Blood Squad is a beloved local institution known for improvised riffs on horror movies. Did I laugh a lot during their new show, Demonic Phenomena? I did laugh. A lot. Out loud. You should note before going to Demonic Phenomena, though, that it's a riff on found-footage horror movies (Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project). Two of the conventions of found-footage horror movies—the early bits that are essentially just wasting time between jumpy scares, and the endless arguments between protagonists about whether or not the scares are due to supernatural forces—really do not play well in improv, where you're continually supposed to be welcoming new opportunities and moving forward. Basically, there are a few more dead patches than you'd find in your usual Blood Squad horror-movie riff.

But there's one thing about found-footage horror movies that especially works in Blood Squad's favor: the omnipresent "camera." The way cast members stay focused on one specific imaginary point onstage and direct all their energy toward it adds an extra comedic level to the proceedings. Brandon Felker, especially, is very good at this, making the main character into a world-class pervert. The fact that he's moving into a haunted house with his girlfriend and another woman creates a smarmy frisson that keeps even the deadest moments afloat with a gnarly what-will-he-say-next vibe. Felker makes the supernatural aspect less creepy than the fact that every room—including the bathroom—is wired with cameras. Sex jokes abound. I laughed. A lot. Out loud. recommended