be dismissive of something just because it doesn’t ‘scare’ us. I don’t think it’ll necessarily change the scope of the site too much – I envisage us covering a wider range of immersive theatre but, even then, we’ll only visit stuff that interests us (i.e. events with a dark bent). For example, we’re not going to start running reviews for things like the recent immersive production of The Great Gatsby and Secret Cinema’s Moulin Rouge because those genres just don’t appeal to us. But, things with a dark edge but not necessarily marketed as ‘scare’ events will likely start to creep in.
2 – We need to revise the current rating structure. I want to move away from focusing on an element of a show that doesn’t necessarily make or break it. Something doesn’t have to be in any way scary to be engaging – take Whitechapel for example. It might just come down to the rating structure being dynamic to the attraction category…
3 – The branding of the site needs to change. I’ve been thinking about this for a very long time and still not sure what guise this will take. Do we rename it? Do we keep the name but subtitle it to include other types of event? Do we add an ‘About’ page or whack a mission statement somewhere? Something needs to be done so that whenever we do post the odd ‘tangential’ review like Star Wars, it doesn’t feel as out of place as it currently does.
Basically – the site feels pretty exclusive at the moment and it needs to be more inclusive! Absolutely nothing is changing as far as content we already produce goes – we’re not moving away from scare events but also don’t want to be bound to only talking about things with impact scares when we attend something that’s in our wheelhouse.
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