I probably annoy people in the haunted house attractions as my reaction to them is to laugh but I assure you that it is a stress reaction and I prefer it to the alternatives (running screaming or wetting myself! 😉 Also, I have been to so many raves at costumed events that the noise, flashing lights, random movements, and random appearance of folks in costumes are all part of the normal ambiance in my every day life and I am used to it.
I just went through The Haunt in Grand Rapids, Michigan and had a great time grinning and giggling as I wandered through the mayhem and mazes that add up to an amazing evening of scary fun. I dragged Rob Antecki with me screaming and kicking (actually I lost him in the first maze and he wasn’t kicking, just screaming last I saw him! 😉
It was raining a bit so the outdoor maze was closed but I had to go through it anyhow. I had a guide so I didn’t get lost but I know I would have if he hadn’t been there. I have no doubt it is awesome when fully populated with grave yard guys and ghouls!
The rest of the show is indoors so even if it is raining out, The Haunt is a blast!
Before entering The Haunt in sincerity you are treated to a beautifully choreographed dance number in the “Graveyard” (it is also indoors but it is an area with a stage and it is eerily made up to look like a graveyard!) From there you enter a dark world of dimly lit rooms and corridors wending their monster infested way to the concessions area where I interviewed Austin and Maddy (hopefully I spelled that right) after they came running and screaming out of the Dark Maze.
From there you have a choice of going on next to “Trapped” or “Clown Alley 3D.” Rob was through Trapped before I got through the Dark Maze and it shook him up enough that it was half an hour before I could convince him to go through it again. Of course the second time around he had a silly grin on his face, knowing he knew the way to escape and having fun watching the rest of us scurrying around like rats running around in a cat infested maze. Clown Alley 3D was my favorite as the 3d effects were cool and I loved the colors and artwork. If you are afraid of clowns, well, that’s the whole point, isn’t it?
From The Haunt I am going on to the Thriller! Chiller! film festival this weekend. Having been at Shriekfest in Hollywood a few weeks back I can tell you that for the thriller/horror fan, these flicks are not to be missed.
They are starting off with Night of the Living Dead (I did an interview with the John Russo who did the screenplay a few weeks back) at noon on Friday and Die Hard at 6:30, and Rage at 9 p.m. (and LOTS of other shorts and features but I am only going to mention a few.)
Rage answers the musical question, “Don’t cross a psycho!” Ok, so it is not a question and there is nothing musical about this movie, but trust me, don’t cross a psycho… Ever… and you never know when someone you meet is a psycho so watch the movie and you will know why I say just be nice to everyone and don’t cross anyone or you may incite some rage. One of the things I loved about this movie is that there was a chase scene in the car I drive, an HHR (I call mine a mini-hearse!) I never would have expected to see a chase scene in an HHR!
If you only make it one day, Saturday is a MUST and bring a clone as The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue and Pig are playing simultaneously at 6 p.m.! Pig is a wonderful Sci Fi thriller that had me second guessing and being wrong the whole flick and The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue is a tongue in cheek horror comedy about two brothers who inherit a dilapidated, old apartment building from their mother and their efforts to trash it further while battling the insidious, pet eating, Mole Man of Belmont Avenue.
At 8 p.m. be sure to catch Absentia. When I was at Shriekfest I watched nine feature length movies over the weekend and they were all great, but when it comes to horror thrillers, Absentia played me like a violin. It had me wound up and on the edge of my seat to such an extent that at one point when the movie went dark I jumped. No loud music, screams, or monster faces… Just cut to black and I was bouncing in my seat. It won the award for the Best Horror Feature Film at the Shriekfest and it takes a lot to impress the folks out in Hollywood. I don’t doubt you will be able to see it soon at a theater near you if you miss it, but don’t miss it. It really rocks!
Sunday they will be showing four hours of video shorts and then, at 4 p.m., the Boomstick! Award.
So for some good, scary fun this weekend, hit The Haunt (and pay a few bucks extra for the Speed Pass if you want to cut down the wait time!) and then hit the Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival at the Wealthy Theater (you don’t have to be wealthy as its $5/show, $15/day, or $30 for the whole weekend!) on Wealthy Street in Grand Rapids, Michigan.