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Author Topic: Madworld Haunted Attraction & Zombie Shoot- Upstate SC (Piedmont)  (Read 655 times)
13moons
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« on: November 02, 2013, 02:48:49 PM »

Visited on 11/1/13

Scare Factor:  3/5  - Last year, I only went through the haunted attraction part and posted a review. This year, we did both the attraction and Zombie Shoot. First the haunted attraction part: In 2013, I was impressed with several elaborated sets, way better costumes, and well-designed trail upgrades. However, it was Lights Out Friday last night, which was my first time to visit a lights out haunt. In 2012, lights were on, meaning special FX were on, and I prefer the lights on haunt experience – lights out is just not as impactful on the senses. Actors really worked hard to amp up the scares in each set since that’s all they had except for heavy fog and the design of the walking trail and set itself. The lead guest in our group of seven had our one flashlight so it was just hard to see stuff. Not being able to see all the detail wasn’t as thrilling, but it was good and creepy alright. The women in our group were total screamers which was really entertaining. I got a few startles along the way in the trail, but being in the back of the line and entering the sets last, I missed some of the view-able action and haunt treasure having to rely on wherever the dude in front flashed our group’s light. I bet, with the lights on, this haunt would have taken the Upstate Haunt Prize for #1 in 2013. The Zombie Shoot gets a 4/5 for scarefun and adventure, even with lights out. I didn’t want to go at first because the only zombie shoot I ever went to was so disappointing I swore I would never do that again, ever. But my God, I went from feeling kind of flat to feeling the fire laughing and invested inside those 15 minutes of shooting hoards of actors in that friggin Zombie Shoot – totally surprisingly awesome!

Actors:  4.25/5 – Actors in the midway especially (where I could see them) had expensive, movie-caliber realistic costumes – one had a freaky ventriloquist grotesque clown baby and he scared the crap out of me with it.  One actor looked like a real live porcelain doll and there was an eye-popping 12’ tall stalker – incredible, pure haunted carnival candy just hanging out with them waiting to get in. Lights Out in the haunted outdoor attraction meant actors had to do it all – carry the whole set- and they pulled it off (when I could see). The Haunted Hotel actors – all three – wow!  Primo. That whole actor-owned mini-show was worth the entire visit. The Freddy and Michael characters played well, but I wish they would use actors like the ones in the midway in the haunt instead of same ol same ol. Some of the actors followed us past the sets then banged on stuff with their scary props. I would have walked around the Deliverance Room if I could have. Not my thing, but the screaming actresses and Daddy played it up. Glad I didn’t see a food fight this year, though. The actors in the Zombie Shoot were very physically engaged, gurgling, falling when we nabbed them, waiting, getting back up, sneaking in ones, twos and even rows at a time. Being at the back in the Shoot was the best spot ever. I turned and saw literal rows of zombies coming up from behind. I felt like GI Jane in there popping them off with my laser gun and they reacted and acted mighty fine. Our zombie troop leader, Kevin, was great as our guide in the Shoot.  He was more like a military captain engaged in the fight too leading us from the back calling out where to turn and lookout so we could know where to pay attention in the dark. Again, Lights Out meant it was hard to see all the fine detail of the zombie costumes besides silhouettes, but there were plenty of actors in different costumes totally owning their characters.   

Set Design/Props/FX: 3.75/5 – I have to take a point off for Lights Out without the added special FX I saw in 2012 in the attraction show.  However, even with Lights Out, this haunt was impressive relying on background sound, great props, fog, space/layout, and the one flashlight. (Those poor actors got flashlights in their faces all night long  - ouch!) The set design was flavorful: walking in woods, maze tunnels and open trail passages going in and out of multiple sets, including the classic ones; a fun mix of different kinds of scares. Good mazes improvements this year with hanging stuff and textures in the meat room including a favorite most excellent fresh and new haunted hotel set. With Lights Out, the extremely heavy fog and strong sounds from the actors and music really worked in that new Hotel set.  Zombie shoot: we each got terrific AK-type hand-held artillery props:  heavy and metal (seemed like a big scary gun to me) with mega-loud hydraulic blasts and strong red-circle laser beam power that cut across the night crisp and clear. I think I like Lights Out for the Zombie Shoot best because I could still see actors but it made the props work like, sweet. The red dots from the AKs were super cool and strong for clear lines of sight on the walking dead - so great that I could put ‘em down from far away even. I never knew I’d love shooting zombies so much.

