Facing your fears, real and unreal, in Eli Roth’s GORETORIUM

Las Vegas City Life cover: Eli Roth's Goretorium and the Meaning of FearMeet Billy Owen, one of our special cast members from Eli Roth’s GORETORIUM in this rather in-depth article on the mechanics and meaning of fear by Las Vegas City Life. Going far beyond a preview/review of our new haunt attraction opening in Vegas today, this article delves quite deep (or wanders afield, if you prefer) into the psychology of horror and fear, and how haunts can exploit human psychology to scare the wits out of audiences. Here’s a cool excerpt:

Shortly after the scalps, we’re stopped by a different kind of scary. It was the back of a woman. Not like it was severed from her body and hung on a wall like the scalps, but a woman fully intact, just facing away from her audience, framed at the end of a hallway, like a mannequin in a store window. And she’s not doing anything. She’s just lit up, completely pristine, with long blond hair. She’s even sort of hidden. But it’s oddly terrifying. It doesn’t take special effects. It was just the unknowing, the anticipation of the unknown — which is the basis of so much horror. “It’s like a picture in a museum,” says Rob Spadoni, horror film studies professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. “If something’s gonna be off center, say, a character down to the left, you know up and to the right there’s going to be a stairwell or a lamp to balance things. In horror movies, it tends to be a corpse swinging from a rope, like in Halloween. So on one hand you knew it was going to happen, and you jump out of your skin. But on the other, you think, “Ah, it’s balanced.” But the girl wasn’t balanced. And that made it the most uncomfortable part of the tour.

Since a mysterious, briefly-displayed billboard featuring a fake hanged body appeared months ago on the outskirts of Vegas, and news stations began calling us to see if the Goretorium put up that display (we didn’t), it’s been clear that Eli Roth’s GORETORIUM was getting under the skin and in the minds of Vegas locals. City Life writer Max Plenke confirms that the GORETORIUM is still planting fear into people’s minds before the show actually opens, and we expect that terrifying trend to continue after tonight’s grand opening. I met Billy during casting sessions and he’s a great guy — we’re lucky to have him in our cast, and not just for his obvious physical traits. Billy gets what the GORETORIUM is about, and it will be a better show because of him and his fellow haunters who love scaring people and know all the various ways to accomplish that mission.

The slaughter on the strip begins tonight! Get show info, online tickets, merchandise and more at www.goretorium.com.

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