You expected to see Vampire models in nothing but their birthday suits? Nah, we haven’t gotten that edgy yet. But we did get to check out the opening weekend of BGT’s Howl O Scream, featuring the House of Vayne. And yes, there are spoilers, and yes there is blood.
So the opening statement is HUGE! Aside from the same old reaper that they have year after year, they open with a catwalk and a stage, with the huge House of Vayne emblem on it. The mini show they have is a step above last year, and really so is everything. Models come out for a mini fashion show and all is going well when:BAM! Here comes Ms. Vayne. Side note, and a little unprofessional…this Ms. Vayne looks a bit more….well….ample. The sex appeal is up and it’s great.
They want you to know that this is not for kids, and you shouldn’t bring them.
We got to the park early to snap pics and to ride the coasters before the park transformed with our good friend Brian, in fact he takes much better pics than I do…though I take more. Here are some of his:
[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626442025373″]
I can’t say enough about Fright Feast! For just under 30 bucks you get all you can eat…which look at me…I ate all I could eat. And you get a show, this year The Full Moon Cabaret. While the rest of the park clears out, you get to stuff your face see a show, and when it opens….you get an hour and a half access to the front of the line for all the houses. We got all the houses done in that time, and could have gotten more if A.I hadn’t been taking so damn many pics, and B.Racheal Could hold her urine.
The show this year was a magic show, and while it was good, it did have a lot of parts that seemed like it was amatuer hour. I was expecting more of a Chris Angel or David Blane freakout experience. GORE! None here. It was entertaining though, and the finale was pretty decent.
[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626566734786″]
Two new houses this year: Nightshade Toys and DED:Pledge Week. Nightshade toys takes over the old After Hours building and DED gets a new building behind the Tidal Wave. But I jump ahead….
Deathrow:Vengence-The dead prisoners never leave and they’re looking for you. A great house with loads of amazing effects. It’s a returning house, and it didn’t change, but it was amazing this year! So many scares in this one, and the cell block scene just gets me every time.
NightShade Toys- Okay, so my good buddy Splatter makes a suggestion on HHNVault last year about a toy factory, and right below him Nightshade posts that it was good idea…this year we get Nightshade Toys…..coincedance. You couldn’t name it Splatter toys? It has a great ring to it! Anyway, this demented toy factory starts out insane from the start. Demented Teddy bears, that just look pissed off, and a mad hatter/Willy Wonka look a like greet you into the house. Tina Tinkle will get ya! And look above you! Great scares in this house and a great level of detail. What didn’t work for me was all the boo doors, and the fact this had the EXACT same layout as After Hours. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great house, but can’t we do more than just boo doors? And I could walk that thing in my sleep…but over all great house. Thumbs up!
Reconstruction:The Doctor is In-Same as last year, dark as hell in some parts, and pretty detailed. I think we came in the back door, but I couldnt be sure. It seemed a little different in layout, but overall the same house. You are in a plastic surgeons office gone wrong, and he is looking for new patients to operate and experiment on. The ice room is a great scene still, and it makes great use of sound effects. Still a decent but dark as hell house. Would love to do this one alone.
13- The messengers are looking for their 13th victim, and you’re next. After changing up the theme last year, they keep the cannibal look and amp it up with more actors in the houses. It was okay, but it gets my vote for house to leave next year. It just doesn’t have anything worth while in it, and nothing that bares repeating for me.
Trapped in the Walls-There is evil in this house, and you go through it the only way you can…behind the walls that still haunt. Again, running backwards, I would love to see this house one more time going through the front door instead of the back. I was disappointed to see that the room that the Raven Twins occupied last year was desserted but just when I was feeling sad “OOGABOOGAAHDJALFSDHFJDSFSKFSD”Roared out from above me and scare the living hell out of me. I guess that was the plan all along. It worked and i love this house still.
Taste of Blood-Something creeps inside the subway and it thirsts for you. A few things changed, and I’m pretty sure that Universal donated the puking man to Busch. He’s there in full vomit form. Nothing really has changed except for the lack of vamps in this house…until the middle of the house. Then we see a familiar face and things change…yes Ms. Vayne is here and she’s ready for anyone who comes in. She looks at me very hungry and says “ERIK!”
What do I say? “YEAH!” and she laughs…it was a geek moment if there ever was one. Tons of fun, though the floating guy is now a model on a platform…takes the effect away, but she does have some deciples on the floor. I’m telling ya…bring back Danzig and the throne of flesh…that shit rocked!
