Screamfest was comprised of seven consecutive, uniquely themed areas, inside a huge
70,000 square foot indoor space. The floor plan was laid-out
very well. There was only one waiting line in
front of the first attraction and as you exited each consecutive
house, you immediately entered the next one, without having to wait in a separate line.
As the name implies, Willowdale Farm had a country farm theme. They
had constructed a huge 15 foot tall barn, which was detailed
quite well with old weathered boards and cobwebs. Along
the way, you encountered several twisting walkways, with corn
stalks on either side of you. In the middle of the
attraction, you passed through a nicely detailed country
graveyard that had grave markers and a picket fence, with
crooked boards. There was also a tool shed that you had to
go through, where the walls and ceiling swayed back and forth,
as if the structure was going to fall down on top of
of Darkness Summary:
attraction was set up as a haunted manor, with a very nice,
detailed facade. In your trek through the Realm of
Darkness, you had to wind your way through various rooms of the house, such as
the study, bedroom, kitchen, and attic. This was one of the
most detailed attractions at Rockford Screamfest. In some of the rooms,
the exit was not always obvious. To advance on to other scenes,
you had to walk through various hidden exits like a fireplace,
refrigerator or bookcase.
Unfortunately, there were fewer actors in this house than there
were last year. Since one of the main strengths of this
attraction had been the theatrical performance of the actors,
the overall impact of some of these scenes had diminished,
compared to last year's performance.
This house was set up with an industrial motif. While
working your way through Industrial Chaos, you had to weave back
and forth through barriers consisting of industrial racks,
barrels and wooden pallets. To go along with the
industrial theme, there were pipes running along the walls, a
large conveyor belt, electrical breaker boxes, as well as some
eerie lighting, fog and a great music soundtrack to get your
Like the Realm of Darkness, this attraction also had a few "dead
spots", due to the limited number of actors present.
This scene covered quite a large area, so a few extra 'ghouls'
would have made a big difference in the quality of the
This area was very detailed and enjoyable to go through.
It featured some classic cemetery-related props like headstones,
real trees and a tall cemetery gate. There was also a
bridge that you had to cross, with glowing green water beneath
it. The effective use of spooky sound effects and eerie
lighting really enhanced the overall 'feel' of this
attraction. Not only were there a lot of static props, but
there were also a number of animatronics, as well as live
actors, who seemed to jump out of nowhere to scare you.
"Pitch Black" Summary:
This attraction is as the name states, Pitch Black.
It was a dark, twisting path with some great spooky sound effects
playing in the background. There were also a couple of
actors, hidden under the cloak of darkness, ready to spring out
at you as you walked by.
for the Criminally Insane Summary:
Institute for the Criminally Insane was brand new this year and
overall, one of my personal favorites. Inside you
experienced a doctor's office with an examination table and
x-rays hanging on the wall, a Solitary Confinement area with
separate locked cells, a room with padded walls and more. The insane
asylum theme ran consistently throughout most of the
attraction. The only thing that didn't necessarily follow
the main theme was the drop-panel picture (a drop-panel picture
is what appears to be a framed picture on the wall, but is
really a panel that drops down, revealing an actor who scares
you). While it was good for a scare, this gag would have
fit in better with the "Realm of Darkness" motif. You don't see that many spooky-looking framed
portraits in an insane asylum. Anyway, most of the actors
in this attraction had speaking parts, and they performed
convincingly. The realistic scenes and the actor's
enthusiasm helped make you feel as if you had really stepped
into an insane asylum.
in 3D Summary:
house had various themes throughout, with some great 3D
artwork. One scene featured glowing striped snakes
attached to the walls, while another had glowing hand
prints. The clown area was great, with side show freaks
illustrated on the walls and evil clown actors approaching
you. The highlight of the show for most people seemed to
be the spinning vortex tunnel. This was the least intense of all
Rockford Screamfest's attractions.
This year, Rockford Screamfest added some new themes, as well as
adding detail to a number of pre-existing scenes. You can
tell that it took a lot of work to put this all together.
The actors in this event all did a great job. They knew
their roles and followed through quite well. Overall, going through Rockford
Screamfest was fun, but if more actors had been added to certain
key areas, it would have made the experience even more
enjoyable. For the time spent inside and the total entertainment
value provided, this event is fun to go through and it is worth the
here to find out more about this event.