Halloween Haunt 2013: The Review

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This review will be based on my two trips to the park which was on opening night (September 27th) and also last Sunday (October 20th). Sometimes the house can fluctuate in quality drastically depending on when you experience them. Actors could be tired or some actors could be on break; no matter the reason, the point is that mazes can be very different from one day to the next. Remember that this review is based on going through each house twice.

Mazes

 

Each maze will be judged on two aspects: First, the quality of the house itself. This will take into account the theming quality, atmosphere, hiding places, music, location, etc. Secondly, each house will be rated on how well staffed it feels and how well I think the actors are working their attraction. Each of those to criteria will be worth five points each resulting in a maximum total of ten points per attraction.

Blue Ridge BloodBath

 

    House Positives:
  • Neat Concept
  • Dark Environment
  • Great Lighting
    Cast Positives:
  • Energetic
  • Well Positioned
  • Great Role Execution

 

    House Negatives:
  • Very Open
  • The vehicles are a bit too loud to provide a decent scare.
  • Not a lot of props
    Cast Negatives:
  • There was more of a maze issue. The cast was excellent.

 

I will say that this will always be a unique experience, no matter what the maze is like. Blue Ridge Bloodbath still continues to lack the fear factor. The scares are very predictable, and with there being very few props, there is not many hiding places. On a positive note, the actors did make up some of this with there efforts in trying to provide a scare as well as pursuing their character.

 

Club Blood

 

    House Positives:
  • Energetic Music
  • Great Layout
    Cast Positives:
  • Very Energetic
  • Great Characters
  • Great Use of the maze

 

    House Negatives:
  • Everything looked astonishing.
    Cast Negatives:
  • All had great enthusiasm and provided great scares

 

There wasn’t any update this year, but the actors most definitely improved in their roles and their scares. Actors were putting in their best effort in order to provide scares as well as staying in their character. But, all in all, this maze was excellent this year and should be one of the mazes that you should make sure you walk through.

CornStalkers

 

    House Positives:
  • Amazing Lighting
  • Great updates with the snake house and windmill
  • Superior looking Facades
    Cast Positives:
  • Great Costumes
  • Amazing Scares
  • Great use of the maze

 

    House Negatives:
  • This Maze is superb this season
    Cast Negatives:
  • Actors were very energetic and played their characters amazingly; so there isn’t any!

 

I don’t know where to begin. The updates from the facade to the windmill were all simply amazing. I was speechless walking through it all. With the stalks standing at least seven feet in the air, you’re embraced with the sensation of being lost. While the location is a little bit odd with the amount of lighting surrounding the maze, they perfectly execute darkness with dark lights that stood just above the tops of stalks. The lighting and the tall cornstalks make it very nearly impossible to depict where any actors are, which in my opinion, is the maze’s best feature. CornStalkers surely did receive the most impressive new updates thus far. I’m not lying when I say this truly is a great maze.

Doll Factory

 

    House Positives:
  • Realistic Props
  • Good Layout
    Cast Positives:
  • Detailed Costumes
  • Use of face paint instead of masks
  • Great use of the Maze Layout

 

    House Negatives:
  • None, it looked amazing.
    Cast Negatives:
  • Ugh, they… Ok, they were all amazing.

 

Personally, this has to be one of the creepiest mazes that could be built. The level of detail with the actor’s costumes is amazing. Instead of the traditional face masks, they go above and beyond and have full face paint to help create the look of a creepy doll. Something to note, these actors are not afraid to get in weird body positions which really adds to the amount of realism in this maze. There are lots of moments where I had to really question myself if it was a real person or a doll. There was also a lot of energy and squeals that came from these actors throughout the entire maze.

Medieval Macabre

 

    House Positives:
  • Detailed Props
  • Open Layout
    Cast Positives:
  • Good use of the maze props
  • Energetic
  • Helped make up for the lackluster maze design

 

    House Negatives:
  • Not very detailed
  • Very plain
  • A lot of empty hallways
    Cast Negatives:
  • Each and every one of them were amazing and helped make the experience for this maze even better.

 

I’ve come to notice that this maze is sort of lackluster.  While there are some very good moments in this house, there were more dull moments. I had many moments that I walked down a hallway and there were no props as well as no actors. One thing that deserves pointing out is the girl who is in the first room that crawled out of the well. I was beyond impressed. She was able to crawl out of the maze very slowly and position her body very well. It really set off a good tone for the rest of the house.

