Horror film villains stalk Randall Theatre

Robin Downward as Leatherface, background, and David Stepp as Pinhead.Jamie Lusch

Visitors to Randall Theatre's seasonal Nightmare Chamber will come face-to-face with serial killers, monsters and murderers straight out of '70s and '80s horror and slasher films.

Thrill seekers will get a look at the gory and macabre worlds of Freddy Krueger, Jason, Leatherface and Pinhead. It's all part of the Titans of Terror Nightmare Chamber, a large labyrinth where those who dare enter will be stalked by the four icons of horror.

The fright nights are set for 7 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18-19, Wednesday through Sunday, Oct. 23-27, and Tuesday through Saturday, Oct. 29 to Nov. 2, at the community theater, 10 Third St., Medford.

Tickets cost $8 in advance at Magic Man in Medford and Grants Pass; or $10 at the door. See www.randalltheatre.com or call 541-632-3258 for information.

Randall's Nightmare Chamber is not recommended for children younger than 10, but for those who find fun in having their pants scared off, it's a great way to celebrate Halloween.

"A haunted house is a grown-up way to have fun on the holiday," says Robin Downward, the theater's artistic director, in a news release.

A staff of safety personnel will be on hand to ensure that guests who enter the chamber will exit safely.

Downward designed the scary twists and turns in this year's haunted house. Planning for the event began a year ago when he set out to get permission to use Krueger, Jason, Leatherface and Pinhead from licensin agencies.

"There's just something about these particular characters that resonates with the general public," he says. "They each inspire fear in a different way. And having them all in one location sort of works on the greatest fears that people have. Each preys on a different fear."

Each area of the haunt is planned for maximum effect, Downward says.

"There really is sort of a science behind scaring people, such as placing the actors and props so that they maximize the tension, maximize the scares."

A combination of trained actors and mechanical effects gives attention to details of set pieces and lighting.

"There's more of a storyline that's built into the whole haunted house," he says. "Having a good level of detail mixed in with traditional jump-out scares and screams and things like that, I think, gives it a particular style."

Downward and his theater company want visitors to enjoy themselves.

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