December 22, 2018
First things first: Curious Cartel is a conglomerate of seasoned creative types that have honed their respective crafts in the realms of production, specifically pulling the strings behind the scenes in the domain of TV productions. Their endeavours eventually evolved to a stage where they created their own idiosyncratic trademark offerings, which comprises immersive experiences, theatrics and the love for a good cocktail as common denominator, resulting in engaging events with a twist that lead the participants down rabbit holes.
The Lock-In is Curious Cartel’s recent incarnation. Heavily influenced by the TV show Stranger Things, a love for 1980ies nostalgia, science fiction, science and confined within escape room settings in Sydney’s Surry Hills, you got ninety minutes to solve puzzles and illuminate the mystery while being sustained by cocktails and a soundtrack from an era where shoulder pads reigned supreme.
Set against the backdrop of small town Indiana, you and your team work their way through a lab, an abandoned government facility and science class, The Lock-In takes more than a few pages from the Stranger Things, including an equivalent to the alternate dimension “Upside Down”. The fact that The Lock-In is more of a subtle homage than a mere rip-off contributes to the fun.
One of the things that struck me immediately was the production value and immaculate attention to detail as you are taken on a fully rounded journey simultaneously captivating and demanding,
With both big gestures and tiny references, The Lock-In is beautifully executed and both subtle and inspired.
Given the rich and condensed experience the heads behind Curious Cartel are able to create within the confines of the limited space they have at their disposal, I cannot wait to see what they are pulling next – hopefully on a bigger scale.