Haunt Review: FRIGHT DOME

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FRIGHT DOME left me shook. I could really leave my review there, but allow me to expand further: Almost everything about FRIGHT DOME Circus Circus this year was fun, fabulous, and... frightful. There are six haunted houses, six scare zones, and whole host of other 4D and live performances, making FRIGHT DOME a one-stop shop for an evening out on the Las Vegas strip this Halloween season. And, naturally, it wouldn't be a Vegas attraction if you could not sniff out some alcohol once inside. 

Even though the haunted houses are the stars of the show at FRIGHT DOME, every single scare zone was a blast and perfectly complemented the maze nestled inside it. The effects were good, the atmosphere was great, and the actors were even better. It takes quite a bit to ruffle my feathers these days, but there were a number of creepy clowns and malicious marionettes who managed to elicit a shrieking "eek" or two from my usually motionless mouth. Like any other large-scale haunt, I would recommend hanging on the edges of the scare zones to watch other unsuspecting victims–I mean guests–get rocked by some quality costumed folk. Just remember, FRIGHT DOME has a no costume policy for guests of the attraction, so you are definitely not welcome to join in on the thrill of the scares. If you are so inclined, answer a casting call next year, folks! 

While each haunted house was an absolute treat, there were three houses at FRIGHT DOME this year that would give any other maze a run for its money: Happy Hell-Idays, Hex, and Lights Out. With its kitschy holiday themes and true terrors, Happy Hell-Idays will give any bunny- or leprechaun-phobic person the chills. On a completely different note, Hex hit just the right balance between redneck horrors and voodoo vexations without taking it too far. And, last but not least, Lights Out completely knocked it out of the park. The remaining three mazes (Zombie Massacre, Killer Clowns in 4D, and Chainsaw Massacre) were all great, but the first three are some of the most unique to FRIGHT DOME. Saying anything more about these houses would be saying too much... What I will say about FRIGHT DOME's mazes, though, is what sets them apart from the rest: with the exception of Lights Out, you have a guide assigned to you in each maze. While some seasoned haunt enthusiasts may find a guide a little off-putting, each guide we encountered was great, kept a smooth flow from room to room, and structured an overall meaningful narrative to each space. 

There were only two things that threw me off a bit over the course of our evening inside FRIGHT DOME. First, there's lots o' stuff hanging from the ceiling of each house. Lots. If you wear glasses (like yours truly), then you will have the desire to keep your hands up to protect your face. Of course, this situation is a little less than ideal in any haunt and became an even more pressing issue on one or two occasions when I came close to touching a scare actor. As always, fiends, touching scare actors is strictly forbidden in any haunt, especially FRIGHT DOME, which brings me to... Second, the harassment of scare actors by other patrons was intense. Teenage hormones and general douchebaggery were registering on the Richter scale. The Las Vegas air could be to blame, but it was noticeable. The only thing I can suggest is to model good behavior while you sashay your way through scare zones and offer a solid glare to anyone else who would do otherwise.

With tickets starting at $37.95 for General Admission, FRIGHT DOME may well be the most bang for your buck on the Las Vegas strip. And, should you not make it in the knick of time, FRIGHT DOME seems like it will be able to deliver the grim goods next season. 

Melinda Stang