Friday, 11 November 2016

Secret Cinema presents 28 Days Later

Don't wake up

I was very lucky to get tickets to Secret Cinema's 28 Day Later event. The immersive screening took place at a mystery location in London as well as other UK Citys from April 14 - May 29, 2016. 28 Days Later is the perfect film for Secret Cinema.  It's a genre film held together by big set pieces and is exactly the sort of slow-burn cult movie that Secret Cinema should be focusing on.


Secret Cinema's legendary experiences are all about anticipation: the dressing up, the coded emails, the unknown elements. For that anticipation to turn into satisfaction, these nights really need to deliver on what they promise. The price for this extraordinary experience is £64.50 or if you were feeling very fancy it was £129 for the VIP experience. From what I understand this was the most expensive Secret Cinema extravaganza. This was my first time going to Secret Cinema after following the movement online for years.

After buying your tickets you received an email with vague information. For 28 Days Later I received an email from the "NSH" (LOLZ) which told me about the infection and what you need to have for the event. The email also gave you instructions for your "Advanced Anti-Contamination Kit", these included flip-front googles, irrigation liquid, patient scrubs, valved face mask, bandage, blood sample, medical leaflets and patient ID wristband. In the email, everyone received individual medical leaflets which you needed for the event.


Thinking of the outfit for screening, I wanted to go all out and buy a scrubs costume from eBay but the outfits either took too long to get here or were too expensive so I hopped over to Primark and bought some dark blue jogger bottoms, an oversized dark blue and a long-sleeved white T-shirt. Outfit complete! My friend Heather had ordered some Surgeons face masks which added a nice touch to all our outfits. I had heard in the rumour mill that if you didn't dress up you either had to buy a £20 outfit set or go home. Personally I thought that was a bit rude. You've just spent a fortune on the ticket and now you have to spend extra on a costume?


A day before the event you are sent an email with the information of where the location is. We arrived at the location and queued to get into the building. Before you are allowed in the building you have to put your mobile phone in a sealed bag, you are warned at the beginning if you are seen using your mobile phone you will be chucked out. I was in a group of four people and obviously we wanted to stay together. Once in the Warehouse, we were told to sit down and were given information on what we had to do once it started. We were told to go into another room and that's when it all properly started.


In the room, there were actors dressed up as doctors telling us about the 'outbreak', some the people there were quizzed if they had been in contact with the virus or even bitten. After the interrogation we were all brought to a massive room with hospital beds, we were asked to lie on beds and close our eyes. After what felt like an hour we were awoken by two people to told us to follow them naturally, we followed them. As they were leading us to the next location, they informed us that the virus spread and that our friends and family are assumed dead. If you have watched the film you will already know what happens next. The two people lead us into a 'church' where we were met with other survivors, a priest was giving a speech when a single blood drop dropped into his eye and he was infected. We ran. We ran as fast as possible. Even though we knew these were fake zombie they scared the bejesus out of us. Some people did run off into the wrong part of the building but were directed back on track.


For the next part we ended up in a junkyard, lots of abandoned shopping trollies and general tat. We were told that the situation was getting worse and to take whatever we could from the junkyard which could help us defend ourselves. Of course, the bloody zombies came to get us. We ran away as fast as possible and were rescued by some other survivors in a tower block. There was a small break once we were in the tower block, our spirits were replenished with water and crisps. After this we were lead to the army base, this was scarier than being chased by the zombie. Once we passed the army interrogation and scaremongering we were allowed to roam the army base grounds which included food and drink vendors, a chillout area and music room. After some much-needed cocktails and food we headed into yet another room where we all raved to edgy dance music, occasionally a zombie would pop up and thrown some shapes.


After the rave we were instructed to head to the main room. The main room was filled with double hospital beds, pillows and blankets. Once settled into our beds, the film was ready to start. I had already seen 28 Days Later before so I knew what to expect. Secret Cinema present 28 Days Later was one of my highlights of 2016, it lived up to expectations and I would love to go again. Maybe something less scary. I hope this blog post gives you an idea of what Secret Cinema is about. If you get a chance to go I highly recommend going.

Marianna x

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