The Nut House 2012

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall
Ryan47385.5
Vicki45565
Jason68666.5
Alex55575.5
Marlena46354.5
Corey88787.75
Peyton78677
Overall5.436.715.006.715.96

Ryan Acker

Morbid Nights haunted house has taken a step in a wrong direction. Many haunted houses have suffered the same exact fate of moving into a bigger location without having any sufficient props fill it in with. As always, they have a great theme but they just can’t pull it off. The theme this year was serial killers all under one roof. One major problem with this is that being the youngest one on the team, I don’t know who all these killers are and what they did. I saw the name of each but I still couldn’t compare if an actor was doing a good job portraying this mass murderer and if the set was as well.

The only satisfactory aspect about this haunt was their actors. Some of them actually did a great job and others were terrible. We caught up to the group in front of us and some actors were totally unprepared for us and went out of character. “Oh, just go ahead.” doesn’t strike terror into my soul. Others on the other hand really got into their characters and made up for an insufficient scene.

Sets were the downfall of this. All the writing (The serial killers, emergency exits, and this way signs) was written in the same handwriting with the same paint all the way through. The rooms and the hallways were filled with black or white plastic. The layout was confusing to navigate as you had to guess which doors to push to continue onto the haunt and not the behind the scenes hallways. Our group had stayed in the first room waiting for one of the actresses to point us in the right direction as there was no visible exit, but we eventually decided to push and pull on the walls to get out. The only scene I truly enjoyed was walking through the hall of mirrors. Mirrors in a haunt make me nervous ever since Bloody Mary became popular.

So yes, I really hate to dish out such criticism to a haunt but there is nothing else to say. Last year they improved 1000%, this year they decreased 1200%.

Pros: Some great actors, mirror hallway

Cons: Some bad actors, bad sets and layout

Bill Bevis

Victoria Maez

I like the theme of this haunt. The back story involves a bunch of serial killers, and this is where they live. It’s a great idea, but it wasn’t quite delivered as well as I had hoped. To start, the intro where the back story is being told needs to be played upon more, really getting the customers attention. I feel like it was just briefly mentioned, and by someone who isn’t in any sort of character. Acting throughout was overall weak. A number of times, the actors were caught off guard by our group walking through, and broke character, actually apologized that they weren’t ready. Would a serial killer apologize for not being ready? I don’t think so. They dropped the ambiance of what they were trying to create, and I honestly started to lose interest in what was going on around me.

Walking through this haunt, it looks like it was poorly put together. They used a bunch of white sheets, which in and of themselves aren’t bad, but it came across as being unfinished, or not knowing what else to use as a wall, or a filler, so a white sheet was used. Blood shows up well on white sheets, so they had that going for them. There definitely needs to be more attention to detail. Going through this haunt, you can see the music boxes, and actors chairs. It just makes everything seem less believable and elementary level.

Because the acting and props weren’t great, the scare factor was lacking to say the least. I honestly felt bored many times. The length wasn’t bad, but I’m glad it wasn’t much longer. In this kind of space, they really need to focus on quality more than quantity. They would be much better off condensing or putting forth more of an effort on everything else than expanding.

Pros: Good theme and idea.

Cons: Execution needs attention.

Jason Peterson

The name speaks for itself. You can hear screaming and shouting outside the mall location. We are greeted here by the owner who explains his inner workings on the nut house. He tells us a chilling story of all the murderous killers he’s gathered under this one roof, along with all their murderous ways.

We start our journey into a room lined with mattresses and a few loony’s bouncing about. Then we are off to visit a stream of scenes where every wall was marked with each killers name and stats. Elizabeth Bathory was really great. Cool looking set and convincing dialogue. The acting in this haunt is very loud and intense. Some of the scenes were very well choreographed. I can recall a woman getting shot in the head and another who was sticking everything and everybody with her syringe. She was awesome! I can recall one actor trying so intensely to frighten me that he accidently dropped an F bomb. He quickly apologized, I laughed and said it was ok, he was in the moment.

