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The Haunted => Fright Team Haunt Reviews - 2014 => Topic started by: NCHadmin on October 29, 2014, 06:22:22 AM



Title: Lake Hickory Haunts - 2014
Post by: NCHadmin on October 29, 2014, 06:22:22 AM
Lake Hickory Haunts
Submitted By: Screaming_Diana
Date Attended:  10/28/2014
 
Scare Factor:  5/5
Lake Hickory Haunts is a very unique haunt.  They have some scenes/sets that you wonít find anywhere else in the area.  The haunt starts out with a short yet amusing video about the haunts rules and regulations.  The scares start immediately following the video intro room and donít let up until the very end.  I barely had time to catch my breath before the next monster appeared to terrorize our group.  It was nonstop thrills from start to finish.  I heard others in my group gawking and praising the workmanship and splendid design of the haunt but I spent most of my time too terrified to look up.
 
Actors:  5/5
The first thing I noticed was the incredible masks these characters wore.  Some of them were very original while others were your typical movie character actors.  Either way their masks were exceptionally detailed.  The actors are well timed for most of their pop scares but the stalking and harassing actors were much more into their characters.  Several times I was chased and surrounded by actors with chainsaws just inches from my feet.  These guys didnít let up easy.  The clowns were fantastic and soooo very entertaining.  A lot of the actors interact with each other doing various skits but theyíre also good at including the victims (customers) in their performance.    The leprechaun room was a little confusing and Iím not sure if he was an animatronic or an actual actor but he looked delightfully creepy.  The actor numbers are good.  The trail is guideless this year but the characters do a great job of moving people along to the next set without making you feel rushed.
 
Set Design/Props/FX:  5/5
This is the highlight of this haunt.  The props and sets are incredible.  Glaring down toward to lake seeing the ferryman, in all his gloomy glory, made our group just stop and stare in awe.  Loading a boat and traveling over the dimly lit still lake, all the while listening to our ferryman tell us a story about the blazing fire, gave me chills.  The Big, Big Top Circus is one of the best clown acts Iíve seen at a haunt.  Boss and his gang battle the evil clown Bozo while doing acrobatic tricks that are sure to put a smile on your face.  Thereís a jack-in-the-box prop that I simply love. Theyíve got so many amazing props.  Freddy hiding in the mist, Dr. Evil and his blood splattering amputations, the electrocuted and tortured victims, and unbalanced floors are all things you can expect to encounter here. I got a glimpse of a young guy with a freshly severed arm so things can get a little gruesome at times.
 
Length:  5/5
The length is perfect.  You canít help but want more but itís a decent length.
 
Value:  5/5
Itís a steal at $15 adult admission. Kids 12 and under get in for $9 while senior citizens and military get in for $12.  They offer a fast pass option for $22 which is worth the extra money on busy nights as Iíve heard lines can get crazy long.  Coupons can be found at local business and Lake Hickory Haunts will accept any haunts discount coupons up to $2 off.  They offer paypal for online ticket purchases and also accept credit cards and cash onsite at the ticket booth.
 
Other:
Parking is free.  The staff here is EXTREMELY friendly and genuinely wanted to know how we enjoyed their haunt.  Even the DJ was asking folks if they had a good time as they were exiting the haunt.  As I mentioned they have a live DJ as well as games, concessions, and souvenirs for purchase.   
 
Overall Impression:  5/5
Itís scary, unique, fun, and most of all the haunt owners are dedicated to making this haunt one of the best.  They sent us through as a group of 5 which was perfect.  Arrive early if you donít want to miss the parade of characters.  If you do miss it youíll get other chances to see these incredible monsters up close.  Many of them roam the midway and one clown was even making balloon animals for folks waiting in line.   I had an amazing time here this year and know that next year will be even better.  Writing this review canít give this place justice.  Youíll just have to go to Lake Hickory Haunts and see it for yourself.  Itís impressive!


Title: Re: Lake Hickory Haunts - 2014
Post by: NCHadmin on October 29, 2014, 11:35:12 AM
Lake Hickory Haunts
submitted by: packbacker
date visited: 10/28/14

Scare Factor: 5/5
You're going to be scared or entertained- or both!  Things feel less forced this year at Lake Hickory Haunts and the scare factor is significantly increased.  Notable sets/scenes include the boat ride (just fricking cool not scary), Freddy, Dr. Death, and the clown house.  There are also some excellent pop scares in the woods from hidden actors and Grandma's house is a scene where a variety of air effects and actors deliver some screams.  While I personally wasn't scared on the trail I was constantly entertained and at a few points was doubled over in laughter.  When the DJ hollered over the queue "How was it?" to our group we gave a unanimous two thumbs up.

