October 21, 2018

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REVIEW: Sinister Pointe's Scary Place

As Toys ‘R’ Us, Macy’s, Sears, and JCPenney have either gone out of business or begun to close their stores for good, an emblem of suburbia is slowly fading away….and that emblem is the shopping mall. Shopping malls across the country are becoming emptier and emptier as businesses pack their bags and go. These empty spaces sit lifeless, collecting cobwebs while “For Lease” signs gather dust. Fortunately for us, these empty spaces have provided the perfect site for haunted house empires. Southern California’s OG horror legend Sinister Pointe has created “Scary Place”, bringing back to life a massive three story abandoned Macy’s in the Laguna Hills Mall (South Orange County).

Scary Place is an insanely colossal haunt whose mammoth size took us by surprise. This massive space gives Sinister Pointe the ability to make great use of the sweeping distances of retail floors, the creepy storage areas, and the spooky freight elevators. This is Sinister Pointe on steroids, and every inch of the abandoned Macy’s department store is put to good use.

The three mazes in Scary Place are filled with very talented actors who perform original and captivating stories while wearing incredible costumes and make-up. The maze on the first floor, “Phobias”, is classic Sinister Pointe - filled with mischievous characters who force you to face your greatest fears as you are shocked and confined in tight spaces. You will also encounter characters like a horny Elvis, a sassy witch, and an airhead dentist. Phobias is massive and immersive and you will walk around most of the first floor of Macy’s, going around the guts of what was once a functioning store. The storage area on the first floor has an amazing life sized humanoid robot whose head emerges out of the shadows. Upon closer look, this robot looks like one of the characters in Marilyn Manson’s “Tourniquet” video.

“Evil On 2” takes place on the second floor, however you will check in on the first floor with the creepy, decaying bellboy. He twitches and explains what is going on with the hotel as he brings you through a dimly lit, trashed lobby and then into an elevator. As you are going up to the second floor, you will hear the sounds of the doors being beaten which indicates that there is no way out besides going through the haunted hotel you are now entering. As you make your way through Evil on 2 you will pass creeps, piles of damaged travel bags, and carcasses strewn about.

The final maze, “The Boogeyman Express”, is one of the most innovative ideas of this Halloween season. This attraction has dark rides, mazes, and storytelling, which we’ve never seen combined in one place. Visitors to this maze will cruise the entire third floor on a go-kart/minecart and voyage through an amazing, spooky medieval town and its surroundings. You will enter swamps, mines, and chapels and encounter some of the best characters in the history of Sinister Pointe. Each minecart group has a “tour guide” who recites some great sassy one-liners as they describe the history of each part of the trip, which reminded us of a demonic version of Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise. The actors in this maze are perfect and the human sized swamp rat we met is one of the best characters we’ve seen in any maze this season.

Along with the three mazes, Scary Place has vendors, walkthrough installations, music performances, and special guest appearances which have included Bob Gurr (Disney’s legendary amusement ride designer and Imagineer) and Bob Elmore (legendary stuntman, famous for playing Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2). Tonight (10/21), visitors can meet Robert Mukes (actor, known for playing “Rufus Jr” in Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses).

The ghosts of defunct retail spaces are beginning to take over America, and we are thrilled that demonic enterprises across the country are taking advantage of this. Sinister Pointe has opened up new infernal portals to show us what ghouls and spirits now live within Macy’s walls. Scary Place is epic in scale and content, and we’re not sure how Sinister Pointe can top this experience, but we are looking forward to seeing them try!


October 21, 2018

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