Big production values, absolute detailed rooms and actors who really get into their roles. That's Blood Manor in a nutshell. You're not going to get story or themes here like other haunted houses. It's pure frightening eye candy and like a summer movie, you kinda know what to expect but it still scares the shit out of you.
So my 2010 trek to Blood Manor is actually a sequel as I went last year. As opposed to a rainy night in late October, this year I attended NY's premiere haunted house on a beautiful night that had a modest crowd in early October. The masterminds of Blood Manor: Jimmy Lorenzo, Jim Faro and Mike Rodriguez have always tried to outdo their previous years work and without question they definitely top what they did last year. New rooms and some celebrity attendees were the talk of the conversation. Danielle Harris (from Hatchet 2) and Ice T and his wife Coco had already attended and a few other celebs were stopped by. Blood Manor attracts Hollywood and it's easy to see why. Both J's know horror and Mike's behind the scenes work know how to get you goosebumped.
Blood Manor packs a punch in its 30-40 minute walk through. From noobs to vets, everybody gets their scare on no matter what age you are. It's a horror funhouse filled with your worst nightmares. With Halloween around the corner, you'll be sure to have many options to get your fright on. But an old fashioned haunted house is still an adrenaline rush...and Blood Manor knows how to push your buttons.
Insano Steve and I trekked down to Blood Manor sorta knowing what to expect. We were now the hardened veterans as opposed to last year. But still it's kinda exciting to see what's new and revisit the rooms we remembered. The line in early October seemed tolerable with costumed ghouls and monsters bustling in the crowd. I love my Harley Quinn escaped mental patient hottie. Yum.
Mind you the line will get longer as we get closer to Halloween. Keep this in mind if you decide to attend. Early is better but past midnight, the lines will be tolerable and the cost a little cheaper. To keep you entertained while you wait, DisGraceLand a fire blower, piercing freak show will make you cringe. And cringe you will.
But enough of the lines, let's talk about the haunted house.
The rooms at Blood Manor are as high quality as you can get in any Universal Studios tour. When you actually stop and not run from room to room, you actually appreciate the level of detail that the team at Blood Manor has created. From your standard slaughterhouse to a straight out scene from Saw or Texas Chainsaw Massacre, their is so much creepiness in each room I would imagine in the daytime it would be just as wickedly scary.
New rooms I noticed were a Universal Studios like Frankenstein homage complete with mad scientist, Franken-monster and the operating table with gizmos and gadgets that seem to dazzle the room. Others included gated torture rooms, Hostel like rooms complete with torturers and torturees.
There were a couple I remembered from last time and they were still disorienting as they were last year. Pig slaughterhouses and dark strobe lightly passageways keep the eerie going. Within some sets were animatronics that seem to go off when you least expected it. That just added to the ILM if it all.
The sets are so extravagant, clever and detailed it's kinda mesmerizing to go through. The only problem is that it's a haunted house and the performers force you to shuttle your way out in 2-3 min so they can get ready for the next boat load of potential scaredy cats.
In jokes, gags and pure horror homages are simply slick and fun. I wish I could have stayed to admire the artistry of it all.
The actors do a great job in their performances. They all get into character and play their roles like they were starring in their own horror movies. You gotta give them credit for doing this night in and night out and the stamina it takes to scare the crap out of people every 3 minutes has gotta be intense.
It takes a different level of human to get within 2 inches of your face and whisper or scream to scare the bejesus out of you. I tried to interact with some of them this time around, answering their questions but they all stayed in character making it known my sarcastic answers were not appreciated.
The spookiest thing that happened was when Insano Steve and I were about to enter the house, 2 creepy kids who were around 9 or 10 yrs old who had full bloody makeup on followed us as we went in. I kept demanding why they were following us but they remained mute.
OMG. One of my worst nightmares was coming true.
Creepy kids were stalking me.
Why creepy kids are you following me and not saying a word??!?!
I gotta admit I kept turning around to see if they had a knife to my back. Screw the hidden actors under a table. These kids were looking zombie and my neck looked like dinner. I'm not sure what the deal was. Insano Steve says these kids were just part of our group. I on the other hand believed they were kiddie performers adding another level of WTF to Blood Manor. Or they were figments of my imagination. Who knows which?
A little older and now a veteran of the haunted house, I wasn't as scared as I was last year. Sure I jumped out of my shoes at times from an unexpected scream but I was able to notice the noobs running out of rooms at lightning quick speeds. House moms and girls shrieked, men shivered and tweens closed their eyes. The performers are Michael Myers smart and they wait until your mesmerized by some hanging hooks or 3D masks to come of the shadows and get ya.
If your a haunted house virgin, you will get scared. But adults can tolerate the yikes. Being frightened is a natural emotion we often don't utilize. Blood Manor gets your scare maxed up.
The Jaded Viewer's Final Thoughts.......
New York City has so many things to do but if your a tourist visiting this month, a haunted house is the thing to do and Blood Manor is probably a good option. It's like a freaky world into the macabre and what makes Halloween such a horrificly fun holiday.
Before you dress up in your costume, see the professionals dress up in theirs.
Blood Manor is open now and runs until November 6th. Check out the schedule at the official site. It's located at 542 West 27th Street (btwn 10th & 11th Ave).
Tickets at the door are $30-$35. There are special "RIP" passes at $45.
Here are some links for more information.