Set visit: Space’s Panic Button looks Saw scary

Inside Panic Button‘s  horrifying “Venus Flytrap

I’ve been to some creepy sets in my day–including The Chevy Chase Show–but the set of Panic Button has to be the creepiest.
The beyond reality series, from two of the twisted minds behind Travel’s Destination Fear, invites people to step into what is basically the Saw movie franchise brought to life. It will premiere on Space sometime early in 2013.
A posse of journalists were led through this Big Brother House of Horrors Tuesday by creators and producers Jonathan Dueck and Kevin Healey. The setting could not be more apt. The makeshift studio is a converted slaughterhouse/meat locker somewhere in darkest Etobicoke.
The first 10 episodes, now wrapping production, find participants braving their worst possible fears–darkness, spiders, rats, snakes, electric shocks, grammar mistakes, you name it–as they attempt to get from one end of a long horror maze to another. Along the way they encounter floor drops, swarms of bugs, dark water hazards and even Dobermans.

Confronting the Murtzification of fear

The strength of the series is all in the power of suggestion, says Dueck. A disembodied voice (Healey) gives participants seconds to follow commands. People are blindfolded and stripped of cellphones. Fifty percent of the participants don’t get past the first maze.
Women, the duo report, are more likely to be brave, men are ‘fraidy cats. “Guys are falling like fall leaves,” says Healey.
A clip was shown where a participant was reduced to a screaming swear machine as he wandered about in the darkness. This show makes Fear Factor look like The View.
Panic Button may be even scarier than trying to get a network to green light an original series in Canada–that’s how scary it is! Active studio eOne is behind the international sales. When it launches in 2013 on Space, you’ll get plenty of warning right here.

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