[By Grace Loh]
Growing up in Malaysia, or any other Asian country for that matter, the idea of celebrating Halloween is pretty unconventional. The closest celebration of that sort you might encounter here would be the Hungry Ghost festival, which clearly does not involve any fun activities like pumpkin carving or Trick-O-Treat visits, and in paranormal theory is actually more terrifying.
Fear not though – Sunway Lagoon is not letting anyone miss out on this haunting occasion that’s become iconic as a festival itself across the world. Halloween-enthusiasts will be in for a treat this time of the year as they present Nights of Fright 2: Festival of Fear!
This is a celebration of gruelling horror for the masses and I had the pleasure of personally experiencing the launch of the entire terror-filled festival this year, taking on as many of the all-new, themed scare zones my chicken-hearted self could handle. Expect Malaysia’s biggest and scariest Festival of Fear to be of greater proportions, stepping up their game from last year’s success, not only expanding it geographically but this time introducing more spooky attractions, magically transforming the family-friendly theme park into the perfect “Halloween-ville” infested with a myriad of familiar horror film characters, brand new scary mazes and thrill rides.
Never would I have thought bright and beach-vibe Sunway Lagoon could morph into what resembled a childhood nightmare. It was a contrasting experience you would get at the theme park at night compared to the day, making it the perfect setting under all the theatrical lighting and special effects for the scare event. The haunted houses and zombie-fied characters roaming around the streets of the park were so brilliantly crafted it created a thoroughly haunting atmosphere reminiscent of a scene from A Nightmare on Elm Street – cue the screaming damsel in distress.
The haunted houses were not short on spooky vibes, sending chills to everyone who dared step in, and admittedly were the best attractions to look forward to. Scream Park was definitely the highlight of my night, featuring its very own Rumah Hantu, Pontianak Theatre of Fear, Zombie Apocalypse and Horrorwood Studios. It wasn’t just the typical haunted mansion one would get at the usual fun fairs, but a four-part maze – each delivering its unique sense of fear, confusion and hysteria. [Spoiler alert: One part involves a spinning tunnel of hypnotic 3D illustrations while another recreates a chilling version of a house of mirrors.]
On a scale of one to chicken, I was definitely the latter. But don’t think this is not fitting for the faint of heart. In fact, Night of Fright 2’s version of horror revolves around the idea of fun. “Scaring is non-lingual. Getting scared is one of the things we all get all through our life and we all have different levels of it. What scares me may not scare you, and what scares you may not scare me, that is why our emphasis is on fun,” creator and director of Nights of Fright 2, Lynton V. Harris explained. Harris seemed to have intriguingly drawn influences from both Eastern and Western cult classic horror tales when planning for this year’s theme. Visitors would familiarize themselves with the Chinese vampires from the East appearing at Shanghai Street or the zombies from the West preying on fresh brains at Zombie Apocalypse that will not only terrify but amuse visitors all night long.
Taylor’s University’s residential superstar, Brandon Ho (Host of 8TV Quickie, if you didn’t already know), was spotted in the midst of all the ghoulish action and shared, “Halloween isn’t exactly my most favourite time of the year. But I’ve been scaring and pranking so many people in my life, I guess it’s refreshing to be scared by others once in a while!” adding, “This year’s attractions at Nights of Fright 2 really lived up to its name!”
Be sure to also catch the Carnival of Chaos, led by their very own ring-leader, Chaos, who unleashes a stampede of terror into the grounds of the theme park disturbing park-goers while also delivering an electrifying performance you would not want to miss. Just one piece of advice visitors would need to remember throughout the night – “Don’t touch the ghosts and they won’t touch you.” Keep that in mind and I promise you will make it out of Nights of Fright 2 alive.
Nights of Fright 2: For six nights only, Sunway Lagoon will open its gates of horror to invite those who seek a dose of chills and thrills. Throw on your spookiest outfit and float on by to Nights of Fright 2 at only RM48 per person while enjoying the unlimited rides and attractions that are available throughout the amusement park. Meanwhile, daytime park guests who wish to “Feel the Fear” at Nights of Fright 2on the same evening as their visit may enjoy a special rate at only RM30.
Nights of Fright 2: Festival of Fear at Sunway Lagoon will be happening on 17, 18, 24, 25, 31 October and 1 November from 7.30pm till 10.30pm. Here’s an added bonus: On Halloween night itself (31st October 2014), the event will run till 11.30pm!