7 GATES SCREAMPARK

NIAGRA FALLS, NEW YORK

ARTICLE BY: MICHAEL CIRRINCIONE

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 The newest Haunted Attraction in Western New York exists to shake up the future of local horror. It resides in an abandoned strip mall on the South Side of Niagara Falls. Owner Dakota and Right-hand-man Mike have established this new spot in just six months and were ready to go, guns a-blazing'. Taking some of the scattered talent from all over the region when House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs went belly up, they formed an aggressive plan for the future.

 

Starting this year, they have a Lobby with Fluorescent Ax Throwing, Carnival Games, a redemption desk also selling beautiful $8 Pumpkins, two five minute escape rooms and a twelve to thirteen ft tall Grim Reaper waving its scythe. In the main body of the haunt is Dark Terminal with its high end Graffiti Facade and Transit Station Roof. Toward the back on the left is The Last Chop Slaughterhouse-themed House and straight ahead is Den of Demons Cult-themed House with its 666 House Number bedecking.

 

In a clockwise motion as I do when I go to Screampark Layout haunts, I came to Dark Terminal first. This one is a mostly effective Dark Maze only hindered by the State's demanded necessity to have open space between the Sprinkler System and the facade. The rest of the walls are sealed to the ceiling but, there is a hole over the facade. In spite of this obstacle, the actors still scare and disorient very well. They come at you with Scare Guns that flash bright lights and blare a horn from multiple Actor Boxes.

 

The next element is The Last Chop. This one is a pretty well executed slaughterhouse with a number of actors. They have a high gore content with minimal fresh looking blood so as to look like old butcherings and not go for too much of a sadistic touch. The actors are frenetic and intense with their bloody, tattered costumes and props they feign eating. Later on, you go to the swamp and wrastle a Gator. They have good dressing all through the house and it potentially causes you to forget the reality that you're walking through a simulation of a backwoods slaughterhouse/community.

 

The final element is Den of Demons. You enter the front door of this diabolical Cult Hive and peruse most typical Haunted House rooms before you get to the meat and bones of what truly makes this the best element in the Screampark. A clear pattern on the walls that fills up visual space and reminds you of what's coming is the checkerboard of symbols featuring 666, Pentagrams and three-segmented Diamond shapes. This pattern is painted on from beginning to end and enhances the effects of fire and demonic aggression in the climax and resolution of the house.

 

My favorite component of the production is the fact that nearly all light sources are hidden in the form of LED spot and flood lights. These are a great technology that really opens up the color palette and vibrancy of an aesthetic lighting strategy. They also have a decent, variable soundscape in both The Last Chop and Den of Demons. The conclusion of Den of Demons is a high energy attack from beyond the ether.

 

Please give them a visit this year, whether it be Halloween or Christmas and have a good time with all they have to show there, not just the houses. They have big plans for the future and need to finish this Haunt Season off strong. 

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