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News: The Screaming Season is Here!  Visit a Featured Haunt and Enjoy!
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Author Topic: Vortex Theater NYC  (Read 10942 times)
Prof. Hacker
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« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2011, 10:14:29 AM »

...It is an exploitation haunt and I dig that but thats just me, it will always be subjective.

Extreme.  The new word for novelty, i.e., 'something different'.
These kinds of haunts have been around for a long time, Blackout is the one getting press right now.  They appeal to a small minority, but not enough to be financially successful for long.  Detroit (then later, New York) had an 'X-rated' haunt years back, and it presented most of the scenes you could imagine, some where the actors would (try to) get patrons to participate.  A Texas haunt had live animals you had to get through in the dark (ever tried to squeeze past a cow in the dark?). Or what you  think are Lions in the room with you, in the dark.  The 'rat lady' at Universal and SpookyWorld shook up a lot of people.  The Punch Drunk Theater's Macbeth  is possibly the most interesting interactive theater experience, in the dark, I've heard of - but that's theater, and really falls outside of haunting (or does it?).

There are two directions to take, going extreme, or moving into another genre.  Extreme does have its limits.  I remember Joe Jensen, a large haunt owner in Chicago from years ago, stating that if he could 'just kill one patron a year' his attendance would skyrocket.  Now, that's extreme - and he's probably right. Moving to other genres is another option, with a myriad of issues around communicating that this is something 'new' instead of something 'different' that may not appeal to everyone.  It's very difficult to convince folks you're a "haunted attraction" when producing the Scottish play.  And, interestingly, Macbeth *is* a ghost story....

Still, abuse is abuse, and somehow seems to fill a need for some folks (but its not my cup of tea) .  A Hell House seems to fill a need somehow. (imho - this is the MOST disturbing - and abusive - 'haunt' in my book).  Given the choice between a Hell House and Blackout - it's Blackout, hands down.  At least, they're advertising what they are  ;-)
Every year at the haunted attraction show, you can hear dozens of conversations among haunt owners about the 'next big thing' that'll add novelty to their shows, and, bring in more customers.  That's what sells, both for the business owner, and the consumer.
The same issue concerns theme parks owners - what's the next new, 'extreme' thing we can add to get people in the gate?  That 1,000 foot drop coaster that spins you until you hurl is so last year... what you got *this* year?
Novelty gets attention.  Its extremely difficult to give folks consistently high entertainment value while reaching for the next "new thing".  Spookywoods goes 'out there' every year trying to give the next big thing.  And, with risk, comes controversy, success, and sometimes, angst.  But, hit or miss, going to the 'edge' of the entertainment experience does bring folks to the ticket booth.  And, when all is said and done, people vote with their dollars.  And that's what keeps the lights on (or off, as the case may be).

I believe there is a lot of unexplored 'terror-tory' in haunting yet to be unearthed (all puns intended).
For every dozen 'extreme' attempts at haunted entertainment, there will be one 'gem', one paradigm-changer, that'll make an impact across the entire country. 

They come around every now and then....
My extreme 26.7 cents...
-Prof.

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ReLlIK ThE KiLlEr CloWn
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« Reply #31 on: December 15, 2011, 10:58:43 AM »

The Punch Drunk Theater's Macbeth  is possibly the most interesting interactive theater experience, in the dark, I've heard of - but that's theater, and really falls outside of haunting (or does it?).





I think (From a actor and theatre kid point of view...) it's honestly the same.. I use a lot of my theatre stuff to do my clowns. If you ever watch me work, I never break character, I use my "On-stage" rules for haunt stuff also.. Things like how I stay in character, I even do a Character development and everything.. I think personally Macbeth idea is amazing. I love it. I honestly would like to act in it.

Idk, I just like adding in my opinions in random places.


