While the Curse of Slaughterhouse Gulch isn’t a new haunt in the Metro area, they are the only haunt that has a full crew of your favorite horror movie characters on board to terrorize and scare you half to death.
As I entered the haunt I received instructions from an eerily charming, bony old soul and sent on my way into the dark. Now normally, I wouldn’t be bothered in the least by horror movie characters in a haunt because I don’t scare easily and horror movies in general do not scare me, but this is different. Very different. There is something about coming face to face with them in the dark that changes all the rules.
Stepping into the darkness, waiting for my eyes to adjust, I immediately felt overwhelmed by the darkness that wrapped itself around me and began squeezing the air from my lungs. The ominous vibe in the air was palpable and I felt as though I had just walked into my worst nightmare.
Scares were frequent, coming from well hidden actors, some in plain sight, yet cloaked in darkness making them impossible to see ahead of time. Other scares came from the sets themselves, but regardless of the source, there were plenty of scares happening around every corner. I also really enjoyed the fact that suspense was allowed to build in certain areas which gave my mind the ability to run away with itself instead of relying wholly on in your face startle scares.
Acting was excellent and the actors all gave 150% using lines from movies and their own made up jargon to provide some bone chilling scares. The dialogue used by actors was fantastic and much improved from previous seasons which turned the volume up on scares dramatically.
A couple of the actors had very memorable dialogue and performances including Freddy Krueger who was in need of a set of lungs; he wasn’t fussy about whose lungs he would take, he just needed a pair. Through his gravelly, sinister voice he informed me that he liked blackened, smoke filled lungs and the way he looked at me as his words hissed out from between slightly clenched teeth made my skin crawl. Robert Englund could stand to take a few lessons.
Hannibal Lecter was incredible as well and he interacted perfectly with me as we discussed how delightful my internal organs would be with a nice Chianti. He stopped me dead in my tracks as I was walking away with: “Senator!!” As I turned to look back at him he said in the most evil of ways, “Love your suit”. His delivery was spot on and tickled and terrified me; I was deeply torn between running for my life or hugging him.
Sets were beautiful, if one can use that term when describing a haunted house. I was taken aback by the perfect balance of darkness and set design; costuming and makeup. Everything flowed well together and one element complimented another nicely.
There were a couple of areas like the boiler room, that weren’t quite up to their full potential but the fixes are minute and few. Add an extra prop, tweak the lighting and voila! Absolute perfection! It’s seems trivial to even mention but because everything else is so seamless, they did catch my eye.
Lighting overall was used very well here and strategically aimed to really bring a scene to life. The lighting was focused a bit too well in a scene where an actor in a hospital gown was placed and showed how his particular predicament was achieved. This scene is very good and quite disturbing; I actually felt my stomach turn over. Light this from underneath to conceal the rigging and you will have scene perfection!
Walls were textured perfectly; each one matching the scene and the asylum section was masterful and transported me to a place nightmares are made. Michael Myers was in his element and his scene was a nice fit for him not only because of details, but the narrow space made him seem twenty times larger than I, which really freaked me out.
Although I wish it had been a tad bit longer, (Because I really was enjoying it!), this haunt’s length was great! The space was used well throughout which added not only length, but depth which changed the overall feel for the better.
This is a great haunt that will elicit screams from the bravest of souls and horror movie fans will definitely appreciate all of the details here. This is a haunt that should be on everyone’s list of haunts to see this year. Although it is not gory this could definitely be too intense for younger kids and people who scare easily; find them something a bit tamer.
Pros: Excellent acting; Great sets; Costuming and makeup well done
Cons: A couple areas need a minor adjustment; Entrance could use a facade themed to haunt, (movie theater ticket window perhaps?); Ending could use some punch
Entering into Curse of Slaughterhouse Gulch is like entering into a museum of killers and murderers from movies and TV shows of the past several decades. The haunt offers a chance to go toe to toe with Freddie, Jason, Hannibal Lecter, Michael Moore, as well as a host of zombies, coal miners, and condemned prisoners. For every generic character like “crazy miner”, though, there are two or three famous baddies from popular culture inserted to tie in to your deep-seated childhood fears.
