After working at the karaoke bar in Dallas Alley for who knows how long in the late 90’s, I have plenty of horror stories about the West End. One of the most vivid involves me puking most of my internal organs out after having about seventeen too many shots of Grand Marnier.
A Pepperoni Lover’s pizza never looked so… colorful.
These days, Dallas Alley is gone and all that remains are empty husks of clubs. However, a new spirit haunts those old buildings these days: The Fatal End in the West End.
Fatal End occupies a good chunk of the “Marketplace side” of the old Dallas Alley. The benefit of having a fixed literally “brick and mortar” and being one of the few local horror attractions that is open year-round definitely shows in their set design. Whereas most haunts are constructed on plywood flats, Fatal End doesn’t have to emulate spooky basements or industrial settings; it’s actually in one. Additionally, it’s multi-level with gives it a feel you’re not going to have in many other attractions. Now, what does all this mean? It means you’re treated to one of the most eye-popping horror displays in Dallas. There are towering set pieces, tantalizing textures and the kind of set detail that indie film-makers like me would sell their kid sisters for.
As if that weren’t enough, the lighting and sound designs are downright masterful. With the exception of one set early on that was a tiny bit dark, the rest were perfection. One set in particular left me breathless. It’s obvious a lot of love goes into their visuals.
One topic I haven’t hit yet is actors. I’ve avoided this one so far because, as I visited on a Monday night, the troupe was kind of thin – maybe half of what they might have on a busier night. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing nor did it take away from the attraction, but it naturally felt a little sparse. Those on hand, however, did a good job of taking up the slack.
The Fatal End in the West End is a great attraction and definitely a “must see” in my book. Buried in the bricks of decades old buildings, it smells like decay and it feels like love.
It is located at 603 Munger Ave (at Market St.) in downtown Dallas. For more information, visit their website at http://www.dallashaunt.com/Fatal_End/Home.html or follow them on Twitter at @ DallasHaunt.