HHN 29: Vanity Ball

RevFreako

Premium Member
Mar 30, 2015
2,142
The issue isn't so much "edgy" as "IP-infringing." Tho political humor that gets you lit up on either SJW Twitter or Fox News is also bad for business.
Exactly this. I have no problem lighting up the MAGA crowd, but Uni is in the ticket-selling business, not the truth-to-power business. Although Gay Superman was garbage, both in concept and execution. Orlando never did anything on that level of garbage, but why chance it (pardon the pun)

I understand that it's kind of an unpopular opinion or whatever, but that's my own interpretation. I'm a lesbian and the more I saw of the zone, the more uncomfortable I became. Some of my queer friends loved it, while others hated it. Either way, it just seemed a little misguided.
Wait, are you talking about the ballroom zone from 24 or Vanity Ball? I'm getting my wires crossed as I try to follow the thread.
 
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Lucky Planet

Veteran Member
Sep 23, 2013
2,240
I understand that it's kind of an unpopular opinion or whatever, but that's my own interpretation. I'm a lesbian and the more I saw of the zone, the more uncomfortable I became. Some of my queer friends loved it, while others hated it. Either way, it just seemed a little misguided.
It wasnt just that, I know a few people that said the zone was body shaming and making fun of women that get plastic surgery, some women on fb were upset over that. That it was mocking the way some women look after surgery. Like the exaggerated big lips and stuff
 
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itsabee

Rookie
Sep 11, 2019
191
It wasnt just that, I know a few people that said the zone was body shaming and making fun of women that get plastic surgery, some women on fb were upset over that. That it was mocking the way some women look after surgery. Like the exaggerated big lips and stuff
See, as an LGBT woman, I don’t really feel either of these, but I get how people could. It wasn’t the queerness that was supposed to be scaring people, but the gore and overall body horror of having your eyes taken out or your face peeled off. I think the idea that men and women are both represented as desiring cosmetic changes actually makes it less problematic, as it would probably be seen as a lot worse if the surgeons/nurses were all men and the victims were all women. I didn’t feel that any part of it was explicitly queer, as grouping all men in makeup as gay is a little reductive, and the theme may be more about socially-acceptable “model” looks as a whole.

Also, I don’t think the look is meant to pick at people that get real cosmetic surgery done. I think the idea is more of an over-exaggerated possibility of what the human body standard could look like, especially with celebrities like the Kardashians constantly flaunting their “natural” beauty and pretending they haven’t had surgeries (which they clearly have; compare teenage Kylie to current Kylie). I see it more as a wildly big example of what can happen to a person if they take cosmetic “enhancements” too far, or, more broadly, the way that (part of) society sees beauty in a specific subset of features, and how that’s kind of corrupt and bad.

Again, I’m LGBT, and that’s just my opinion. Ultimately, if we’re getting cynical, we can boil it down to “needles in face bad, missing skin bad, that comes from surgery, so cosmetic surgery bad” from HHN’s mind as far as the development of the concept went. I don’t think it was an effective scarezone, and I feel like all of it just completely fell apart. It was a weird spectacle of prosthetics, color, and glitter, but it wasn’t scary to me.

TL;DR - Vanity Ball probably didn’t try to be homophobic or sexist but maybe it leaned that way in the end because interpretations can be different for every person
 

Fallow

Veteran Member
May 26, 2010
3,056
Vanity Ball was meant to be a play off how people were all about excess in the 80's, with the plastic surgery craze and the "Ball" culture. Being an LGBTQ character was just incidental to the zone.
I'd need to watch more footage in how the zone was executed, but I think some of the discomfort comes from the zone's energy leaning into "drag race" versus "Bioshock medical pavilion" (i.e. unnecessary plastic surgery slipping into the grotesque).

Regarding the Terra Queen, I'd personally expect one of the prominent zones to be Terra Cruentes-oriented. If we're lucky, maybe an adjoining maze.
 

BBPH

Veteran Member
May 5, 2009
1,627
London, England
It would be ignorant to deny that the underlying theme of this zone is LGBT related, ball culture stems from the LGBT underground and it’s something people are very proud of.

That being said, this was certainly not a negative portrayal of the community.

The balls were all about looks and what shocking crazy thing someone could do next, that’s surgery and at that point it becomes a more general zone about surgery and the 80’s inspired by ball culture.

As part of the LGBT community I thought it was a great zone, just not scary.
 

Frankyg123

Rookie
Oct 5, 2009
294
Miami, FL
It would be ignorant to deny that the underlying theme of this zone is LGBT related, ball culture stems from the LGBT underground and it’s something people are very proud of.

