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The Haunted => Fright Team Haunt Reviews - 2016 => Topic started by: NCHadmin on October 23, 2016, 02:13:40 PM

Title: Camp Fear - 2016
Post by: NCHadmin on October 23, 2016, 02:13:40 PM
Camp Fear
Date attended: 10-22-2016
Submitted by: krb187

Scare Factor:  3/5
Camp Fear has undergone a transformation this year and has been turned into a twisted vision of Alice in Wonderland and I canít say enough how cool of an idea that it is. The execution was however a bit hit and miss, and while there were only a few times that members of our group were actually scared we all did have a lot of fun. There seemed to be a few areas where the scares were still being worked out, most notably the Mad Hatterís tea party, the odd plastic area near the end, and the 3D clown house. That being said there were a few jumps had, and a pretty ingeniously placed prop did manage to get a member of my group who is notoriously hard to get. The Queen of Hearts area (formerly the asylum) was again the shining star of Camp Fear and the actors here were perfectly creepy and knew how to utilize their area to the fullest. I must say that again the escape room area completely failed and just ended in frustration and awkward moments instead of any kind of consequence or incentive to actually get out. That area desperately needs to be scrapped and reworked into something better.

Actors:  3/5
This category again ranges from the great to the not-so-great in terms of quality. There were quite a few times where actors would just stand and stare at you, or yell at you to go and then do nothing else. I also witnessed three or four actors break character, including one actor completely drop their act and ask multiple members of our group if they had ever worked a haunted trail. There were however some actors who truly shined. The Blue Caterpillar at the start of the trail was fantastic, and watching her lazily hit an actual hookah while spouting off riddles and rhymes was easily one of my favorite moments of the night. Also as I said before the Queen of Hearts area was great and the actors there excelled and uttered some believably creepy noises and threats.

Set Design/Props/FX:  4/5
As mentioned above Camp Fear had an all new Alice in Wonderland theme and it was a very big step in the right direction for the haunt. Having one continuous theme throughout the entire trail is a really cool idea and one that I truly hope they will keep for a while and build upon. Multiple points throughout the trail we found ourselves just pointing and admiring how great many of the sets looked. The Mad Hatterís tea party, the Queen of Hearts area, and the beginning rabbit hole areas were are very well done and really helped immerse you into the Wonderland world. Perhaps the coolest area was the hedge maze section that had some ingenious use of lighting and lasers, creating a dizzying look of hedge rows as well as stars in the sky. I did dock a point for the escape room, as well as near the end there are a few scenes that donít really fit the Wonderland theme, most notably a random area of plastic sheets with nothing in them.

Length:  5/5
Camp Fear is actually a pretty long trail, add in the hayride and the pre-haunt stories from the caterpillar and you can expect a good hour or so for your trip.

Value:  2.5/5
Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for kids and they offer some specials and coupons on their website as well. Honestly though I did have a lot fun $20 feels a bit expensive for Camp Fear.

Free Parking! They also have a pretty impressive concessions area with all sorts of food and drinks available, several pretty cool photo ops, and free coffee and hot chocolate. Without question one of the most hospitable haunts around.

Overall:  3/5
Camp Fear took a very big step in the right direction this year with their new Alice in Wonderland theme and I hope that they keep the theme around for a few years and improve upon to see how far they can truly take it. There were some places that were pretty miss, but quite a few things hit very, very well. You can tell that a lot of work went into the trail this year and I think with more hard work and some ironing out of some trail missteps Camp Fearís Wonderland can turn into something very cool. Although Camp Fear isnít really a scary haunt it is a lot of fun and can be a fun outing for a family on a chilly fall evening.

