29
Sep

 GUEST POST: Haunted Attraction Review: Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Field of Screams

Disclosure: Oni and I were invited out to the media day event at Field of Screams and were provided VIP passes to tour their houses and events this year–Oni was in LA at the time, so I brought with me some newbies to the event to see their reaction to what has historically been one of my favorite haunted attraction locations. They had some great set ups showing the history of the event:

fieldofscreamshistory1
fieldofscreamshistory2

When you enter Field of Screams, you immediately realize it isn’t going to be a run-of-the-mill haunted attraction location. Continue Reading »


18
Nov

tech-review-catalyst-waterproof-iphone-case-is-what-i-use-now-instead-of-lifeproof
 Tech Review: Catalyst waterproof iPhone case is what I use now instead of Lifeproof

Remember when I blogged that my Lifeproof case fell apart quickly and was a pain to use? Well if you missed that you can review that here. Catalyst contacted me and graciously sent me a case to review. I’ve been using it for like a month now so I can confidently tell you how it’s holding up.

Holy crap, you need this.

They make them for all sizes of iPhone. Mine happens to be the 5s, which is also the same size as the SE.

catalystcase_wht_iphone_se_07b_grande

GUYS. This Catalyst case is literally the best iPhone case I have ever used in my life. It’s sleek, waterproof, drop proof, easy to put on and take off, and doesn’t make the workflow of listening to music annoying. I’ve been searching for over a month to figure out if it had any problems but I can’t find any.

The case itself feels like it’s a much more durable material than you’d normally see. The stress point of the volume/mute switch is handled by a sturdy plastic knob that you can turn. The volume buttons itself are covered with high quality rubber. You can see that in this picture:

catalystcase_wht_iphone_se_02b_grande

The bottom of the phone has a molded rubber part that kind of acts like a cork. So you don’t need a special adapter for your headphones that you’ll inevitably lose. You can just use your regular headphones. My audio cable in my car was too wide for it because I bought a big one, but for like $6 I bought an adapter just for my car’s audio cable that always stays in my car, never gets removed, and doesn’t get lost. Now it’s seamless from walking and listening to driving and listening.

Considering I listen to music almost all the time that’s a big concern for me. :D

Below you can see the headphones on the left, the power charger in the center and a lanyard attachment on the right. YEAH I SAID IT finally someone got intelligent and gave us a lanyard attachment! ALL CAPS I HAVE WANTED THIS SINCE THE IPHONE CAME OUT. Literally everyone in Japan is probably flipping out right now – and everyone else who likes to collect cell phone charms:

catalystcase_wht_iphone_se_03b_grande

I seriously was way too excited about this lanyard attachment. :D

Conclusion:

I was skeptical at first because I’ve been through several cases and never found one that I liked but in my opinion Catapyst makes the best iPhone cases I’ve ever tried – so much that I gave away the case I had puchased for myself when my LifeProof broke. If you want a sleek, waterproof, drop proof case that is easy to use and easy to put on and take off Catalyst is where you need to go.

Pros:
- Waterproof
- Drop Proof
- Easy to put on / take off
- Easy to use / durable volume buttons
- No adapters needed to use your headphones
- After a month it’s holding up very nicely.
- Great removable lanyard feature

Cons:
- If you have a fat audio cable in your car you’ll need a $6 adapter for your car, but that’s really not a big deal whatsoever.

Catalyst has my highest recommendation. If I had known about them I would have purchased this on my own. My husband was thinking of letting my have his bigger phone but I turned it down solely because I like the case on this phone too much and don’t want to part with it. These guys should be the #1 purchased iPhone case in the world. They are that good.

You need this. Click here to get more info about it. I am not being paid to say this.



Oni Hartstein is a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur that is obsessed with Rock Music, Metal Music, and Marketing. Please direct all business inquiries or review requests to the "Contact" tab on the top nav bar.

Hang out with me:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/onezumi
Instagram: http://instagram.com/theonezumi
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/onezumi

- Share this post:


27
Oct

pennsylvania-plymouth-meeting-haunted-attractons-lulus-house-of-horrors-final-year-of-operation-2016
 Pennsylvania – Plymouth Meeting Haunted Attractons: Lulu’s House of Horrors final year of operation, 2016

For an in depth review of Lulu’s House of Horrors in Plymouth Meeting, PA click here and read this. The heart and execution of this haunt has not changed much from that year to this year. You’ll still get a mix of high and low tech scares in a real house that has been altered for your haunting pleasure in Eastern Pennsylvania.

What has changed is that this is their last year of operation. I highly recommend that you go to this haunt and see what is a classic, small scale, charity haunted attraction. It is one of the delights of the world and I am sad to see it go.