Miners Revenge

 

    House Positives:
  • Stunning Layout
  • Great Props
  • Amazing Facade
  • Unique Design
  • Great Use of Space
  • Great Lighting/ Atmosphere
    Cast Positives:
  • Great Hiding Spots
  • Lots of Energy
  • Great Character Execution

 

 

    House Negatives:
  • The rope would stray away and stick to your clothing.
    Cast Negatives:
  • They all executed their roles really well, while also providing a scare.

 

NEW FOR 2013! It’s almost shocking with the amount of quality that this maze contains. Between the maze layout, the props, and the lighting, it was almost shocking. One of the issues with Camp Killauee last year was that the actors were too predictable, but now they can place themselves in open areas and provide a nice pop up scare. The actors had great energy and also used the maze to their advantage. When I say using the maze to their advantage, I mean it. While walking through the “mine shaft” you should see a leg dangling in the air and after looking upward, you notice a guy has placed his body on top of one of the mine supports.

 

No Vacancy

 

    House Positives:
  • Extreme Detail
  • Great Additions this season
  • Great Layout
  • Amazing Lighting
  • Great Animatronics
    Cast Positives:
  • Very well executed roles
  • Tons of Energy
  • Great Scares
  • Detailed Costumes

 

    House Negatives:
  • This is the most detailed house in the entire park. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this maze at all.
    Cast Negatives:
  • One of them looked at me funny… not really. I can’t think of anything… again.

 

This house amazed me last year and has amazed me again this year. I’m going to make this short and sweet. This house is simply amazing and the actors do such an excellent job playing their character and enchancing their scares. I just want to have a small shout out to the girl in the fireplace. You literally caught me completely off guard when you blew on my neck. It was frightening, but also such amazing execution! I HIGHLY suggest taking a walk through this experience more than once. It’s nearly impossible to catch everything on just one walk through.

OutBreak: The Evolution

 

    House Positives:
  • Great Props
  • Great location
  • Stunning Lighting
  • Great Animatronics
    Cast Positives:
  • Energetic
  • Great usage of the maze

 

    House Negatives:
  • Very Plain
  • Layout felt a little bit cramped
    Cast Negatives:
  • Not much transformation from human to alien

 

I’ve never been a very big fan of this maze and it’s location. While the theme is fitting, it just feels crammed inside. The layout doesn’t make much sense and you are constantly changing direction inside the building. The actors did seem to provide tons of excitement and energy and had a bunch of scares, but that is all this maze has going for it at the moment sadly.

Slaughter House

 

    House Positives:
  • Detailed Props
  • Stunning Lighting
  • Great Layout
    Cast Positives:
  • Energetic
  • Great Costumes
  • Excellent Character Execution

 

    House Negatives:
  • None
    Cast Negatives:
  • The cast was amazing.

 

It’s getting towards the end of the maze reviews and I feel that I keep repeating that the mazes contain amazing props and are very detailed and have great layouts. Well I can surely say that this another one of these times. Actors were very energetic and wore amazing costumes as well. One key note I have to say about this maze is the layout. There is a lot of depth in this area because you really get the feeling of touring a butcher shop as a whole.

Zombie High

 

    House Positives:
  • Amazing Front Facade
  • Great Layout
  • Astonishing Props
  • Good Lighting
  • /list]
      Cast Positives:
    • Loved the Principal
    • Great Theming
    • Lots of Energy
    • Great Hiding Places

     

      House Negatives:
    • Some areas could use a little bit more light, but it still looked great.
      Cast Negatives:
    • Lots of energy and great characters, nothing to complain about here.

     

    NEW FOR 2013!  Last but not least, Zombie High. It all starts as you enter the line with one of the most impressive looking facades all around the park. This facade showcases the school entrance as well as some classrooms. One neat effect that could be done is making the clock tower at the top of the structure operational with the correct time. This house looked extraordinary and had lots of great props. My favorite character in this house has to be the principal because of the use of the P.A. system. Like any other P.A. system around, it announces around the entire building which was a nice touch in this maze. As you walked through the many different classes, you will hear the principal talking live  throughout the school.  Even in some of the open classrooms or rooms actors managed to blend in to create hiding spots one else might not notice. Whether it’s leaning by a locker or hiding behind a lunch table, they all managed to find a spot to provide a great scare. With all that said, this house is my favorite maze at Halloween Haunt! Very great job to the set builders as well to the many actors inside!

