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Scariest Thing at Comic-Con: American Horror Story VR

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Lay back and enter the nightmare world of American Horror Story in virtual reality.

Among the highly anticipated VR experiences making their debut at San Diego Comic-Con this year like Mr. Robot and Suicide Squad, we still had one more at the top of our list we needed to check off before the four-day convention came to an end.

Debuting publicly for the first time just outside the convention center at the Hilton Bayfront Park, FX built an immersive American Horror Story VR experience for fans inside a dark ominous looking silo.

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This was not an experience for the faint of heart. After a staff member opens a door to let you enter and immediately slams it behind you, you find yourself standing inside a white silo dome room with creepy looking black platforms positioned in the center. These platforms, or wood daybeds, are where you’re asked to lay down by a helpful staff member dressed in black hospital scrubs and lab coat.

FXhibition At San Diego Comic-Con 2016

Once reclined on the platform, a hospital sheet is draped over your body — a HTC Vive headset and headphones are placed on your head. All the VR hardware has a minimal footprint, with Vive headset cables running into the platform where the PCs powering the system are hidden away. A few lighthouses are painted white and installed on the walls, making them look more like security cameras and adding to the whole asylum set.

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Then the VR experience begins and you’re transported onto a hospital gurney where you begin the terrifying horror show. Without giving away any spoilers, the entire VR experience runs roughly 5-minutes and leverages past iconic moments from the series, taking you on a journey to face some of the creepiest characters from earlier episodes.

The trip is a tense one, where you’ll experience everything from fear, vertigo, panic and a lot of claustrophobia.

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The entire VR experience was created to excite fans for the upcoming season and introduce new audiences to an immersive sample of the Emmy and Golden Globe winning series. What’s being called AHS Fearless VR, the activation was built in collaboration with FX, experience design agency North Kingdom and Groove Jones.

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By combining cutting edge VR-technology with classic theater trickery and group psychology tactics, the team created an immersive experience allowing fans to become one with the iconic show, bringing a more intimate experience that blurs the lines between reality and fiction. Unique full body 3D scanning technology was used to also capture a few memorable American Horror Story icons, adding to the realism of the experience.

“American Horror Story is a show where narrative and aesthetics are perfected season after season,” commented Daniel Ilic, Executive Creative Director and Partner of North Kingdom. “With that in mind, we wanted to absorb the audience in an experience reflecting everything the show represents. In order to blur the lines between reality and fiction, it was important to create something with an authentic look and feel to give the audience an even more intimate experience.”

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If you wanted to check out the experience at Comic-Con, you would have had to make a reservation in advance — spots filled up quickly for all four-days. Still no word yet for those who missed out on the VR experience at Comic-Con if it will ever be made available to the public again, but when it does, you might want to keep the lights on for this one.

You can view a teaser for the VR experience below, which also has a slight tease for Season 6, the theme of which won’t be revealed until it’s premiere on 9/14.

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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