Nashville Nightmare in Madison, TN

If you keep feeding the beast, its appetite will get bigger. The wranglers of Nashville Nightmare have done just that, somehow setting a higher bar each year for themselves and the local industry. Featuring two sickening amusements this year as well as a rave, the joint that put the "mad" in Madison doesn't disappoint, with easily some of the best makeup, acting and studio-caliber fragments of sweaty nervousness you're likely to encounter. Horror High is back and better than ever. First, they've reconfigured the bus to the front and made some smart changes to the waiting line. Your spine will stiffen as the line gets you pumped just waiting for the principal's office — setting up one of the best hosts in review history. They don't read the rules this time around, and you'll always win points by treating patrons intelligently. The improvements don't end there. The poor band and theater kids are clever choices as exceptional deaths. The carnival makes more sense this time around as well. The smells, the distant screams — the whole package remains fresh and memorable. As a secondary shocker, Night Terrors is a great companion to Horror High. That subway train looks fresh from a backlot, and the bigger monsters appear to be in greater abundance this year. The winery and the study add chills as well as jolts, and the "crawler" pushes everything right to the edge. The rave is OK to peep, but really just a moment to catch your breath. I do have to give them a hand for the degree of trepidation they instill in the crowd. Search Madison, TN for more details

Leonard Pickel, posted 2015-11-11