Friday, October 20, 2023

Choices: Twin Cities Horror Festival XII


Dangerous Productions

In Short: 
When a group of old friends show up for a birthday surprise, it becomes very clear that the dream has become a nightmare.

Selected Cast/Creative Info: 
A lot of faces familiar from past Dangerous Production shows including Leif Jurgensen, Jay Kistler, Laura Mahler, Haley McCormick Jenkins, Derek Sykes, Lily Mills, and Chad Heslup. Directed by Tyler Olsen-Highness. 

Our Thoughts:
As we walked out of Girls in Bins, and the Dangerous Productions folks walked in, we spotted the tarp and if you listened to Twin Cities Theater Chat's episode about TCHF, you know what that tarp means. Blood and lots of it, and this production did not disappoint. Set in a cabin in the woods, John is surprised by a group of friends ready to celebrate his birthday. But why is he so distressed? And where is his partner Greg? And who keeps knocking on the door? 

Although this show starts of with drinking games and laughter, as with most Dangerous Production TCHF shows, things go downhill very quickly and we just need to tell you that there are two (2) "Blood Assistants" listed on the program. Need we say more? The action switches between the birthday party shenanigans in the present and more intimate scenes with John and Greg in the near past. We were really struck by how beautifully Director Tyler Olsen-Highness made these scene changes. The lights in the cabin were constantly going out and the scene would continue until suddenly, the lights came back on and we found ourselves in an entirely new scene. The timing was fantastic. 

Although the question of what is in the woods remains a mystery, the cast is engaging and utterly committed, particularly to the gory scare. There's still some laughter along with the gasps at gore, with Jay Kistler's Nic a particularly bright spot. We also really enjoyed Derek Sykes whose portrayal of Greg showcased humor and heart as well as an endearing acceptance of his horrific fate. 

You Should See This If You Like:
Obviously, blood and/or gore, impressive special effects, a little laughter with your scare, and a little heart with your entrails.