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Fright Nights at Playland

Fright Nights at Playland

It’s Halloween time again. That means it’s also time for the spooktacular Fright Nights at Playland! With 15 rides, 7 haunted houses, live shows and an ensemble of roving actors, it’s a full evening of freakish entertainment.

This year we were lucky enough to be provided with Rapid Passes to Fright Nights (thanks CTV YVR!). Rapid Passes gave us expedited access to each of the haunted houses and 5 of the most popular rides at Playland (The Beast, Hellevator, Atmosfear, Music Express, and the Wooden Roller Coaster). It was very crowded so it was awesome to be able to by-pass the long line ups. With almost no wait time we were able to get on all 5 rides, plus The Corkscrew, Hell’s Gate, and Crazy Beach Party, as well as see all the haunted houses.

The rides were awesome and by the end of the evening I was pretty hoarse from shrieking – in fun and fear.  The Beast is touted as Canada’s most extreme pendulum ride, and it really was quite extreme. We sat in the outward facing seats and held on for dear life! I think I was actually shaking from the adrenaline rush when we got off the ride. The Wooden Roller Coaster was bone-rattling fun and I enjoyed it much more than I was expecting. Built in 1958 this famous ride can only be described as an oldie but a goodie.  After the ride, check out the photos taken on the second drop – the range of facial expressions is good for laugh. My other favourite was Atmosfear which is a giant 360 degree swing 218 feet up in the sky. Oddly enough, being so high wasn’t scary and the views of the city were incredible, making this ride very enjoyable.

The Haunted Houses were fun. Keeper’s Doll Factory and the Haunted Mansion were my favourites but Fear was pretty good too. With the variety of houses there’s pretty much something for everyone on the spectrum of fear.

Here’s a POV video of our fun-filled Fright Night!

If you love all things Halloween and are up for a bit of an adrenaline rush, this could be for you. Fright Nights runs until October 31 so there’s still time to go and face your fears.

Closet Monster – mini movie review

Closet Monster – mini movie review

I love to watch films that aren’t made by big budget film studios. It’s not that I don’t watch mainstream movies because I do, I really really love going to the movies. It’s more that I find independent or alternative films are designed to appeal to a less broad target market so they will often deliver something that mainstream movies do not.

This is true of Closet Monster, Canadian director Stephen Dunn‘s debut feature film, a coming of age story set in a small repressed town in Newfoundland and Labrador. The film stars Connor Jessup as Oscar Madly, a creative and imaginative high school Senior struggling to accept his sexuality and Isabella Rossellini as, oddly, the voice of Oscar’s talking pet hamster, Buffy.

As Oscar struggles to deal with the fall-out of his parent’s break-up and the trauma of witnessing a violent anti-gay attack, he becomes increasingly isolated. His struggle is communicated in conversations with his hamster Buffy, who offers support and advice.

Mixing reality with fantasy, Closet Monster does a great job in telling Oscar’s story. I don’t usually enjoy boy-becomes-man movies but I did enjoy this one. Oscar’s character trying to come out while wrestling with his inner homophobe and fear of rejection is a familiar story to many people in the LGBTQ world.

Closet Monster premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Canadian Feature. I really enjoyed it and while I know this movie won’t appeal to everyone, I hope many of you will like it too.

Take a look at the trailer.