The effectiveness of this haunt comes from the fear borne of the violation of one of the sacred rules of horror movies – that the monsters are on the screen, that they can’t reach out and touch you, and that if things get too scary, you can switch the set off and go do something else. Here, there is no such option. If you’re too scared, tough. The serial killers who never seem to die as long as merchandising rights and sequels continue to rake in the money are just going to keep on coming, regardless of your actions with a remote control.
Now, unfortunately, the converse can also be true – if you’ve never had the pleasure of watching a Nightmare on Elm Street movie, then you’re not as liable to get scared when you enter that particular room of the haunt. Without knowing the history of the character in question, the best they can hope to scare you with is a guy in a weird striped sweater with an odd fixation for knife-based gloves. These images may be frightening on their own, but they’re not terrifying unless you know the character behind them.
I believe it’s for this reason that there are also some more generic scares, like zombies and electrocuted prisoners begging for mercy – to be sure there’s something scary for the people who just crawled out from under a rock and haven’t seen any of this.
The other point with an event like this, is that the costumes and acting have to be spot-on. Normally we on the review team like people to improvise and engage, but in this case, when the haunt is trying to replicate classic horror experiences, something different is called for – authenticity and accuracy. There has to be a reasonable suspension of disbelief that the character breathing and walking around in front of us is the one we loved to hide under the couch to get away from as a child. In this area, the haunt excels, and I appreciated the attention to detail that went into the whole production.
Since each room carries a different theme, I won’t spoil the full list of everyone and everything that awaits you when you enter, but I will say that some of my favorites were represented, as well as a few that I’ve never seen before, but probably will based on the little snippets I saw in this haunt, which serves as a win/win for the haunt and the production company.
Pros: Classic monsters and villains from well-loved horror movies, unique actors, authentic costumes
Cons: Doesn’t have a unifying theme, if you aren’t scared of some of the characters represented then you’ll find some rooms uninspiring
Yes, I know Michael Moore is that documentary film maker! I was just making sure you were paying attention!
Review coming soon!
The Curse of Slaughterhouse Gulch is a haunted house filled with your childhood nightmares, from serial killers & psychopaths, to creatures of the night lurking through the woods. It’s nice because there are 2 haunts all wrapped up in one location.
Entering this haunt is such a joy. There’s so much scenery to look at, and because there’s so much, it gives the actors an awesome opportunity to pull off fantastic scares. Everywhere I turned, there was an actor doing their role. Although some of the dialogue wasn’t very strong in certain areas, and some actors/sets were repeated from years prior, the actors altogether were full of heart & enthusiasm with their roles and always did their best to pull off a perfect scare. To help get the fear into more eyes of the customers, try doing more body movements like crawling, slamming against objects (without hurting yourself); fast reactions to things like sprinting, having seizure like motions, etc… These are a few ideas that would help when the mind has run out of things to say. Doing so would definitely amp up the chaos in the room even more! Do keep in mind though that the scares in here can be pretty intense if not cautious. 🙂
The sets that are built in this haunt are fully detailed top to bottom with almost everything that can pertain in a horror movie. It’s an awesome feeling when the sets immerse me completely and take me into a different world. One set that I thought was cool was the one with a lone actor in a hospital gown. I can’t really say anything without giving it all away, so I just have to say, good job to the guys who came up with the idea and good job to the actor who hangs in there all night. 😉
The actor in the mines I thought could have used a bit more energy in the scare. In a way it almost seemed like he was afraid of us. I noticed he had a mining axe with him, definitely don’t be afraid to use it to it’s best advantage! Weapons are always a pleasure to have and gives the actor the power to make as much noise & chaos as they want. Just a thought to keep in mind. 🙂 The mine work itself is always awesome to experience! It really takes me into the scene and deep into the mine tunnel.
I kind of felt like some of the scenes were a little too dark. It’s ok to add small subtleties of light, especially because there’s so much detail. Distort the room but don’t hide it completely because it hides the beauty of the set.