Length: 3/5 – The haunted attraction seemed almost too long this year, probably because I couldn’t really see or get engaged enough to get into it except for a few places – maybe it was 25 minutes. The Zombie shoot was like 15 minutes but we were going fast because we had a bunch of walkers to blow up and it went by way too fast.     

Value: 4/5 – Only because of the Lights Out in the attraction part and too short Zombie Shoot. Lights Out was not nearly as intense and effective or ‘scarier’, like I anticipated. The Zombie Shoot is another story not because of the dark, but because it seemed too short. I didn’t realize our team of five had actually grabbed the prize during our mission. I was too busy shooting, then suddenly we were back out in the midway and I was a little discombobulated wondering why we weren’t still in there playing. Parking is free, by the way.

Overall: 4/5 – This haunt, both the attraction and Zombie Shoot, gets my number one vote for South Carolina 2013, no question. I hope more Frightseekers will take this haunt on – you have no idea what you are missing with this place. And, it’s near Treedine’s Haunted Farm and within 20 miles of a ton of other haunts in the Upstate area. Hope it makes the list next year, too:  http://www.madworldhaunt.com/index.php because this haunt is going to make some headlines in SC.  It’s open tonight, November 2nd if you’re hankering for a last bite of haunt fun in 2013.
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I tried to think of a logical solution that could explain what I had just seen — a solution that excluded the assumption that I was insane.
Bella Swan, Twilight, Chapter 3, p.59
Badger
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 12:39:27 PM »

Date attended 11/1/13

Scare Factor: 3.75/5 - Madworld is right off the interstate and is in full view of the cars and trucks passing by.  This gives them great exposure, but also takes away a little of the creep factor.  Hard to be scary when the semi trucks are blaring their horns every time your pyrotechnics go off.  The midway does have a festive atmosphere with (s)characters wandering about menacing the patrons.  the crowds were pretty good and reacted accordingly.  We arrived during their "lights out" tour in which the tour is only illuminated by a single flashlight per group.  This made the tour both more and less scary.  We could hear screams coming from inside the mazes and the zombie shoot so that added to the atmosphere.

Actors: 4/5 - Even though we were in near pitch-black conditions, the actors were heavily involved and did everything they could to make you scream and squirm.  We went with a group of several females and one rather tall guy who had the flashlight.  The actors capitalized on this immediately and made sure they were kept in a state of panic and terror.  I was impressed that this late in the season, there was no real signs of fatigue, even with the zombie shoot.  The hotel housefrau was stellar and I loved her use of an accent to embellish the characters.  Sadly, this is not utilized enough.  I honestly did not know if she was from Eastern Europe or not.  I bade her goodbye in Russian and she responded in kind so I still don't know. I was REALLY impressed with the zombie shoot actors as they had their roles down and you had to follow the instructions or you were doomed.  I know my companion was hesitant about doing the shoot but once the firing started, she got into it and I think she was disappointed when it ended.  There were a couple of trademarked characters but they played there parts well.

Sets/Props/FX: 2.5/5 -  I only gave it this low a score because we couldn't see much due to only having the flashlight to see.  What we could see was pretty well detailed and I would certainly like to see this during a normal night.  The zombie shoot was simple, yet effective with its black walls and open air sections.  The weapons were realistic and fun to use.

Length: 3.5/5 - It took a good length of time to go through the maze.  We did run up on one group though but we paused long enough for them to get ahead.  Otherwise, no complaints.  I think between the maze and the zombie shoot, we spent close to an hour there.

Value: 4/5 - You get a lot of fun wrapped up in a tight package. The price was fair for both events, plus they had merchandise and food on site.  This is a good destination place, or add it on as part of a multi-haunt evening.  There are at least 3 other haunts within 10 minutes of Madworld.

Overall: 3.55/5 - Free parking.  It's 2 minutes off the interstate so it's very convenient for anyone traveling along I-85.  You can hang out by the fire, watch a bunch of characters wandering around, go through a scary maze (in the dark or not) and go shoot zombies all in one place.  I will personally rank Madworld as one of my favorite places that I visited in 2013.  If anything, it was my favorite haunt in the state of SC.  The Thompson Brothers do a bang-up job for a haunt that's only in its 3rd year.  You would think that this haunt had been open for much longer.  I can see great things in the future for Madworld and I hope they are around for a long, long time.
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