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Thursday, August 13, 2015

ScareLA 2015: I See You Being Spooky

"Turn right at the giant pumpkin!" That uncommon phrase encapsulated the day at ScareLA 2015. The haunted horror convention telling us all about the best upcoming haunts and how to take them. The scare circus made the big move to the Pasadena Convention Center this year. Funny as HorrorCon takes over the Reef, the old haunting grounds, this September. ScareLA needed the space with rows of how to rust and art of the undead. Girls... or whatever was hidden under that make-up being gussied on whomever as you entered the Hall was a nice start going in. A nice door way into... Scare LA, bwa-ha-ha.
Kind of wish someone was there doing that.

When I first bit into the finger I said, "Human flesh is delicious!" Just like talking about the giant pumpkin in the entry way the day was filled with the best of bad puns you could only get away with at this convention. My tasty $2 cupcake had a finger on top, it looked like a finger, when it was really a wonderful look-alike with a bone-crunching sound of pretzel put in when bitten into. Morbid Cupcakes & Confections, you're to die for. They had a special monkey brains cupcake for ScareLA, I'll stick to eating my own species, thank you.

For those fans of the major haunts they had big announcements throughout the weekend and special panels on what scares await you. Elvira came by, she's back at Knott's this Halloween. Wicked Lit was already selling me on their live performance based on a classic Japanese horror film. The plays the hold at a real mausoleum at cemetery will take from "Rashomon" this October.

It's not all big scares, though Haunted Hayride already has me excited for a new Hallowen in the mountains in an abandoned zoo. GHOULA, our leading drinking and ghost storing telling organization has scary stories planned throughout the year. Richard Carradine, "One year we showed Haunted Castle at Castle Park." Richard of GHOULA was telling me about past scares at local haunts. Did you know? "Along course one, people see a woman walking adjacent to the LA River late at night. Security guards will do their last rounds, they'll see her and flash their lights and she'll vanish." Richard continued to frighten with the story of a young boy who haunts the bathrooms after drowning at Castle Park in the pond. He's research has no records of anyone actually drowning there.

More events before October for GHOULA including a smelling horror event not yet given a date. Look for Phantosmia in the coming weeks.

A few steps further and I spied a wonderful Ba-ba-dook bookmark, thought up by a a Mr. Jacob Strick, with the artist Zoe Moss. We talked about Five Nights at Freddie's becoming a feature film. "It's only in it's third year, but it lets Zoe and I play around in spooky stuff." He was happy to be at ScareLA to sell his ideas.

Brit Austin an artist was like them. A letter, an A piece of her art drew me to her booth. "I enjoy Halloween, it is a lifestyle." For many there, there was not much difference in her answer on why they were attending.

This is a place to get ready, one booth sold out of a paint that makes anything look rusted. There was a whole alley of mini-haunted houses to walk through. Just pause and think about that. An alley of haunted houses to get a feeling of what the real one will feel like. One place got me good with their sudden surprise during the end when still in the daylight hours of a Sunday in Pasadena.

More scares await on the digital frontier. The coffin simulators of past years were nowhere to be seen. In their place, horror video games. Nevermind, which hopes to launch a completed version on Steam this October, you can buy early access already, will use bio-feedback measurements to monitor how to scare you. It does have an Oculus version and features a nightmare inducing nature of the sub-consciousness as your back drop. It was Kickstarted last year and the reviews online have already been very positive. LA Weekly ran a story on it recently. TTDILA will have to take a closer look as we get into October, maybe even try it out on Things To Do In Games.

Virtual Screams is just starting out, trying to find funding. They want to build a haunt experience for the Oculus. Nice intentions, not the greatest looking build from the trailer online. The name does stick with you.

The oddest bit is that how many of the haunts were escape room experiences in the LA or the surrounding LA area. There were at least three or four booths wanting to lock you away and have you figure a way out launching soon.

Ending on film, Screamfest was already showing of some of it's slate with a new 80's slasher film, "Lost After Dark." When I posed with hot girls in Santa gear I thought it was just a shtick, in fact they were there selling their new holiday hybrid classic, "All Through The House." It has a messed-up weirdo in a Santa mask hunting on the holidays.

ScareLA, if I didn't think Halloween started in September for so many theme parks here in LA you would be quite ahead of the pack. For the Halloween planner, it'll prepare you early for what's to come.

Your Z-Tag was a success that only needs minor improvements. Read more about it here: ScareLA 2015 : Were You Wearing Your Z Detector?

See you next Summer with even more scares and maybe a dedicated area for horror games, on the board or pc.