Title: Re: Camp Fear - 2016
Post by: NCHadmin on October 23, 2016, 02:14:50 PM
Camp Fear
Date visited: 10/22/2016
submitted by: packbacker

Scare Factor: 4/5
Camp Fear has rebranded themselves this year as "Wonderland".  The majority of the trail has a cohesive theme of Alice traveling down the rabbit hole into the world of Wonderland.  It's a fun concept that they truly embrace.  Outside of the maze and clown areas they really follow along with Alice throughout the rest of the trail.  While it's not often scary it is entertaining/amusing.  Alice, the mad hatter, the Cheshire cat, and more all make appearances.  Seeing Alice in an electric chair or her corpse at the tea party is a new twist and did make me laugh in a macabre manner.  I was constantly entertained but the scare factor, in general, is low.  That being said I do have to admit that I jumped once which is not an easy feat.  I completely let my guard down and a noise startle got me.  Kudos!  The scares are generally actor driven but they mix in noise and props here or there.  There are three escape room areas that really don't function well and do dampen the mood after awhile.  There seemed to be major timing issues in loading/unloading the room and even confusion as the folks manning the first room didn't even know where the keys were hidden....not something you want to hear when you are handcuffed to some furniture. The concept is cool but the execution falls very flat.  I'd much prefer to continue on Alice's journey than spend 10 minutes on puzzles we can't solve....and sometimes that aren't solvable by anyone when the keys aren't even in reach. 

Actors: 3/5
The actors here are very hit and miss.  The Caterpillar at the beginning of the trail is charming as she dispenses the back story while puffing on a hookah pipe.  The Cheshire Cat is into his role and the young ladies in the Queen's house of cards are very solid in their stalking and pursuing of the scare. Also the rabbit dispensing candy is fantastic with a palpable malicious glee in his delivery of his lines.  The farther you go in the trail, though, the more out of character people become.  There were some very young children manning the area before "The Cave" who were having fun but just seemed confused as to what to do with patrons.  In the clown area in particular we had actors both break character (bizarrely asking multiple people in our group if we had ever worked in a haunted trail) as well as just throw out random insults.  There were a few bare areas which could have benefited from more actors. 

Sets/Props/Fx: 4/5
Camp Fear has done a lot of work to turn the previous campground haunt into a believable Wonderland area.  They do fully embrace the theme in sets, props, and costumes.  The previous asylum area is painted as the Queen of Hearts's castle.  Cheshire cat smiles dot trees throughout the trail.  The rabbit costume is fantastically horrible.  Whimsical sayings are found throughout the trail and everything just has a fresh feel/appearance to it.  The electrocution prop is utilized well with an Alice costume/wig on it and the Mad Hatter's table is delectably gory.  There's also a great light effect in the woods and the 3D clown area always looks good.     

Length: 5/5
Camp Fear is a longer trail.  It starts with a hayride from the ticket area to the trail head where you meet The Caterpillar.  The Caterpillar fills you in on the story and then releases groups to explore the trail.  The trail includes various sets, three escape room areas, a long-ish maze, and ends with a 3D clown area after a vortex.  It took us over an hour from boarding the hayride to the finish.   

Value: 3/5
Tickets are $20 with a $3 off coupon available on the website.  It's a long, amusing trail but lacking the bigger scare factor to demand full $20 prices.  It should be noted that earlier in the season tickets can be purchased for half price with canned food donations. 

Free parking!  Camp Fear offers complimentary coffee and hot chocolate before and after the haunt.  Concessions are available on site and fire pits are located at the ticket area as well as the trail head. 

Overall: 4/5
Camp Fear has gone in a totally new direction this year.  The majority of the trail follows the well known story of Alice in Wonderland and it's a fun change from traditional trails.  The trail design as well as the actors seem to wholly embrace the changes and it's very refreshing.  While scares are still hit and miss you can definitely follow the progression of Alice down the rabbit whole and the take on it is very entertaining.  We did lots of laughing, some "oohing and ahhhing", and even jumped a little here or there.  The biggest detractor were the escape room scenarios which as discussed earlier are an interesting thought but both don't fully fit the theme and fall flat on execution.  All in all, though, I love the changes Camp Fear has made.  Cohesive themes are difficult to find and even more difficult to execute and they do it quite well.  I highly recommend grabbing a free cup of hot chocolate, taking candy from a rabbit, and falling down that whole to see what Alice has been up to at Camp Fear!

