It’s dark, it’s snowing, there are zombies hiding among the trees and in the drifts. I’m holding onto a rope with two of my fellow CNETers — we’ve recently had to flee the Kingdom, a location you might be familiar with if you watch AMC’s long-running zombie apocalypse series, The Walking Dead.
San Diego Comic-Con has never been so tense. And … undead.
Across from the San Diego Convention Center, where SDCC has set up shop for another year welcoming geeks of all kinds, AMC’s brought an interactive experience called Dead Quarters. It puts you into scenes from both The Walking Dead and its spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead.
In one area, there’s a treehouse where characters from Fear the Walking Dead try to stay out of the reach of zombies. As in the show, you can lower a bird cage to distract the zombies and make a getaway. The zombies are everywhere, though, low-key menacing, constantly growling at you like they’re a protein bar away from lunging at your neck.
In another area, there’s a crashed cargo plane from Fear the Walking Dead as well. You walk through the hull and up to the cockpit, past a zombie caught in a net who looks like he could use a snack.
Speaking of food, Dead Quarters also has a partnership with Feed San Diego, and is accepting canned goods in return for discounts to various bars, restaurants and attractions.
But back to that harrowing escape from the Kingdom.
Standing in front of the doors waiting to get in, I think of something I’ve told myself on more than one occasion: If there’s ever a zombie apocalypse, I’ll be gone within a few days. And if sounds like I’m down on my own survival skills, let me assure you I prefer it this way. I’d probably offer my forearm just to get it over with.
An actor ushers us inside to a dark room where she explains how we’re going to have to escape, but quietly, so as not to attract Walkers (a type of zombie from the show). The thing is — they’re everywhere. So, we make our way out into the night, snow flying, bodies strewn. The prospect of having something creepy jump out at me is intense enough, let alone seeing a grisly hand grabbing for ankles.
Finally, we’re backed up against a door that won’t open. The only option? Crawling underneath a gate to the side.
I’d like to pause here to mention I’m cosplaying as Sabrina, from The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which means despite the wig, the dress and the tights, I’m on my hands and knees, crawling, trying to get to my feet as quickly as possible while Walkers close in, and finally bursting through a plastic-curtained doorway… into a room of people whose ankles haven’t been in danger recently.
We’re back in the world of the living, where the sun is bright and bearing down. My tights are covered in fake snow. Maybe zombies will take over the world at some point. But not today.
Originally published July 19.
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