THR debuts an exclusive clip from the season premiere, a episode featuring parents and their children. The Hollywood Reporter exclusively debuts a clip from the season two premiere next week, a special parent-child episode where three mother-daughter teams and one mother-son team embark on the pitch-black challenges.
It being Total Blackout, the contestants get a little frantic -- as seen in the clip above. Although the idea isn’t new — it’s essentially another “Blair Witch Project” knockoff — “American Blackout” seems especially well timed, and perfectly tailored to the semi-hysterical nature of the media zeitgeist. Perhaps that’s because so many Americans seem panicky these days, which, as a historian notes in the “American Experience”-shingled Welles docu, tends to happen during periods of heightened anxiety — in the case of “War of the Worlds,” the Depression and tumult in Europe; and more recently, the Cold War and Sept. Ultimately, though, the movie, written by Emily Ballou and Ewan Morrison, and directed by Jonathan Rudd, is a minor triumph of editing, sound and cinematography, deftly weaving the actual footage together with the fictional material in a way that seems mostly plausible, and extremely visceral. That said, one has to suspend a certain amount of disbelief, like the fact people conveniently continue to run their phones and cameras even when faced with perilous situations, where having two free hands might be the more logical reaction.
The irony is that while “American Blackout” proves compelling by hewing closely to reality, “War of the Worlds” veers off course by indulging in excessive dramatization — having actors, shot in a facsimile of grainy black-and-white, relate sentiments expressed via letters to Welles and CBS after the famed broadcast. It’s a terrible choice in an otherwise highly enjoyable hour that captures Welles’ astonishing genius at such an early age, and how an already spooked populace was ripe to be sent into a tizzy — in much the way, frankly, segments of our polarized society, obsessing in their own private little chat rooms, are today.
TV movies have a long history of creatively tapping into deep-seated fears, from “Special Bulletin” to “The Day After.” “American Blackout” obviously doesn’t approach that level of ambition, or the legendary qualities of Welles’ radio play. In that respect, amid a deluge of Halloween-themed fare, it’s one genuinely worth watching with the lights off — or at least, turned way down low.

LOS ANGELES (August 7, 2013) – Blumhouse Productions, the multi-media production company behind highly successful and terrifying movies like the Paranormal Activity franchise, Sinister, Insidious and The Purge, will once again take over the historic Variety Arts Theater in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, introducing an all-new, immersive live experience for the Halloween season. Last year, the theater was home to The Blumhouse of Horrors, a haunted house created by producer Jason Blum’s film-production team that attracted rave reviews and capacity crowds.
In this new type of horror-theater, guests become “delegates” to the annual convention of the New Founding Fathers, the dystopian governing party of a near-future America, in which all crime is legal once a year for 12 hours. Once delegates are inside, the immersive horror-theater experience begins in the grand theater of the New Founding Fathers Headquarters.
But the visiting delegates will quickly discover that not all Americans believe in the Purge, and that the intense opposition can have frightening, even deadly, consequences. As they explore, delegates may find themselves complicit in the shocking acts undertaken by a warped government … directly threatened by hostile dissenters … or intrigued by the mysterious lives of elected officials. Politicians, patriots, dissidents and traitors will directly engage delegates, who will be encouraged to interact with their surroundings and take their own time discovering the long-hidden, carefully guarded secrets of Purge Night and the New Founding Fathers of America.
Admission to THE PURGE: FEAR THE NIGHT starts at $65, and is open to anyone 18 years of age or older. Tickets will also be available at the box office of the 89-year-old Variety Arts Theater, located at 940 S.
After the contestants guess the weight of objects, they must reach into the tank and identify what the objects are. When another mother-daughter team attempts to complete the challenge successfully, the mom yells in fear before she even makes contact with the object.

It’s also clearly cost effective, since the news-culled footage spares the producers from replicating those scenes of chaos, allowing them to create a suspenseful product for something a fraction the price of, say, “Cloverfield,” even before the monster shows up. But it does make a pretty thought-provoking case about the fragile nature of civility, and how little it takes to collectively unsettle us. There, they will participate in the annual Founder’s Convention – which is held each year on Purge Night.
Oddly, it also has an appropriate companion in PBS’ “War of the Worlds” documentary, tethered to the 75th anniversary of Orson Welles’ radio broadcast that panicked America.
27, Blumhouse invites horror fans to experience THE PURGE: FEAR THE NIGHT, inspired by the backstory to the feature film. Do yourself and your family a favor and store a little food and water for a day like this or even something natural. You don’t have to spend a ton of money if you put a little back at a time and trust me it will be worth staying away from the stores.
I do suggest hooking up with a few friends or families so you can help watch out for each other.

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