Primitive Fear 2011

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall
Kris91010109.75
Ryan879108.5
Steve991099.25
Kathie91010109.75
Alex G8810109
Justeen1010101010
Alex K77987.75
Marlena910989
Overall8.6258.8759.6259.3759.13

Kris Kropelnicki

There is something to be said for a haunt that doesn’t have a set theme but manages to accomplish cohesiveness from scene to scene with apparent ease. While the majority of the haunt consists of underground caverns and tunnels, there are other areas that, while they are not at all related to the underworld of old, they somehow make sense and fit in.  The creativity is limitless.

While waiting to go inside, I was approached by an ominous looking preacher that said a brief prayer for me, then tore a page from his Bible and gave it to me for safety. This was unsettling and left me wondering what was lurking in the fog filled room I was about to enter.  There were vast amounts of fog which made it nearly impossible to see and my group and I quickly became one as we tried to navigate our way through and not lose one another in the process.  This element worked very well because by the time we realized we were not alone, it was too late.

Winding through the haunt I felt as though I truly were descending to the deepest levels below the Earth’s surface to long forgotten places filled with mystery, intrigue and death. My anticipation and adrenaline climbed and accelerated with each step I took.  This truly feels like a frightening adventure reminiscent of scenes in the 1999 film, “The Mummy”.  Everything is rich in detail and transitions flow with ease.

Narrow passageways with white robed characters put me on edge as I walked past them wondering which one would come to life and come after me. The mix between live actors and props in here is done very well and I couldn’t tell real from prop.

Although a couple of the actors were a bit lethargic, performances overall were very good and delivered good lines and scares. Costuming and makeup were also done very well and fit the scenes they were in with great authenticity. The combination of incredible sets, costuming, make up and acting really pulled every scene together for me and made them very believable.

Throughout the haunt I encountered many tight spaces including one that I had to navigate over, around and through while in complete darkness. I wasn’t alone in that darkness and the voices that called out to me didn’t seem as though they had any intention of allowing me to live had I not found my way out.

Collapsing ceilings, sliding walls and some spectacular set design provided a fantastic experience for me! If you are the kind of person that enjoys a wide variety of scenes and scares then this haunt is a perfect fit for you. If you only get out to a couple of haunts this year, this haunt should be on your list, it will not disappoint!

Pros: Incredible set details, acting, interactive scenes

Cons: Some actors need more intensity

Ryan Acker

Hidden within the deserted town facade lies Primitive Fear, a dark underworld in which mayhem resides. While waiting in line, a dark person whispering prayers for your soul arrives to hand you a page from the bible. This really sets the mood and allows for uniqueness I haven’t seen. As I began to wander into this desolate place I was greeted by basically greeted by a true hillbilly horror that I encountered earlier while awaiting our tickets. I understood what he was doing there but it ruined the intensity of finding your way through the intense fog.

As I emerged from the fog into the sets I was taking in the long, narrow hallway lined with white statues just waiting for somebody to jump out and scare you. Sadly, nobody did and nobody would for at least a minute of walking. In a haunt, this is a long time with no actor and no props. This can be good or bad depending on whom you ask. Some may say this allows you to absorb all the details within the room and other may say they just don’t try very hard to scare you. So you be the judge!

In the PF13 complex, Primitive Fear is definitely the better in terms of detail and sets but not in terms of acting. The sets are exactly the same as they were last year but they were still great in terms of detail from the swamp type area to the strobe light tunnels. There are many pneumatics used in here that are great as well. The falling ceiling, collapsing walls, and tilting walls are not found anywhere else in this business. Acting, however, was better last year. Each actor only growled or screamed for help lacking real dialogue. It seemed as if this year they incorporated more air cannons to provide a loud and efficient scare. Because of this I felt as if it was a cheap way to provide a startle scare rather than instilling faith in their own actors. If you want a haunt where you can be mesmerized by the outstanding detail and get some quick and good scares, Primitive Fear is the one.

Pros: Detail, Uniqueness, Physical Activity

Cons: Acting, Dead Spots, Too many Air cannons

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Steven Acker

Primitive Fear is definitely the better of the 303Haunts duo in Commerce City in my opinion. These were the first haunts I ever went through, in my whole life, last year. Not much seemed to change from then, which was a little disappointing, but it was still great for thrills and terror and did not disappoint, I just had a little bit of an idea of what was coming up next.

