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About YourPallbearer

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  1. Nice review. We share a lot of the same opinions. But a viewing of THE SHINING is going to cost you close to three hours, not 90 minutes.
  2. How much cooler would it have been if the Angels were actually more fearsome than the demons? Defying expectation.
  3. '14 was a low point for the event (even more so than 2012), as far as the past decade goes. 2015 and '16 were comfortable years, almost on autopilot, but serviceable.
  4. Was lucky to get the RUSH OF FEAR pass to experience three nights of the event instead of my usual one, because night number one was the power outage. I hope everybody had a happy ending with that frustrating experience. Just a quick disclaimer: haven't read anybody else's thoughts on this year's event so excuse any overlap. THE WALKING DEAD'S reign of terror is finally over------------------------ THE SHINING: I was surprised they made a more than tolerable house with the material given; which doesn't exactly leave much room for what one thinks would work in a haunted attraction. Kudos to UNI for making it happen. My only real gripe is its sense of scale, by that I mean, its lack of it. Wish the halls and rooms (particularly the "gold room") were much bigger. But this is minor. 7/10 THE FALLEN: Great, grand scale piece of work. A lot harkened to GOTHIC a few years back (what with all the flying scarectors) also reminded me of HADES, but this is a very different version of hell, closer to that of HELLRAISER. 8/10 DEAD WATERS: The belle of the ball. That facade, wow! Love the seamless transition between the sunken steamboat, the swamp and the village. Really feels like you are traveling to these places on foot. Usually houses jump from one scene to the other without any coherency (THE SHINING this year had a tendency to do that), this dream-like aesthetic doesn't bother me but it is refreshing to see something that closely resembles reality. Over heard somebody complain that the Voodoo Queen is barely seen, I personally didn't care. I am looking at overall atmosphere for these and this has it in spades. Beautiful house. 9/10 ASH VERSUS EVIL DEAD: Ran through this once during a cast change. Not a great experience because of its emptiness but I saw enough to know I wouldn't have liked it any better a second or third time so the fiance and I scratched it off our "re-do list". 4/10 THE HIVE: Towards the end of the night (and plenty before that) this was constantly empty, so that went a long way towards my sympathy. Pretty standard "jump and boo" fare but the makeup was excellent and you can't beat that minimal wait time. Went on this a lot! Also, nice seeing stilt walkers in what is usually considered a small venue; the tent houses. One could say there were two Stephen King houses this year as THE HIVE resembled SALEM'S LOT (Count Barlow is based on Orlock, I know, I know). The last room, with the beady eyes, was eerie the first time. On repeat walk throughs one wishes there was a last good scare. 7/10 SCARECROW, THE REAPENING: Tight, dark and intense. Hands down the jewel of the crown this year as far as "scary" goes. It was best going in half blind, as I was my initial time in, due to my eyes not adjusting to the dim interiors after stepping out of the bright sun. Lost a lot when going in again with my sight but there was nice details to catch. The crow filled poop silo was a nice touch, as was the fluttering feathers room that followed. And the finale was disorienting and really cool; think the finale of UNIVERSAL'S HOUSE OF HORROR maze from 2012 and you'll get the idea. This gets my rare 10/10 rating because it not only fully realized the subject matter (killer scarecrows) but surpassed it. SAW: Deliberately didn't go on this. We're not fans of the series so we didn't want to waste our time. NO RATING AMERICAN HORROR STORY VOLUME 2: Meh. If you liked last year's you'll like this one. Just a series of stuff spanning three seasons. I really liked the intro room of COVEN with the floating hooded figures, otherwise I didn't care for this much. Was hoping for the Roanoke segment to be more like the house from 2014 but the AHS Roanoke didn't have the scale that had. 4/10 BLUMHOUSE: Wasn't expecting too much from this (considering that, outside of the first INSIDIOUS, Blumhouse just doesn't have good enough material; does anybody really like SINISTER?) but was pleasantly surprised. As expected, The INSIDIOUS scenes are good. Everything else leaves a lot to be desired but they tried with PURGE (foyer/hanging scene was nice), SINISTER was the total after thought. Just had Bejeweled, or whatever, pop out randomly . What was the electric chair victim from? I don't remember that from any of these movies. 6/10 SCARE ZONES: TRICK R TREAT: Nice change of pace for central park; a section usually regulated for dark, vine stricken scare zones. This year was brightly lit and nicely decorated. Would have been nice to have the option of going trick or treating yourself. 9/10 THE PURGE: Another dystopian theme for the NYC area. Don't care about the series, so I didn't care about this. The best I can say is a lot of effort was put into it and it seems to fully realize the subject matter. 