Spoiler level: We believe this event was a one-off; nevertheless, we should mention that there are major spoilers here for Unwrapped 2019.
Described as “a 45 minute sequence of chaos, just to say thank you”, the 2019 iteration of Faceless Ventures‘ ‘Unwrapped’ was a mysterious event which ran for one night only. The Unwrapped show has become an annual tradition to mark the end of the year, highly anticipated all year round. This was our first time attending one – we were emphatically encouraged to do so, and as is always the way with Faceless Ventures, we had no idea what to expect.
We arrived early and settled in with a couple of drinks, and with a raised eyebrow, I carefully surveyed each and every individual, looking for clues as to what the show might entail. Sadly, there were no clues to be found. Participants exited the show area in varying states. Some were covered with blood. Some daubed with crude makeup. Some had no trace of anything at all. It was a mystery.
As it turned out, the vast discrepancies between the participants’ exit states were the result of the participants’ own choices, not those of Faceless Ventures. And those choices weren’t made within the show – technically, the show hadn’t even been written. That was our job.
As we descended the stairs to the building’s basement, we overheard a great deal of shouting, and quickly found ourselves in the midst of a heated argument between the Faceless Ventures team members. They were arguing about the show; or rather, the lack of it. Things clearly hadn’t gone to plan, and so, we were asked to step in and finish the job. We were assembled into two teams of ‘interns’ and tasked writing the show from scratch. We chose our own setting, theme and style. We picked actors, props, music and lighting. And finally, we performed it for the other team. Once both performances were complete, they were judged and scored by independent adjudicators.
The content of Unwrapped 2019 can’t be reviewed as such, as no two versions will ever be the same. When it comes to reviewing the concept, I can scarcely find the words to express how much I loved this. How much more immersive can an experience get? How much more hands-on and involved; how much more meta? This was, without a doubt, the most memorable and enjoyable experience I’ve ever had in the field of immersive horror. Only a team so passionate about finding new and innovative ways to immerse their audience could create something like this, and it’s clear that this passion is front and centre in the Faceless Ventures modus operandi. Thank you for an amazing end to the year.