One couple, two perspectives, tons of geekery

Friday, October 22, 2010

Nightmare Review

Sorry that we’ve been away so long. Life has gotten busy and we were away for a while on vacation celebrating the Warlock’s victory our one year anniversary. So without further ado, a review…

Last week, we got the chance to visit a popular local haunted house, Nightmare. Every year, director Timothy Haskell, creates a new theme and house. The idea behind Nightmare is not just to scare, but to disturb you. The cast and crew work to create a truly immersive experience. We’ve been going to this house for the past four years, so we’re excited to have the chance to tell you more about it.

The Princess’s Take:

This year’s theme was “Superstitions”. Being somewhat superstitious myself, it was a thrill for me to be confronted with some of the things I am actually apprehensive about. I suspect that most people are at least a little bit superstitious about one thing or another. Nightmare takes those fears and throws them in your face, forcing you to be face to face with them, exploiting your natural human emotions for a very visceral experience.

In my opinion, both cast and crew have done an excellent job at creating something new and exciting this year. The actors possess great timing and keep control of their given room (or hallway). Costumes and props appear to be detailed well crafted (though it’s hard to get a great look when you are fleeing from monsters coming at you). From prop work to overall story, it’s clear that a lot of thought went into the creation of this year’s house.

One of my favorite aspects of this year’s house is the level of interaction. At several points during your journey different members of your group will be singled out. As one of these people, I can speak from experience that it really gets your heart pumping when you are forced to leave the safety of a group and walk into the great unknown by yourself. It’s this quality that makes you feel like you are a part of the story rather than an outside viewer.

The rooms themselves were innovative and clever, creating plenty moments of unexpected scares and surprises. It’s a real feat and a testament to the staff’s talent at how they are able to create some many moments of surprises by diverting your attention only to have something come up right behind you when cramped in a small room.

4 out of 5 stars

The Warlock’s Take:

Having had to manage such places in the past I was very impressed with the effort put into this year’s house.  The added interaction and basic story line added so much and it was fun to have to flee some rooms, and wanting to flee others but being trapped and forced to talk to one of the ‘patients’.  The rooms were cleverly designed, and had some good effects.  Being familiar with the different superstitions can definitely add to the horror and appreciation of each area.  But the rooms don’t come off as gimmicky, there are a lot of subtle touches that just add to theme without distracting you from the story. It was a lot of fun to go back and talk about each room, and how it all tied to the Superstion in ways we hadn’t realized at the time.

As for the actors I would love to have such talent in any of my dungeons.  There was a great sense of timing and some nice physical work.  Costumes were for the most part simple but effective with some nice makeup work.  But with a few nice pieces that are really able to stand out when used.  The entire crowd gets worked over so you’re not really safe in the back, middle or front, that’s if you manage to keep any semblance of order at all going from room to room.   

Over all it was a great scare for a wide range of horror seekers with a good mix of physical and psychological thrills to entertain anyone looking for one, the other, or both, and skilled actors ready to give you a great Halloween experience.  The whole experience is worth it whether you are a first timer, haunted house pro, or a fellow haunter interested in the art.

Also the shirts are really cool.

4 out of 5 Stars

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