Actors: 4/5
There are a mix of fixed scene actors vs pop scare actors at Lake Hickory Haunts.  The pop scare actors are adequate in numbers and well spaced.  The scene actors have lines and verbal interactions with the guests.  I cannot compliment the clowns enough- their schtick is *tight* and it's almost like a drug hallucination to see them hanging from the rafters, running, giggling, tumbling all while keeping up a solid, coherent verbal barrage.  A few of the scene actors stumbled a bit with their lines or ad-libbing but these are really minor quibbles.  Freddy's movements in the laser room are spectacularly well timed and Dr. Death and nurse again have their lines down pat and deliver them with a maniacal glee. 

Sets/Props/Fx: 5/5
Haunted boat ride!!!  The lake is lit up with a few body parts in the water with a smooth sailing quick boat trip....unique and awesome.  The clown house is ridiculously amazing with clowns up top, hanging from the rafters, spinning around and going nuts.  The Freddy sets with 2 way mirrors and a breath-taking laser area left us all gasping and the Dr. Death set and squirting corpse was groan inducing in a great way.  The other sets are equally well designed with a good amount of gore and grime. 

Length: 4/5
The trail is plenty long with a combination of set scenes, pop scares in the woods, and the boat ride.  Honestly they can't fit more into their space....I just didn't want it to end!

Value: 5/5
$15 is a steal for this haunt.  The website says that $2 coupons are available at local businesses and that they honor competitor coupons up to $2 off as well. There are also fast passes and combo packages available.  Lines have been rumored to be several hours in terms of waiting so fast passes might be a prudent choice.

Other:
Free parking!  Concessions are available on site.  There are carnival games and a DJ in the midway area and the pre-show features a character parade.  As we were parking the car we see golf carts full of clowns winding past and hear a young woman asking if we want a ride on the meat wagon.  Fun start to the evening!  It should also be noted that staff members from top to bottom were pleasant and eager to find out what customers thought of the attraction and hoping everyone had a good time- it's not every place that has the DJ call out from up top to ask if you had fun. 

Overall: 5/5
I enjoyed my time at Lake Hickory Haunts last year but to see the changes implemented this year I was left flabbergasted at the transformation.  They have done away with guides and now you have a self-guided trail that features set scenes in multiple locations, occasional pop scares....as well as a boat ride.  After watching an amusing short safety video your group is turned free into the woods.  The first thing I noticed was the lit up lake and I started grinning.  After one scene you emerge and rounding the corner I glimpsed The Ferryman and I literally got chills.  The boat ride, while low scare, was something I never have encountered at another haunt and was immensely cool.  Some of the sets/scares are fantastic.  Compliments can't do enough justice to the clown house and the nutty actors inhabiting it.  Similarly Freddy Kreuger's laser room left a lot of us "oohing and ahhhing" and at least one screaming non stop.  Dr. Death's surgery suite should not go without mention with very cool medical procedures.

While I personally wasn't scared I was constantly entertained.  Sets and costumes are high quality with a definite unique flair that sets LHH apart from traditional trails.  I can count on one hand the number of times I've gotten goose bumps on a trail and LHH last night made that very small list.


Title: Re: Lake Hickory Haunts - 2014
Post by: NCHadmin on October 29, 2014, 06:43:44 PM
Lake Hickory Haunts
Date attended: 10-28-2014
Submitted by: krb187

Scare Factor: 5/5
I will say that I canít remember ever really getting scared, but I had one of the best times Iíve ever had at a haunt. I was entertained the entire time through the trail and was so out of breath from laughing and cheering that I could barely walk up the hill to the car afterwards. There was even one point that I was laughing so hard from having fun that I was almost puking, that is an awesome experience. The trail starts off with a short video that is pretty funny and then immediately goes into the scares and never lifts up until the very end. The atmosphere of the haunt is brilliantly set and really gives it such a unique feel that sets it apart from any haunt in the area. Lake Hickory is definitely effective in their scares, but if you donít get scared you will most definitely be entertained and have an amazing time.

Actors: 4/5
The actors here are plentiful and very energetic. The costumes and masks are all very well done and even the few movie icons they have are beautifully dressed and there are no cheap masks or black shirts and jeans anywhere in this place. The icon characters like Boss and Dr. Death are amazing at their job and they know exactly who their characters are. There are some pop scare actors and they have great timing and know how to jump you at the right times. My favorites would have to be the clowns though because they were on point the entire time we were in the clown house and interacted perfectly with each other and us and had us laughing and cheering the entire time we there. There were a few actors who I feel could have been a bit more aggressive and in your face, or who stumbled over their lines a bit, but honestly itís just nitpicky stuff.

Set Design/Props/FX: 5/5
As Iím sure has already been mentioned this place can be summed up in 3 words: haunted boat ride. The ride itself isnít really scary but the atmosphere is perfectly set. Coming down to the ride itself you see the awesomely costumed ferryman standing at the lake with green lighting and fire behind him and it is chill inducing. The other sets are beautifully done and very detailed, and they do a good job immersing you into the scene even more. The clown house is amazing and once inside you feel as if you were slipped the brown acid and they take you for an insane ride. Dr. Deathís hospital scene looks like an actual hospital and the use of lighting, lasers, and fog in the Freddy room are simply perfect.

