Monday, October 8, 2012

Paranoia Scaring Up Santa Monica?

Last Saturday, after IndieCade, I headed to the not to distant Santa Monica Place Mall. What I found there was more than I bargained for, but then again I've never been into bargaining as our society doesn't work that way in getting goods and services. We use money and set prices here in Southern California.

What goods and services I thought would be set and certain prices there, weren't. Paranoia was there! Not the state of mind for me, but a physical location, but don't we all have that in reality, I call it the holidays with family. The Paranoia I entered was on the 3rd floor of the Santa Monica Place Mall. Yes, right past "The Market" and not as fancy food court. It's hard to miss unless you're dumb or blind or both.

Paranoia Haunted Attraction
395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Paranoia had a great idea, but that idea isn't fulfilled. It's claim to rival The Queen Mary and Universal Studios are unfounded. I'm not going to go the Comikaze Expo "growing pains" route that so many other sites went. This just doesn't go to the level I've seen at the other Haunts in LA. Even some past free ones,from special effects guys with free time have had better effect on scaring me.

Problem numero uno is space usage. Mazes were made with the most futuristic view of how fat Americans get. Having some tight places in a maze brings in the sense of claustrophobia in people and gives better chance to be scared, but you have a lot of empty space here, which just shows lack of creativity.

After that the scarers or ghouls all seemed like high school kids and many weren't into their job. Problems with themes seem to be a huge problem as you'll randomly switch from a hospital to a Mummy's Tomb?

Two grave acts had to be some ghouls wearing "guy fawkes or anonymous masks", which made me laugh at them. Secondly, someone working on the maze just decided to walk through during my experience, I think to just cut on time leaving it. Some tall bloke, wearing a jean jacket without sleeves, looked like the head guy in charge. Tall bloke in jean jacket, it's not best to ruin the maze by just wondering through it when guests are trying to get in the mood.

There are three different mazes and I did go through each. Granny's Manor of Mayhem was the strongest, but the other two, just screamed high school haunted house, if we did have high school haunted houses in LA. I'm sure we don't either due to budget or lack of good administration in schools.

Granny's Manor of Mayhem was my favorite of the night with the best special effects, people that got me and overall tried to capture a theme. The start really doesn't tie at all in the theme, but was probably one of the best special effects of the night. There's some great wondering though Granny's Manor including a bloody kitchen and a tight closet, but in the end I don't know if we met Granny or the girl from "The Ring".

The Infirmary and Insane Clown Playhouse both have problems. I would say both seem unfinished. While the infirmary has some fun scares like a room full of patients you must wander through it still deters between becoming totally inconsistent. Suddenly, I was no longer in the hospital and oh look, Frankenstein? The clown one was the weakest of the three. There's a part where they honk a very LOUD horn at you and it isn't terrifying, just annoying. I didn't get there clown ghost walls either, it just looked like graffiti. Clown ghost graffiti gang members are in the area I guess.

Lastly, once you leave a maze it isn't simple to come back out to the front. It's like another maze to get back out front and couldn't they have dress it up than? If they knew people would be coming through it, maybe let it look a little nicer when you'r leaving.

This attraction needs a major overhaul. The Blumhouse of Horrors, which I reported on earlier, may have had some problems, but those could be easily fixed.  This doesn't have an easy fix, from the hype I would have like to have seen more.