Title: Re: Camp Fear - 2016
Post by: NCHadmin on October 23, 2016, 02:42:43 PM

Camp Fear
Date Attended: 10/22/2016
Submitted by: Screaming_diana

Scare Factor:  4/5
Camp Fear is very unique this year.  Instead of their traditional haunt they went with an Alice in Wonderland theme.  While not super scary it was loads of fun and don't worry I still screamed plenty.  Another change from years past is this year they can, and will, touch you.  The wagon ride is simply a people mover and doesn't have scares but they do have a neat jack-o-lantern projection along the ride and it's fun to see the campers sitting on their Halloween decorated porches watching the trail members go by.  I loved how they kept most of the trail on theme with Alice in Wonderland. 

Actors:  3.5/5
This is hard to put a number on because the actors ranged from exceptionally good to totally lacking in attempting a scare.  The same goes for their masks and costumes.  Some costumes were fantastic while other actors were in t-shirts and jeans without masks or make-up at all.  Sections of the trail were void of actors but perhaps that's to give your mind a chance to build anticipation for whats to come. The caterpillar was awesome and my favorite character of the trail.  From her adorable costume to her witty and fun stories while interacting with the group and smoking her colorful hookah she was fabulous.  The big rabbit giving out a special treat, which I was later told was rabbit poop (actually just candy), was another memorable character who could communicate with the group with ease.  Freddy was head of the tea party but had done something terrible to Alice.  Apparently he wasn't pleased with just Alice as he jumped up, walked across the table stepping over Alice's mangled body, and chased our group away.  Most actors were fun to interact with and most would reappear in their section in attempt to elicit further screams from the group.  The Red Queen was mentioned several times but I never saw her.  Maybe she will make an appearance next year.

Set Design/Props/Fx:  4/5
I really like the changes and the new look.  A theme like this is not often done but they've done it and executed it well.  You won't find many huge animatronics here but the props and sets they do have work well for this trail. I liked the Cheshire smiles throughout the trail and how they used playing cards as tombstones.  It was different and an enjoyable change.  They still had the squishy ground and some crazy clowns near the end but for the most part the trail has changed from years past.  The 3D clown area looks cool and is a lot of fun complete with a colorful vortex.  The twinkling lights shinning through the trees was a nice little effect and made me think for a moment I was in a wonderland.  There is an escape room section to this haunt that might work if executed a bit differently.  It's a neat idea but it was holding up groups and really slowing the haunt down.  You're locked in the escape room with limited time to find keys to free yourself, solve puzzles to continue, and ultimately try to unlock the final door to escape.  Nothing happens if you don't escape on time except the person working unlocks the codes and locks and sets you free.  An actor coming in to scare you if you lose would add fear to this section but as it is you are simply set free to finish the remainder of the trail.  Also I think the escape room is impossible to solve in the time frame given or perhaps by group was just dumb.

Length:  5/5
The haunt is long.  It took our group 45 minutes or more to get through.  The escape room slows things down a bit but even with out that section it's a longer haunt.

Value:  3.5/5
Tickets are $20 per adult or $15 for kids under 10 years.  They do have discounts and coupons available online. The price seems a bit on the high end but they do offer free hot chocolate and coffee and have a nice fire for you to sit around while you wait. 

Parking is free.  They have concessions and merchandise for purchase.  You can buy $1 sausage.  I have no idea what that actually is but it was a good conversation piece for our group.

Overall Impression:  4/5
As I mentioned above I love the changes this trail has made and I hope they stick to this theme next year and add even more.  They picked a theme, stuck with it, and it worked great for this trail.  Things did not work out so well for Alice but everyone else in Wonderland seemed to be having a marvelous time.  Splitting the group up and making each person enter the maze solo was a neat idea and having my legs grabbed while I struggled to find my way out of the pitch black maze amped up the scares.  A couple group members were taken from the group, I was one of them, and allowed to be a part of the haunt and scare our friends as they walked through.  I loved this and was actually able to scare my friend and make him jump.  That made my night as he, packbacker, is almost impossible to scare.