2016 FringeNYC Review: ‘Humorously Horrendous Haunted Hideaway’

If you’re a fan of the fright genre and nostalgic for classic Saturday morning TV shows for kids, Playlab NYC’s Humorously Horrendous Haunted Hideaway will have you screaming with laughter! Written and directed by Kevin P. Hale, the one-hour parody is filled with funny faux fear, loaded with lots of alliteration, and punctuated with preposterous puns and witty word plays with macabre meanings (e.g., sending a ‘skelegram’ “Tomb It May Concern”).

Aprella Godfrey Barule.
Aprella Godfrey Barule. Photo courtesy of the production.

Played with sinister delight by the terrific Scott Michael Morales and Aprella Godfrey Barule, hilarious horror hosts Ernest Headstone and Ima Knotgoth lead the audience through a night of supernatural scares, spooky sounds, and gruesome severings as they attempt to exorcise (or is it exercise?) The Blood Banshee that has been terrorizing their favorite haunt. Along with the hosts, a volunteer from the audience is chosen to participate in “The Post-Mortem Game” and a mysterious man, known only as The Mad Creeper, appears and disappears throughout the scenes.

There are glowing black-light vignettes of mundane annoyances, adorable animal puppets with preternatural predilections, kooky commercial breaks to sell alien-spiked cereal and sickening cigarettes to unmindful minors, and deadly dismemberments in silly spine-tingling film shorts (Head by Elmwood Productions and Shine by Puppetcore).

The fun and frights are supported by a devilishly delicious design. Ima’s ghost-white dress is woven with cobwebs and Ernie’s outrageous outfit and morbid make-up evoke a mash-up of Pee Wee Herman and Uncle Fester from The Addams Family. Sound by Jeanne E. Travis and lighting by Jennifer Linn Wilcox are appropriately hair-raising.

Go see Humorously Horrendous Haunted Hideaway if you dare; it really is a scream!

Running Time: Approximately one hour, with no intermission.

2. HUMOROUSLY HORRENDOUS, promo imagge

Humorously Horrendous Haunted Hideaway plays through Friday, August 26, 2016, performing at 64E4 Mainstage – 64 East 4th Street, in New York City. Purchase tickets online.