Experimental company Darkfield has definite advantages during the pandemic. Its work has no live performers. Experiences are usually created inside shipping containers – largely in the dark – the audience don headphones to be immersed in a short, sharp “reality hack” recorded in 360-degree audio.
It has mined classic horror tropes – Seance was an eerie recreation of supernatural ritual, while Flight simulated an air disaster.
Double has adapted the format to lockdown mode, in a 20-minute experience for two people at their own kitchen table. All you need is smartphones and headphones.
The driving idea is a doppelganger motif; I can reveal no more without spoilers.
The Darkfield experience loses little – and perhaps even gains in intensity – in its housebound incarnation. Its chief drawcard remains the skilled use of directional audio to create disorienting mindscapes and lifelike sonic illusions.
The psychological thrills work best if you double with an intimate partner. Horror has been intricately geared to relieve some of the tensions of being cooped up at home with your significant other for months. Double is exquisitely timed.
It isn’t relationship counselling, it’s art – but there’ll be no shortage of couples eager to devour this unusual lockdown morsel.