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Review of The Morgue Live on 2nd October 2013
They say good things come in small packages and according to 'Morgue Live' which opens it's doors from 4th October to 2nd November 7pm till late, a series of morbid characters have become victims of an enraged killer running a mock in Birmingham. The victims have risen from the dead and are now roaming around the confines of said morgue.
Jump scenes rule the day here. That's right, the morgue live is stocked up with jump scenes! If you're having a hard time deciphering my complicated terminology, then let me explain that a "jump scene" is one in which something startling happens to catch you off guard and makes you jump.
Some people think jump scenes are a ploy to get quick scares but if they're really quite well done in a compact well constructed environment, manufactured with frequency and shrewd enough to keep you in a constant state of unease then I say this is a good thing.
The whole experience from start to finish is around 15 minutes or so, which whizzes by a little too fast, leaving you with a feeling of wanting more. The potential is there and with a little more tweaking and less of a mish mash of horror snippets taken from other known scare mazes, the Morgue live could evolve into something quite special.
For a first attempt at constructing a scare maze, newcomers James Cooper and Mathew Lee (the imaginer proprietors of Morgue Live) have indeed demonstrated that they have the ability to devise a viable terror attraction albeit hindered by council regulatory constraints on what they can and can not do to a discerning public in the centre of Birmingham.
Although some of you might be a little agitated to know that The Morgue Live does follow some clichéd horror conventions, you may find the creepy Priest character walking around in a dark room while you watch a video of the lords prayer being read out aloud a little discerning.
Mixed in with strobe lighting, it is quite surreal and surprisingly effective in terms of ambiance but what it's doing in a morgue I'm really not quite sure and Yes folks, I did say the lords prayer.
Now I can understand how Religion and Horror can be played as two sides of the belief coin, (remember the 1976 film Carrie - a classic for all you DVD horror enthusiasts), however this and many other themed characters such as a scary clown or psychotic Jason-esque overalls wearing masked madmen do not quite fit into the ideology of a Morgue and if they do they need to be explained slightly more emphatically with a drummed in however basic storyline.
Although confusing in terms of subject matter, the maze is, on the whole jolly good fun and worth a trip if you live or socialise in the confines of Birmingham city itself.
For slightly more than the price of a McDonald’s or KFC meal after a couple of ales, one could argue that a trip down to the Morgue live maze would be the far healthier option (what's actually in a Big Mac meat patty?).
Never underestimate the horror of a night out in Birmingham, I guess in respect to the Morgue Live, I can't think of a better way to spend 15 or so minutes in and around the bull ring!
Although the Morgue Live lacks a certain direction quality thankfully it does not detract from the aforesaid Jump value.
What, you've got is an eclectic terror attraction mix of spirits (and not the drinking kind) haunted by the pain of being murdered together with somewhat clever light and sound effects.
I would be interested to see what these two chaps James and Matthew can come up with in a couple of years time given more resources.
With a name like the Morgue Live, I was expecting more rising dead bodies on slabs, a creepy Mortician akin to Angus Scrimm (the Mausoleum grave robber simply know as the Tall man from the 1979 film Phantasm) or a doctor conducting a 'From Hell' Jack the Ripper style gruesome autopsy in front of our very eyes.
Having said this the Morgue live did have some well acted morbid SCOOBY DOO level spooky characters;
Such as the lurking James Bradly as the shouty yet ever so creepy Priest (pictured below)
The screaming bipolar receptionist played convincingly by Claire Pearson (pictured below)
and the talented Dead Bride (my favourite character, sorry I forgot to ask you your name – maybe I was scared! Kudos) with said pictures of the Tall Man.
Last but not least the wonderfully surreal Dave Ashley as Charlie with his doll Jessica (Yes I did ask him if the doll had a name).
As a result of these above mentioned characters, I wish the maze had been a bit longer and I guess that’s testament to saying that I did have a good time however short.
A longer running time could've produced slightly more in-depth character development, a more clever way to explain continuity, and maybe even a better ending. So Morgue Live, how about some closure?
Review by Jay Jay, Terror Attractions.co.uk
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