Of all the haunt previews that were in attendance at ScareLA this weekend, one booth in particular stood out. Put together with clapboard and spray paint was an unassuming little corner of the convention labeled, “BLK MGC Creative Arts.”
Upon entering, you weren’t shocked out of your skin. Nothing jumped out at you. You are plunged into a world just beyond your comprehension, where the things you thought were only stories are real. Very real. And they want to keep you.
BLK MGC is more than a production company, and more than a haunt experience. What creator Matt Dorado is trying to create is something greater than the two halves of film and theater. Not only did you get a full picture by entering the cabin of Papa Conjure’s family, but the details were both rich and spartan. No virtual neon signs pointing you in the right direction or distracting you enough to be snuck up on. You were even given a game, something to accomplish while inside this cabin that sent all the hairs on your arms straight at attention, to truly suck you into the experience and make it tangible to your reality. Matt Dorado wants to reinvent the horror genre’s wheel, and he just might be the man to do it.
Dorado was kind enough to sit down with me and discuss what brought him to this point, his new film, and also what he looks forward to in the future. Matt Dorado may still be in his early twenties, but he is incredibly savvy. He has been producing haunted attractions for the last five years, since he was 17. After running the well-received “Haunt SB” in Santa Barbara, Dorado decided to make the move to LA to begin the next phase of his career – film.
“I believe theatre and film go hand-in-hand,” Dorado told me. “I want to create an immersive horror experience, it’s my way of meshing the two together.”
Although he is not producing a haunt this year, he is being far from idle. His first film, “A Ritual Complete,” debuts this October. The story centers around two lowlives, who upon trying to rob a psychic discover that they are getting more than they bargained for. It is a brainchild which seems to be a perfect mission statement to introduce BLK MGC Creative Arts to the world.
“Everything will be done with a little magic,” he stated. “There’s a lot to the spooky, whimsical niche. I also am very influenced by New Orleans Voodoo and 1900’s spiritualism. Since I am so drawn to these things, I figured going with a form of the name ‘Black Magic’ would be fitting. The ‘Creative Arts’ part of it was something to differentiate us from other companies, to make it clear we are more than films. I plan to do both a film and an associative haunt next year.”
Horror grabbed Matt very young – he became obsessed with Hitchcock and the classic Universal monsters at 8 years old. As he got older he discovered where his home was, and what exactly drew him to the horror community. “It’s a weird and different kind of community, but one that is entirely accepting. It finds beauty in the macabre.”
Learn this name, because this one is a guy to watch, people. Not only are his ideas well-conceived, but they are a fresh angle on a beloved and age-old genre. Matt Dorado is here to shake things up a bit, get you thinking, and make your heart beat faster with anticipation of what will happen to you in that next breath you take.
“A Ritual Complete” premieres October 22 in Silverlake.