Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.
Submitted: Monday, October 18, 2010
This is Dare To Dream's first year putting on a haunted house, and it's held in a old church. I’m not sure how I feel about a haunt being in a church. Granted, it does add to the creepy factor. But I can see how this might offend some people. I have to admit, I was creeped out before I even entered the haunt! Old churches can be creepy. Add some mood lighting and some spooky music, and I didn’t want to enter!
Our first few seconds in the house, we received a slight scare right off the bat. A wall with skulls caught us off guard as we walked by. As we walked into the next room, Michael Myers was waiting for us. Now, I have a soft spot for MM... and I’m not talking about any of my organs. The first Halloween movie was the inspiration for many of my early nightmares! So having Mikey following us throughout the haunt just seemed right to me. The actor had the mannerisms down pretty good, from the slow strides to the dog-like cock of the head. He was taller which helped too. One word of advice though: Dirty up the mask and suit. Both looked like they were just purchased. Mess up the hair. Get some wear and tear in the gray overalls. Make it look like Mr. Myers has been around the block a few times.
There was a great scene where we walked down a long hallway, and there were little girls (I would guess around age 10) screaming on either side of you ALL the way down the hall. It felt like we were in an insane asylum. They were behind doors, so I couldn’t make out what they were screaming. Not scary, but visually creepy as Michael was still following/chasing us!
It felt like there was a lot of dead space. More actors can easily fix that.
The final scene had some vampires in it. We walked by as they acted out a quick skit. Another word of advice: Get in our comfort zone. People are paying to get a good scare, so give them what they’re asking for
Not a bad first year effort, but there’s much that can be improved. I think the time spent in the haunt is the most important to improve on. Make people feel like they are getting their money’s worth. You can do this by blocking exits with actors, doing more skits in more rooms, etc... Personally, I would think that 20 to 30 minutes is a reasonable amount
of time to spend at a haunt.
An old church is a great fodder to build a story around and use to your benefit.
Some people will drive from other cities (like we did), so give them something to talk about on the way home.