Archive for bowbee

Haunts Ablaze Despite Frosty Day of the Dead

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2014 by bluefall8

There was an undeniable chill in the air this past Saturday when John and I set out to do something never before accomplished in Horrorlust history — tour four separate locations in a single night. It was so cold in fact that the previous night, Halloween, had been witness to an accumulation of snow fall throughout the Flint area; John and I saw the after effects with our own eyes, but as haunters we accept that adverse weather conditions come with the territory.

Our first stop brought us to Exit 13 which has shot up our list of favorite places in recent years and our latest trip served only to strengthen that notion. The haunt underwent a massive overhaul since 2013 with new scenes, scares and characters. Our journey was a lengthy one highlighted by an endless string of scares that fused both fun and fright. We even encountered an honest to God amputee — to the best of my knowledge a Horrorlust first.

We came next to Playland Park in Grand Blanc which boasts the double bill of St. Lucifer’s and 13 Feet Under each Halloween season. I was delighted to find a Big Bertha arcade game inside the main building prior to entering any of the attractions. What’s that you say; you’re not familiar with Big Bertha? My friend, you haven’t lived! No childhood is complete without a round of Big Bertha! But I digress.

13 Feet Under featured a fun theme that drove the pace of the attraction which was punctuated with several unique design characteristics such as the area with sewer tunnels and grates. Here too we experienced another Horrorlust first when an actor bit me! That’s right, I was straight up chomped. No joke. When I was informed of a certain haunt hottie’s taste for flesh I offered up my gloved hand as a tempting morsel and she quickly obliged with a genuine bite! Now that is commitment to the scare.

St. Lucifer’s Haunted Asylum was fun as well but boy was it cold! Kudos to the actors who braved the elements to give patrons a show. It was so cold that the floors of St. Lucifer’s were coated with a thin layer of frost in many areas. How can the patients sleep at night under such conditions much less make suitable specimens for experimentation?!

Next, we zipped down to The Crypt and I’m proud to say that we were the final group through for the 2014 season. The Crypt employed a number of physically imposing actors who taunted us in the first half of the haunt and then allowed the animatronics and props to take over during the back half of this hodgepodge madhouse.

The haunt fates had indeed decided to smile upon us as we were left with plenty of time to reach Pontiac and The Realm of Darkness where we were mightily impressed by House of Nightmares 3D. The length had been majorly beefed up since last year, several areas featured artwork that erupted off of the walls and floor and the conclusion was a vibrant, technicolored display of violence from that ever-hostile harlequin, Bowbee!

The Realm of Darkness itself was yet another long and immersive trek marked by colorful characters and unsettling scenery. The remnants of Sinister were alive and kicking and thrilled us with their signature blend of humor and horror. A few highlights include John being serviced in a most peculiar way (yet another Horrorlust first!), myself being admonished for dishonoring a highly suspect lady and a unique display of sea legs by the inimitable Captain Sage. The level of detail here remained impressive and served as an excellent playground for the Sinister crew to ply their craft.

A big thank you to everybody who welcomed us into their respective house of horrors on Saturday night and in the process helped to create a memorable night in the history of Horrorlust.

As always, full reviews will be posted as they are completed.

Improvisation & Intensity Forge Sinister Synergy

Posted in 2013, Review, Sinister with tags , , , , , , on October 16, 2013 by bluefall8

Last year we were ambushed by the killer show at Sinister when what we thought was an unknown upstart turned out to be an old favorite in disguise. Now with their true nature revealed to us, would the savages at Sinister be able to deliver another haunt classic?

There were five members in our party on this night and as it would turn out we entered in pairs of two, which left one of us without a pal or a prayer — and that honor was bestowed upon yours truly. One of the elements that I loved about Sinister is the fact that the show began while we waited in line. When I was a boy it seemed that any haunted house I visited featured loud shouts, threats, and banging meant solely to soften up and psyche out those souls yet to enter the attraction. And like those that came before them the cast at Sinister treated those in line as meat soon to be tenderized.

Many of the actors here will exhibit no use of the English language, utilizing instead a babbling dialect punctuated with grotesque guttural noises — the effect is jarring, even unsettling perhaps activating a primal fear of the unknown. I loved this touch as it put me in mind of the Ganados people of Resident Evil 4 who never ceased to give me the creeps. One masked masochist possessed the unique ability to switch from the common tongue to the unnerving babble speak and he seemed to command the respect of the other lunatics. In all honestly there wasn’t a better person to portray this character as the actor under the hood, who insisted he be addressed as “Daddy”, demanded obedience while he spewed perverse proclamations which belied a comic wit.

You may be asked to do things at Sinister that seem strange at first and it’s best to check your ego at the door, it’s all in good fun and if you open yourself up to it you might just enjoy it — seriously, just go with it and see what unfolds. I for instance was made to army crawl and roll through the majority of the attraction and one of my cohorts may have been put in the awkward position of binding my wrists and ankles with duct tape. Nothing to see here, just an average night at Sinister.

As someone who has visited dozens upon dozens of haunted attractions I can say without hesitation that the cast at Sinister is among the elite in the field. It began with the disturbed girl dressed in old fashioned clothing who I affectionately refer to as Bizarro Laura Ingalls (shh, don’t tell her), a veritable ball of energy who engaged me with wanton fearlessness. Later, I encountered a woman with a blood soaked bed hell bent on extracting repentance and then there was a bushy haired doctor of sorts with a wry smile and a twisted gleam in his eyes. It all built to that frenzied finale where Bowbee claimed his pound of flesh!

The combination of improvisation and intensity displayed by the actors is what truly sets Sinister apart from other haunted attractions. Never before have I witnessed actors adapt so readily, not only to individuals or groups, but also to repeat customers so seamlessly. Even the most professional haunted attractions will have a couple of actors that aren’t quite up to snuff either due to ill timing or a weak delivery — and that’s just something you’re not going to see at Sinister. When you enter a room the actor is already engaged with the environment (tipping over a table for instance, which I witnessed). The style at Sinister is akin to a theatrical production and you are a part of the show. The thespians on this stage may be sick and twisted, deranged and dead but this is undoubtedly haunted theater.

The show did have a couple of factors working against it on our visit, such as a key absence and an untimely injury, but those are widely beyond the control of mere mortals. With an excellent cast in place I’d like to see Sinister continue to expand both creatively and physically. We hope to make it back this season to experience the alternate ending as well as the brand new haunted corn maze now on premises.

Rating: 3.75 stars

The ghouls just love me.

The ghouls just love me.