It starts you off with a fantastic village in the waiting area with great detail and it’s great to look at while you’re waiting in line for your turn to go through! Speaking of the waiting area, I just loved the spook with the broom…how these guys can keep a totally straight face and stay in character for a whole night while mingling with the public is way beyond me.

The actors inside the haunt don’t disappoint either and the sets and costumes are excellent with the kind of detail that you know they spent a great amount of time on. They start you off with lots of fog and strobes, which really make you lose your sense of direction, and the sets come fully equipped with collapsing walls and ceilings and a great zip line surprise that catches you totally off guard, which is the way it’s supposed to be! It also comes with a maze that you may go around 3 or 4 times before some “friendly ladies” send you off in the right direction.

I had a great time here, from the ticket line to end of both haunts, and I highly recommend both for great entertainment!

Pros: actors, sets & gags

Cons: the timing of a few things was off (opening weekend?), couple of dead spots, no changes from last year

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Kathie Holt

This was my first experience at Primitive Fear, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It had all the makings of a great haunt. The actors were very good and the sets were amazing.

This haunt was truly an experience worth sharing. The lighting in each room was pretty authentic to each scene, however there seemed to be a few rooms that were too dark and didn’t allow you to enjoy the props placed in them.

The actors here are a mixture of the deformed as well as the odd. I did run into a couple of actors out of place that were making their way back to their spot, which would have been fine would they have stayed in character instead of saying “excuse me” and walking past. I also liked the spots where you are lost, which is another fear factor. I do not know of anyone who likes being completely lost including me. There is a room full of pillars and some very odd young girls who want you to stay lost so you will play.

There are a few places where you will need to find your way through like the room with beams wrapped in plastic. Some are too close together to squeeze through so you just have to keep searching for a way out. It made me think I was going to be stuck there, but that only added to the fear factor of being trapped, and of course there are claustrophobic bags.

The strobe lights are timed perfectly here, so you feel completely disoriented for a short time. They do not go on forever, but they are located in a few different places like the drainage pipe. The fog was a bit overwhelming with the strobes. It was more frustrating than frightening, but overall it did the trick.

There were a few rooms that had no one in them, but with the props, they really didn’t need to be occupied. The smells were very authentic as well. I did have to hold my nose in one room to keep from gagging but again, that is exactly the desired effect. There is a pretty cool flying effect toward the end.

Overall I would definitely go see this one again and most likely will. The priest will offer his words of caution before you enter and you may even get a souvenir from him. Everyone here will make sure you have a great experience because they truly love what they do.

This attraction features two haunts and I would recommend seeing them both.

Pros: Props were really good, actors were great, smells authentic

Cons: Some spaces too small to get through, too much fog, some rooms too dark

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Alex Gallegos

Primitive Fear is an amazing haunted house and much better than I initially expected. The name conjured images of jungle savages or Mayans playing at human sacrifice, a concept which didn’t really interest me, but what I found instead was a truly frightening experience based around some primal terrors.

Because the haunt doesn’t promise any one theme – insane asylum, hospital, prison, etc. – it has the freedom to include a wide variety of locations, but this wasn’t taken to an extreme. While not every room resembled an ancient crypt or catacomb, the overall theme was more consistent and unified than it is in some haunts with an explicitly stated locale. Expect lots of cramped, tight, claustrophobic spaces, most of which you will need to navigate in the dark. There’s something especially satisfying about being placed in a room filled with obstacles with only the voices of the actors to guide you towards the exit and basically being given permission to force your way through to the end any way you can. It offsets the scariness of being in a claustrophobic space with the freedom to stomp your way through like a toddler destroying a city of blocks.

Moving walls were a common appearance in the haunt but the variety of ways in which they were used kept the whole thing fresh. Walking down any given corridor there’s a chance of being crushed by a falling wall, a spiky falling ceiling, or being slammed against the opposite wall, and just about the time you think that gimmick is going to get old fast, they throw a similar thing at you in a completely different way.

Interspersed with these dynamic rooms are some that are simply designed to disorient you. About halfway through the haunt is a maze that my party must have wandered around in for a good 5 minutes trying to find the way out, and the very first room uses a strobe light to blind you so badly that you have an equal chance of running face first into a wall or another member of your party. The designers were good about pacing the scares, knowing that the big payoff for a startle scare isn’t the part where the actor jumps out at you, but the anticipation leading up to it. It’s the same reason watching someone haphazardly wave a balloon around in one hand, and a pin in the other, makes you sit up and pay rapt attention. You know what’s coming but you still know it’s going to make you jump out of your skin when it happens.