D.E.D.-The house looked great on scream cam, and it has a great facade and great themeing. It starts out with you entering the pledge house and using a huge LCD screen to show you a quick vid featuring my favorite (and hottest) PR person. As you go through the house though, the lavish scenes are about all you get. It seems like everything is wasted here and it’s just not that scary. The house is gorgeous, and there are a lot of cool moments, but for the most part it misses.
[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626566753632″]
What is it with short scare zones this year? First it was HHN and then this. With the exception of Werewolves all the scare zones were notoriously short, and in the case of Unearthed, if you blink you miss it. With that being said, the street presence is a lot stronger here, and it’s more intense. The roaming hoardes are back, and back with a vengence. I think we counted four hordes and there were a bunch of them.
Carnival of the Dead-Great little zone. A mix between a day of the dead celebration and Mardi Gras, it was very pretty, and the use of fog and the voodoo type guys were amazing.
Unearthed-Again, so short, but effective. The mummy’s arent your typical, and the John Hammond look a like was a great touch. The shovel slappers are also back. The only problem I have is….why isnt this in Egypt?? Come on!
Werewolves-This one…wow. I saw teaser photos of it, and it looked cheap. It wasn’t. Or if it was, it didnt come off that way. This one was long, and it was intense. They used a lot of the same things that Wicked Woods did and just beat the people into submission. I saw a lot of great scares, and a lot of great effects. During the day you wonder how the hell it’s going to work…then you see it and in the night with the creepy effects…it comes off amazing.
Banshees-Again, you can tell where the props for this one came from. It’s decent, though not near enough actos in it. The Banshees float by, instead of swing by, and it is a really neat effect…until one of the banshees gets her robe caught in her wheel and does a header. Luckily everyone rushed to help, and instead of screams…..it got screaming laughter. But overall the zone was really good. Too short, but good.
We did not do Fiends as it was the same show that had been there for the past nine years….and really I could do without the breakdancing mummy,the doo wop singing werewolf and the saturday night fever vampire. But overall the night was great. It really seemed like do or die time for Howl O Scream with the ever looming sell off of the parks on the horizon, and it seemed like all the actors were really not only trying a lot harder, but they were having a lot of fun with it.
[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626566762036″]
The roaming hoardes were just that roaming. You could always find something by the front gate, and you could always find them in the dead spots of the park. The whole event had a great atmosphere and a lot of the returning houses were better than ever. Personally I would like to see 13 go, it never was a great scare and Trapped. Those two just seem past their prime. I would like to see the whole event get a facelift and become new after each and every year. Scott and the gang has the imagination, but they just need the budget to do it. As for the inevitable question….which is better. HHN or HOS? I dont know, they are two different events. HHN has it on the budget and the houses better, but I think because BGT is such a huge park they win it in crowd control and energy, and value. I just see the actors trying a lot harder. And Ms. Vayne…both in Taste of Blood and on the stage show…amazing character this year. Why not give the icon their own house? Let’s unite the zones into one similar theme, and make this event what it could be! It really could be a huge success if the right money was spent. So a clear winner? Eh, me! I loved both events.
[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626567474924″]
What Didn’t work
Club Envy looked like it was a disappointment. There weren’t a lot of people in the area, and those that went in that I saw came back out quickly. This would be great if drinks were included…but a lot of people I spoke with didnt see the point of paying for entrance to the event, then to get into the club then for drinks. The atmosphere was neat looking, but overall it just didnt seem worth it. I didnt go in, so I dont know. I heard there were HUGE discounts on the drinks.
Boo doors are a staple, and HOS uses them a lot. It just didnt seem like there was any innovation “How do we scare someone…BOO DOOR!” I dont know, maybe I’m just becoming jaded about things like that. This is a great event, though it seems to have unfortunate timing…HHN is a bigger event….and a lot of people start to say things like “THEY COPIED!” And in a lot of ways it seems that way, though planning for these events start after they end, and they don’t exactly share their info with each other. Still, Chucky=Nightshade Wolfman=Werewolves
Thats where it ends, but for some it’s enough. Again, all new ideas would be great and a welcome sight. I would love to see some kind of transportation open, either the skyride or the train. I understand why it’s not, but I would love to see it happen.
So if you weren’t planning on it, this is a definite for every haunt freak, and this year is really one to die for. God that was cheesy.
[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157626442810135″]