The 2020 Season! Our 83rd Year!
Arsenic & Old Lace, directed by Laura Brewster, February 7-16th
The Best of Everything, directed by Marirene Vigil, March 27-28, April 3-5
Aida, directed by Doug Levy, May 22-31
Aladdin, Jr. (YPAW), July 16-19
Beyond the Horizon, directed by Ashley and Jonathan Bertschinger, September 4-13
The Hunt (11th Annual Haunted House), directed by Nathan Gibbs and Kevin Combs, October 22-24, 30-31
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Sunday, October 22, 2017
Haunted house guest review
Haunted House Review
Community Players of Hobbs
You’d expect people who do makeup, build sets, make costumes, and act all year round to be able to put on a good haunted house, but this really exceeded anything I anticipated. This haunt is set up with two areas that each have their own theme. Indoors, you have a cursed Egyptian tomb theme, and outdoors you have an urban legends theme. I went Friday at opening, thinking they would have a crowd later, and was wrong, and Heather and I were sandwiched in as part of a constant stream of people. It was enjoyable, but I thought it needed a second viewing so I could pay attention to the details. Saturday night, I lucked into a time where there was a lull in patrons, so I got to go thorough completely alone. Do the second one, fewer people makes for a scarier experience.
The inside….they built an Egyptian tomb’s maze of tunnels. And it seriously feels like that, especially doing it solo with no one you can see in front of or behind you (distant screams add to the effect.) Jump scares work on me sometimes, and there are some effective ones that got me both nights, but what I need to feel fear is a sense of dread, disorientation, and isolation. They built a floor into this thing, so in spite of being very familiar with the playhouse’s layout, I had no idea where I was in respect to anything ever, it doesn’t feel like the same building at all. It feels far more like hiking through Carlsbad Caverns than walking through the local playhouse. On the second night, I actually got lost, not realizing that part of the maze changes and you’re supposed to get lost there until later. The set itself has a stunning amount of detail work and little touches, and the pacing is very good too. The use of pitch black here is great, several portions you literally can’t see anything in front of you, and there are lots of places for things to jump out at you, but they don’t use all of them, which keeps you guessing. There’s a lot going in the walls, but there are so many options that you really don’t know where anything might be coming at you from.
The outside….again a very creepy, spooky atmosphere, kinda looks like what I’d imagine Leatherface’s back yard looks like, death farm from hell. Lots of creepy stuff out here, and the characters get to interact with you a bit more, quoting lines from the movie they were in, and talking to you directly. It’s unsettling the whole way through, and there is a lot of attention to detail, such as Slenderman’s notes attached to various items, or a book I found called “Tales” that had some freaky looking stuff in it, which I looked at until a polite young lady asked me if she could borrow my eyes to play with because she didn’t have any of her own. Very different from the first haunt, but no less spooky, and more recognizable characters. If this had gone on when I was growing up, I sooooo would have begged my parents to let me participate, it’s pure good times.
I really have nothing bad to say here, other than it’s much better with fewer people around you. It’s longer than you think, and the set design is the star of the first, the makeup department and costumes are the star of the second. Throughout, the haunters do their jobs well, and it’s more creative and authentic than someone jumping out and going “Ra” (Get it? Egypt, haha!) The days of blindfolding you, putting your hand into a bowl of grapes and saying “Those are eyeballs!!!” are over. Check this one out.
(Full disclosure: I do have a daughter that performed in this production.)