Signs of the Apocalypse: French Execs Pay to Be Kidnapped


The latest Springwise weekly business trends e-newsletter profiled this new form of entertainment for thrill-seeking Frenchmen:

“Kidnapping”, “Manhunt” and “Go-Fast Adventure” are all among the standard services Ultime Réalité offers, but it’s open to special requests. Through the company’s simulated kidnapping packages, for instance, the participant is abducted without warning—after leaving a restaurant, say, or in the supermarket parking lot. Paying “victims” are then bound, gagged and imprisoned for four or 10 hours (depending on the scenario they choose), allowing them to experience the terror of the real thing. Additional elements such as ransom, escapes and helicopter chases can also be involved. Manhunt packages, meanwhile, can last either one or two days, with the option to play the role of either hunter or prey. Then there’s the Go-Fast Adventure, where participants take the role of a drug dealer smuggling cargo on the high seas. Finally, a recently added “extreme” package allows clients to wake up on an autopsy table in a morgue, surrounded by corpses and body bags. Pricing on a basic kidnap package is EUR 900.

What if a staged kidnapping turns into a real one? How would you know? I see potential for
a great action movie here. (If you use this idea and make a million dollars, please spend it on copies of Swallow.)

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