Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Reaper's Revenge Haunted House (Review)

I thought I was done with my haunted house road trips. In total, I've been to 7 already this month. But  when opportunity arises to go to 1 more, who am I to say no?

So I found myself near Scranton, PA and with family in tow I dragged them to a haunt that touts itself as America's Best Haunted Attraction. It's a bold strategy Cotton let's see if it pays off for them. And does it?  After going to Reaper's Revenge, it kinda does.

Reaper's Revenge packs a formidable punch in the 4 attractions that it offers. It's a mish mash of a solid haunted hayride, an outdoor maze fool of mischievous carnies and killer clowns, a pitch black maze that seemed to have no end and a quarantine zone that was stellarly executed. Some of the attractions were perfectly executed, others were not but not without the crew trying to make it work which I'll get to.

Overall Reaper's Revenge was a jam packed hour and half of solid haunts mixing in minimalistic creepy with high tech Hollywood special effects. You get a good snack size sampling of all of them for a $35 admission. There's a bon fire and stage as you wait or hang out and you'll be outdoors for most if it. I'll admit I was pleasantly surprised that this haunt seemingly around Scranton used the deep woods to scare the shit out people.

The Haunted Hayride

Reaper's Revenge is one of those rare haunts that forces you to go to each haunt one after the other. You don't get to choose which haunt you go to first or last. You'll pack into a haunted hayride and be with this group as you go along. The hayride was filled with horror monster cameos from a Jason Voorhees, Samara from The Ring and Michael Myers. They offer an option of either being touched or not be touched through all the attractions. If you're a big fat pussy, you can opt to wear a neon green glow in the dark necklace. This necklace seemed to complete the outfit of tween girls wearing Harry Potter scarves and Uggs.

However if you Survivor Up! you'll have the actors get really up close and personal, using chainsaws and jump scaring you as they Ninja up from their hiding places. It seems you can even get them to do your bidding as had my nephew almost get carried away by a chainsaw wielding maniac. There's some good high flying acts during the hayride which is split in 2 (you start off in the hayride and the continue it after you go through the carnival on your way to pitch black). You'll get your standard zombies and moonshine inbred rednecks (I hope they were actually actors, but fuck it's PA right?) Also a few well timed scares like a big ass spider were fuckin awesome.

Lost Carnival

This is a good outdoor maze that utilizes the woods to it's full effect. You'll go through some spooky visuals like roller coasters and a clown fun house. There's a carnival aspect with some potential games to play that come with some sarcastic carnies and some unexpected surprises. There were lots of scares and obstacles I wasn't expecting that even got a hardcore haunted house veteran like myself got me jumping. Even some twins had me singing along. Good stuff.

Pitch Black

I was hoping this would be executed with some nuance awesomeness. However, it seems getting a Saturday crowd through all these attractions, you'll sometimes sacrifice terror for efficiency. Pitch Black is an indoor maze where you'll walk through pitch black darkness. There's a few props  and some actors that will touch you getting you to shiver and scream. But as I went in, we were packed in like cattle and could barely walk through this traffic jam. The staff seemed like they were separating the groups to get people more breathing room but it just didn't work. Good idea, badly executed.

Sector 13

I'll admit. This was probably the best of the mazes at Reaper's Revenge. It's got a good theme (quarantined patrons with infected) and as an outdoor maze the sets and props were well fuckin done.  I think the Ebola jokes were already on peoples minds. Soldiers start you off and mad doctors do a quick check up (I got picked for an unneeded injection). You'll see soldiers patrolling and occupied beds of the infected who seem to have turned into mutant monsters. Good scares come out of all the rooms and from unexpected places. Oh could we be far off from Sector 13 these days?

Final Thoughts

Reaper's Revenge is a gem of a haunted attraction that seems to hit all the common fears we all have. Darkness, clowns, sickness and the horror icons we all few up watching. Packaged into 4 successive haunts, you'll definitely get all your scares and fun in less than 2 hours. I was kind of impressed by it all. is it America's best?  I guess you be the judge.

The Vitals

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