Frightmare 2012

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall

Ryan Acker

Have you ever wondered what it’s like wandering through a dark forest, through corn stalks, caves, mines, and old western towns all the while seeing a house straight out of a horror movie in the distance? Yes, you say? Then go to Frightmare. They have it all! I still don’t comprehend the queue line and its castle theme, and why they don’t cover their residential house with some of their amazing talent of theirs but once I’m inside it all goes away.

One of my favorite aspects of Frightmare is their caves. I like wandering through dark, small, and damp areas all the while seeing skulls resting in the rock and moss. It makes me happy. Things that did not satisfy me quite so much were seeing dead spots. After walking through a stunning exorcism scene, walking out and looking to my right to see nothing but wood and dirt kills my scare. A demon would’ve fit in their nicely, something would’ve been better than nothing at all. Also, emerging from mines into a plywood hallway smothered with black paint and random chains equals no bueno! (Black makeup doesn’t work either)

Those two small things are the only things I can think of to criticize. Everything else is spectacular as always. The house is particularly my favorite part of the haunt. I encountered a cockroach infested man at the bottom of the stairs; I didn’t want to go up. After seeing that who would? I’m glad I did though. Crawling through the ventilation system into many different rooms, including my favorite, the shock room, is only perfected at Frightmare!

My favorite acting came within the second act of Frightmare, House of Darkness. It’s quite the sensory change going from a residential house to a fun house. Dense fog filled the entire clown infested warehouse. The sets were not up to the level of Frightmare, but I believe the acting made up for it. With these two haunts combined, it was the longest attraction I had gone through yet this season. This is a great one to go to!

Pros: Sets, Length, HOD Actors

Cons: Dead Spots, Random Black Hallway, and Black Makeup

Bill Bevis

Wow. This is fun. There’s LOTS going on here. The sets are amazing, the actors have good energy, are engaging and into their characters. There’s a high level of attention to detail in the sets and the action seems to be about evenly divided between outdoor meanderings, and interior scenes. The old mining equipment, trucks, creepy dead tree tunnels & forests, and dilapidated construction really made me want to linger and check things out at a closer level–but we had to keep rolling along. The characters stay with you as you move through each set, making sure you know they’re following you, and that you’re not quite safe. The transitions, and spaces between, are just as interesting as the destinations and I found myself always having something to look at and enjoy. This is a well-crafted haunt. The exit out of the kitchen through the refrigerator was a great idea, and the crazy Einstein in the electrical room on the other side had good in-character to-and-fro with one of our group. The popping electrical strobe explosions are loud and effective, and the room is literally “shocking.” Watch where you place your hands! Back outside, there’s sink holes, and a zombie infested grave yard. Characters there are either manic with their energy, or stand silently, swaying ever so slightly side-to-side. Some of the effects, however, are seen only by the first person in a group to enter a set. There needs to be better coordination to allow everybody to enter a room before the effect is triggered. Seems like a couple of great effects were lost on me, ‘cause I was at the tail end of our group. I don’t like “hearing” about cool stuff after the fact. The bug room was AWESOME!

Pros: Actors’ energy. Set detail. Great inside/outside action.

Cons: Lost effects due to too-few triggers. Long wait at entry—even for VIP! Chain saw!

House of Darkness:

These guys are really clowning around. I mean it. It’s a circus from Hell, and all the actors are big and intimidating—as if creepy clowns aren’t scary enough. The actors are in good character, and the energy of one or two seems almost unsustainable. We were there fairly early in the evening, and it’s a wonder if that crazy, bat-wielding clown can keep it up over the course of a night. They seem to appear out of nowhere and are in-your-face, as they should be. The mirrored hallway was disorienting, in a good way. The ending was a little abrupt. One ducks down to waddle through a stretch of corrugated sewer tunnel, and then “pop,” you’re out in the night, and the haunt’s over. There’s not a lot of special effects and animatronics which actually works pretty well. The reliance is more on character development, and is a gutsier approach, I think. But, really—how can you go wrong with clowns? There’s not a lot of set development either, and is more a maze of hallways and corridors with not many clear “destinations.” That didn’t bother me though, which really speaks to the overall theme, actors, activity, and energy of the experience.