Click here for more information and to buy tickets – before it is gone for good.

lulu2

lulu1

Thank you for an amazing run to everyone involved with this haunt!

DO THIS ONE.



Oni Hartstein is a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur that is obsessed with Rock Music, Metal Music, and Marketing. Please direct all business inquiries or review requests to the "Contact" tab on the top nav bar.

Hang out with me:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/onezumi
Instagram: http://instagram.com/theonezumi
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/onezumi

- Share this post:


27
Oct

atlanta-georgia-haunted-attractions-netherworld-20th-anniversary-2016-review
 Atlanta, Georgia Haunted Attractions: Netherworld 20th Anniversary 2016 Review

My opinion on Netherworld has changed a little from last year when I sang their praises from here to hell and back. (Read that review here.)

oni netherworld

Last year they were very good such that I did not think it could get any better. This year they took what I thought was the best anyone could achieve and blasted that expectation through the ceiling. JUST LOOK AT THIS:

They have created an entirely new definition of visual fear that succeeds on every level. BELIEVE IT. This is only my second time going to Netherworld. If this is any indication of what I can expect year to year I am going to have to start taking up drinking or something. OMG.

I enjoyed looking at and walking through all of the creepy custom designed sets and seeing the amazing makeup on their actors. The craftsmanship, lighting, staging, and positioning of each actor in each room is over the top. Forget what you know. These guys don’t just have the game on lock – these guys have THEIR OWN GAME. Very few of their animatronics inside the haunt appear to be off the rack. It’s all altered/custom. The only noticeable off the rack animatronics are the ones outside for photo ops but the actors out front still all have amazing custom costumes.

Goloth-Eating-Ghosts

“NEW horrors and scares abound at NETHERWORLD Haunted House in 2016! The massive Soul Eater swoops over your heads in MONSTERS our upstairs haunt at NETHERWORLD! Get Your Tickets Now at http://bit.ly/NWHH2016 and join us as we celebrate our 20th Season of Screams!.”

They made that, you guys. This will not be anywhere else. Here’s some more:

24336724982_1bc1c2879f_b

24336743202_49b33c86b5_b

24077255959_144eaab20c_b

23816858974_c27c0549ed_b

Most haunts have similar props and animatronics throughout. If you don’t go to as many haunts as I do you will not notice this. But I do. This place is the only place that I have seen so far that seems to be operating on another level far higher than everyone else I have ever encountered. This is why I don’t compare all haunts to each other for my awards. It’s just not fair to compare various scales of haunted attraction together. If I did, these guys would always win every single year.

I know of 3 places worthy of a plane trip for haunt fans. Orlando for Halloween Horror Nights / Howl O Scream / Disney, Eastern PA for Hotel of Horror, Halls of Horror, Reaper’s Revenge, and the Freak and Funhouse, and Atlanta for Netherworld. (Read my reviews to get reviews of all of these places. If there’s no review for this year, use last year’s. Use CTRL or CMD+F to search the page. If i have skipped a haunt this year it usually means that it has not changed enough to warrant a re-visit.)

Notice how all of my other recommendations are clusters? You don’t even need any other haunts to make this one worth the plane trip. BOOM.

The sheer scale, organization, and custom nature of Netherworld’s rooms are off the charts. They have rooms in here staged and positioned such that you get a peek of a later room. It’s like a jenga accordion puzzle from hell that never falls over. They do work to make the walls and floor do things while you go through and you can tell the amount of love put into this haunt – they dig deep into the Lovecraft universe and other places and have handcrafted several monsters from his works.

FINALLY!!!! Someone got Lovecraft right in a haunted house! If you are a fan of ORIGINAL CREATIVE WORK go here. This is the place.

This year they ABSOLUTELY BLEW US AWAY. Last year we enjoyed it but they didn’t scare us that hard. That’s normal – we are very hard to scare. This year they scared us several times. This year they went from very good to VERY GREAT. (Is that even a phrase? It is now because I say so.)

So what is happening for Netherworld’s 20th Anniversary year?

Monsters

“Horrors released from the unknown threaten our world and only the return of ancient MONSTERS can defeat them! Celebrate 20 years of NETHERWORLD Haunted House with a nightmarish adventure you will never forget!

This Year Featuring: The Flying Angel! The Lair of The Sea Witch! The Feasting Vampires! The Goloth Invasion! The Attacking Harpy! The Transformation Chamber! The Cavern of The Werewolves! The Blood Beast of the Arena! The Boogeyman’s Return! The Chapel Of The Gargoyles! The Cyclopean Soul Eater and The Doom Stone Unearthed! Experience an incredible avalanche of never ending horrors sure to shock during NETHERWORLD’S 20th year celebration! “

Vault 13: Meltdown:

Can You Escape a Nuclear Meltdown?

