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Author Topic: Trail of Fear 2 - Newton, NC  (Read 1040 times)
13moons
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« on: October 25, 2014, 07:18:36 PM »

Visited Thursday, October 23, 2014

Scare factor: 2.75/5 - After exiting I-40, arriving there was a series of dark turns down dark roads, so the journey itself was somewhat creepy. This was my first time at Trail of Fear 2 and I took a newbie, so it was an extra-interesting adventure.  Navigating the parking was a little confusing: near total darkness, driving along a bumpy dirt driveway and then onto an open grassy area. The only sign I saw was "do not enter", so I'm still unsure if we parked in the right spot. It was a slow Thursday night and we were early, so we waited with two decked-out characters until it was time to enter the trail. This haunt is unique because the show is a mixed tricks bag of guided gotchas, actor-owned scare skits, and a self-guided maze in which we got turned around three times.  The trail system is a bit steep and the ground is mostly uneven, so expect a little physical engagement here.  This is a relatively lightweight haunt in terms of major expenditures on props or FX, but the actor-skits are engaging – be prepared to have plenty of weird questions tossed your way, draw some graffiti, and get punked by some strange stalkers.   

Actors: 3.5/5 - The queue area actors were snazzy and presented themselves atop two beautiful horses.  The white Tennessee Walker named Dixie had fluorescent, lime green eyes. No, they weren’t contacts and yes, they were eerily stunning.  These two entry hosts provided fresh, live-action waiting-area entertainment and haunt ambiance. Once inside the haunt, our Shakespearean ghost-guide would turn up to induce several fun startling moments while leading us through a few densely-wooded unmarked trail patches.  She was exceptionally considerate to inquire if we were having fun several times along the way, but that was a little distracting.  Many of the sets were like mini side-shows where we were stopped and encouraged to engage verbally with them in weird conversations. Two-actor skits could really work it so that we could benefit from more distraction scares.  Skits varied delivering the ‘haunt punch’ -  set impact was dependent on how starring actors could get patrons involved, so when it worked it was fun, but when an actor got stuck, it was painfully apparent. Most of the costumes were adequately creepy, especially the bloated clown in the maze - really effective. 

Set design/props/FX: 3.75/5 -  Although there is not a ton of super-powered FX or high-tech props, TOF2 offers a good variety of haunt fun maximizing scares on a budget…and, great use of the dark.  This haunt offers an outdoor adventure trail through dense woods including a solid enclosed maze portion where we got turned around several times. The walking path was disorienting – no way to tell where we were in relation to the entrance once we got inside. Well-placed key FX:  slick use of whirling laser light spectacles projected geometric shapes and colors over the parking area and queue zone.  Fast strobes and thick fog in the maze worked to dismantle any sense of space and direction.  There were several surprise pop-outs that goosed howling laughs out of us real good. More of the trail itself could use some spooking-up, and some of plastic parts and props could be more realistic.
                         
Length: 5/5 –It’s a long haunt. But, I’m not sure if time inside the attraction was actual distance covered or attributed to skit-time.  It took us about 45 minutes to complete just the trail portion on a slow night when actors potentially had more time to give us their best show. That said, I’m not sure how skit-time per set might impact how long it takes from start to finish with bigger crowds.
                                                           
Value: 5/5 -   This haunt offers two adventures at one location: a mostly consistent outdoor trail and interactive Zombie Paintball. We missed the Paintball, but for $12, the trail seemed like a steal for the variety, time spent, and fun we had. Adult admission is $12 and people under age 12 is $8 for the trail only. The Zombie Paintball entrance is adjacent to the trail and requires a separate fee that varies depending on the night and attraction package you purchase. Parking, if you can find it, is free.

Overall:  3.5/5 – Trail of Fear 2 is what might be called an “old school haunt” with interactive flair. TOF2 is going to include you in the amusement; they will seek out your haunt freak and spotlight your dares.  TOF2 is fun to play in; I bet each group gets their own special devilish kicks. Trail of Fear 2 has been around six years but this is the second year at this new location – hence the name “Trail of Fear 2”.   It is located within 15 miles of at least three other haunts reviewed this year in the Hickory, NC area and worth checking out for sure.
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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
hauntednorcak
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2014, 08:17:52 PM »

The name "Trail of Fear 2" finally makes sense now....I always wondered about number 1.
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Whatever you do, don't fall asleep.
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