13: Fear Is Real...or imagined
First off, the show can’t seem to decide if it wants to follow in the footsteps of the “The Blair Witch Project” or the torture porn of “Saw” and its endless sequels. Without a definite template in place, we get the both worlds: the dark, haunted outdoors where things go bump in the night and the omnipotent overseer pulling the strings.
Set in the Louisiana Bayou with a creepy, unseen character who calls himself “The Mastermind” at the helm, 13 attractive, theoretically normal young adults face their deepest fears for the chance to win the satanic sum of $66,666. Of course, normalcy is relative when you consider these folks are willing to endure horrific situations such as being buried alive for a paltry cash prize when compared to other contests. This show makes Who Wants To Be A Millionaire look like a walk in the park.
The name of the game is staying alive. The last contestant left standing wins, but not before compromising his or her soul. You see, the losers don’t get sent home packing, they supposedly get sent to an eternal resting place. Now, we’re pretty sure the network wouldn’t actually condone murder (we think...), but this juxtaposition between reality and fantasy (and never knowing which is which) gives the show its oomph. We're a bit leery of the premise -- what about you?
Our contestants spend their days and nights in a run-down, abandoned shack waiting for Mastermind’s next call to action. After a frightening exercise in the woods that left half the group tied up, blindfolded and waiting for rescue, the losing pair of Kelly and Lauren must attend an execution ceremony where one will return to camp and the other will meet certain "death" -- in this case, being buried alive inside pine coffins, from which they must escape. Kelly gives a dolphin kick to her wooden box and manages to pull herself through the dirt. Lauren, however, is not so lucky.
Back at camp, the group is aflutter over a tiny object referred to as the “Death Box.” What’s in the box is up for debate, but one thing’s for certain: the contestant who gains possession of said box in secret can kill three others. But, getting caught with the box earns the person a one-way ticket to the execution ceremony. Steffinnie managed to steal the box in broad daylight, but quickly put it back after the pressure threatened to suffocate her. What a wimp! Before the episode’s end, the box disappeared again. We don’t know who’s got it, but we do know the remaining 11 better watch their backs.
What did you think of the show? Scary or just childish parlor games?