Monday, October 5, 2015

Haunted Review: Nightmare Forest (by Ash)

Sorry for the delays in getting reviews up, this girl fell ill then started battling migraines. Still fighting, but I refuse to let another day pass with no reviews! So please excuse any typos or derailed trains of thought.
We ended up visiting Nightmare Forest...recently, lol. It was thankfully a well-marked entrance and a creepy road to drive down at night. That set the mood already. We parked and made our way to the ticket booth then through the corn field. I thought that was a nice touch, because it just keeps you in the mood as you meander your way to the line. Upon exiting the corn there was a traveling freak show complete with a couple of tents for stuff to look at. Honestly, we didn't stop, we were on a mission to be scared and we wanted to git r done.

While we waited in line (which thankfully wasn't too bad of a wait, maybe 15-20 minutes) we were entertained with fire breathing and sword "swallowing" and as we were led toward the entrance the guy was getting strapped into a straight jacket. Pretty neat, he was really good at entertaining the crowd and I have to give major props to Nightmare Forest for having the foresight to entertain the line. I've only seen that at a couple of haunts, and believe me, when those lines grow long, it's really nice to have something to distract you from the long wait and having to have actual interaction with those around you.
So we are led to the entrance, and the first part is the Dead End Hotel. Now, I remember when the Dead End Hotel was it's own separate haunt somewhere out in Shepherdsville (or that area) a few years back. It was deplorable back then, and it was mediocre this time around. At least it was an upgrade. The acting was pretty good, I'll definitely give credit to the actors. I mean, it wasn't really terrifying and relied heavily on the "BOO" factor (startling you, not scaring you) but they had pretty decent timing. The scenery wasn't bad. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad. Really kind of forgettable. I'd give that section a 5/10. It was just really halfway there for me.
Next up was the Trail of Terror, if I understood it correctly. Okay, this was pretty decent. The acting got a little better, the scenery was a little better, but this was the first part that was on a wooded path. And I have to say they didn't do a very good job of evening the ground out where the path was. Nor did they mark it very well, there were multiple times when we started going off the path because they either shone bright lights in our eyes so we couldn't see anything or they just failed to mark where to go. I can't give a good score for accessibility (I know, that's not on the criterion page, but it was enough of a factor I have to add it here) and it made it a little frustrating. The props and scenery were above average, and some were pretty badass. I recalled from previous years that there was fire, but it surprises me every time, and I like that. Also, the actors had some pretty good hiding places. Some didn't, and it was totally obvious. Like, if you see me looking at you, don't even bother trying to pop out to scare me, get someone who isn't looking right at you, you know? Still a solid B effort on this part, I'll give it a 7/10.
Then we get to the actual Nightmare Forest where the movies come to life. Now, it's incredibly difficult to scare me with movie monsters. I grew up watching these guys and gals religiously and in fact the first movie memory I have is of Hellraiser. Not Bambi (though I did see it) or any Disney movie. Hellraiser. So I can't really give this a fair scare factor score. I will admit to a few screams but they were startles, not real fear, so my score on this one won't really factor in the scares. In fact, Freddy didn't even try to scare us, he just kinda loomed and tried to appear scary but the makeup/mask/whatever was on his face wasn't believable or even resembling the movie Freddy. Some building structures didn't have actors or animatronics in them, and there were a few rooms that I didn't even recognize as movie scenes, and when those two negatives were in the same room, I have to admit it was pretty lame. Some of the effects were cool, some of the props were pretty decent, and the layout was pretty nice. But we ran into the same problem with tripping over tree roots and going off the trail. One point I stood there looking at two different paths leading to two different structures and just had to guess because neither looked like it was the right way. I dunno, it was just another halfway haunt for me, but still better than the Dead End Hotel. I guess I can give it another 7/10.
So overall for the entire experience I'll give a 7/10, and that's with the freak show saving it. I'm sorry, I just wasn't impressed and I'm a pretty easy scare. It was better than past years, but still just missing the target in so many ways.

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