Haunted House Reviews

Jake Tapley

The Zombie Farm
Rating: 4/5

If you have ever seen the movie “The Crazies,” you may have a vague idea of what to expect from The Zombie Farm.

Nestled out in the Newburgh countryside, the location of the Zombie Farm works perfectly. This is one of the many elements that makes the “haunted house” a very interesting experience.

I use the term haunted house loosely because it starts off temporarily outdoors, which adds some variation to the experience. If you have ever been out in the country at night, you probably know that it tends to get eerily dark.

As I began my journey, I was met by a blood-drenched hillbilly that I can only assume had spent a lot of time observing Michael Keaton’s character in the movie “Beetlejuice.” I was thoroughly impressed by his performance.

Making my way through the labyrinth, I was confronted time and time again by “zombified” country folk. In the latter portion of the haunted house, they utilized other familiar yet satisfying scare tactics, such as strobe lights and absolute darkness.

Their main tactic, though, was individual performance. The setup was done in a way that placed the focus on the performances of the workers.

I can’t say that I was particularly scared by The Zombie Farm, although I think I did jump a couple of times. Nonetheless, those involved should be commended for their efforts. All of the props, design and makeup added to the whole ordeal by giving it a creepy, unified vision – a vision that involved crazy rednecks.

I was most intrigued by the consistency of The Zombie Farm, which I feel was easily its strongest area. Even when the workers (or performers, depending on how you want to look at it) were not all that good at acting, they were still true to the vision they were trying to create.

By: JAKE TAPLEY, Staff writer

E’Ville Studios
Rating: 2.5/5

Overly ambitious and full of potential, E’Ville Studios did not live up to its exciting description. Broken up into two segments, one being in 3-D and the other being more traditional, the haunted house failed to truly deliver.

While there were definitely some things I liked about E’Ville, there were certainly almost as many things that I didn’t like.

The 3-D portion, which was visually enticing, had hardly any workers waiting around corners to scare patrons like myself. I might have considered leaving had it not been for the trippy wall art or audible Metallica song playing through the PA system.

The lower level was much better, as I was immediately greeted by Michael Myers, who directed me towards an ominous bedroom. Ominous bedrooms are super creepy.

After that, I came upon a room with a strobe light – but nothing happened. The light kept on strobing and I kept on walking. I couldn’t help but think of the possibilities that were either being overlooked or underutilized.

As I left the lower level, I was chased by a man with a chainsaw. This would have been alright, but he stayed too long and made it awkward.

It was clear that his chainsaw had no chain. This was probably due the streetlights overhead, but it still took away from what could have been a potentially decent end to the haunted house.

Now, don’t get me wrong – E’Ville Studios definitely wasn’t horrible, by any means. It was obvious that a lot of effort had been put in. Makeup and set design were pretty solid for the most part.

However, there was too much reliance on haunted house clichés.

To me, the more effective haunted houses establish a theme and run with it. There’s no need to have someone dressed up as Michael Myers, unless your theme is the movie “Halloween.” It feels unnecessary and untrue.

With so much potential, though, I hope they make the proper adjustments for next year.

By: JAKE TAPLEY, Staff writer