I never watched Stranger Things when it was first released in 2016. Not until I realised that there was an immersive experience held at Bugis+ based on the popular Netflix TV show did I then feel like it was my chance to see this show. And boy, did it not disappoint, especially with its 1980s pop culture references, and childlike and horror elements.
For those unfamiliar with the TV show, Stranger Things brings us into the small, fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana set in the 80s, where the residents are haunted by an alternate dimension named the Upside Down and the creatures that come out of it. The show stars an ensemble cast featuring Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Winona Ryder, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono, Matthew Modine, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Joe Keery, David Harbour and Finn Wolfhard.
Now, if there are any Stranger Things fans lurking in Singapore and you’re dying to get back into the world while waiting for the fifth and final season to be released, you’re in luck: The Mighty Jaxx Group, a company that not only curates and produces unique in-person experiences, but also makes digital and phygital collectives, has partnered up with Netflix to take you on an immersive and interactive journey called Stranger Things – The Encounter.
Visitors will get to visit rooms like Joyce’s House, Hellfire Club, the spooky Creel House, Hawkins Laboratory, and the Upside Down, all with interactive elements and plenty of photo opportunities. You can even try to close a rift in the Hawkins Laboratory with your skills, if you play the game right.
Visitors can also look forward to collecting digital assets named FRGMNTS which are scattered around the experience. These FRGMNTS can unlock various iconic elements within their XPass ticket (worn on the wrist).
One of the highlights of this experience is at the very end where visitors, should they manage to defeat the evil Vecna, are taken to Starcourt Mall to experience an F&B and retail zone for merchandise and on-theme treats (brought to you by local brands here in Singapore). Fans can indulge in gelato from Scoops Ahoy presented by Burnt Cones, or Sicilian-style pizzas and other offerings from Surfer Boy Pizza presented by SJS Group.
Plenty of merchandise are available: T-shirts, tote bags, caps, toys, mugs, figurines, and even posters following the themes of Hellfire Club, Rink-o-Mania, Palace Arcade, and more. Personally, I couldn’t help buying a few souvenirs myself, and they were so hard to pick as there were so much to choose from. Fans looking for something customisable can use their XPass to personalise their very own merchandise, such as T-shirts and tote bags by using the FRGMNTS collected throughout the experience.
What I found most interesting throughout this experience was not just the attention to detail that I saw within each of the rooms, but how interactive everything was. I was blown away by how the rooms resembled the scene from the show, and it made me feel like I was a character in the series. I found that the experience was able to stay true to the material, and the use of special effects and technology made it even more memorable.
If Stranger Things – The Encounter piques your interest, and you haven’t seen the show, I strongly suggest that you catch at least a few episodes on Netflix. You have up till Oct 1 as that’s when the experience ends.
Regular entry tickets start from $39 where you’ll have the full immersive experience and entrance to Starcourt Mall. VIP tickets start from $109 and includes priority access and a Hellfire Club VIP bundle consisting of a cap and T-shirt.
Stranger Things: The Encounter is currently happening at Bugis+, 201 Victoria St, #02-01, Singapore 188067, until Oct 1. To purchase tickets and for more information, visit here.