The crazed artificial intelligence PROTEUS demands that the Mangler create him a “bride” or he will destroy the world with the massive arsenal of VAULT 13! Can the chaos be stopped or will mutations, aliens, robots and nuclear destruction be unleashed on an unsuspecting planet?

This year featuring: The Xenomorphic Terror! The Collapsing Missile! The Blast Off Inferno! The Bride of Proteus! The Melting Core! The Radioactive Roach Infestation! The Mega Slammer! The One Million Volt Tesla Coil! The Spinning Kill Floor! Machine Gun Zombies! Crazed Automatons and the return of the Toxic Foam Room! Total Terror and SCI-FI Thrills Reign during NETHERWORLD Haunted House’s 20 Year Celebration!

They also had a fun escape room–that was actually designed for you to do things within the room, not just solve some random number or word puzzles. They had a great set up that prompted you through it if you got lost–or you could just go crazy and jump in and mess with everything (you’ll need some purell afterward though….you do touch some squicky stuff).

Conclusion:

Netherworld made significant changes this year which took their always great haunt to a level way above that. They achieved beyond what Harknell and I could have ever expected. We particularly liked how deeply they delved into the Lovecraft world and the Sea Witch with her pet hell fish. They took great care to construct and manipulate the world around us which created a sense of dread that no one else has ever achieved in this unique way. The walls move. The floors move. They use fog and lasers STRATEGICALLY and PRECISELY which greatly add to the narrative flow of the scares in each room.

Guys, they have me so hyped up I am making words in all caps in this post. That rarely happens anymore.

These things I am listing are not gimmicks as they so often can be in the haunt industry if not used well – these are tools used in the right place at the right time. The concepts executed with such precision in each room are nothing short of revolutionary, astounding, and totally immersive.

That’s what these guys excel in – doing LEGIT horror with a true creative vision. You never feel like you are being pandered to by a stupid boogity boogity chainsaw chase that someone bought 2 for a dollar at the trade show because starting a Quik-E-Mart was too inconvenient for them.

Netherworld. Is. Art.

Netherworld is where you go when you want to see TRUE ART. They don’t just create a haunted attraction – they redefine and lead the entire industry every year that I’ve had the pleasure of attending. They will be one of my first primary targets next year. I don’t care how brutal the drive is for us.

DO THIS ONE. OH MY GOD. Call out of work or something. Get in the car now.

Click here for details and ticket info.



Oni Hartstein is a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur that is obsessed with Rock Music, Metal Music, and Marketing. Please direct all business inquiries or review requests to the "Contact" tab on the top nav bar.

Hang out with me:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/onezumi
Instagram: http://instagram.com/theonezumi
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/onezumi

- Share this post:


15
Oct

tampa-florida-interactive-theater-review-the-vault-of-souls
 Tampa, Florida: Interactive Theater Review: The Vault of Souls

Thankfully Hurricane Matthew didn’t hit where I was in Orlando directly, so general pre-hurricane chaos, losing a couple of haunt days, and having to drive 20+ hours out of my way (OMG) to get home because 95 North was flooded was the maximum impact we experienced.

Yeah – my back still hurts days later. :( This is why the reviews are coming out slower. The hurricane really impacted us.

Orange County lifted the curfew just in time for me to get to Tampa on Friday, October 7th, 2016 to see The Vault of Souls for their second year of operation. Time to go haunting!

oni-hark-florida-2016

I reviewed them last year and was very impressed at that time. I felt like it was an amazing start to an innovative show. I was extremely pleased that they did it again. Did I mention that they they won an Innovation award from us? Yep.

What was it like this year?

This year they took the concept up to the next level with some great alterations and additions. First, let’s talk about what The Vault of Souls is if you haven’t read my previous review. It’s Interactive / Immersive Theatre; a haunted experience located in a Tampa landmark that also draws upon the local history.

“The Exchange National Bank opened in 1923 to protect the worldly possessions of Tampa’s High Society. The founders of the bank soon discovered that there was also a desire to protect their clients’ “other-worldly” possessions as well. After consulting with the most prestigious psychics and local native Shaman, they were able to invoke “The Vault of Souls”. This paranormal purgatory was constructed in the basement of the bank and became the safe haven for carefully selected souls. To this day, Tampa’s elite gather in October, when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest, to enter this mysterious vault. For some it is a brief visit. For others, it is an eternity.”

