I'm not gonna lie, I was kind of excited to visit Asylum again, because there's multiple haunts plus the Carnival set up as you walk in and the stage for while you wait in line. Plus, it's one I'd been to before and enjoyed in the past. So here is my take on Darkness Falls on Asylum, one of four haunted attractions at Asylum Haunted Scream Park!
First off, you already think you're going to end up in Hell when you're driving to get there. It's really out of the way and when it's dark and in an area you're not all that familiar with it can make a person a little nervous. The parking...well, it's kind of a hassle some nights, and if the attendants aren't paying attention it can be confusing. But given the area they have to work with, I can't really complain too much.
When you walk into the entrance, you get to walk past a number of booths/tables set up, including a fortune teller/tarot reader and concessions. Pretty cool in my personal opinion. When you get further down past some of the cool stuff, there are several different lines roped off for each attraction. (There are three haunts, but since we only visited one on this visit, we'll just pretend the others don't exist!) So you follow the line to the Darkness Falls entrance, passing a stage where every so often the Carnival folks perform, and wait in line in front of the sign proclaiming Darkness Falls. As you can see from our awesome photo courtesy of a couple of cool folks behind us. Once it's your turn, they give you the usual rundown of rules and junk (which I'll be honest, I've heard them from so many haunts so many times I could probably recite them all nearly verbatim) and they release you into the woods.
Right from the start, Darkness Falls impresses with the elaborate decor and setup giving you the heebie jeebies! I have to give massive props to the cast for staying in character and ensuring that no matter where in the group you are, you still get scared. (Although admittedly, the guy in the group with us had more fun scaring us than the actors did...someone should hire that kid!!) I can't even remember all the scenes we went through because my blood got pumping, the fear got flowing, and we might have tried running a time or two.
Chainsaws were Michala's big fear, but I'm totally not afraid of them so I may or may not have pointed her out as a target and they made her stay a living Hell a couple of times. I was rolling...I don't think she found it quite as funny at the time. But it's cool, cause I got my turn to be freaked by the insane clown with the effed up mohawk trapping me on the bridge. In case you didn't know it by now, I'm not exactly a fan of clowns. And as her revenge, Michala refused to let me back off the bridge so I had to face down the clown and try not to piss my britches.
**By the way, I met Mr. Mohawk Creepy Psycho Killer Clown Dude and his partner in crime at the Louisville FandomFest in August. Yep, still creepy as f**k even during the day!!**
Like most other haunts, there was a lot of focus on the shock factor for screams and scares, and that's okay, because Darkness Falls uses other methods of fear to get you incredibly spooked. Like, for example, when the actors start following you around, and you don't realize it, then about piss yourself again when you see them RIGHT EFFING BEHIND YOU. Creepy? I think so. And one of the things I love the most in the haunt is when they don't focus on Hollywood horror. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Freddy and Pinhead and even Leatherface and Jigsaw. I love watching them, but they don't really scare me - I'm a little desensitized from the last 30-something years of watching horror movies. So when a haunt touches on things that are scary OUTSIDE of Hollywood, that's a breath of fresh air, and that's what Darkness Falls delivers. Along with a girl flying at your head from out of nowhere when you definitely don't expect it!
Oh, and I have to mention two specific areas that just had my heart thudding in my chest. First, the ballpit. Oh yes, the ballpit. I effing hate slides as much as I hate clowns. Guess what was at the bottom?? Yeah. And then there was the maze. We didn't even KNOW we were in a maze until we realized that we were running into at least two other groups and no one knew where we were supposed to go. I admit, we didn't figure it out on our own, but the smart kid with us did, and he led us out. But yeah...good luck getting out of there.
So, since I've droned on long enough and given away as little as possible with still giving my insights, I guess you wanna know what I rated it?? Yeah, you're right, it's pretty effing good. I give it 4.5/5 stars. It was really worth the wait (which, by the way, the later in the year you wait, the longer you'll be waiting, so go as early in the year and as early in the evening as possible for your own peace of mind. They are incredibly popular!) and I will be returning next year. Way to go, Darkness Falls!!