Hidden scares in the UBC Botanical Gardens

Imagine you’re walking in the woods with 13 other people: all holding flashlights, all silent and scared, knowing someone is coming after you. That’s pretty much what you get from ITSAZOO’s newest production, Hidden.

My favourite horror is slasher-style movies, like Scream and Halloween, and getting injected into that mystery was one of the most fun experiences I’ve had in a long time. Everyone meets at the Wolf and Hound pub before getting bussed over to the Botanical Gardens to learn of the Lost Lovers murders – and they’re brutal.

Someone stalked a couple and their friend in the woods, cut off their heads, and burned one. But as we move along the treetops with our tour guide, watching a reenactment, weird things start happening. A haunting figure is following us, leaving notes for our guide, and scaring all the actors (and audience) to flee.

It’s so difficult to do a production like this well, bringing the actors right up close to audiences so they’re interacting but not improvising. It’s also hard to make tension like this real. Especially as we finally descended from the treetop walk and joined the action below, I was immersed in Hidden. All of the actors were great in their roles, and provided the right level of intensity to really scare us. The fear felt never-ending, would we ever really make it out of the forest alive?

I couldn’t rave stronger about this show. It was so fun, immersive, and scary. Almost everything was so well thought out, the story was captivating, and I never felt calm once I started. They used their space so well, unlike anything I could have expected, and I can’t wait until another production like this comes along.

Due to overwhelming demand, ITSAZOO will extend the run of the bone-chilling, site-specific horror event Hidden by one week. Eight newly added performances will see the show run at UBC Botanical Garden through to November 19, 2016. Tickets and further information at www.itsazoo.org.