5/10 FESTIVAL OF THE DEADLIEST: Strippers and human sacrifices ...yeah, sure, why not? 6/10 INVASION: Wasn't allowed to be all that consuming of an experience. Too small a venue (which has always been a problem in the San Fran area) and the staff were hastily huddling guests out as quickly as they possible could (they were more visibly aggressive than they had been in the past all over the park for some reason). And speaking of aggression, did the taller aliens get more violent as the night went on? Early in the evening they are just sort've observing. Later on their clothes were smattered in blood and they were lunging at us. 6/10 ALTARS OF HORROR: Not good. Hardly any attempt at immersion. Just costumed actors and a few totems advertising the houses. Clearly a money saver. Was nice to hear Alice Cooper's "Be My Lover". 2/10 SHOWS BILL AND TED FAREWELL: Never watched the show before now. We rested our blistered feet to watch a Saturday 11:15 showing. Glad I never wasted my time before. 3/10 OVERVIEW: The scare zones were the weakest link this year. Outside of TRICK R TREAT they were all a far cry from the high water mark of 2008 and none had the risk factor of 2011. Overall the event was a success, one that greatly benefitted from having more original houses than what has usually been permitted in recent years (4 original houses! instead of the usual 2 or 3) and, lo and behold, they were all good! Three of them being Really good! And one of those three arguably being the best thing the event has ever produced for as long as I've been coming (12 years total, 10, of which, have been consecutive). The absence of the obligatory 3-D house was also a major plus. I always just consider 3-D houses a loss of space. Along with Bill and Ted, this will probably be my last year for some time. It's nice to report that the recently hobbling Horror Nights made a pretty good stab at returning to its former glory. And I'm happy to say it took out a big meaty chunk. 8.7/10 -maybe even higher.
  5. I thought 15 was considered an exceptional year?
  6. The facade of the original is clear in my memory and trumps this one greatly. After that I only remember vague things about the original. You walk through a saloon's second story vestibule where whores open doors on either side of you to shout at the other painted ladies, I remember the hanging animatronic and that's really about it. However, I do remember leaving with a feeling of it being one of the better houses of the event. A feeling I did not get from its 2016 counterpart.
  7. Granted I've only seen it in video form but yeah .... the thing looks really cheap when in comparison to its sister event, doesn't it? I wonder if it has to do with the fact that they are actually a working studio and don't have the bigger budgets to work with the way Orlando does (which is just a theme park in which HHN is basically their bread and butter). There are some cases where the houses looked much better than the Orlando counter parts (Alice Cooper) but those examples are few and far between.
  8. The crawl tunnel was the only thing worth remembering. There is a house in Atlanta called Netherworld. I've been twice, if you think Tomb is claustrophobic you should try the aforementioned Atlanta haunt. At least three rooms where you have to literally squeeze yourself through to get out of. Meanwhile skeleton arms are brushing by your feet. Amazing. ---------- back to Tombs ------- Anybody know why they blocked the left pathway with vines? Was it obstructing the scareactor from opening his double doors? The path was obstructed October 2nd.
  9. 1. I first went the same year as you but skipped out on the event for some years after (didn't return until 2004). But I have to say I do remember longer lines in 1997 than 45 minutes. I recall the line for Hotel Hell, which zig zagged throughout the expanse of a NYC street, being a very loooooooong wait. But I was ten, I perceived time differently then so maybe it was indeed no more than 45 minutes. Everything else you said about that year I can attest to. Scareactors would get more personal too. I've said this before but I once had a sickle violently wrung around my neck by an actor in Midway Of The Bizarre. Not for a photo opportunity or anything like that. I was playing with a fog machine and out of nowhere this tool (plastic of course) obscures my vision for a second and the next thing I know I have it touching my neck. Unthinkable today. 2. That's more than likely never going to happen. As you stated it is all about the bottom line now. I mean, it always was ...but they were definitely more interested in putting on a good show than they are now. Halloween (the holiday) went mainstream about the time millennials decided they were never going to grow up (so about 5 to 10 years ago) and, until the foreseeable future, Uni is going to take advantage of that fact until the bubble bursts. I think it will continue to expand until it is not possible to pay the prices anymore; like when the only lines we'll be waiting in are bread lines.
  10. The last excellent year was 2011. No bad houses and at least half were marvels (Nightingales, Poe, The Forsaken, Winter's Night). They even experimented not only with scare zone placement (Canyon) but with scare zones themselves (NightMaze). The only real flaw in the event was the theme itself. Kinda weak. The houses did not scream with a gambling or Las Vegas attitude. A lot of the houses were, oddly, historically minded (which I loved). Maybe the gambling aspect could've been enhanced by not being allowed to know which house you were entering until you were already inside? Just have a big question mark on the map signifying where a house is but you don't know which one. That edges close to a game of chance. I understand why something like that couldn't be done though.