This is not a startle scare chainsaw fest. There are no startle scares in here whatsoever. If you enjoy theatrical haunts OR don’t care for scary things but enjoy theatre, this is for you. Yes, even your friend who hates haunts will like this as long as they enjoy fun.

Harknell and I love it.

You start off in “The Arrival”, which is a bar area with live music, dancers, and people serving small bites of food. The food is included with your admission, the alcohol is not.

oni-hark

Shepherd’s Pie and Shrimp and Grits:

shepherds-pie-shrimp-and-grits

The Vault Ventilator, their specialty drink:

ventilator

bar

the-arrival-music

You wait here until your name is called. Characters will interact with you up here, which is new this year and a great addition. I encountered a clown, fortune teller, researcher, and at least 1 other from the time period. They have added enhanced effects and animated ghost projections on the wall.

projections

When your name is called you enter “The Ritual”. Before you enter you get to watch 2 ghosts do a waltz, and then you enter in small groups. You have the ability to wander around for as long as you want, exploring, solving puzzles, and piecing together the story. Remember adventure video games in the 90s? This is that in real life. I freaking loved those type of games.

You get to go deeper into the story of Lucy, whose soul was kept in the Vault by her parents. Her parents couldn’t afford to pay the fee to join her there so you run into their ghosts looking for Lucy. A particularly unsettling scene added this year was Lucy’s Mom done with a Pepper’s Ghost effect. Mad props to that.

They don’t cram people inside. We were in there for over an hour and didn’t get to everything that we could have done – this year there is so much more that you can do inside. You”ll notice some similarities with last year’s show but they have expanded almost everything. There are now several quests you can complete in order to find out pieces of the story. I didn’t complete all of them but I did ask Creative Director Scott Swenson if they could all be completed if we had stayed longer. He told me that yes, every quest has an ending and something that happens. Cool!

After you choose to leave you go upstairs to the Gin Joint, just like last year. I’m told that they may make the Gin Joint a year-round thing. This makes me happy because it’s a gorgeous space. This year they had a couple of (amazing!!!) live singers and several more folks in costume. I didn’t want to interrupt the actors’ work, but here are some shots of the Gin Joint decor, which I loved:

gin-joint-5

gin joint 4

gin-joint-3

gin-joint-1

Upstairs they also had the gelato, coffee, and fortune tellers like last year in “The Readers’ Clearing”. They upgraded that space with …well…look:

ghost

When you leave you get to keep your mask and you get a book of poetry written by Scott Swenson. The book is the second volume, so it is new for this year. Women get roses:

gifts

I particularly liked that they alter your mask depending on what quests you do and how you interact with the actors. I interacted with the dentist and the seductress. I hope they add more to the mask alteration and really go nuts with it next year. That would be cool – and majorly appeal to my love of wearable, fluid, performance art.

If you require glasses to see I highly recommend that you wear contacts when you go here because of the mask. I thought I could get away with having my glasses under the mask, but I wouldn’t do that again. Because after surgery I now require progressive lenses which can’t be done in contact lenses easily I’ll just wear my single vision contacts and bring a magnifying glass to be able to read with next year. :D (I am still learning how to interact with the world after my eye surgery.)

Tickets are $100 plus a $5 service fee. Our tickets were complimentary, but even if I weren’t a writer I would have paid to go see this show. Arrive about an hour early so that you can properly eat, drink, and interact with the actors in The Arrival. The cost includes the food – and the food is extremely good. If you show up just before your arrival time I feel that you will probably not get all that you should be getting out of the experience. This is a high end elegant night out and every year they keep setting the bar higher and higher. This is where I am seeing true innovation and creativity thrive.

Since Tampa may be my future home I am very happy that the arts are thriving in Tampa and elevating the city’s history and capabilities. I feel that too many people just go to the theme parks in Orlando and fail to look just an hour southwest at the city of Tampa. Tampa has so much to offer, is always the place I have my most memorable vacation days at, and The Vault of Souls is solid proof of that.

You really should…DO THIS ONE!



Oni Hartstein is a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur that is obsessed with Rock Music, Metal Music, and Marketing. Please direct all business inquiries or review requests to the "Contact" tab on the top nav bar.

Hang out with me:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/onezumi
Instagram: http://instagram.com/theonezumi
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/onezumi

- Share this post:

  • Onezumi face logo and Web Motto text Trademark Onezumi Studios LLC 2003-2017.
    All logos, Characters, artwork, text, and audio/video performances in this site are property and copyright of Onezumi and Harknell of onezumi.com © 2003-2017. All external videos are copyright their original creators.
    Advertising
  • AWSOM Powered