Review: Valhaunted

By Shannon Tseng | Staff Writer

Hansel and Gretel trek into the evil witch’s delectable gingerbread house for Performing Arts Club’s (PAC) annual production of Valhaunted. This year, Valhaunted, with theme “Hansel and Gretel,” was open on Oct. 23, 24, 20, and 31 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. In an effort to collect canned food for the organization Trick-Or-Treat-So-Kids-Can-Eat, PAC officers encouraged customers to bring donations by pricing entry at four dollars with a canned good and five dollars without.

Right from the start, drama teacher Mr. Ballin brought the Halloween spirit by dressing up as the devil. Once inside the theater, I was surprised to see Valhalla’s transformation; it was almost unrecognizable. The set designers used an ominous green light to set the mood, and they decorated the seating area with props from last year’s “Into the Woods” to create a forest. I followed the trail of breadcrumbs to the stage, where the witch invited me into her house. Despite Gretel’s warnings, I stepped inside and was immediately greeted by Hansel’s lifeless body. The haunted house included many other attractions, such as body contortionists, creepy dolls, and dead babies, which were all amusing to watch but not exactly scary.

Despite the many screams from the actors, I didn’t really find the haunted house to be scary. Perhaps if I wasn’t able to recognize my friends behind the costumes, I would have been more scared. As for set design, PAC did a pretty good job convincing me that I was inside a witch’s house, but the atmosphere was a bit dull for a Saturday night since there weren’t many customers there. However, I may have just chosen the wrong time to go; Valhaunted was actually able to attract a total of 150 customers.

“My job in Valhaunted was to manage [paperwork and] sign ups for volunteers,” said senior Kristie Lam, “even though it was a little last minute, I feel that turnout was pretty good-we had about 150 people over the span of 4 days, which is amazing.”

Although I didn’t find Valhaunted to be as scary as I expected, I admire PAC members for giving up their time to collect canned food for those in need. Hopefully next year, PAC will put on an even more spectacular haunted house to gather even more supplies for their cause.

Fear Factor: 6/10

Atmosphere: 6/10

Set Design: 7/10