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Discussion Starter #1
I am in charge of the haunted barn portion of our Lions' Club Haunted Hayride. The Club has chosen a theme of Classic Horror movies for this year's barn. We will have the following scenes from the classic versions as you go through the barn:

Frankenstein
Dracula
Wolfman
Mummy
Exorcist
Night of the Living Dead

While these are classics, I am beating my head against the wall, along with several other people's heads. I am really trying to make these "Classic Horror" scenes very scary and startling for today's audiences. I have some ideas, but I am reaching out to fellow Halloween Forum members for some ideas to make this a truly memorable event.

I love the classics, but they are extremely tame in comparison to what audiences of today expect. How can I twist these up a bit to make them very effective. I am looking for a good startle, or unexpected twist. We can use some gore, but we are limited by our club's policy to keep it PG-13 or close to it. We also have a very limited budget, so I'll be building the scenes and props myself.

All suggstions are welcomed. I have been a home and charity haunter for years, but I am truly stumped by this year's challenge. As Vincent Price said at the end of "The Fly," "Help Me...."



Eric
 

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I am going to keep track of this thread. As someone looking for ideas for this coming Halloween, one idea I decided on for 2009 was a Classic Horror movie scene setting inside the garage. Just not sure on exactly what direction I am going to go with. I have been tossing around the idea of creating the scene from the beginning of Scream where they were in the movie theater. I am thinking about playing an actually movie (maybe the original Halloween) and having characters such as Dracula, Pinhead, Freddy, etc. watching the movie. While dressing up in a Scream costume and popping in and out of view. Popcorn machine with eyeballs, body part candies, etc.

Still looking for alternative or additional ideas, so hope you don't mind me tagging along on your thread.
 

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I am going to keep track of this thread. As someone looking for ideas for this coming Halloween, one idea I decided on for 2009 was a Classic Horror movie scene setting inside the garage. Just not sure on exactly what direction I am going to go with. I have been tossing around the idea of creating the scene from the beginning of Scream where they were in the movie theater. I am thinking about playing an actually movie (maybe the original Halloween) and having characters such as Dracula, Pinhead, Freddy, etc. watching the movie. While dressing up in a Scream costume and popping in and out of view. Popcorn machine with eyeballs, body part candies, etc.

Still looking for alternative or additional ideas, so hope you don't mind me tagging along on your thread.
 

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You need ideas? YOU are the idea man! Just pretend someone else is asking your question and give them an answer :D

I think you need to give some more details. Are we talking static scenes? What kind of electronics, motors and pneumatics do you have access to? Next question is...does the excorist really belong on a list of classics lol

The first thought that came to me was to have one of the classic monsters as a greeter. Giving a bit of history about the classic movie characters and what awaits them in the barn. You know how kids are today....they may think Jason and freddy are classics :D

MsM
 

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That theme is difficult, but your really going to have to rely on your ambiance to get your audience worked up. Make them walk through blind strobes between each scare, and tunnel them through complete darkness. You can place your startle scares in those areas. Hang material from the ceiling for them to walk through.

Im not sure how much space you have, but I have a few ideas on what you can do for each theme.

For Frankenstein, you can have your audience walk into a room, They see DR.Frankenstein working on a big green monster on a table. have your Dr.Frankenstien say a few lines to himeself like, "ITS FINISHED!" or something a tad more creative. Your Frankenstein actor should get off the table, "kill" Dr.Frankenstein. Activate strobes, make a loud sound and have Frankenstien chase your audience through the door to the next hallway. Before they enter the actual Frankenstein area, you could make your audience walk through some body parts hanging from the ceiling. I saw that at a theme park last year, people really avoid and get creeped out by hanging arms and legs.


Night of the living dead could probably be pulled off with just startles from scareactors.

Ill think of some more for the rest of the themes tonight
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You need ideas? YOU are the idea man! Just pretend someone else is asking your question and give them an answer :D

I think you need to give some more details. Are we talking static scenes? What kind of electronics, motors and pneumatics do you have access to? Next question is...does the excorist really belong on a list of classics lol

The first thought that came to me was to have one of the classic monsters as a greeter. Giving a bit of history about the classic movie characters and what awaits them in the barn. You know how kids are today....they may think Jason and freddy are classics :D

MsM

Thanks for the compliment on ideas, but I am really stumped. I am pretty well stuck with what the committee voted on for themes. I didn't see how The Exorcist would fit in, but what the comittee wants, is what the committee gets. :rolleyes:

We really do not have any pneumatics, although I have access to a home made pop up. I have a number of electric motors and am comfortable making linkages to move props. The scenes will have both static props and actors. I have to build the haunt scenes and sets from scratch, including the wolfman, Dracula and Frankenstein's monster characters. I have nights and weekends and an extremely small budget. Yet, I am faced with haunting a 2,200 square foot space with less than $250 to work with. :eek:

I have a ton of props at home and will use as much as I can. I know I can pull off the maze and basic scenes, but I want to give the scenes some extra impact. I have always done a scene in the field for the hayride portion and have gotten good reviews. That is why I was put in charge of the barn. This is my first year doing the barn. There has been negative feedback over barn scenes in previous years. People get tired of black plastic halls, fog and little kids jumping out in masks.