Pros: Creepy clowns. Actor intensive. Oppressive corridors.

Cons: Short length. Actor intensive. Not much set detail.

Victoria Maez

When I think of what a haunted house should entail, Frightmare delivers, and well. It’s a classic. It encompasses all of the major factors a haunt should have, in some ways more than others, but I’m ok with that. It’s tough to beat Frightmares set design. It’s mostly outside with a few building detours. They take the customer through old mine shafts with running water, through stalks of corn, and old run down shacks that you would imagine finding in a scary dream. And they have the old farm/mining equipment to back it up. It’s believable as far as a nightmare come to life can get. At the end they take you through a bizarre clown “fun” house, that’s not so fun, but that’s what they were going for. They really take peoples phobias, and make then come to life. So while this nightmare doesn’t truly flow in one full thought out theme, it doesn’t have to. Nightmares don’t always follow one fluid theme either.

As far as the intensity of the scares, they were pretty good, but not excellent. There were some dead spots that could have used some more pizzazz, and a little more character building with some of the actors, maybe even having them interact more with their audience to create more of that uneasy feeling that the set creates in and of itself. I need to give a shout out to the cock roach man though…you are a brave soul! The insane clowns had a very nice performance too. With the main haunt and the fun house, the length was great. It wasn’t rushed, definitely wasn’t too short. Overall, I had a great time in this haunt.

Pros:Classic set. Very believable.

Cons: Intensity of scares and acting.

Jason Peterson

Love the location for this haunt, kind of hidden down a long country road feel, and that adds to the spookiness of our evening before we get started. We are greeted by the owner and ushered to the entrance and that’s where the fun begins. Above the entrance of this attraction stands a menacing giant, ready to smash and gobble up all who dare enter this frightful event. Upon entering this over the top façade we meet our greeter and master of ceremonies, so to speak. He was very creepy and his overall makeup was excellent. After he angrily sends us on our way we encounter some of the most amazing set work the industry has to offer.

The cave scenes in this haunt are jaw dropping and the scares are very well timed and it’s hard to see them coming. Mine shafts, bridges, ponds, all flow from one scene to the next, with plenty of props and actors popping up consistently. A few of my favorite scenes left very memorable and long lasting impressions. I do love originality and this haunt oozes with it. Dead Einstein (that’s what I named him) did something that few actors have. He entertained all senses. He was interactive and humorous and to top it off, he startled the shit outta me and he pissed me off with a side of belittlement. This haunt has actors who stay on you and let you know they’re not done with you and won’t let up. A majority of these actors had really great scenes with great dialogue; dialogue in a few spots could use some work. I did receive a few “get out of my rooms” but this was very easy to look beyond as you move from one Hollywood style set to the next, like the cockroach scene. This set will make your skin crawl. I tried to coax the actor to go to the next level and eat one of his friends. Unfortunately, he declined. That set was done so well, it really made you feel gross and creeped out. If this maze of bridges, stairs, mines, and caves wasn’t enough, just when you think you’re finished, you’re directed to another attraction within the frightmare compound.

The House of Darkness, an evil clown infused nightmare. This side show was well done with lots of obstacles, fog, strobe lights, and very angry clowns. One in particular who I feel should be locked up was out of control freaky and really funny. This was a nice addition to the other haunt and if clowns scare you, this is your clown destination.

