This past weekend, Six Flags Great Adventure invited various media outlets down to the park’s annual Fright Fest event to check out this year’s crop of haunted mazes. We were lucky enough to be on-site for the media night and below you will find a quick review on each of the houses – as well as a photo gallery to follow!
Cell Block 6
As the name implies, this house is themed after a prison in lockdown. The inmates are running rampant and its your job to either help them escape or be locked in with them, forever.
The overall theme to this haunt was ok. Its the standard Prison setting with almost no gore or scare factor. The actors, while doing an admirable job of trying to scare people are just to few and far between to actually be scary. Most of the time I just felt alone, walking through a haunt that someone forgot to hire people for. It’s not horrible, but it’s also not worth the wait if the lines are long.
Story: 2, Scare Factor: 2, Theme: 3
Big Top Terror: Forgotten Carnival 3-D
This haunt is themed after a forgotten carnival that you stumble upon deep in the backwoods. The freaks and inbred horrors within need your soul to escape…will you help them?
Out of all the haunts at Fright Fest this year, I think this one is my favorite, which is surprising because when I see 3D, I usually think it is going to be hokey, assuming that the haunt is going to rely on that and not the scare factor. However, I am glad to report that this haunt was extremely well themed, the actors do a great job of embracing their surroundings, and the 3D effect actually works quite well. The only drawback is that because it is so brightly-lit, there are not a lot of areas for the freaks to scare you. Overall, this haunt is a must see.
Story: 4, Scare Factor: 3.5, Theme: 4.5
Aside from the cute play on words with this haunt, the maze itself is pretty good. It’s themed after a backwoods farm inhabited by half-human, half-animal mutants who are looking to feed on your blood.
The maze is actually the longest of all the Fright Fest mazes at this year, at least it seemed that way to me. It has guests walking through a backwoods cabin and farmhouse, then out into a corn field. It has a nice finish inside a corn maze that has a lot of nice spots to scare people. Unfortunately, this is another haunt maze that suffers from too many gaps in the scares, as I found myself walking for a good bit before someone else would jump out at me. In some ways I enjoy it because I get to admire the set decoration of it all, but if I had to wait in a long line I would want to have just a few more scares thrown at me.
Story: 3, Scare Factor: 2.5, Theme: 3.5
A dark, and eerie manor awaits you in this haunt as you have to traverse dark hallways and tight corners to escape from flesh eating zombies.
This haunt seemed extremely short to me, with very few scares. The theming was top notch and actually made me feel as if I was walking through some old forgotten manor. As good as the theme was, I was still let down by the little amount of times I felt scared. There are some decent jump scares scattered throughout, but nothing that’ll get your adrenaline going or make you run ahead from your group. If you have the time, check out this haunt, but if you have other things to see or do, you may be better off doing that.
Story: 1.5 Scare Factor: 2, Theme: 4
As the name implies, this haunt plunges you into absolute darkness, with only a flashlight as your guide.
When you get to the entrance, you and your group are given a rope to hold on to. It’s not attached to anything, you just need to hold it so that no one in your party gets lost. The leader of the group has a very dimly lit flashlight (ours may have been broken, because when I shook it, it got brighter) with a red bulb that they can use to navigate the maze and figure out how to get out. As I mentioned, this maze is in almost complete darkness, save for a few exit signs here and there, and while there are no actual (maybe a few) jump scares, the creepiness is excellent. At one point while walking through, you feel someone breathing on your neck or just walking next to you. This creepiness really helps to sell this haunt, and I highly suggest walking through with your friends.
Story: 1, Scare Factor: 3, Theme: 4.5
This haunt has you traveling to a remote and mysterious island where the ancient art of voodoo is practiced.
This was another of the longer haunted mazes this year, but that does not necessarily make it good. Don’t get me wrong, this was a decent haunt, but with what they presented and what they could have based on the theme, it was a let down. The set design and decoration was, just like most of their haunted houses: Great. Unfortunately, the scares were just too few and far between, and the ones that do get you are so good that you wish there were more of them. Great premise, poor execution.
Story: 2, Scare Factor: 2.5, Theme: 3
Toxic spills, contamination and nuclear fallout await you in this haunt…
Another decent haunted house that plays out well with the theme it is working with. The actors were great, as they were all really into their roles and did a great job to sell the haunt and it story. The layout was nice, had a lot of open areas, and a lot of dark corners to hide the actors.
Story: 2.5, Scare Factor: 3, Theme: 3
Overall, Six Flags Great Adventure did a nice job with this year’s Fright Fest. The haunted mazes were all pretty good, and the overall decoration and theming around the park was great – I especially liked the bloody fountain that welcomes you. The monsters walking around do a great job scaring unsuspecting park guests and for the little ones who do not want to get scared there are several “Fright Free” zones for them, as well as a couple of nice trick or treat trails where the kids can collect candy. Another nice thing about Fright Fest is that all the coasters are open and running, some in the dark, which makes for a completely different ride than during in the day!
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