Creator/Designer: Paul Jamieson
Reviewer: Craig Hepworth
House of the Dead is a new interactive attraction in Manchester, a purpose built haunted house in the city’s Great Northern Warehouse. You along with a small group walk through the house into various clichéd horror rooms from a Freakshow to Asylum as the attraction and it’s actors attempt to terrify you.
So does this work, do you leave running for the exit in terror? No, not even close.
While the idea for a walk through haunted house is not a bad one, and they have more than enough space to achieve that, this just feels lazy. Each room is uneventful and the actors are lumbered playing some awful horror movie stereotypes but with nothing to do. From the moment you enter and walk into the first room and it’s failed attempt at fear you know something is wrong. You seem to spend more time stood around waiting to go into the next room than you do actually visiting the rooms, this group started looking more and more bored the deeper we got into the attraction (at one point we spent five minutes trapped in what felt like a cupboard with six other people waiting to continue on, one person used the time to update his Facebook).
Horror fans would run to book for an event like this, but it’s those fans who would find nothing in here remotely scary, non-horror fans would feel nervous walking in at first but after five minutes that would disappear. Everything that could tap into your fears, each moment that could create tension and each room that could play up the horror fails to engage, and that’s a crying shame.
What’s more frustrating is that each room had the potential to do something creepy but didn’t bother, the Freakshow tent was just a girl with a burnt face, surely they could have had much more fun with this setup, especially after the popular TV series American Horror Story did just that? The room leading to the clowns (many people’s biggest fear) had two clowns who didn’t really do anything and seemed to be there only to point you in the direction of the next room.
The advertising of movie looking sets sadly is also not true, don’t get me wrong it looks more than fine (the Freakshow tent was nicely done) but it’s mainly just a series of corridors. Effort has gone into the structure and they have clearly tried to go big, sadly what’s happening inside does not match. The actors did their best and seemed to be having fun, but sadly they really had nothing that interesting to offer.
Manchester is becoming the place for interesting and exciting things to do on a night, things that are outside of the box, with the fantastic Breakout still going strong (you and a group have one hour to break out of a room) you would be best spending your money on attractions like that rather than House of the Dead, because sadly this is D.O.A.
Runs until November 1st 2015