Pros: amazing sets, good length, zombie paintball in the off season

Cons: ending could have been a little stronger, got to wait until November for zombie paintball

Alex Gallegos

Frightmare knocks it out of the park once again this year with the best use of naturally occurring set pieces we’ve ever seen. Water wheels turn under the flow of rivers, real caves need to be crawled through, and the mud and grime and rocks underfoot are not synthetic. So, you know, that’s cool. You’ll traverse a wide range of areas, through forests and cornfields and graveyards, all the while hunted by crazy deranged hillbillies, corpse brides and corpse grooms, and finally make your way into a disused farmhouse where all the women are homely, all the men are crazy, and all the children want to eat your brains.

The actors, especially the shocky guy who wanted to electrocute people in the room through the back of the refrigerator (Refrigerator Narnia? Hmmmmmmm) weren’t afraid to engage in a staring showdown with me. All throughout the season I’ve been staring actors down and refusing to flinch just to see what they do, and I’ve been pleased with a lot of the results, especially those of the Frightmare staff.

You finish with the farmhouse and enter the House of Darkness, a funhouse filled with smoke and clowns. It’s a good thing that it’s a sideshow attraction after Frightmare and not a haunt in its own right, because if you happen not to be scared of clowns (which I happen to be… er, not be) then it’s just a series of corridors with clowns in them. I will say that the clowns do a pretty good job of appearing out of nowhere and then disappearing again, which is pretty good considering all they have to work with are straight hallways and 90 degree angles, but I suppose that comes from the same skillset that lets them all pack into those tiny cars.

In light of the fact that there are two haunts, let me list 6 pros and cons instead of the customary 3. I’ll leave it to you to figure out which goes with which haunt.

Pros: Stunningly accurate and believable set design. Clowns’ noses were a believable shade of red. Amazingly well acted scenes. Clowns’ hair was believably curly. Truly unsettling experiences and encounters. Clowns face paint was believably painted.

Cons: Some scenes tended to drag on a bit. Clowns aren’t scary. It can be difficult to find your footing in some of the outdoor areas. Clowns really aren’t scary. Some sections really needed an actor. CLOWNS ARE NOT FREAKING SCARY!

Marlena Baker

Frightmare is as good as ever. There’s not really a theme, but there is an atmosphere that’s carried through the whole haunt. The various areas in the haunt flow really well together and there’s the same feeling of creepiness carried throughout. It was like the corruption of each area was the same.

The sets only fluctuated between good and amazing. The mines were great. They look great and the details like flowing water only add to the realism. There’s groves of trees and a little corn field that weren’t scary as much as creepy. They added to the atmosphere and the apprehension. The house was downright amazing. Look forward to walking through holes in the walls, ducking through appliances, and a room that will shock you a bit, if you’re not careful. There are live cockroaches, which thankfully were safely behind glass, plus one an actor was holding. They got me good with those. I thought I was going to be sick watching it crawl on the actor’s hand. They use mirror effects and shadows really well, too. There were some areas in the outdoor scenes that seemed blank to me. They weren’t being used for scenes, and didn’t have any actors. Adding some props to those areas could have helped build the tension as we headed for our next scare.

The house had the best actors. Each room had a good character in it. The guy in the electricity room was probably the best. He gave us a good dose of crazy and was willing to engage with us, without breaking character. It was both funny and disturbing. There were some great startle scares, but they really only managed to get the first person in the group. They made up for it some by having actors follow after us, dragging tools or just staring at the group, making the last person uncomfortable.

Frightmare had some of the best scares for me. Startle scares don’t usually work that well for me, but they got me good on multiple occasions. They touched on a lot of fears, from bugs to being alone in the woods with a crazy person. It’s a well put together haunt with a good scare in there for everyone. You’ve got to check this one out.

Pros: Set design, good characters in house, special effects

Cons: Space without sets, some weak acting

House of Darkness is a mini haunt that follows Frightmare. I’ll let you know right away that clowns just don’t do it for me. I suppose it’s supposed to be creepy because clowns are associated with childhood and so seeing them twisted and bloody is worse because of it. Maybe it’s just too overdone or something, but I just don’t find it scary. If you are afraid of clowns, however, this will scare you silly.