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Radiant_Red
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« Reply #32 on: December 15, 2011, 05:05:44 PM »



 The Punch Drunk Theater's Macbeth  is possibly the most interesting interactive theater experience, in the dark, I've heard of - but that's theater, and really falls outside of haunting (or does it?).





I have to say, for the millionth time, it was awesome! I wish everyone could go.
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packbacker
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« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2011, 07:14:49 PM »

Thanks for the opinions and insider insight, Prof.  Gotta be a difficult line to walk for haunt operators.....have to change things up or people go elsewhere but taking too far a leap and you can alienate people that way (ie laser tag, a "exploitation haunt" etc etc).

Still interested in checking out Blackout......but fully understand people who are not keen on the idea. 
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krb187
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« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2011, 11:40:16 PM »

Im definately going next year
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Slappy
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« Reply #35 on: December 22, 2011, 09:56:10 AM »

In the end, it's all about what "pops your cherry."  Different strokes for different folks, and if you're into being covered with (fake) blood, being stripped of your clothes (and dignity), then go for it.  I prefer to allow some things to my imagination.  Fortunately, I grew up in a time when imagination still existed.  I prefer to let my mind make the haunt even scarier, because what I can think up in the dark is far worse than what I've seen at ANY haunted attraction. 

I have to disagree with Rellik on on thing.  While I agree that theater and haunts are similar, they are not the same.  Even if the theater show is interactive, it's still not the same as a haunted house.  I've been going to haunted houses for over 30 years, and I've been doing theater since I was in third grade (including plays, musicals, and interactive murder-mysteries, etc.).  And while my theater experience certainly makes it easier for me to interact with patrons at a haunt, you can do one and not be good at the other.  Believe me, I've seen it. 
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krb187
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« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2011, 02:04:40 AM »

I'll be the first to admit I'm kind of sick when it comes to things like that, but I like pushing myself to my limits to see how much I can take, in all aspects of my life. That probably sounds dumb to some people but thats just what makes me feel more alive, its all about the adrenaline.
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Cousin Levi Slaughter
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« Reply #37 on: December 24, 2011, 09:26:00 AM »

#Just my opinion here#
For some haunts there comes a time when EVERYBODY else is trying so hard to have the "new" & "different" thing, that they loose site of what made them a good haunt to begin with... I fully understand with growning number of customers changes must be made, but sometimes by being that "old school" haunt will actually make a haunt standout as "Different".
Just my opinion, as I said many times before, as long as I own a haunt I just want it to be built like some thing that I would want to go to. I don't see any "gimmick" zip lines, lazer tag, or any other of the "newest thing on the scene" coming to our haunt.
Don't get me wrong I'm sure some people love it, & in our industry there is no rule book on what to do, but I'm a haunted house fan... that likes going to HAUNTED HOUSES & I believe that most of our fans/ customers see it that way also.
I realize were not a HUGE haunt doing 50,000 people a year, I don't know that I would want to be either. I would rather be remembered for having a good in your face detailed haunt than having a carnival that has all kinds of "spots" to bleed the customer  dry of all their money & oh yea a haunted house mixed in somewhere.
Don't get me started on paying to park!
Just my opinion, yours may differ
Slaughter
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krb187
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« Reply #38 on: December 24, 2011, 12:42:56 PM »

I acually agree alot with you slaughter, if theres one thing I heard from people this haunt season it's how much they wished there was more "old school" haunts, me being one of them. So to me the old school haunts are the best thing out there right now, and I know the same goes for all the other hardcore haunters like me. Nothing will ever beat just straight up in your face, old school scares.
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ReLlIK ThE KiLlEr CloWn
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« Reply #39 on: January 04, 2012, 10:33:05 AM »

I see your point Slappy..
Idk I guess honestly just depends on the person, and who you are dealing with. Some people can cooperate it into their act, some can't. I use it for my style.. Everyone is different! But I see your point exactly.
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I'm not a clown that makes you laugh, instead you MAKE ME LAUGH as you Scream in PAIN!
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