Exclusive Interview: Tim Gough
(MurderCo & Black Market Escape Rooms)
What inspired you to want to create an R-rated escape room?
Escape rooms are primarily designed towards the family demographic and I wanted to create a unique experience that adults would enjoy. Having an R-Rating distinguishes MurderCo from the other escape rooms and lets our audiences know that this is not your average escape room.
How many rooms do you have?
MurderCo is not your average escape room experience, as we do not have multiple themed rooms. Murderco is a complete function secured facility and our members have access to the entire 2,800 sqft facility during their experience.
What makes your escape rooms different than anything else out there?
MurderCo is unique in a lot of different areas. From the moment our members arrive to the moment they leave, they are completely immersed in a dark world that feels very much real and has them questioning if it isn’t.
MurderCo is designed to deliver top tier live action entertainment while using escape room elements to push our members through a terrifying storyline. Members can expect to fully interact with multiple actors, while navigating through elaborately detailed sets. Compliment talented actors with smells, sounds, visuals and different textures for guests to touch and you have the main ingredients to push the boundaries of realism.
What horror movies have been an influence on what you do?
I have always been a fan of slasher and psychological horror movies. Watching the victims run and try to find a way to escape from harm as the killer is after them has always enthralled me. Halloween, Jaws, The Shining and Psycho have the best examples of this.
Do you have a favorite horror decade? Why?
1980’s horror in my opinion was the magic years for horror. During these times horror movies were made mainly with practical special effects and less on CGI. Practical effects just have a different feel to me.
What made you choose this particular cast of characters – Oblivion, Sideshow, Juggernaut, and Maneater? The artists at MurderCo were chosen for their fear styles and personalities.
Oblivion is a mentaly unstable war veteran who gets pleasure in seeing how much pain a person can endure. His size alone is intimidating.
Juggernaut is a sophisticated doctor who has an innate need to experiment on humans. He is a very likable individual, but don’t be fooled by his charm, as he is constantly looking for someone to cut open and try something new.
Sideshow is a ten year old boy stuck inside a middle aged man who thinks he’s the funniest clown in the world. He has major anger management issues, especially when people don’t find him funny.
Maneater is a cross-dressing serial killer who has idenity issues. Upset that his mother dressed him up as a girl since he could remember and confused on if he liked it, Maneater is a volatile package of sexual frustrations and pure rage.
What has been the most challenging part of all of this?
The most challenging part in creating MurderCo was figuring out the balance between immersive theater and escape room. The mission of MurderCo is to ensure that the guests are thoroughly entertained while navigating through “puzzles”.
Finding the right formula in creating extreme fear levels and not obstructing our members while they escape, took almost 100 beta tests and two hundred hours.
What are some of the best fan reactions that you’ve gotten?
MurderCo creates a lot of memorable reactions, but a couple of my favorites would be when a member had a panic attack so severe that paramedics had to be called out and when a member was too scared that they ran through three locked doors and out a glass window to leave the building as fast as they could..
Do you have a personal favorite aspect of MurderCo… anything?
My favorite aspect of MurderCo is that no two shows are the same. Unlike haunted mazes or escape rooms, this world is designed to react to the Members. In other experiences the production is designed to get a reaction from the guests and then move them to another scene. MurderCo is the exact opposite.
Members are able to make many different choices within the experience and each decision plays a part in their outcome. This unique quality is what delivers a different experience every time for our returning members.
Do you plan on expanding on this great escape room concept?
Yes! I am already planning and designing more amazing immersive escape experiences that you will see in a couple more states in 2022.
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