The set isn’t much of anything. They have the striped circus tent motif going on, even on the walls as you walk through the haunt. I would have liked to see some more variety. It was broken up by the occasional picture, but there were only a few places they left it completely. One was a mirror section. It was very disorienting because of the reflections, but it was easy to tell it was just a reflective material taped to the walls. It needs some more finishing to hide those rough edges. It would have been even better with real fun house mirrors.

The acting was the best part. There were some really energetic actors playing the clowns, and they helped this haunt a lot. One of them, the clown with the baseball bat got a good scare when he ran up out of the darkness at us. He managed to stop just short of us, before running back into the darkness, calling for us to play with him. It was great! The acting was consistently good throughout this haunt and it saved the day.

Overall, you’ll enjoy the acting in this haunt, but not much else. It’s not going to cost you extra, so you might as well see it. It’s just a little bonus on the end of Frightmare, which is worth it. House of Darkness won’t ruin your experience, but it doesn’t really add to it either.

Pros: Actors, good use of lighting

Cons: Repetitive, no sets to speak up, needed finishing

Corey Dunham

The Frightmare Compound, located on 108th and Old Wadsworth, was one of the best haunts I saw this season. As we pull up to this haunt it looks very eerie from the outside, fog rolling, lights flashing, very good location to have a haunt, its creepy all on its own. After you get through the line and to the front door you are greeted by a giant monster which looks amazing and he gives you the rules.

As I entered the haunt, I was overwhelmed by all of the attention to detail and amazing set design, this place is like another world. As you walk through the haunt you have to slow down and take your time to soak in all of the different things contained within their walls. I noticed many waterfalls at Frightmare which was really neat. The running water with mangled bodies underneath being drenched set an awesome tone. You could smell the water and hear it which totally adds to the scary vibe of this place. As well as all of the creepy trees everywhere, the way they are placed is perfect and makes you feel like you are in a haunted forest.

All of the different scenes and acting throughout them was very on point and intense. There were so many zombies and different creatures roaming about that it was insane. All of the actors were in character, never broke it, and used great dialogue. My favorite scene is the possessed woman having an exorcism performed on her to be rid of the demon that has taken over her body. I’m not sure how it’s done but the women literally rises up out of bed into your face and spasms out insanely while the very intense priest is screaming at her demons to be gone. This scene was done very well and is something you don’t see, totally awesome! Another great scene which was totally disgusting and done to perfection is this disgusting guy in a barn like kitchen with roaches everywhere. As you walk through you notice he holds live roaches in his hand and is playing with them. I hate bugs and found this disgusting I wanted to leave the room as soon as I entered, it really crawled under my skin!

As you come to the end of the haunt there’s even more and you come to the House of Darkness which is another littler haunt contained in The Frightmare Compound. This haunt is a clown based haunt with very hilarious clowns that did a great job. The paint and set design inside were very vibrant and looked better than many of the clown rooms I have seen. As you come to the end you are directed out through a sewer which I liked and you re-enter the real world.

Altogether, Frightmare is an amazing haunt with anything you can imagine and some you can’t. Everything in this haunt is damn near perfect and can only get better. The acting is great and will keep you jumping in fear. I highly recommend this haunt to all who enjoy them you won’t be sorry you went.

Pros: great acting, awesome vibe, amazing attention to detail

Cons: Acting could be pursued more

Peyton Lucero

Every time I’ve been to Frightmare, I’m always so excited to see what’s in store for me and so far I’m never disappointed. Each year, waiting in line was always fun and was themed differently. This year, waiting in line, were big beautiful doors with a troll type beast peeking over above them. Hearing all the noises and sounds made me even more anxious to enter this fright fest. Finally the doors open and we are greeted by a nut giving us the rules and regulations. He was very anxious for us to begin our descent as he was commanding us to go inside, asking if we’re afraid. He then sends us on our journey.

