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CAIFF Haunted House
New Rheem Theatre, 350 Park St., Moraga
Reviewed 10/21/11 by Hauntmistress
The California Independent Film Festival (CAIFF) once again presents a scary and surprising haunted house, appropriately set inside the iconic New Rheem Theatre in Moraga.
The haunted house, now in its fifth year, is a fundraiser for CAIFF, one of the most successful and fastest growing film festivals in California.
Similar to last year's set up, you enter the haunt through a darkened movie theater traveling down the aisle, up onto the stage, and then behind the huge movie screen where the haunt takes place.
We were really impressed with the level of detail in each scene. A lot of effort has been put into the design of this haunt and it shows. Rooms have their basis in horror movies without being cliché or too kitschy.
There is a dark forest complete with tent, lost campers, and werewolf; a creepy exorcist bedroom scene with excellent actors; a wonderfully evil wedding scene; a meat locker; body bags swinging in the pathway; and more.
One of my favorite rooms was filled with clowns. One especially evil clown actor gave me quite a startle and retreated singing in a maniacal way, doot doot do do do do doot doot do do... (That's "Entry of the Gladiators" by Julius Fucik for those that don't read music.)
The actors were fantastic, menacing and hissing scary and funny things as we passed through their "homes". The masks were also top-notch and professional. In a couple of rooms I couldn't tell if a creature was real or a prop until it lunged toward me. We very much appreciated that the actors were adults instead of the teens we've seen at some other haunts. Adults are much scarier!
The claustrophobia chamber is back again this year, and as always, physical effects are a nice touch to add to a haunt.
All in all, this is a little hidden gem in Moraga, so go see a movie, and stay for the haunted house!
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