The actors were fantastic at their jobs, creating a good atmosphere but also knowing when the best thing they could do was back away. I had some actors corner me and scream in my face but some of them were experts at running away, so all I could see was the movement of a shadow or a foot disappearing around a corner. For me, feeling like there’s someone there who I can’t see is infinitely more terrifying than a full on assault.

Overall, a highly enjoyable haunt experience that I’d definitely recommend to anyone who’s not sure what theme they’re interested in, and just wants a wide variety of spooky experiences. First time haunt goers might also find this intriguing, again due to the wide variety of scares available; a perfect haunt for anyone who wants a little taste of everything.

Pros: Many scares with variations on a theme, well designed set areas, good interspersing of claustrophobia and open space

Cons: Actors were willing to let you wander in circles too long without gentle nudges in the right direction, timing on some moving walls could lead to actual injuries

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Justeen Walters

Alex Kratz

Primitive Fear was a good haunt that to me, suffers from a few hiccups, but not enough to detract from enjoying it.

There is one thing that Primitive Fear did very well and I would love to see more of. Beyond just sound and sight, there was a much more visceral tact to this haunt. Narrow corridors and a feeling of being trapped between something bad behind you and something worse ahead of you can make for a much more unnerving experience. Looking at a room and saying to yourself, “How do I get out of here?” is scary!

A lot of that daunting sense really came from some inspired set design. A pitch black room is nothing new to the world of haunted houses and to see Primitive Fear twist that idea into something better was a treat. A room full of thick fog and white lights still gives the sense of blindness, but when a monster from beyond practically materializes in front of you, it just throws the scare level way up. This is the same sense of making things not what they appear that really set the mood for Primitive Fear. When the walls come alive right in front you, threatening to take away your only escape is just amazing. While there were some truly amazing rooms and halls, the transitions sometimes felt a little awkward. A part where you have to squeeze through giant airbags on the walls felt really out of place in what is supposed to be a crypt or tomb theme. This is the type of prop that would need some dressing up to really give it reason to be there.

The acting was overall, good, but the actors inside seemed rather uninspired at times. There were several moments where they would jump out of a corner for the surprise scare but that was all. This isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, but those were just memorable moments for me. It wasn’t all mundane, however. I recall a narrow hallway with a strobe light. As you go through, what appears to be a prop body is laying on the ground. It gave me quite a shock when the “mannequin” suddenly reached out to grab my ankle! The actress was playing it perfectly there. The witches that cackle and try to confuse you as you go through a dark maze were doing a really good job as well. The costumes were probably the weakest part of the acting for me. A lot of it was just old torn up clothes and some face makeup. Given the crypt theme, it would’ve been great to see some skeletons, old bodies that died grave robbing hundreds of years ago.

Primitive Fear is still a really good haunt. Despite the somewhat forgettable acting and a couple odd set pieces, it was a fun haunt that had some truly unique ideas. This is a must see for anyone who likes haunted Houses

Pros: Unique set usage, visceral feel

Cons: Mediocre acting, needs more cohesion

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Marlena Baker

Primative Fear is a look at the darker depths. The haunt started strong, disorienting the visitor and putting them in the right mindset for the rest of the trip. Even when I was unsure of where I was supposed to be or what I was supposed to be seeing, that feeling was present. It tied the whole experience together. Light, sound, and layout all lent themselves to that mindset. I did find the lack of cohesion beyond that disappointing, as I see so much potential with what they have.

Props were pretty good overall. The settings were a little sparse, but not boring. They were, however, very realistic. I really felt like I was underground. Darkness was used effectively with smoke and dim lights to reinforce that feeling. The effects they used were amazing and well timed. At one point I thought I was going to be crushed. It was even better when the actors worked with the effects. It’s too bad that wasn’t very common because it was very effective. Strobe lights weren’t a common occurrence in this haunt, and that only added to their effectiveness. The entire experience was very well thought out, which leads to a better experience overall, not just room to room.

The acting fluctuated between great, just okay, and most commonly good. I wasn’t disappointed overall, but it didn’t really go above and beyond with the characters. They were pretty standard haunted house characters. One room almost makes me want to eat those words it was so good. It really didn’t feel like I was with actors at all. However, it was still only one room.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the scare. I have my few complaints but it was a well done haunted house. If you’re looking for somewhere you can get lost in, this is the haunt for you. The great atmosphere and detailed settings will draw you right in, then send you right back out screaming again.

Pros : Great effects, props, layout

Cons: no story, characters, too much smoke in some areas

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