Through my travels in this haunt, I came across some amazing sets, props, designs, and more! There was so much amazement, as always, that it was simply impossible to collect and absorb it all. The ones I did happen to store in my memory were sets, props, and animations that simply blew my mind away! One thing I really loved was the outside facades and sets. Everything looked amazing and really took me into another place. The spinning water wheel looked as real as it can get. It was in spinning motion and running real water through the small buckets. The underground tunnels were awesome! They were lit perfectly and the actors did a great job. I heard lots of snarls, grunts, and many other weird noises as I made my way through. One room I really enjoyed was the exorcist room. The bedroom looked real along with the actors in it. I liked how the preacher preached until he could preach no more, while the actress was rising up in pain, screaming in horror. I also enjoyed the road kill shack. Loved all the meat and gore that was being produced and shoved in my face. There was one animation that startled me pretty good and that was the falling log placed above my head. I walked under what looked to be like fallen wood poles and before I knew it, one had the appearance of crashing down on my head. That was a great startle effect and was placed in a good spot. The roach room was disgustingly fantastic. Just knowing that I had to enter a room that had nothing but hissing bug sounds, made my body shiver. Nothing is worse than entering a room full of insects and especially ones you don’t like! I look over the counter and spot tanks filled with roaches, and even worse, they were being held and played with by the roach man. He was one crazed loon.

Seeming like it was coming to an end, we are greeted by a guy who seemed to be some kind of circus instructor. He was leading us to the doors of the House of Darkness. He was very entertaining and played his role like a champ. Entering the house was pretty dark, but had an evil twist of black lights, insane loony clowns, and rooms and hallways that played mind tricks on your brain. The clowns in this haunt were definitely not your average day clown. These guys seemed like they had just been pumped with energy juice and were told to create chaos, and chaos creating they did! There was one clown in there that, I believe, was the nuttiest of all. He was glowing neon yellow, bouncing his way down the hall, and came to a complete stop in front of us. Not allowing us to move, he starts banging himself from side to side on the walls with this hilarious lunatic laugh. This was the most intense clown I’ve come across and he had me laughing my butt off! He was full of energy and pulled off a crazy psycho clown perfectly. Job well done guys!

My experience at this haunt was simply fantastic! I enjoyed everything from Frightmare’s outstanding facades to the House of Darkness’s intense and energetic clowns. Everyone brought their A game and knocked it out of the park. If anything, there were very few actors that either were intense, but their dialogue wasn’t all that threatening, or they had trouble coming up with dialogue, so instead they did nothing. Get immersed in the scene and feel your character. Don’t be afraid to let the words roll out and be sick and disgusting. That is what people look for and that’s what makes you and your character believable. Other than that, this haunt was a success, yet again! Outstanding sets, props, animations, actors, and everything else! This haunted house never disappoints and really takes you on a journey to a different place. If you’re looking for an awesome time with intensity and entertainment, then Frightmare is the place to be!

Pros: beautiful sets and facades, good length, energized actors

Cons: wish second haunt was longer, some acting dialogue

108th & Old Wadsworth
Broomfield, CO 80021
    • $22.00 with House of Darkness
  • $32.00 VIP with House of Darkness/li>
Open Every Night in October!
Opening night – Thursday Sept. 27th!
Sun thru Thurs – 7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.
Fri & Sat – 7:00 P.M. to Midnight
Have you ever felt that unexplained cold chill run down your spine? You think someone is watching you, but you turn around and no one is there. Or is there?
Since the death of Frightmare’s original creator, the Halloween attraction has been plagued by unexplained, supernatural occurrences. Paranormal teams have declared the grounds of Frightmare haunted — literally. But even in its condemned state, we welcome you back to experience the terror. The dead are on the move, lurking around every corner. Encounter flesh-starved zombies and blood-sucking creatures in the cornfields and swamplands. Travel through the authentic, haunted barn to experience both the supernatural and the unexplained.