Sinister Pointe has always been one of those places I couldn't wait to visit. Not only do they have events all year round, but I've been told that they have crafted some of the best haunt experiences in Southern California. As Halloween started to creep closer, many of us wanted to know if Sinister Pointe would be putting on a haunt for the season, and though there were rumblings that it may not have happened, the haunt community was delighted when the creators announced it's return. For me, this would be my first time attending any of their events, so I was excited to see what everyone had been raving about. This year, their haunt, aptly called FEAR THE MARK, would allow guests the chance to travel through one or all four of the portals leading into different dimensions of terror.
The event as a whole is a "choose your own adventure" scenario which is very different from other haunts. Upon entering, you are greeted by a tarot card reader who helps in deciding your fate. Since I went through this four times to experience all four realms, I got to encounter her each time, and I have to say, she was probably one of my favorite parts. Upon learning of our destiny, we are then ushered into a new area where a devilishly cheerful gentleman awaits. His role? To brand us with the mark on the tarot card. This mark is the symbol that would lead us through the maze and a concept that I thought was really smart as it was a great way to tie all the stories from each realm together.
Each realm correlated with a different fear that you could experience. Your choices were TORMENTUM, which dealt with torment and pain, INFERNAL, which dealt with hell or the underworld, REBUS, which brought you face to face with mind boggling puzzle scenarios, or ARCANE, which brought you into a world of mystery and secrets. Out of all those paths, what ended up being my personal favorite was REBUS. This experience had some of the most confusing yet entertaining aspects to any of the mazes and I enjoyed how interactive and expressive the scare actors were. Though each path had its own special attributes, there were areas within the experience that you would see numerous times if you went through all four realms. Though I understand why this was done, it took away from the uniqueness that each adventure presented.
Overall, I liked some of the aspects that FEAR THE MARK was trying to accomplish and at the end of the day I feel like they were on the precipice of something truly great. There were areas that were lacking in terms of design and acting, but I think that's because there was more that was going on behind-the-scenes that we weren't privy too. I liked that the experience combined different elements such as crawling, tight spaces, and complete blackness because it made guests step outside of their usual comfort zone without going too far into the extreme. I also absolutely loved the four creatures that you get to encounter, each one symbolizing a different realm, as I thought they were some of the best icons one could have in a haunt. It was refreshing to see something other than the normal chainsaw-wielding maniac or deranged clown.
For those wanting to try something new but aren't yet ready to go to far down the rabbit hole with immersive haunts, FEAR THE MARK is a great experience to test your limits with. For those who wish not to experience all four realms, you don't have to as each one is individually priced. Tickets range from $18.00 - $26.00 for general admission and will get you into 1 of the 4 realms. Sinister Pointe also has an all night admission ticket which range from $28.00 - $36.00 and allows guests to experience all four paths. Also, you can purchase a SCREAM pass for individual and all night admission if you would rather not deal with waiting in long lines.
If you are a Halloween fanatic like myself and wish to extend the holiday longer, Sinister Pointe has two remaining dates open - November 11 & 12 from 8:00pm - 11:00pm. For more information and to order tickets, visit their website at www.sinisterpointe.com and follow them on social media on Facebook @sinisterpointe and Instagram @sinisterpointe.