Friday, November 18, 2011

Halloween Horror Nights After Event Review Pt2

This is part two of the review of Halloween Horror Nights in Universal Studios Singapore

The Vengeance of the Matriarch
Scare Factor 4.5/5
Production quality 4/5
Overall Show 4.5/5
Arguably the most detailed and elaborate section for the entire event, VotM is a solid maze with great show sets and many innovative scare tactics. The story is loosely built around a crazy Peranakan lady inhibiting an old colonial shop house. The story is really very flimsy, but the production quailty made up for it.

While VotM didn’t have the “Hollywood” energy of Post Apocalyptic Rage or the Void, what it did have was creepy classic Halloween cranked up to 11! While scare zones impressed me with the show production, I found the tricks and techniques used to scary me in this one impressive. This haunt was unique and deserved a scare rating of 4.5 as many of the scare techniques are totally unexpected.

The maze entrance is located at the boundary between Hollywood and New York, and the queue winds into the backstage sections of the park, before ending up at a small door leading into a Soundstage. The queue is just some makeshift ropes and is not themed at all, but this is understandable for this temporary event.

The queue is very long, and can easily bump up to 75 minutes, so it is best to visit this maze at the start of the event.

The maze starts with a full scale facade of a Peranakan Shophouse, complete with balconies and tiled floors. This facade area is generally well lit but still manages to set the eerie feel for the maze. The next area is the welcome room. It is a highly detailed living room, typical of colonial shophouse buildings. The matriarch is sitted on a rocking chair in the middle of the room. The scare here is the fact that there are two mirrors at the two sides of the room, and one of the mirror is slide-able and a scareactor can pop out from behind. This room leads into a portrait room, full of details and amazing period portraits. Some of the portraits were slideable openings for scareactors to appear.

Some other notable rooms include a dining room with a scareactor cannibalizing a human head, while other scareactors jump out from the sides, a walk through wardrobe full of hanging cloths, which gives a highly claustrophobic feel, as well as a room with hanging body bags and a butcher hiding among the bags. These rooms are the common staple of overseas Halloween events, and is great to see these scares coming to Singapore for the local audience here.

The best room in this maze is still the courtyard scene. This scene is very empty on first sight, with minimal decor and lots of space. This really adds to the false sense of security of the place. Out of nowhere, a scareactor on bungee then appears and scares the heck out of guests. The speed and the unpredictability of scare is highly effective and very disorienting.

Overall, this is a great house, and packs a great deal of scares. Given that Halloween is quite new in Asia, this house really pioneers lots of innovative and groundbreaking scare techniques that may be considered as staples in the West.

To be continued...

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