Ok Paranoia, we were really hard on you guys last year but... you totally redeemed yourselves, in our eyes, this year.
A few of the things that made Paranoia so much better this year:
1. The addition of the carnival-themed midway! Genius!!! We love a good midway, anything that keeps people hanging out and really enjoying the haunt atmosphere is awesome! There were some creepy characters lurking around, a few fun carnival games, and the gyro machine for the bravest of haunt-goers. Megan tried this out and she's pretty sure she's still not quite right.
2. Set designs. While last year's set designs were more detailed than they were the previous year, they lacked flow and direction. This year's designs were elaborate yet simple enough to navigate through. They also allowed for better placement of the actors. Another interesting aspect of the set design this year was that the two houses each had completely different feels. One was dark and organic where danger just felt imminent the whole time. Kind of like this humming, while the other was high-energy, slap-you-in-the face bloody, gory, disgusting. And what is a haunt without some chainsaws?! Well... Paranoia had one of the scariest chainsaw clown rooms EVERRRRRRRR!!!
3. Acting. Acting is always a huge variable in this industry. You can catch a great haunt or a great actor on a bad night but overall we felt this area stepped up in a big way. More developed characters, better placement, better timing... all-around better scares.
There are a couple things that Paranoia has always been really good at and continues to be atmosphere and controlling the pace.
Walking up to the gates of Paranoia always feels like stepping into a new, scarier world. You just know you are in for a great experience! Their outside/queue line actors are top-notch and know how to get you in the mood and are always available for that perfect photo op. The new midway is really a great addition to an already amazing atmosphere and another great example of how Paranoia is so creative and effective at controlling the pace of the haunt. They always throw in breaks that are so random and quirky yet perfect.
We still miss the Paranoia of 2016 but we understand and appreciate their vision and where they are going. Paranoia is really becoming one of those full package haunt experiences that really separates the good haunts from the great. They are a can't miss this year and we always look forward to their Christmas event, so we'll see you there again in a couple months.