I liked the direction this haunt went with, however it just seemed a tad unfinished. I felt that the set designs and transitional areas between sets lacked detail. I think it was way too bright and I could always see actors, so the element of surprise kind of got lost for me. Costuming was adequate. I did see a lot of plain clothed actors, and that is ok considering the theme, however I felt it lacked creativity, especially when the set lacked enough detail to immerse me.

This haunt has energy for sure and the owner is very passionate about haunting. I am sold on the theme but would like to see more detail in its presentation. Being a reality based haunted house, it takes away from the dark mystique of Halloween and attempts selling more of a reality based horror show. I believe stronger set design, costuming, and dialogue in this haunt would have helped identify the characters more. Again I like the theme and if you’re going for a reality style haunt with in your face tactics, then this is the haunt for you.

Pros: cool theme, intense actors

Cons: lacked detail, actors were very repetitive

Alex Gallegos

The Nut House is an interesting idea that, unfortunately, doesn’t quite take off the way one might expect it to. According to the introduction we’re about to be thrown into the “natural habitat” of a huge band of serial killers and murderers. Why we’re being forced into this place is beyond my guess anyway, as you’d think it would be surrounded by a barbed wire fence made of electric eels or something, but what the hell, OK. We’re told this isn’t an asylum, it isn’t a prison, and it’s not a sanitarium. It’s just a gathering of the absolute worst people in history, the ones who have made nothing but evil and discord their whole lives, who are completely irredeemable and whose only purpose in being alive on this Earth is to contribute to the greater suffering of humanity. For some reason that I can’t understand, Rebecca Black is not included.

The set design leaves a lot to be desired unfortunately, as most of the time you’ll find yourself in a stark sea of white plywood walls separated by white sheets or white plastic. Additionally, every single bit of signage in the entire place is hand painted in a variety of weird colors, but it doesn’t really carry the theme all that well. Every room has the serial killer’s name when you enter, presumably so you have at least a chance to figure out who this could possibly be, but they’re clearly not done by the people who created the Nut House and trapped these killers inside, so where did they come from? Am I supposed to believe that each nut job took the time to painstakingly trace out their names and active years of murderitude just for my benefit?

Ultimately the real letdown is that the concept isn’t fully played out. For all the intro spiel about this not being any sort of institution, everyone is pretty well separated into their own rooms and keeping to themselves as you pass through from one killer’s room to the next to the next. If these people really were all living together I have to think it wouldn’t work out that way. What would have really been interesting would be to see how these personalities play off each other. What might happen when Ed Gein and Jeffrey Dahmer sit down to dinner in the Nut House, for example? Would they end up getting in a fight, with Ed saying the face would make a lovely mask, and Jeff insisting that it should be roasted and served with garlic sauce instead? Would the Son of Sam try to get his neighbors demonic dog to team up with Charles Manson in order to bring the terror of Helter Skelter to dog parks everywhere? Or would Lizzie Borden just go insane (well, more insane) and just start picking everyone off while they slept? There’s an opportunity for a dynamic here that we don’t get to see played out and it’s kind of a shame. If all you’re looking for is a museum of serial killers then this will be fine but don’t expect to be either especially terrified or especially informed by the end.

Pros: A full menagerie of serial killers on display, fascinating concept, good use of sound and noise to create tension

Cons: More like “The Museum of Terrible Serial Killers” than it is an actual House of Nuts. Set design never really comes together. Unless you know who these people are intimately you’re unlikely to be creeped out by their acting.

Marlena Baker

The Nut House is Morbid Night’s haunt this year. It’s an extension of their serial killer theme from last year. They’ve moved into a larger space and added more rooms based on real life serial killers. Unfortunately, they weren’t ready for such a large space so soon.

