“Prank Encounters” redefines comedy shows

Tea Wheat, Entertainment Writer

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Gavin Matarazzo, from the hit show Stranger Things, has now created his own show, and it is stirring up a lot of controversies.

Matarazzo’s new show is called Prank Encounters and it most definitely redefines what it means to be a prank show in 2019. With Matarazzo’s history of all things strange and terrifying it is no surprise that his prank show would be just that. Prank Encounters can be found on Netflix and has the show description as follows: “monstrous frights meet hilarious reveals on this hidden-camera prank show as real people become the stars of their own full-blown horror movie.” The show lives up to its description on Netflix, that’s for certain. In this show, all but two people are actors. The real-life people (scare suspects) are separate at first but come together when the crisis of the prank is in full swing.

The first episode of this supernatural hidden-camera show is called “Teddy Scare,” and that it truly was. The show had two prime suspects to scare and prank through its bizarre story-line, and that was a babysitter and a man who thought he was collecting donations. The babysitter believed that she was just coming to watch a young girl for a mother’s night away in the town but was in for much more. The mother soon makes it known to her that there will be donations picked up later that evening, and there is a heavy stress that the teddy bear her daughter loves must be taken. The mother explains that her daughter likes to pretend that the bear can come alive and that her daughter even believes that the bear is what killed her sister a year ago. The man doing donation pick-ups is under the impression that he is just on his first night on the job picking up donations from houses. He is en-route to a house when his partner begins to make the connection that at the house about a year prior, a big accident took place which resulted in the death of a young girl. The two unsuspecting victims come together when they need to collect all of the items from the house. The babysitter and donation man work to get each item on the list, but one item is harder than the rest: the teddy bear. Once the teddy bear is finally boxed up, weird occurrences begin to take place. The babysitter and donation man soon realize that the teddy bear is not where it had been left. It is not long before they see the teddy bear running around, and they witness it push one of the housemaids off the same balcony that the young girl was rumored to have died the year prior. Things really pick up when other stuffed animals come to life. When the show reaches its peak and it seems that the real-life victims may actually be in danger, Matarazzo bursts in the door, only to reveal it was all a prank, and that everyone in the room are actors with hidden cameras.

Now, it is easy to see why this show is so controversial. Is it really humane to put people in that traumatic of an experience without their consent all for a good laugh? Many critics think probably not. This is also why many people believe that everyone involved in the show are actors and that two actors just pretend to be real-life people. Which would make sense, I mean could we really justify a show that traumatizes people just for fun?

Whether the show is real, staged, moral or immoral, it’s definitely something to consider checking out. So, if you’re a fan of the stranger things in life, or a fan of prank shows- Prank Encounters may be worth checking out. The first season can be found on Netflix, so I’ll let you judge for yourself on this one.

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