Length: 4/5
The trail is a pretty long trail and you definitely get your moneyís worth. Iím not sure how much space they have to actually add on to but when I left I definitely wanted more and could have easily been in there for a longer time, but thatís just a testament to how much fun I was having and didnít want it too end.

Value: 5/5
Tickets are $15 and that is a complete steal for Lake Hickory. There are coupons available and fast passes for $22 which on the busier nights (which Iíve heard get up to 3-4 hour wait times) is definitely the best option.

Other:
Parking is free and organized, and if you get there early enough there is an actor parade to kick the night of with a bang. There are concessions, games and live DJ in the line so there is plenty of entertainment the entire time youíre there. I also have to say that the staff is some of the nicest people Iíve met and were all very concerned and eager to know that we all had a great time. The owner, another staff member and even the DJ made sure to ask how we liked it and you can tell that they really are motivated and driven to  make their haunt as good as it possibly can be and give the people what they want.

Overall: 5/5
If you can make me almost puke from laughing so hard then you are doing something right. I donít think Iíve ever laughed and cheered so much in a haunt before, and Lake Hickory was on par with how much fun Iíve had at any other haunt. It was my first time at Lake Hickory so I wasnít sure what to expect but I was blown away and had one of the best times Iíve had this entire season. The boat ride is something completely unique to them and in my opinion is worth a trip alone, but the rest of the trail is just as great and a terrific experience. You should definitely go out to Lake Hickory Haunts and I guarantee that you will have more fun than you can imagine.


Title: Re: Lake Hickory Haunts - 2014
Post by: NCHadmin on October 30, 2014, 07:27:07 AM
Lake Hickory Haunts
Date Visited: 10/28/14
Submited by: jonesm

Scare Factor: 5/5
There are several ways to pull off a scare, but maybe the hardest is by successfully overwhelming you to the point of not seeing the scare coming, but LHH pulled that off more times than I can count!  Last year the guides got in the way of the scares too often, but there was absolutely none of that this time around.  This year I could barely keep up, and the pop scares spread throughout the chaos were just perfect.  There were so many cool things happening in almost every scene that it'll be terrifying for the easily terrified and a mountain of fun for those who just laugh their way through haunts.  It's an absolute blast!

Actors: 5/5
There's an intelligence to what pretty much every character at LHH that I really appreciated.  There's often 5 or 6 actors around you at one time going full out, but each was actually doing something that made sense at all times, the result being that anywhere you look you get something different, and it's all cool!  It gives you chaos that's scary or entertaining and not just noise.  And having well trained actors with well thought out roles also allowed to the monsters to position you for a scene without having to corral the group and break the mood of the scene.  It's a constant thread throughout every aspect of this haunt, everyone served a purpose and filled their role.  Loved the clowns literally swinging from the rafters, Cousin Tommy (Uncle Tommy?), Dr. Death's nurse,  and Feddy's got great control of his room.  One thing that could be improved is the ferryman for the boat ride.  Don't get me wrong, the first time you walk around the corner and see him is one of the real highlights of the trail, but due to the time it takes to get across, he needs a prepared story or monologue that can carry that along.  The boat ride was amazing and just looking around is really entertaining in itself, but I think he could carry the time better.  On the other hand, that stuff about mashing your lips and keeping you with him anyway was pretty funny...

Sets/Props/FX: 5/5
I think I noticed the high quality of the workmanship on the props and sets more on this trail than any in a while.  Everything is top notch, no ripping your shirt on a nail sticking out at THIS haunt!  The boat (gonna keep coming back to that, it was so cool!) was smooth and silent and didn't even bump when we landed.  The clown house is more about the actors than the sets, but the jack-in-the-box is really noteworthy.  Love Freddy's room and Dr. Death's as well.  As with the rest of the trail, I see where you can build on things in the future, but what's there now is just fantastic!

Length: 5/5
Good long trail through the woods with lots or separate buildings scattered along the way, plus the boat ride.  I know they have tons of plans for additions, but I was totally satisfied with the length of the trail as it stands already.

Value: 5/5
The value's in the quality here regardless of the price, but at $15 it's a bargain, too!

Overall: 5/5
Last year LHH had major ambitions and a ton of potential, but this year it really has come into its own in a major way.  After a day to think it over, I'm ready to call it my official #1 of the season.  It really was superb in every way you can judge a haunt.  I feel like I've drooled over it every which way already, but one last point of praise is that I really like the outside-the-box ideas that surround the haunt.  There's a parade of monsters before the festivities begin each night (I hear there are free rides on meat wagon, btw), a clown popping wheelies while you buy your tickets, and though I didn't see it, apparently there are full on monster duels from time to time.  So one last time with feeling, sky's the limit for this trail, and as I told my group repeatedly last night, my face literally hurt from smiling as I walked out of this haunt.  I absolutely loved it!