Rob Zombie bringing his 'Nightmare' to the 'burbs

  • Musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie stopped in Villa Park on Thursday to discuss "Great American Nightmare," a haunted house he helped develop. The haunted house opens Friday at the Odeum Expo Center, and Zombie will perform that night.

      Musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie stopped in Villa Park on Thursday to discuss "Great American Nightmare," a haunted house he helped develop. The haunted house opens Friday at the Odeum Expo Center, and Zombie will perform that night. Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

  • Rob Zombie signs the shirt of a fan during a promotional appearance Thursday in Villa Park.

      Rob Zombie signs the shirt of a fan during a promotional appearance Thursday in Villa Park. Matt Arado | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/26/2014 6:10 AM

Rob Zombie -- musician, filmmaker, horror addict -- said he had one goal in mind when he designed his haunted house.

"I wanted people to feel like they'd been immersed in it," he said. "I wanted the experience to hit them from all sides."

 

The haunted house Zombie helped develop, "Great American Nightmare," opens Friday in Villa Park. It has three distinct elements, all based on films Zombie has made -- "The Lords of Salem," "House of 1,000 Corpses" and the animated "Haunted World of El Superbeasto."

"In a way, it's like an extension of the films," Zombie said. "For people who've seen them, it will be a bit like taking a walk through the movies. But we made sure that people who haven't seen them will have just as good a time."

The three parts of the haunted house offer different types of thrills. The part based on "The Lords of Salem" plunges visitors into a world of pitch-black sensory deprivation. The "El Superbeasto" section, which is in 3-D, relies on raunchy humor. The final section is an all-out gore fest.

"Great American Nightmare" first opened last year in California. When it came time to expand to other locations, the Chicago area was at the top of Zombie's list.

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"I love this area," he said. "I've been coming to Chicago for 25 years, and it's one of those cities that has always embraced me. I hope we have a long run here."

Rob Zombie's Great American Nightmare will open at 7 p.m. Friday at the Odeum Expo Center, 1033 N. Villa Ave., Villa Park. After that, it will be open weekends and some Thursdays through Nov. 1. Zombie will perform live on Friday at the Odeum to celebrate the opening.

For information, go to greatamericannightmare.com.

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