Column: Eville Attractions

USI Shield Staff

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Nestled comfortably amidst corn fields and the darkness of rural Southern Indiana lies The Newburgh Civitan Zombie Farm.

At the entrance, you are greeted by a dead lady with an accent.

You start off in what appears to be the family house, which is relatively creepy in its desolation. There’s a TV displaying some strange repetitive image of a face, which is the only real sign of life.

Then, you go back outside and walk over to the barn. There, you find more of these redneck zombies, who lead you into a dark corridor that goes back outside. (Seriously, it was so dark).

Eventually, you make your way through the winding maze, confronted by other family members along the way, and find yourself at a bridge leading to a larger metal building.

This building is where the magic of set design really comes to life, with many rooms displaying different types of human experimentation and confinement.

The annual theme is essentially what the name implies: zombie family living on a farm. The whole thing is goofy but fun.

And although it seems kind of gimmicky or limiting, it really comes together with the elaborate make-up and set design that goes into creating the world of the Zombie Farm.

Perhaps what is most charming about the Zombie Farm is its juxtaposition of horror with humor – its ability to simulate fear and then tell a joke.
Let me start out by saying that Eville Studios has done a pretty thorough job at promoting their “haunted houses” this year.
I use quotes because the staff there tries to bill the building’s two levels as being two separate houses, which would ultimately make each one of these individual houses pretty small and insignificant. But I digress.
I work at Tin Man Brewing Company on Franklin Street, and Eville Studios has come in on several occasions to promote and set out flyers.
When I went to the House of Lector, they were approaching people on the street in the area and handing out promotional material.
I knew that these efforts either meant that they had an overabundance of confidence and pride in their haunted house(s) or that they have had trouble with ticket sales (or both), and I was determined to figure out the truth for myself.
In the words of U2, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
Located on the corner of Franklin Street and Fulton Avenue – which, by the way, is a great location for a haunted house in terms of accessibility – is Eville Studios.
After you go in the front doors and up the steps, you come to a ticket booth. There, they continue to act like they have two separate houses, and you just go along with it to humor them.
When you enter the top level, The Carnival of Carnage, the visuals are overwhelming. You are given 3D glasses, and a lot of the entertainment becomes from the physical, artistic quality of the room, which features bright colors and horror-inspired images, like zombies and other gore.
There are people still lurking around corners, but they aren’t necessarily the main attraction.
Then, you get down to the House of Horrors, which is a lot more familiar, as it uses basic horror movie tropes, such as people with chainsaws and masks. It isn’t particularly good or bad, though certain rooms do possess an eerie quality to them.
Overall, I feel like Eville Studios puts in a great amount of effort and incorporates a variety of memorable aesthetic appeals. I just can’t decide on whether it’s enough to give them acclaim or simply credit.

 

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