Sunway’s spooky attraction

IF there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters, of course.

The popular animated series, which ran from 1986 to 1991, with films in 1984 and 1989, gets a new leash on life via a reboot with an all-female cast this month.

If that’s not enough, head to Sunway Lagoon as its Scream Park’s latest attraction “Ghostbusters Adventure Live!” is based on the new film.

Sunway Lagoon general manager Sean Choo said while the attraction was introduced in Mexico, it is the first in Asia.

“Last year, the Ghostbusters theme park in Mexico was a huge success, so they decided to bring it to Asia.”

Choo said it took them almost seven months to negotiate the contract and another five months of planning and execution.

The contract was signed middle of last year and Choo received a teaser poster from Lynton V. Harris, founder and CEO of Sudden Impact Entertainment.

The poster had 2016 written on it with the “0” replaced with the instantly recognisable Ghostbusters improvised logo.

Sunway Lagoon then started the building process, which went on right until the day before its launch last Thursday.

Ghostbusters is probably one of the top 10 most well-known brands in the world.

“I grew up with it and a lot of people know the original blockbuster movie, first released in 1984 and later nominated for two Oscars at the 57th Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects and Best Original Song,” he said.

“We did not create an entirely new theme park, but just reworked one section of it, which allowed us to complete it in a short time. We ripped out a whole floor inside the Scream Park, and recreated the attraction.”

Choo said the theme park “is a walk-through maze with seven scenes from the new Ghostbusters movie”, including those from Times Square, a Chinese restaurant and a train station.

Sunway Lagoon marketing director Michelle Gregory said those who had watched the film would experience the selected scenes coming to life.

Ghostbusters is a comedy film, so it appeals to everyone, from the young right up to the older folk. It gives a good balance to Scream Park, because it has always been just a scare deal,” said Gregory, adding this attraction complemented the experience for the whole family.

Choo said the attraction was not built to terrify and leave visitors trembling in fear, but rather to thrill and excite them, and leaving them laughing at all the scary yet funny elements.

Based solely on the new film, the attraction will not have elements from the previous movies and animated series.

Sadly, toting a ghostbusting gun will not be possible.

“That was my initial question too, and I had the chance to try it out. But carrying a 20kg gun on my shoulder was no easy feat. So, we ruled out the guns this time around, as things may get out of control, especially with the young ones,” Choo said.

“We wanted to avoid any potential cause of injury. We don’t want them to get overly excited and drop the guns or hit someone with it.

“This attraction will certainly live up to the expectations of fans as there are lots of ‘wow’ factors in it. We’ve converted almost 8,000sq ft of the Scream Park into this attraction,” he said.

“It takes about 15 minutes to complete and it’s the biggest in Scream Park.”

Sudden Impact! Entertainment Live Attractions Worldwide director Dominic McChesney was there to oversee the final setting up of “The Ghostbusters Adventure Live!” and was more than thrilled to see its completion.

“All actors went through tough training last month, and now they are ready to realise their roles,” said McChesney, who had personally trained the “ghosts”.

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