That being said, this was certainly not a negative portrayal of the community.

The balls were all about looks and what shocking crazy thing someone could do next, that’s surgery and at that point it becomes a more general zone about surgery and the 80’s inspired by ball culture.

As part of the LGBT community I thought it was a great zone, just not scary.
This was the zone I was hyped for because I love ball culture. my group loved it and I ended up hanging around to Shazam some of the songs playing. But I agree it wasn’t scary. I personally don’t find zones to be scary. it’s something to stroll through on my way to a house or show. Granted there have been years where the zone is entertaining so I’ll stick around but I have yet to find a scare zone which is scary in the 18 years of attending.
 

BBPH

Veteran Member
May 5, 2009
1,627
London, England
Hey. I'm a straight guy who worded his point incorrectly. I'll take and stand by the L.
To be honest I was more pointing my finger at A&D assuming you’re point was more fact than opinion :lol:

... but I appreciate that thank you!

Overall I think it’s good to see them taking inspiration from different sources, it’s certainly made things more interesting.
 
Sep 28, 2017
137
terra cruentus
It would be ignorant to deny that the underlying theme of this zone is LGBT related, ball culture stems from the LGBT underground and it’s something people are very proud of.

That being said, this was certainly not a negative portrayal of the community.

The balls were all about looks and what shocking crazy thing someone could do next, that’s surgery and at that point it becomes a more general zone about surgery and the 80’s inspired by ball culture.

As part of the LGBT community I thought it was a great zone, just not scary.
I agree, and I'm sorry for even bringing this discussion up. I do think that the execution could've been better, although every zone could've been better. It's all a matter of interpretation. Besides, I'd much rather have Vanity Ball than Spirits and Demons of the East. Talk about yikes.
 
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Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
11,346
Pittsburgh, PA
I agree, and I'm sorry for even bringing this discussion up. I do think that the execution could've been better, although every zone could've been better. It's all a matter of interpretation. Besides, I'd much rather have Vanity Ball than Spirits and Demons of the East. Talk about yikes.
Don't be sorry at all, you'd be surprised how many members are part of the LGBT community here.
 
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itsabee

Rookie
Sep 11, 2019
191
I agree, and I'm sorry for even bringing this discussion up. I do think that the execution could've been better, although every zone could've been better. It's all a matter of interpretation. Besides, I'd much rather have Vanity Ball than Spirits and Demons of the East. Talk about yikes.
I appreciate that you brought it up! Thoughtful discussions are great, especially when people (including me) tend to harp on bigger properties like GB and not mention the originals for a bit. I can say that one of the original points - drag/queer culture is being exploited as part of a horror event and that’s messed up - is undeniably true. I think it was just a very two-dimensional idea on the HHN team’s part and they should have given it more consideration.

Keep sparking cool conversations! Bring up controversy! We have another ten months to go till HHN30 and we don’t want to be bored!!!
 
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FaceBagman

Newcomer
Nov 3, 2019
5
The back-and-forth about this zone is actually really interesting to read. Always worth noting how any one person can interpret something different from another.

My best friend attended with us for the first few nights of our vacation; she works as a counselor for HIV+ males and was genuinely endeared with how the zone parodied "ball" culture without being mean-spirited (again, in her opinion).

It wound up being our favorite zone of the event (probably my favorite zone in both years I've attended the event!). I'm not doubting those who said there were instances of scareactors talking to friends/coworkers; however, we spent a lot of time there on the Friday & Saturday before Halloween and never once saw that happen. Though I did see it happen later in the week not only there, but in Hellbilly & Zombieland numerous times as well (also once in Vikings).

The actors talked to us a ton. I can see how people may have mistaken that we were friends with them, but they all stayed in-character & gave us a great experience. I don't find myself scared in zones or houses, as much as I love them, so I can't speak to the merits of that. I find that the harder a haunt focuses on "scaring" people, the more dingy & faux-edgy it appears to me, which is a major turn-off. Only the patients/nurses were aggressive scarers, but they got pretty aggressive in that last week of the event. Special shoutout to the guy who called my orange button-up shirt "very David S. Pumpkins". I laughed harder than I have in a long time at that.

10/10 definitely want a future house where the named characters can get wild! Perhaps set in a mansion or hospital?

Sidenote: I believe one cast's head-holding character was named Venus, had long brown hair. The other one was blonde. Can anyone confirm if the brown-haired scareactor was a Springfield chainsaw carny last year? I may be misremembering but they looked familiar...