  11. 1. Though guns are being bought more than ever today, the other 50% of the country is completely grossed out by them to the point where many are calling for the heads of law abiding gun owners (in some cases quite literally). A bit intolerant if you ask me. "common sense gun control" is just a movable goal post to get rid of all the weapons. Look what happened to smoking if you don't believe me. Something else I'd like to add to Ghost Town ----- the schoolmarm scene should've had two rows of desks you walk between. Could've had a few fun nods to Schoolhouse. 2. Yep. It's mostly housewives that watch the show. 3. Like two facades? The temple and then the house? And yes, it absolutely should've been cold in those rooms. Forgot about that. I do not know how easy it would be to chill a particular room though ... Walking Dead: Fall of Atlanta (2013): Dystopian landscape (element/sub-genre of post-apocalyptic; not quite the same thing but close enough). Purge (2014)- Dystopian future. Psychoscareapy Unleashed (2015): You're right. But humans running amuck, unchecked, and destroying property and life seems to be a staple in that area. I guess what I meant to say is they've done the theme too many times here for it to be effective for a repeat customer. ACID ASSAULT SAWS AND STEAM APOCALYPSE: CITY OF CANNIBALS ^ Three post-apocalyptic themes done in the same area three years in a row.
  12. Not no more. The path was open the first time I went through then the next night they closed it off with vines. You could only go right after that. I have no way of knowing if that was a temporary thing or not.
  13. American Horror Story- Long and baggy. An endless amount of scenes where somebody is getting eviscerated or some variant of that. Going in-between the circus wagons, during the sideshow segment, was the only memorably thing about it for me, and maybe I'd include that room with the multiple gimps. Would've probably understood the house a little more if I hadn't ducked out of watching the show after season one. What a laughable piece of crap that program is. With the multitude of adult-minded entertainment that is being produced during television's second golden age one would think the masses would latch onto something that isn't a poorly written, structureless soap opera with a bunch lecherous, unlikable characters. Walking Dead- No interest in discussing this pointless crap much further but I will say that out of all the houses with this moniker I've been on (I opted out of two) this was the best one. Hopefully they won't bring it back and stuff any zombie related material in the back burner for the next decade (unless it is a sequel house to Dead Exposure. And even then that should live up to its predecessor). Exorcist- This and Tomb of The Ancients were "best in show" for me. With all the bedroom scenes it threatened (more than once) to get repetitive but somehow managed not to (also one touchy-feely-wall hall was great but two was a bit much). The spider-walk was done much better in Hollywood (in the most obvious way too), why they opted for a clunky looking/awkwardly positioned animatronic to be presented to guests so close is beyond me. Works best when coming down a stairwell you see above you in a wider space, not coming out of a closet-looking aperture right in front of you; wasted opportunity. The incorporation of the stone Pazuzu statue was a well played hand. And the Reagan's I saw were all great and were convincing as 12 year old girls. Aside from the gripes this house gets good marks. Tomb Of The Ancients- Good house. Reminded me of an Egyptian version of The Hallows from 2008, lots of filaments and things hanging off the ceiling, claustrophobic environments and lots of weird creatures getting up close and personal. The glowing rune scene has to be the best bit, getting attacked on all sides is always good. Lunatics Asylum- Don't care about 3-D houses and this is no different. Just seems like an easy way to add an extra house and save on a bit of money. The best of these they've done in recent memory has got to be The Inbetweeners and I didn't like that all that much either. It's been the first time an icon has had a house in a really long time (I don't count last year's recycle house as "Jack's House"), wish they would've have treated the material better. Krampus- Winter houses are always fun. Christmas' houses are even better (although this falls way short of the majesty that was Pyschoscarepy: Home for the Holidays) and this was no exception. However ---- a live Krampus should've really been in the house though. Disappointing to see all these inanimate dummies. The huge mis-opportunity here though was the snowman room. Why couldn't we trudge between several of these guys? http://dragonmecha3000.tumblr.com/post/132832609445 Scare Zones--- Banshee's Lair: Time come up with something different. Interchangeable zone with Grown Evil and a number of other vine stricken areas we've seen in the recent past. Why didn't they have a flying banshee on a wire or something? The zone is pretty but it's also pretty been- there-done-that. Dead Man's Wharf- Nice looking. Foggy. All good stuff. The downside is it was cramped. Get a big crowd in there (which is almost always) and it isn't as effective. Minor quibble. Chance-talkathon--- Ran through this quite a bit but didn't stick around. Looked like a photo-op. And not as elaborate as 2010's or even last year's. Vamp '55- Good zone that was probably one more float away from being an all time fav. Enjoyed walking around and watching guests interacting with the characters. Survive or Die--- Same problem ailing Lair of the Banshee. The same, barely redressed, theme in the same location year in and year out. Time to move on from post-apocalyptic. Come up with something else--- and better.
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