I was asked to turn it around and I really want it to be effective. This year, we will still have black plastic walls over 2x4 frames in the maze, but we will have only adult actors and detailed scenes. I plan on building modular set walls for the scenes, to allow me to detail them. I just wish I had more say in the theme and scene selection. Alas, I am a "Lone Wolf (beard)" in the wilderness. ;) Maybe next year!

That's why I'm looking for help here. I have been agonizing over how to make this theme really scary. Any and all suggestions are welcomed! I can probably figure out how to make most ideas work, I am just drawing a blank on the ideas. :eek:

Eric
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would suggest a Psycho room. It seems a little more classic than the excorcist.
I actually made that same argument, but was voted down by the rest of the committee. :mad: I could get a great startle scare with a Psycho theme!

I could also get a good laugh... "Here is the Bates Hotel. It appears that the Man of the house, "Master Bates" is at home. :rolleyes:

Eric
 

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You want the ideas updated and scary for a modern audience? Here's an idea for each that might give you something to work off of.

Night of the Living Dead: You could really play up the scene where the daughter turns into a zombie. Just a really panicked actor begging for help since the boards blocking the door won't keep her out much longer. The actress on the other side moans and pounds at the door. Door pops open, undead actress attacks actor. Actor screams to get out while they still can. Actress lurches towards stragglers.

Exorcist: Play on the demon's ability to jump bodies. This could use different light up props and triggered motion effects to suggest new possessions, including something that can come down or out at your guests.

Mummy: That's a harder one. Why couldn't your committee have picked The Invisible Man. Then you could have done a quick scene leading into a small dot room with a couple actors messing with the crowd. But no, they want The Mummy. I don't know. Maybe just play off the mummification process and have the man who is half wrapped turn out to be alive but cursed? I've got nothing.:confused:

Wolfman: Aftermath of the destruction? The gunshot laden corpse spilling blood everywhere near a giant pile of rotting flesh and shiny bones. It could be a simple static scene with a huge gross-out/gore factor.

Dracula: This could all be about Renfield. Both popular versions of the stageplay have him full-tilt insane screaming horrific things at anyone who comes near him about how Dracula will destroy them. Very easily could be a patient in a straight jacket going ballistic over failing his master and how hungry he is. Maybe someway to have the actor eat an "insect" or squirm towards a "juicy rat" to keep up his strength?

Frankenstein: Make it about the little girl and her new friend. Cute children are horrifying under the right conditions. She picked a bunch of flowers for her new friend and he'll be coming any second to play with everyone. Loud footsteps and re-imagined version of what a giant man made out of stolen, rotting corpses would like like.
 

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I think lighting is going to be one of your biggest helpers here. If you can control lighting with dimmers or remote switches, plus some strobe effect. Any of your areas could be enhanced by a couple stages.

1. Intro scene (zombies coming to life, a coffin stirs, etc)
2. Lights are turned off for a few seconds with terrifying sounds (mmmm brains, coffin creaks)
3. Different lights come on or strobes start up (zombies are walking towards you, dracula is moving in for the kill)

Do you have alot of lights? I need to pull mine out but I believe I have a remote that turns on 2 different outlets. Simple enough that your actor on set could run it. Start with outlet 1 on. Click outlet 1 off.. Click outlet 2 on... rinse / repeat
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the help everyone. I really appreciate the feedback.

We had another meeting last night and agreed that we would go with only 4 detailed scenes. This will allow the scenes to be bigger and more focused. Since the barn is mid-way through a 45 minute Haunted Hayride, we only get about 4 or 5 minutes with the guests. The final scene decision as set by the committee is:

Exorcist
Night of the Living Dead
Frankenstein and
The Wolfman/Werewolf Scene with transformation.

It is a strange mix, but I think I can make it work. I agree that lighting will be the key. I have also finalized the floorplan for the building. The real challenge is that we only get access to the building beginning on Saturday, Oct. 10 and the Hayride opens Friday, October 16. That is all the time I have to build the maze and rooms, as well as decorate the scenes, establish lighting and sound and do a dress rehearsal. We all work 8-5 regular jobs and have kids, so there will be a few late nights for us that week! :)

I'll pre-fab most of the sets for the scenes at home, and install them once the maze and scene spaces are built.

Thanks again everyone!

Eric
 
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