A few months ago, Danni Winn and I started seeing these rather cryptic posters floating around Los Angeles quickly followed by some social media buzz about a new interactive horror-themed spectacle entitled I Like Scary Movies. But this wasn’t just your ordinary popup; it was a carefully constructed and thoughtfully conceived experience by Artist Maximillian, crafted with a genuine love of the genre. It boasted an unparalleled experience for horror fans with interactive opportunities from within some of our favorite films: Beetlejuice, IT, A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Shining, and The Lost Boys. Needless to say, we were thrilled when we were extended an invitation to check out I Like Scary Movies, and we made the arrangements necessary to travel from Phoenix to L.A. to experience all of this for ourselves. The excitement for our trip only increased after chatting with Maximillian (read our interview with him here), noting his passion and seeing some of our heroes in horror share their personal photos from I Like Scary Movies.
Located inside the historic Desmond Building (with an equally historic yet pleasant elevator operator) on Wilshire Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, the entire second floor was converted into a haven for horror-loving folk. The elevator doors open to reveal a sprawling, smile-inducing exhibit for fans. As you begin your trek through I Like Scary Movies, you pass through a maze and enter Room 237, an area completely covered in that iconic carpet from Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, The Shining. You feel consumed and pleasantly overwhelmed by it all, with every corner offering a different photo opportunity taken directly from the movie.
After The Shining, your vision is thrust from the mesmerizing carpet pattern to the moving, neon-lit vortex of Pennywise’s nest. Stepping out of the maelstrom, you step right into the incredibly detailed home of one of the most terrifying clowns to ever grace the screen. Remember to earn a penny for your fear while you dwell in his lair, just before you head into Freddy Krueger’s boiler room from A Nightmare On Elm Street, one of Wes Craven’s massive contributions to horror cinema.
I fucking loved the over-sized, meticulously created Freddy glove! It was one of my favorite interactive displays at I Like Scary Movies. I actually went back to the glove a second time to marvel at its craftsmanship. But Danni seemed to be more impressed with Freddy’s throne, which was undoubtedly pretty damn cool as well.
After escaping from the Nightmare On Elm Street, another familiar color pattern emerges. We swap the green and red of Freddy’s sweater for the black and white theme all have come to know from Tim Burton, especially his beloved Beetlejuice. Again, I Like Scary Movies utilizes all corners and delivers impressive opportunities to engage in those time honored moments within the film.
Closing out our time in the experience was a visit to Santa Carla to see The Lost Boys, complete with a giant box of noodles and a dare to let go of the bridge.
We had a blast and my cheeks hurt from laughing and smiling so much during our hour-long excursion through an entire level of the Desmond Building, which was dedicated to us horror fans and these iconic movies. Our two friends, Kerry and Ronnie McGuire, also made the trip from Phoenix to L.A. a few days after we did to visit I Like Scary Movies. They also enjoyed themselves, with Kerry saying, “We didn’t know what to expect, but it was definitely entertaining, and we had a lot of fun. We spent an hour and a half running around and acting like fools! We would go again if they chose to do it with different movies.” I laughed at this because it was much of the same for Danni and I. Another thing my friends and I agreed upon was that we wished we all could have visited I Like Scary Movies together. Although we did have a great time checking it out in dynamic duos, we all felt that a group of friends would’ve been a greater experience.
I have seen some say that I Like Scary Movies is just a selfie farm that charges admission. Sure, you can be a genre grinch and look at it that way. Or, you can see this as an opportunity to connect with friends, family and fellow strangers who are also horror fans and create these lasting memories while getting to celebrate our favorite genre. Think of it as an opportunity to help spread the love to future generations. Furthermore, being able to celebrate in such an interactive and creative way needs to be applauded. Let’s be thankful for a popup of this caliber geared towards us, the loyal fans of horror.
I Like Scary Movies is currently open for you to experience and is open Thursday through Sunday until mid June. Visit here to check out dates, times and to purchase tickets! And to request your city to be among one of the destinations for the experience, visit the I Like Scary Movies Experience!
Last but not least, I want to send huge props to Danni Winn for going with me and helping me with this article. I couldn’t have done it without you!