The sets were pretty much nonexistent. There was a table in one room, a bed in another. One had a couch and a couple of chairs. They were bloodied and had a few props around them, but it wasn’t enough. The walls were just white with some red splatters and handprints. One room had some mirrors. That was it. There were a lot of hallways that were just blank. Some of their effects, what little they had, weren’t well done either. The mechanics weren’t well hidden. They made their theme more obvious this year, putting the names, birthdates, and details of their death, imprisonment, or escape on the walls. It isn’t enough. Such information needs to be backed up with scenes that match that killer. Having one element related to the killer is not enough. It’s really too bad because last year they had much richer sets.

The acting helped some. The actors were generally energetic; they just needed some better lines. Some of them said things that were related to their killer, but didn’t really make sense when talking to a victim. I found when we took too long to get through a room they tended to just repeat the same line over and over again. Some more coaching would have helped a lot. There were a lot of actors. Most of the serial killers also had a victim or two, which was a nice touch.

It was a disappointing experience overall. I enjoyed their haunt last year and I was hoping they’d improve on it. They traded quality for quantity, though. The few good elements they had were overshadowed completely by the haunt’s shortcomings. There’s great enthusiasm, but they need to focus on growth with quality, instead of just ‘bigger is better’.

Pros: Good concept, enthusiastic actors

Cons: Lack of sets, needs better lines, needs to be finished

Corey Dunham

The Nut House is an interesting haunt with a great theme and very good ideas. The theme is pretty much a nut house filled with every famous murderer you can imagine. From Lizzie Borden to Ted Bundy they are all here and going insane continuing to murder and terrorize society. The acting here is very intense and loud, the set design is disgusting, and the idea is amazing.

As I entered The Nut House it was extremely loud and actors were going crazy, I guess it gets that way if you put too many murderers in one place! Inside the haunt all of the actors were in their spots and going for the scare. Every scene I entered contained another mad inmate of The Nut House doing their thing and putting on a great show. All of the actors knew the part they played well and even had a little history worked into their act. This group is very insane and intense watch out!

The set design used here was very gory and bloody. In almost every room there is lots of blood splattered from all of the murders that have happened here. I liked the idea of blood everywhere it went with the theme well. But I feel the haunt used a little too much and went blood-crazy. My opinion is ramp down the blood and do something else to make the haunt not feel repetitive. That would totally give the haunt a better variety. Overall, I did like the set and it was done well.

All in all, The Nut House is a good haunt with a killer idea that is very gory. The acting is awesome and has amazing intensity; all of the killers are believable. Also, the set design is good with lots of blood and sets a good tone as you walk through. I recommend this haunt to those who are interested in meeting the most famous killers of our time and having a blast.

Pros: Very good theme, great acting, good use of props

Cons: Use less blood there is too much, use of black plastic and plain cloth as cover

Peyton Lucero

The Nut House is not a haunted house about sci-fi, creatures, or fantasy, it is about the reality of our everyday monsters that walk among us in the world; these monsters are all serial killers or murderers of all kinds.

Entering the building, I’m immediately drawn by the mixture of screams, shouts, and cries within the haunt. Right away, I knew they were serious about it being a nut house. As I wait in line, I’m given a little bit of background history by the owner. I am told that the haunt grew bigger within the last year and that it is now a two story façade. The walls were brick as if it were real building walls. He explains to us that every murderer, serial killer, and every other monster were gathered up and placed in The Nut House to live forever as the men they made themselves to be. It was then time to enter this chaotic loony bin of psychos and to see for myself why they call it The Nut House.

Upon entering the first room, I’m surrounded by mattresses and 3-4 crazy people strapped in straight jackets, bouncing around from wall to wall like maniacs. Leaving that room, I enter Elizabeth Bathory’s territory. I liked the blood bath and Elizabeth was letting me know she was very hungry for my blood and that she needs to stay looking young. Her dialogue was just awesome, along with her character. She knew how to work with her set, props, and character and made the scene come alive. She was very believable and did a fantastic job on her dialogue and staying in character. Turning a corner, I’m surprised with two actors, a killer and a victim. I see the victim struggling and fighting back, but before she can get away, he shoots her right in the head with a pistol handgun. Boom, she hits the floor and lights out for her. That was pretty cool. I saw a nurse with a struggling patient who was screaming for help. She was walking around with syringes and sticking the patients to put them out. She was in a room that was covered with needles hanging in the air and all sorts of different medicine and potion concoction’s.

