Monday, October 29, 2012
Don't Spoil The Big Surprise
The "Home Again" Set
After all of the harrowing ordeal that has gone before, stumbling one's way home again is a triumph, not just solace. Nevertheless, the terror that one has experienced throughout Camp Knossos casts a pall of fear over the familiar. Even the bedsheets benignly hanging on the laundry line now look like they could hide psycho killers. (As a personal aside, being confronted with a backyard full of sheets of hanging laundry in the "Halloween" maze at a previous Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights is about the only thing in a spookhouse that made me halt dead in my tracks and think of all my favorite NOPE NOPE NOPE .gifs.)
Everything in the backyard now suggests ambush points: the obscuring sheets, the cellar door, the adjacent garage. The trauma of all that has gone before primes one with souring adrenaline that an attack will occur at any second from any angle. And what happens is...
It's a scare-free zone. Although this is counterintuitive, the lack of a scare feature in the backyard will allow the guests to realize just how wound up they are, and to stew in their own tension. They will subconsciously demand any release for their pent-up expectations that they will envision sources of fear in the most mundane of objects.
Oh, alright, if that doesn't test well, one can add an ubiquitous "cat scare" in the form of a raccoon puppet bursting out of the garbage can, or a luminescent ghost of a dead Scout bursting out of the shadows with the plaintive guilt-inducing cry of "Why couldn't you save me?"
But let's not dwell on that. Focus on the comforting yellow tones of the homestead. Why, there's none of the harsh reds of Camp Knossos here. See, the only thing red I see here is...
The print on the "For Sale" tag on my BMX bike. Why would they be selling my bike?
...and wait a sec. Are those all my comics, albums, and toys in boxes outside the back door?
This is a mistake. I'm sure there's an explanation. Let's go inside the reassuringly brightly-lit kitchen and everything will be answered.
Mom! There you are! That camp was a literal Hell! There was a deadly bus crash and all the Counselors were killing kids for fun and there was this crazy man who was lurking around the woods who chopped up people with a hatchet but I set a fire to escape and he burned up and I ran and ran and I had to hop on the back of a semi to make it back here and...
Mom, why are you looking at me like that? Mom?
Tomorrow: Meet Mom and Dad