20 years have been kind to Fear Fest. I had visited the haunt about five years ago and wasn't too impressed by it. When I had visited the haunt the weekend of the 13th my previous visit was blown out of the water. Fear Fest is divided into three events; the initial haunt, this years fun house, and the hay ride that occurs every year.
My review will follow the same formula:
Get to Fear Fest early. They have reported more than 500 people per night this season and it shows. Most of your time will be used in line. When waiting in line a few character actors will entertain you, including one of the most entertaining and polarized character, Uncle Chuck. Uncle Chuck is a fantastic character. The actor behind the leather face mask has made the costume and character his own. Wielding a chainsaw, Uncle Chuck stalks the lines and those in it.
When we had arrived, the line to the haunt was short but still took us 46 minutes to get through. Uncle Chuck approached my group and I starring us down and sizing us up. He got close to my face and took a good, long whiff of my skin. "Damn, you got to love this." He said rubbing my face with his gloved hand. Prompting my girlfriend to do the same. "Give that face some love." Uncle Chuck from there had continued to work the line, terrorizing the teen-aged girls behind my group and the middle school students in front of us. It was all in good fun and most of the people in the line had cheered whenever Uncle Chuck had showed up. Uncle Chuck is a brilliant character and deserves to be seen.
The house, after the wait was a ten minute walk through of great scenes, props, and characters. We entered a silo that was strewed with many lights. It was a cool sight to see and an actor had come to escort us to the house.
The maze is well built. Not like a normal twist and turn, but there is also slanted hallways and hallways that are extremely dark. It would have been more anxiety driven if characters were waiting in the dark for you but none were around.
They also utilize jump scares. The least expected scares that will rattle you suddenly, giving you a shot of adrenaline.
The hayride is a nearly twenty minute trek through the fields of the farm that hosts Fear Fest.
It is a 20 minute ride through the back farm of Fear Fest that has been decorated with some scenes from your favorite slasher films.
Multiple actors jumped onto the hay ride to terrorize riders with chainsaws or creepy characteristics. One actor was bold enough to get into the face of those ridding and sniff them. Never underestimate the subtle act of getting really personal with someone. It was highly effective as we sat bundled up and trapped.
The Fun House is as it's name would intend. Pretty fun.
In each room you get an interactive experience with the characters. One to two minutes are spent with them before you are sent to the next room.
We started in a room with a woman dressed as soothsayer and the room reflected that of a dial a psychic's home office. We were invited to sit and given the choice to play an Ouija board or to choose from a tarot card deck. We chose the deck.
I pulled the Death card and immediately thought, 'After the year I've been having, this wasn't surprising.' I then theorized that the entire deck was laced with the Death card out of sheer paranoia and distrust of anyone who will tell me my future based on a card. I was incorrect in my theory. The soothsayer then reassured me that Death didn't exactly mean that Death was coming, just that there was a major change coming my way. Shedding my skin like a snake or rising from the ashes like a phoenix.
The next room was Christmasy. If you have read previous reviews, you understand that I have only a few viable fears; one of them being mall Santas. They're just too jolly for my taste. Santa appeared and my blood pressure rose. Then the words came out of his mouth to my girlfriend 'are you a naughty girl.' He and my girlfriend went back and forth for a bit and he laughed hideously and said 'I like naughty girls, you're on my naughty list.' We took a selfie with him and then he offered us candy. I liked this Santa.
The next room that comes to mind is a wax museum of characters from horror's past. I immediately had one of the wax figures pegged as an actor. Fortunately enough, my girlfriend did not. We were asked our favorite and she was immediately drawn to the Pennywise in the room. She asked me to get a picture with it, the entire time I had a poker face holding back my laughter. After the picture was taken , Pennywise came to life. It was highly entertaining.
The final room was a tea party with two characters. One was in a bunny costume, the other was some twisted form of Alice. She directed us where to sit around a small table. I was put in the corner as I watched my girlfriend be fed a fake, rubber finger. The actor then scolded her for putting it in her mouth. The actor offered a sucker for the sucker of the finger.
Overall, Fear Fest is a lot of fun and well worth the wait lines.
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