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Video & Photos: I Like Scary Movies Redux

After its successful run this Spring, I Like Scary Movies is back in Los Angeles, featuring installation art inspired by horror movies and fantasy films such as The Shining, A Nightmare on Elm Street, IT, and Beetlejuice. Now billed as an “interactive art experience,” the immersive exhibition is in a new location, and one old installation (The Lost Boys) has been replaced with a new one (based on Friday the 13th). How different is I Like Scary Movies Redux, and is it worth a return visit? To find out, read on…if you dare!

I Like Scary Movies Encore Lobby
The eponymous photo op has been moved to the lobby of I Like Scary Movies’ encore presentation.

Please note: We have divided this post into sections according to the titles of the installations. Each section contains a photo gallery which you can click on to scroll through the images, reading more detailed captions than are visible when your cursor hovers over the photos.

I Like Scary Movies Encore: Location & Lobby

For Halloween 2019, I Like Scary Movies has moved from The Desmond Building in the Wilshire District to the HD Buttercup Building in downtown Los Angeles. With its shabby warehouses, this is not the kind of area likely to lure walk-in traffic, but there are signs to let you know you know you have not lost your way as you turn on Violet Street, which feels more like an alley than a public road. If you’re using a GPS, keep in mind that the parking lot is a little beyond the official address, which is on the opposite side of the building’s entrance, requiring you to walk around to the front.

Click on the first photo to scroll through the gallery and get more details…

As you enter, the changes to I Like Scary Movies Redux become immediately obvious. Whereas the entry to the original exhibition was relatively nondescript, this lobby is bathed in atmosphere, beginning with a Halloween tree that greets your eyes as you pass through the front door. A skeleton dangles from spiderwebs. The eponymous wall, where you can pose beside the silhouette of a girl beside a grave, is located next to the sign-in desk instead of buried midway through the experience. And a new photo op has been added: a casket, in which you can lie down.

I Like Scary Movies Encore: The Shining

The I Like Scary Movies encore installation of The Shining is compressed into a smaller space. Without the high ceilings and large rooms, it feels less like walking into a simulation of the film’s Overlook Hotel. Nevertheless, this installation comes closest to capturing the original, with its displays divided into three separate spaces.

Click on the first photo to scroll through the gallery and get more details…

I Like Scary Movies Encore: A Nightmare on Elm Street

The Spring version of I Like Scary Movies separated the A Nightmare On Elm Street installations into separate rooms along a long corridor. I Like Scary Movies Redux packs them closer together, which makes the experience a little bit less a voyage of discovery. On the plus side, all the pieces from the original display are back.

Click on the first photo to scroll through the gallery and get more details…

I Like Scary Movies Encore: IT

I Like Scary Movies Redux devotes a good amount of space to the IT installation, providing plenty of room for the multitude of paper boats and other grim sights inspired by the film. Still, the tower of floating bodies is less imposing that it was before.

Click on the first photo to scroll through the gallery and get more details…

I Like Scary Movies Encore: Beetle Juice

Beetlejuice seems too light-hearted to rub shoulders with IT and Friday the 13th, but its macabre displays are beautifully done, especially the cemetery scene featuring the title character’s grave. The best photo ops have been ported over from the Spring, but I Like Scary Movies Redux places the mannequins of Adam and Barbara (wearing their scary faces) in front of a simple brick wall, not the mesmerizing forced perspective background seen previously.

Click on the first photo to scroll through the gallery and get more details…

I Like Scary Movies Encore: Friday the 13th

The highlight of the I Like Scary Movies encore is the Friday the 13th installation, which is dominated by an intimidating simulation of Jason Voorhees’ signature hockey mask, suspended above Crystal Lake. The depiction of a campground setting, complete with campfire and a dock by the lake, is amazing. More than the other installations, this one could easily serve as a setting for a full-blown Halloween haunted house, and it provides the perfect climax for the return of the I Like Scary Movies Experience.

Click on the first photo to scroll through the gallery and get more details…

I Like Scary Movies Encore: Conclusion

After your encounter with Jason, you exit I Like Scary Movies Redux through the gift shop, where you can buy lunch boxes, dolls, and best of all a key chain to Room 237 before exiting to the alley and heading back to your car.

How does this Halloween’s I Like Scary Movies encore compare to the Spring exhibition? I Like Scary Moves Redux is smaller in scale. The official explanation for this is that the encore presentation is a more intimate experience, closer to the intention of its creator, Maximillian, and indeed almost everything from the first I Like Scary Movies is on display; the pieces are simply packed closer together. The difference is largely a matter of fewer long hallways between installations.

However, those corridors were half the fun of I Like Scary Movies. Decorated with vines, bats, and swarms of silhouetted insects, and bathed in mesmerizing shades of red and blue, they evoked the hyper-stylization of Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977), immersing visitors in horror movie atmosphere every step of the way. The new venue lacks the lofty ceilings and spacious rooms that made the Desmond Building the perfect setting for an epic-level, horror-themed experience. In the Buttercup Building, you do not feel as if you have entered the Ballroom of the Overlook Hotel, and there is less sense of discovery: without as much space for hiding, everything is out in the open, not tucked away into nooks and crannies that provide a sinister sense of isolation, as was the case with Pennywise’s arm extending from behind some foliage to offer a balloon; in the encore presentation, the sense of being lured away from the crowd is diminished by the displays’s clear visibility from the rest of the room..

Confined to this smaller space, I Like Scary Moves Redux – which bills itself as a 60-90 minute experience – can be traversed in less than ten minutes. How much time you actually spend depends on how long your peruse the exhibits and how long you pose for selfies at the many photo ops, which in turns depends upon crowd size. But overall, this encore feels diminished. If you didn’t see I Like Scary Movies the first time, here is a chance to correct that mistake. For those who attended the Spring presentation in the Desmond Building, the only must-see factor for the encore is the impressive Friday the 13th installation, which provides a much-improved conclusion – exactly what a good encore should do.

I Like Scary Movies: Compare and Contrast

Our final gallery provides images from the spring version of I Like Scary Movies

I Like Scary Movies Encore Rating

Bottom Line

The smaller location diminishes the scale of the overall experience of the I Like Scary Movies encore, but the exhibits on view are still great, and the new Friday the 13th installation is an impressive improvement over the abandoned Lost Boys set pieces, providing the satisfying conclusion that was missing the first time around.

I Like Scary Movies Redux runs through November 17 at the HD Buttercup Building, 2117 East Violet Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021. Get more information here: ilikescarymoviesexperience.com.

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.