Between San Diego Comic Con, Scare LA, and the Short Films from Beyond Film Festival, southern California has been quite the haven for horror lovers this summer. Scare LA, fresh off its second year celebrating all things Halloween, is a particularly welcome addition to the local horror scene. Rather than row after row of indistinguishable memorabilia that seem to overtake some shows, Scare LA’s vendor floor was a pleasantly refreshing mix of industry and fx dealers, artists (including TYoH favorite Abigail Larson), and crafters with unique hand-made wares. The lovely folks from the Horror Writers’ Association were out in force, and vendor booths were supplemented with performances and makeup artistry in the large intersections of aisles. Upstairs from the vendor hall, the show provided a variety of panels and classes, while outside was the domain of food trucks and a collection of haunted walk-throughs staged in trailers. Although I didn’t get a chance to try the mobile mini-haunts, they seemed to be popular and I’m intrigued by the idea – hopefully we will see more of those as Halloween gets nearer.
The unfortunate low point of the weekend was the Saturday night costume gala. The event was heavily advertised as produced by Sinister Pointe, a company whose claim to fame is organizing spooky soriees and other fearsome festivities. For the price per ticket, LA locale, and implied expertise of the event production, I expect something more than snack mix on the tables, a cash bar stocked with wells, and a few table games that the Sinister Pointe folks had been halfheartedly selling downstairs a few hours before. Although our haunted master of ceremonies put in a good performance, a dead crowd just couldn’t give him that much to work with.
Aside from that one flat note, Scare LA really hit a lovely balance between fan event and industry show, with a variety of activities and vendors unique to the event. While I think the weekend pass is best suited to locals completing an educational workshop track, you will certainly find me taking in a day or two of Scare LA 2015 next summer. Until then, enjoy the 2014 photo gallery below, and happy haunting!
Categories: Conventions and Haunts