I can't believe that I'm right here, right smack in the middle of my favorite time of year (being fall, October,a nd most of all, Halloween season) and I haven't said ONE WORD about it on my blog. Granted, I haven't been doing a ton of blog writing lately, but usually I would have had like 10 Halloween posts up by now. But anyway, here is this one!
I've done this for the past few years, and am attempting it again this year: to do something Halloweenie every single day in October. Sometimes that means watching a scary movie, listening to Halloween music or going to a haunted house, and sometimes it just means eating massive amounts of Halloween candy. Most of what I've done this year falls in that last category, but I have gone to quite a few haunts and other Halloweenie activity locations around Salt Lake this year, and here are my thoughts/reviews/spoilers about each:
#1: Nighmare on 13th. My rating: Three stars (out of four or five, whatever you want. Probably five though).
Okay, I've actually been to this one twice, and I'm glad I went back the second time. Based on my first visit, I was ready to categorize this under super boring and not worth the money. However, I realized that my first trip was extremely early in the season, and they just didn't have everything ready and polished. Definitely better the second time around.
*SPOILER ALERT* (Though I'll try and be vague enough not to really spoiler TOO much)
1. The animatronic Balrog thingy is back above the front door. It was replaced for a couple years by a headless horseman, which was also cool, but not quite as cool/menacing/loud/big as the Balrog guy.
2. New zombie moment in the Nightmare Theater (at my first visit, it was just an animation of a zombie getting shot in the head (which I HATE, bc I hate gore, especially when it has to do with heads), but now involves zombies supposedly breaking in, and it's actually quite good).
3. Possible Invasion of the Body Snatchers themed room, but it may be something else. Either way, it involves people in pod thingies and is FANTASTIC.
4. Midget zombies.
5. Free bounceback days (which is how I ended up going the second time).
6. The scary dentist room actually had that horrible drilled tooth dust smell. I don't know how they recreated that, but well done!
1. Lines. Good crap does this place have lines! A line outside, which leads to a line inside, which leads to yet another line inside.
2. MOST LACKLUSTER CHAINSAW GUY EVER! "Oh, I'll just stand here and rev it a couple times. No need to chase anyone." SNORE.
3. I miss the Nightmare Before Christmas room. So much.
4. Gore, gore, gore, gore, gore. I hate gore. It's not scary, it's just gross.
5. The supposed 'Night of the Dead' zombie zone was just the same rooms they've had each year but with a few zombie signs on the walls.
#2 Cornbelly's Corn Maze. My rating: Meh
Well, it's huge and the maze this year is NASA approved, but really, I think I'm done with this one. I'll explain in my rants below:
1. It's big and there are plenty of additional activities so you could spend the whole evening there if you're into that sort of thing
1. Corn mazes are only fun to a point. After three hours, I start to feel like this lady.
2. It has a very the Walmart of corn mazes feeling. Like this is only one of about 8 million in the U.S. and I don't really want to go to any of them. (I think it actually is the only one, but the fact that it feels like a big corporation makes it that much worse.)
3. The hot chocolte is $6, or something like that. I don't actually know, but I feel like it would be.
4. Too many lights. It's supposed to be dark and scary
5. Too crowded. The end.
#3 Crazy Corn Maze. My rating: 5 stars if you're not comparing it to anything!
Is it small? Yes. Could I build a more professional-looking haunted maze out of stuff I found under my bed? Probably. But that's the charm. I feel like this place is small and family run, and that makes it quaint and exactly why I like it.
1. Haunted maze available, but not necissary and in the same vacinity as the actual maze (unlike some other corn mazes that I won't coughCORNBELLY'Scough mention).
2. I don't even know how many chainsaw guys there were, but sometimes there was more than one, sometimes you ran down a path just to realize you're going in a circle and headed straight back towards the chainsaw guy you were JUST running from). Really, so many chainsaws. Brilliant.
3. We were the last ones to go through for the night, so as we passed each chainsaw guy/other scary character, they would just start following us through at the perfect distance for creepy lurking (lurking, in my opinion, is totally underrated in most haunted houses. More on that later).
4. THERE REALLY WAS SOMETHING IN THE FRIDGE!
5. Candy prizes when you make it through the maze alive.
6. Cute, quint, and just the right amount of scary.
1. Getting pushed to the ground. Seriously.
2. Um, there are no other lowlights.
#3 Strangling Brothers Haunted Circus. My rating: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
Okay, so I never got the clowns are scary thing. While I still don't believe that clowns are innately scary, these clowns were pretty good, and they made me realize the genious of clowns in a haunted house: scary AND funny. I like both of those.
1. Zoltar-esque machine. Don't trust it.
2. The train. THE TRAIN! A very, very good finale.
3. The majority of the haunt is actually in the trailers of semi trucks. Genious, if you ask me.
4. Bars + strobe light + super reflective plexiglass + something over your head + just when you thought you were safe, HANDS!
5. A little bit of humor
6. Open graves
7. Extremely good actors
8. Some seriously creepy lurking (I told you!), especially at the end of those spinny tunnel things that every haunted house has that I hate.
9. *FOR REALS SPOILER ALERT* You think it's animatronic, but then the body detaches and chases you!
10. Some animatronics that really look real and some actors that really look animatronic.
11. The hallway of doors, even on the ceiling! P.S. There's something behind most, if not all of them.
12. I was legitimately second guessing my decision to go for the first little bit. Maybe it's just bc I had never been there or heard anything about it, and I had no idea what to expect.
1. An animatronic obese person with fake poo and fart noises. Not scary, just gross and extremely poor taste.
2 No chainsaw guys, though really, I don't know if I could handle a chainsaw guy on top of everything else that was going on in there.
3. Less sideshow stuff than advertised. Pig guy from the website was nowhere to be seen (but I'm kind of grateful for that, actually).
So that's it! That's what I've done so far, and here's what's on my definite list of things yet to come:
Haunted Village at This is the Place, Dracula at Ballet West
And my list of things I'm hoping are yet to come:
Fear Factory, Thriller, SLC ghost tour
I'll try and post more reviews as I go to more things.
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN! It's really the best, guys. It really is.