REVIEW: Sinister Pointe Not So Merry Holiday Haunt 2012


One of the most polished pro haunts in Southern California, Sinister Pointe takes thrills and chills to a whole new level each holiday season with its Christmas-themed production “Not So Merry” Holiday Haunt. Put the kids to sleep and make sure that the neighbors can’t see, because Theme Park Adventure ventured in to this twisted haunt and found a sack full of naughty to share!

Sinister Pointe Not So Merry Holiday HauntWhen the folks at Sinister Pointe say, “This event is NOT for children” they mean it! Woe be to the parent who against staff recommendation, takes their kid inside anyway, only to be greeted by a boozing, lecherous Santa, smelling of cigarette smoke, bellowing, “MERRY F$&KING CHRISTMAS!” as they enter! From there, the experience spirals downward into a series of vulgar, violent scenes and scenarios that aren’t for the prude or easily offended. From pissed off elves to twisted Whos in Whoville, guests encounter a plethora of offensive characters and frightening situations as they move through Sinister Pointe’s darkened halls and rooms, some of them interactive.

Fans and guests that experienced Sinister Pointe this Halloween season won’t find many major physical changes program-wise between the two seasons of Halloween and Christmas. However, the holiday overlay is fairly extensive, from musical soundtrack to props and characters/costumes throughout the attraction. It’s clear that some very definite thought and planning went in to Sinister Pointe’s Not So Merry production; it wasn’t merely thrown together cheaply and called a holiday haunt just to make a few bucks. Owner Jeff Schiefelbein is a showman, and in turn, goes to great lengths to immerse his guests completely; this year’s Christmas event doesn’t disappoint.

The musical soundtrack for the Not So Merry version of Sinister Pointe features the music of Jon Autopsy, with music created specifically for the holiday haunt; it is gritty and ominous, just as we’d expect from him, and is perfect. Jon’s become a force of nature within the haunted attraction community, and Sinister Pointe certainly made a very smart move in engaging him several years ago as he was just breaking into the haunted attraction scoring niche.

Sinister Pointe Not So Merry Holiday Haunt

Sinister Pointe’s crew is a dedicated group that takes great pride in their work. While the number of monsters can and does vary from night to night, guests never feel ripped off or alone in the attraction – even on talent-thin nights, Sinister Pointe is staffed with men and women that know how to bring it hard and love scaring the crap out of people no matter what season it is! It’s obvious that many of the monsters at the Pointe absolutely love the Christmas overlay and have fun with it as they cross the line and often take their roles to awkward, nasty extremes.

One of the really great things about Sinister Pointe opening for Christmas, is that haunters from all over SoCal that were busy working during the Halloween season get a chance to visit and experience the haunt for themselves, as many never get a chance in October. The support from other folks within the haunt community is very positive – we love seeing that kinship as opposed to rivalry or negativity. It’s awesome seeing other haunters truly enjoying being frightened and entertained as they pass through Sinister Pointe; I think that fellow monsters and haunt teams actually appreciate the holiday overlay more than the general public, who don’t necessarily understand how challenging it is to switch from Halloween mode to Christmas over a few weeks. It’s quite impressive, and we applaud Jeff and his team completely.

Sinister Pointe Not So Merry Holiday HauntA lot of fans ask me if it’s worth it to visit Sinister Pointe at Christmas if they visited in October. My response is always yes, because as far as I’m concerned, the admission is to have fun with the holiday overlay and outrageous characters; it’s not about seeing any new major effects or gags – people thinking that the maze is going to be different in a period of a few weeks just after the Holiday season has ended are simply expecting too much and likely won’t appreciate the fun details of the Not So Merry event at all. However, I think the majority of people going truly get it and love seeing how utterly horrible Santa is going to be, or how many sexual innuendos can be crammed up their chimney in a matter of 15 minutes or so! I can’t imagine a group of adults looking for some very naughty holiday humor not having a great time at Sinister Pointe!

Huge kudos to Jeff and the Sinister Pointe crew; it’s fantastic that you all put on a fantastic holiday event that allows fans to get their haunt fix as the madness of the season is what’s truly scary about this time of year! We appreciate the efforts and outrageousness of it all and absolutely recommend this as an off-color night out for adults! Leave the kids at home and have a fantastic time at one of our favorite haunts anywhere!

– Rick West


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