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Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 9:00:21 AM
There’s a lot of thinking and planning behind creating a horror-themed attraction.
As I-Berhad’s information manager Tang Soke Cheng explains, the production process involves several steps.
Theme: Select a theme – be it a Haunted House, Dungeons or a Chop Shop – and make the best out of it. Incorporate various zones if space permits.
Location: The horror house can be situated in an amusement park or a shopping mall. For more zest, it can be placed in a converted warehouse, an unoccupied hospital, an old prison, an abandoned asylum, a dilapidated home or an allegedly haunted mansion. They need not be static but can also be in the form of “horror rides” or “ghost trains”.
Design and layout: The groundwork for a thrilling horror house experience lies in the expression of designs. Most haunts are designed as dark narrow mazes and walkways for visitors to find their way through. The i-City House of Horror is loosely designed with enough twists and turns so that visitors can’t anticipate what’s coming next.
Speed of visit: Two factors that impact haunted house design are “through-put” and “scaring forward”. Maximising through-put (the number of people entering the premises at any one time) without diminishing the quality of the entertainment is a delicate act. If groups race through the haunt, the scare element diminishes. The goal is to “scare forward” to “push” visitors along an onward path with ever more anticipated shocks rather than cause them to retreat.
Illusion: Getting the scare at a horror house is all about illusion. When one walks into a haunted attraction, one is essentially entering an enormous magic trick that must deceive one into believing – even if just for a few moments – that one is encountering real danger.
Atmosphere: When one is plunged into darkness or blinded by strobe lights, it can quickly disorient and spark fear. The eerie atmosphere can be enhanced with creepy soundtracks, scary animation and other special effects. Let the rooms tell the story. Let the scenes speak for themselves.
Appropriate props: The props should fit your theme if they are to be suitably petrifying. For example, don’t have random aliens in a medieval dungeon!
Actors: They can provoke additional shock-scares by observing the reaction of visitors. They enhance the surreal theatrical environment by injecting an interactive element to the whole illusion.
Keep it fresh: This is good practice to ensure returning customers have a fresh experience. While it may be too costly an investment to change the whole theme, operators should try to remodel about 20% to 25% of their layout every year.
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Lifestyle, I-City, Horror, Theme Park
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