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To Scare or not to Scare: Part II

To Scare or not to Scare: Part II

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I've been doing the "haunted theme park" thing for seven years now. I have seen the best turn into the worst due to the toning down of the content in some of the mazes (Universal Hollywood's "Halloween Horror Nights"), and I've been to the granddaddy of them all ("Knott's Scary Farm"), I've even been to the free neighborhood haunted houses where they recruit the neighborhood kids to put on a rather impressive show with the help of some of the industry's best effects people who just happen to conveniently own the house. ("The Haunted House on Riverton" which -- sadly, like Universal's -- no longer exists.)
But I had never been to Spooky House.

That is…not until this past weekend.

Spooky House was started fifteen years ago as a front yard attraction called "Bob and Dave's Spooky House." Eventually it became so popular that a permanent location was set up in the San Fernando Valley on the corner of Victory Blvd. and Topanga Canyon Blvd. in the parking lot of an old movie theater. At first it was just the Spooky House proper, which looked like a genuine dilapidated old house with a rather impressive façade. Eventually, two more mazes were added; "The Realm of Lost Souls, and (I sh*t you not) Bloodbath and Beyond. It is a shame that the façade is the most impressive thing of the whole ordeal.

Again, as with my Knott's Scary Farm review, I will be rating theme and scares. I will also give a brief description of each maze.

"Spooky House": This year's Spooky House was based on a haunted hotel. You enter a lobby. There is a non-animated (no pun intended) skeleton giving you rules and guidelines about not touching the actors in the maze. (You will then proceed to hear the very same spiel before the other mazes for the rest of the night from exceedingly rude people.) You enter an "elevator" that shakes and simulates falling. The hotel is in façade only as you proceed to go through various scenes that have nothing to do with the theme that was initially set up outside. The actors are more concerned with discussing their love life rather than scaring people. While a few of the effects were impressive, this haunt is sorely lacking in all other aspects.
Theme: 3
Scares: 0

"Bloodbath and Beyond": Don't ask me what this maze is about. I couldn't tell you even if you paid me. (Well, maybe if you paid me, I could make up something more entertaining than this half baked excuse for a maze. Heck, I'll do it for free.) One would suppose that this maze would be an evil version of the store "Bed Bath and Beyond", but for some reason there was nothing that implies to this fact other than a clever name. For some odd reason Freddy Krueger makes a very brief appearance and there are visuals so bad that you can see the foam rubber chunks falling off the corpses. Again, the scares are precious few as the actors are talking amongst themselves and not doing their job.
Theme: 0
Scares: 0

"Realm of Lost Souls": At least this maze started well enough. You enter a western saloon and a wall is pulled aside as you enter a series of caves and tunnels that eventually lead you to a cemetery where the Wicked Witch of the West (I wish I was kidding but sadly, I'm not.) makes an appearance. After a walk through a crypt, you enter a cave where it gets to be smaller, and you eventually have to crawl on your hands and knees to get through. The feeling of claustrophobia is not fun, and this is bad enough to give you that feeling. Suddenly, you end up sliding down a slide which has no purpose whatsoever but to disorient you further and leave you bruised and battered. To add insult to injury, you are stopped by a zombie who proceeds to tell you some of the worst jokes known to man. You can't walk by him. In fact, he won't let you, until he tells his awful jokes. Then the maze goes on, and on. After the slide, the last you want to do is remain in the maze. The décor was probably the most impressive to say the least. But again, the theme and the scares were lost in the usual disjointed manner.
Theme: 4
Scares: 1

While "Knott's Scary Farm" is the perfect example of how to do a haunted theme park, "Spooky House" is not. At $18.50 a ticket, it hardly seems worth it to go. However, you can pay $25 for the V.I.P. access which actually makes you wait in a slightly shorter line but for a higher price. This price is just truly insane. The experience is not worth the price being charged this amount. You would have a better time going to Knott's or the Queen Mary, or even staying at home and renting a few horror movies. This brings me to next week. Keep it right here and I'll give you my top ten scary movies of all time.

Rick Gutierrez was born in China but raised in the United States. When he was old enough he returned to China and learned Martial Arts and became an international superstar with his karate movies. Upon his return to the states, he developed his own fighting style Jeet Kun Do. Wait…that's not Rick's bio, that Bruce Lee! Rick! Rick, come back here!

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