Through my journeys in this haunt, I came across some interesting looking sets, decent props, and loud, energized actors. There are a few things that could use a little help. When walking through the haunt, I felt as if some of the hallways were a bit empty or missing something. This is a nut house, so every room and hallway should have the feeling that at any moment there will be a crazed serial killer or axe murderer sprinting towards you for his next kill. I thought the sets were pretty cool with the names of each killer and their birth written on the walls, some such as Son of Sam, Ed Gein, Elizabeth Bathory, John Gacy, and hundreds of more killers you could possibly think of! The actors within these sets were full of energy and insanity but their dialogue seemed a little lost. Some of the rooms I entered had some pretty intense killers and the actor was on time on their scare, but their dialogue was not very frightening or threatening. Once actors work on their dialogue and make it go with the room, your sets will be more amplified from all the dirty dialogue. This haunt has the potential to be a real reality nightmare, just a couple of tweaks and your haunt will be rockin! Keep up the good work and don’t be afraid to bring it!

Pros: actors were full of energy, the theme was cool, liked the idea of it being a reality style haunt

Cons: actors seemed to repeat the same dialogue, could use some detail within some hallways, wish the length was longer

THE NUT HOUSE
ADDRESS:
1703 Greeley Mall, Suite 5Greeley, CO 80631

PRICE:
  • $15.00
  • $23.00 VIC (Very Important Corpse)
  • $5.00 Kids Maze
DATES/HOURS:
September 29 – October 31Wednesday – Saturday: 8pm – 12am

NOTES:
None
PREVIEW:
None

  • Adam P

    First time reading these as the Owner, i must say I am depressed, to hear such negativity. I hope we do not let you down this year. So far over 100 patrons, and not one had left without screaming or crying, simply because of our detail and new ideas. I really hope you all see how we spent more than 3 months and $10,000+ dollars on our 2013 haunt just to improve as Ryan Acker said 1200% In the right direction this year and not the opposite.We have thought of being like all the other haunts and just never changing our theme, or our sets but that gets boring over time and no one wants to come back. Last season was a bummer for us, we did go to big for our pocket books spending $20,000 more on just renting the space and building the sets than we should have. For 2013 we steeped down this year and we hope because it is a 14 room smaller event you don’t post negative comments about that. These are 12 very detailed, very thought out rooms we spend more than 3 months designing and 3+ months building. We are unlike most haunts, we are 100% volunteer, and all work 2 to 3 jobs just to produce this event each year. So we cant wait to invite you in to the 2013 MorbidNights Colorado Presents: The “Mute Manor” to experience the terrifying story of 2006 Killer from Greeley Doctor Jeniks.

  • Hey Adam! I’m so sorry I didn’t reply to this sooner, but this is the first time I’ve seen it. Settings on site had notifications going elsewhere which I have now fixed. Anyway, I went back and read the reviews and the thing that bothers me most about them is that there is no solution offered for things the critics felt needed improvement on with a couple of exceptions. I’ve always told my team that if they feel something could be improved upon, then describe HOW, don’t just criticize. I do see that there are many, many elements of the haunt last year that the team really enjoyed and not all of the reviews were negative, however, constructive critique was not offered here and that disappoints me. That’s not how we operate. Don’t worry about the number of rooms you have this year, I’ve been to haunts that were stellar and they only had 6 rooms…length is not as big of an issue as quality. I’m excited to be back reviewing again this year and I can’t wait to see what you and your crew have cooked up for everyone!!