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Fright Planet - Fairfield
Westfield Solano Mall, 1319 Travis Blvd., Fairfield
Reviewed by The Hauntmistress, 10/16/05
Production company Hangman's Follow is back again for the second year at the Westfield Solano Mall with Fright Planet and two haunts: R.M.S. Curseliner and The Dead End Morgue. We had hoped to see both haunts, but only the Curseliner was open (Morgue opens Oct. 21) when we attended on Oct. 16th.
So, we bought our tickets for the Curseliner and waited in the short line. I'm a big fan of haunts that let you inside with just the party you came with, and Fright Planet does that (at least on the night we went). Only I'm still not quite sure why the wait was so long (about 30 minutes) when only two parties were ahead of us (and we subsequently made it through the haunt in about 5 minutes). But we did learn an interesting "fact" while we waited. According to a Fright Plant employee, when the building that now houses Fright Planet was a movie theater, a man hung himself in an upstairs room. A subsequent Lexis search by the Hauntmistress turned up no mention of this, but it's perfect for Fright Planet's marketing if it's true! Anyway, be prepared to wait in line!
Before we entered the haunt, we were given proper admonitions in the entryway to not touch the actors and the story of the Curseliner was set up - in short, a couple went on the cruise, er, Curseliner, for their honeymoon but the groom ends up murdered and there are no suspects. The bride's grief drives her insane and she kills everyone on the ship in a hellish nightmare of revenge. The haunt takes us through the aftermath of this nightmare.
The actress giving us the introduction played her part well, with creepy movements and makeup. She also never broke character, which I'm sure was a feat in and of itself with the rowdy group that was behind us in line! One problem: the background music was playing so loudly we didn't hear some of what she said when she hissed or whispered things to us.
Once we "boarded" the ship we began to explore the vessel's interior. We walked through the haunted cabins and halls of the liner where her ghastly acts took place. We encountered the ghostly remnants of that doomed voyage and met both the bride and her doomed groom. The inside of the liner was often really dark - sometimes so dark that we had no idea where to go or what to do - very cool!
It did however, limit our enjoyment of some effects. For example we would have loved to see a bit more of the wonderfully decorated wedding cake but it was very dimly lit. To find out what we mean you'll just have to see it for yourself. Also, unfortunately, the ending seemed like it didn't fit the theme and seemed a bit abrupt - like it was an afterthought or there should have been more - a climactic ending to the story perhaps. In all we did have a good time but were left wanting a little more.
From what we hear, Hangman's Follow's second haunt (same location, just upstairs), The Dead End Morgue promises to be more gruesome than the R.M.S. Curseliner. Those under 16 will not be admitted without an adult. Visiting both haunts I'm sure would leave us feeling well satisfied.
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