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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

ScareLA 2018: Still Scary in the Dark

Halloween is almost upon not what an average person might say in August. We live in LA. We do things way different. We recently had ScareLA 2018, a Halloween/horror convention that showcases haunts, props and all the goodies that come with the Oct 31st holiday, last weekend Aug 25-26th at the LA Convention Center. We set on a path to go up and down each row and get scared. And dammit someone did manage to sneak up on us the tiny train ride. Damn you, cowboy! More on that later. For now, let's go through ScareLA 2018.

Yes, it was in the dark, but every booth had lights and you could see pretty clearly. That was the big claim this year, that it would be in the dark. And though it would be a logistical nightmare if real, we thought we'd be seeing some cool lighting effects for booths like neon. No, just big lights.

The first noticeable thing upon going to this year's Scare LA is that it moved, another side of the LA Convention Center? We'll always miss the Pasadena Convention Center. It's strange, why did it have to move over? We don't know.

* A favorite part for an all ages convention. The fake army at the front yelling out the F word.

Jon Schnitzer
Before we even started booth hopping we saw Haunters: The Art Of The Scare director,
Jon Schnitzer at the front of a backdrop booth taking photos. He wasn't there on business, just pleasure. We chatted with him for a bit, before heading to the other sights of the convention.

Now if you're trying to do your own haunted house or see what's going to be around SoCal for Halloween this convention speaks to you. Booth after booth featured props and decorations for your haunted abode. We passed tabled areas where classes are held to make your own props. We passed by make-up artists showing how creepy they can make people who will sit in a chair for 6 hours. All with fans in bloody t-shirts or dressed-up like monsters. The guy dressed as teddy-bear man was the creepiest.

We spotted WB promoting The Nun with a fun little photo booth. And we got reminded about the new Horror Made Here: A Festival of Frights Experience taking place this year at the WB Lot. It's not the tour, it's a real haunt. WB is getting into the game just like the theme parks. The coolest part we heard about from talking to WB PR was that you"ll get to walk through Crystal Lake of the Friday the 13th film series fame.

Another, happy news bit was learning that Rogue Artists Ensemble is having a new interactive art theater this October. They had us very impressed last year by their haunt Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin. This year we have SeƱor Plummer's Final Fiesta, their site tells of "... festivities stir up a merry band of ghosts and shadows who sweep you into a past filled with wild west duels, pirates, land-grabs, violent mobs, shark-riding, romances, epic court battles, and, of course, fiestas." They're gonna use some crazy large puppets to tell a story and to scare us.

There' were plenty of cosplayers to look at and get costume ideas from. We laughed as a band of Krampuses went by looking for naughty children to take.

A fun and short ride was a tiny train that rolled through some 3D art once you donned some 3D glasses. Just as we were leaving the 3D area a cowboy snuck behind us and got the drop on us. He gave us a good scare.

Near the blood drive were a few mini-haunts to try out. A little taste of the big haunts around LA.

ScareLA kept us entertained for hours. For anyone who loves Halloween or horror films it's the place to go - now in the dark- for just the start of LA's Halloween season. It already feels a lot more like Fall than Summer and it's not a bad thing. Let's get even more scares next year, ScareLA!