I have another yummy review for you haunted house freaks (hey, it's a term of endearment!) to devour. This time, we headed out to Nightmare forest in Otter Creek Park (a LONG drive from my neck of the woods!) to visit the Hollywood ghouls.
NOTE: There is a spoiler toward the end of this review, so you've been warned!!
Now, I'm an easy sell for the most part. I might be harder to scare than some, but it's easy to please me one way or another. (Yeah, that totally didn't sound dirty.) But in my opinion, there was just a lot wrong with this experience.
There were some good things. There was a sideshow dude there swallowing fire and introducing us to a "real life mermaid" and he was pretty damn entertaining. It was a GREAT idea to have this guy (or any distraction) while waiting in line. It makes the time go by faster and you're still being entertained. Very amusing, and a great touch.
(Not actual dude we saw, this pic is courtesy of Google Images.)
Alas, that was kinda where the pluses end. We were unfortunate enough to be told to join four other people and we were in the back. Okay. Fine. I'll deal, after all, there's a lot of people waiting in line. But my complaint here is that for the entire first leg of the journey we were in the back, and ALL the scares were the kind that jump out at you and they were ALL aimed at the first two or three people in line. Michala and I got to watch everyone else get scared, and when we went past, it was like they said boo in an afterthought. Like, "Oh, hey, didn't see ya there...boo, and stuff." That wasn't just not scary, it was boring and annoying. We got nothing out of the first half of the haunt. So when we were waiting in line (AGAIN) halfway through the forest, we managed to bitch until the group let us up front. We finally got to go through again, excited to be up front and looking forward to getting scared, and THEN they decide to start focusing on the back of the group. We bypassed a good chunk of the scares in the second leg of the trip because the guy and girl in the back (who was initially in the front) were getting all the scares. What the hell?! Are you kidding me? I think I squeaked a few times because something jumped out at me, but the scare factor was completely gone. Nothing really scared me, and the whole haunt was reliant upon the "BOO" factor. I was so disappointed.
Now, I have to mention quickly how much walking and non-scary parts there were between the scenes. I get it. You want everything to be on its own, not one scene rushing into another, and that's all fine and dandy. But even IN the scenes, there wasn't anything scary, so we ended up walking through an empty scene and through an empty gap between scenes. If we were lucky, the other folks in our group got a few screams. Then to make matters worse, we kept catching up to the group in front of us, while the group behind us kept catching up to us. Their timing was WAY off, and neither our group or the groups around us were running or taking too long.
***Lastly, I have to give a spoiler on the final scene. If you don't wanna know, you should stop reading now.***
The Purge. I had SUCH high hopes for this. Even the person who made us wait in line (for a THIRD TIME!) said it was the best part of the haunt. Yeah. Right. They ushered a group of about fifteen of us into a room together, didn't tell us anything, there was a TV running the EAS warning about the Purge, and then two chicks wearing nightgowns and masks came in and started circling us. It wasn't scary, and I was asking Michala what the hell was going on and if I should be scared or what. One of the girls said I was the first to die because I wouldn't shut up. Okay. I'm down with that. I'll bite. So I pushed her buttons. She pointed a fake gun at me and pulled the trigger, and it was fucking LOUD. She was like, "Are you scared now?" My response? "WHAT? I'M DEAF, YOU MORON!" Then they let us go and we all walked out of there asking what the hell that was. It was the biggest waste of my time I've ever encountered. I'm not kidding, what the actual fuck was that??
Sorry for the language, but it really bothered me that we drove that far to only be disappointed and irritated. And deaf. Let's not forget that. Not to mention that I don't think it's very funny or entertaining to pull a gun on someone, whether it's real or not. That wasn't cool. Personal opinion, of course, but had they not let us out right away, I might have grabbed the gun from that bitch and shoved it down her throat. Guns are not funny. They're not meant for a haunted house. I don't take it very well that I was "shot." And after such disappointment. I keep using that word because that really is all I can think of to describe it. Disappointing. Well, that, and a waste of time.
I cannot in good faith give this haunt anything more than a 1 star. It was an embarrassment to the haunted house industry. Nightmare Forest needs to step up the game or get the hell out of the scaring business, because they have failed. Miserably.