Familiar. Reassuring. Wholesome. Benign.
Any and all the adjectives that are inevitably followed by “subverted” in tragic circumstances. That’s what the ambiance should be for the entry to this maze.
The entire experience should plausibly suggest scenes from an actual film, just as spookhouses based upon existing movie properties recall memorable scenes from theirs. In this case, the initial send-off to camp is recreated from an Elementary School from an Anytown location available to a slapdash film crew from 1981.
The hand-painted banner on the bus is meant to encouragingly declare "You're going away TO CAMP!" However, a unfortunate bunching of the bedsheet results in a none-too-subtle message of foreshadowing done in significant red.
Actors representing Mom and Dad will work the crowd in the queue. Mom will be a little teary-eyed about your departure, and Dad will dispense parental homilies responding to questions about the nature of regret and any funny things about it.
I did get a little overindulgent with the lens flare on the bus headlights, but there is a justification for it. It's not economically feasible to dress out the entire structure visible to the guests, so often it's just a massive rental tent encasing the place. The illustrated highbeams here are, for the purposes of presentation, intended to mask this reality. The curious thing: many people who frequent these venues completely forget about the big obvious tent enclosure when recalling these constructions. Their eye just naturally slides right over to the entry façade when registering their memories. Useful to know.
Tomorrow: Meet Brittle Britney