    Scare-Zones

     

    Cleaver Brother’s Carnival

     

      Area Positives: 
    • Great Props
    • Lots of Hiding Places
    • Stunning Lighting
      Cast Positives: 
    • Very Energetic
    • Lots of Movement and Jumping Around
    • Great Scare Tactics

     

      Area Negatives: 
    • Too Open
      Cast Negatives: 
    • They tend to stick to either end of the area

    Feary Tales

     

      Area Positives: 
    • Very detailed Props
    • Enclosed
      Cast Positives:
    • Good Scare Techniques
    • Great Costumes

     

      Area Negatives:
    • None, this area looked fantastic
      Cast Negatives: 
    • It’s hard to spot them
    • They hang out near the Congo side of the path

     

    IronWorx

     

      Area Positives: 
    • Rave Lighting
    • Creepy Techno Music
      Cast Positives: 
    • Lots of Energy
    • Great Scares
    • Great Use of the Area

     

      Area Negatives: 
    • Another fantastic looking area
      Cast Negatives: 
    • It’s hard to spot them
    • They hang out near the Congo side of the path

    Necropolis

     

      Area Positives: 
    • Great Lighting
    • Amazing Layout
    • Amazing Hiding Places
      Cast Positives: 
    • Energetic
    • Provided Great Scare techniques

     

      Area Negatives: 
    • It looked great!
      Cast Negatives: 
    • They were all amazing!

    PrimEvil: The Kuru Curse

     

      Area Positives: 
    • Great Structures
    • Perfect Location
      Cast Positives: 
    • Amazing “stalking” techniques
    • Great Scares
    • Lots of Energy
    • Great Costumes

     

      Area Negatives: 
    • Another fantastic looking area
      Cast Negatives: 
    • They all looked great and provided some neat scares!

    The Lair

     

      Area Positives: 
    • Extravagant Lighting
    • Realistic Props
      Cast Positives: 
    • Great Characters
    • Stunning Costumes
    • Enthusiastic

     

      Area Negatives: 
    • You can see the wood framing in the caskets
      Cast Negatives: 
    • None

     

    Event Overview

     

    Quality: The park has been going above and beyond lately with the amount of care that goes into the everything around the park. If you haven’t had a chance to see this yet, you can clearly see it in the this year’s Halloween Haunt. While some of the older mazes have not received some of this refreshment yet, all of the newer mazes have been receiving great care and thought. I would like to point out No Vacancy with the amount of little details. As you walk through the library some of the picture frames talk to you and some will even “jump off the wall.” This same thing can be found over at Universal Islands of Adventure. While they could have just placed some historical pictures on the wall, they went above the expectation and provided live animated ones to enhance the overall experience. That is just one of many things that can be seen around the park this season.

    Actors: If there was one thing that truly enhanced my two visits to Halloween Haunt, it would be the actors. If you read the above reviews, you will notice that I said “energetic,” “great use of the maze,” or something regarding how they positioned there bodies. The actors this season went above all my expectations that I had set. Many positioned themselves to make it look like they lost a limb or two, or to add to feeling of that individual being deformed in some way. This event really wouldn’t have been as a big of a success as it was without all of them. It was easy to tell that they worked their bodies to provide such a great experience for us and I truly do thank thank them for that.

    Overall: I find this event as a huge success. Next season I will find the time and effort to visit more than I have in the past. The atmosphere was amazing and the music was fantastic as well. After putting much thought and consideration into this, I’m going to end this with saying that Zombie High is my new favorite maze. The attention to detail and care that has been put into this maze is astounding.

    Sadly there is only three more operational days at Kings Dominion and I highly suggest taking a trip out to the park this weekend to be able to have this amazing experience. Don’t forget that there is also three more days to buy a 2014 Gold/Platinum Season Pass at the lowest prices of the year at $81.99!

     

     

     

     

    • Sarah

      Hi, I’d just like to comment that feary tales isn’t enclosed, as it is actually outside. The lair is the one that is somewhat enclosed, being in the grove’s vine tunnel thing.

      • http://KDFans.com/ Evan

        What I sorta meant was that the trees were over the pathway so that the fog couldn’t escape which kinda gave an intense enclosed feeling.