Curtains are always nice to have because they can be used for multiple purposes. However, they can also become confusing to the person going through them. I did feel like there were too many curtains used to separate a set. It seemed a little hard to distinguish if I was walking into a set or an actor corridor. To help with that, it might be easier to just use one curtain as an enter/exit and place it in the middle of the hallway, instead of having two exit and enter doorways in each scene. This should help with the flow of the haunt more and not get any accidental customers running through actor corridors. 🙂
Overall, this haunted house is a decent length for the average haunt goer. It’s fun, there’s energetic music flowing through the air, along with a few screams thrown in here and there and the best part is, there’s 2 haunts in one location! Have to dress warm though, the queue line is outside, but feel free to dance your butt off to some great music to help stay warm while you wait to enter The Curse of Slanghterhouse Gulch.
Pros: sets, acting, costumes & fx
Cons: not much changed, acting, pathway a little difficult
The Curse of Slaughterhouse Gulch is a fun take on horror movies. It’s so much fun to step into all the great horror movies. I enjoyed myself a lot in this haunt.
The sets were mostly really well done. They did a good job making each space feel real. When we were in the swamp they did a great job of building up the foliage and making the space feel larger than it is. I loved the ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ room set wise, but it would have benefited from an actor. While we were distracted by the focal point, someone could have easily snuck up on us.
My favorite room was ‘The Ring’. The actress in there creeped me out. Her movements were very similar to the movie but without the benefits of editing. She rocked it! I also liked the way they weren’t falling into the trope of yelling “Get out!” all the time. When they needed to move us along, they used a soldier to hustle us along because something bad was coming. Hannibal was great. He got really into character and was able to adlib with my group as we went along. There were a lot of situations where they used the sets to set up great jump scares. Sometimes it was a well-placed nook and others they just blended in really well with the set. The most interesting was when one burst out of a door, trapping us with him in a small hallway.
The sets were great, but the transitions weren’t as interesting. There were a number of hallways that were just dark with nothing going on. Even in some of the rooms where they had put together these nice sets the light was too low for me to really appreciate them. They just need a bit more light to help all the horrific details show up. I’d love to see all the set work that they did.
All in all, Slaughterhouse Gulch was a fun experience. Walking through everyone’s favorite horror movies is something unique. The atmosphere, despite the mashup of all these movies, stays pretty consistent throughout. Despite the minor issues with lightning it’s a great scare.
Pros: fun theme, detailed sets, great actors
Cons: dead spots between sets, lighting too dim in spots
Curse of Slaughterhouse Gulch is more of a calmer and eerie haunt. There is a darkness throughout the entire haunt that increases the scare. The sets and theme are consistent but changing at the same time. There was so much to look at but so little.
I felt that this haunt could have been scarier but it did startle me and make me run a little. Around each corner I questioned what would jump out at me and when. The actors didn’t always come right out when I walked into the room but they would sometimes appear halfway through or behind me. I think to improve scare it’s just about the timing of the actors and knowing when to make a startle. For me the biggest scare was in a room with strobes, many props and one actor. The strobes made it very hard to distinguish actor versus props until the actor was right in front of me and moving.
The acting in this haunt was really good. The intensity, timing in general and hiding spots supported each act. There were several actors who truly stood out. In one room you couldn’t even notice the actor until they were right there in your face, making sounds to match the character. In another room the actors were all over, coming at you and disappearing at the same time. My favorite actors are the ones who can come from behind silently only giving a glimpse, this haunt had several who did a very good job of this.
The sets and props were strong. The darkness, strobes and movement of characters created detail. Some of my favorite sets were the various serial killer rooms which had one or two big props to give away the rooms theme. Telling the difference between actors and props was very difficult at times because of the way they were dressed and lack of movements between all in room. The darkness at times was a positive that improved the haunt and at other times it made it difficult to see the sets making it a negative.
The length was perfect. You had to slowly walk through to understand the theme and see the detail, but at some points were sped up by actors portraying their character. The length in each room allowed actors time to change up when they give a scare instead of the first person in the group always being the target.
To improve this haunt the pathway could be made clearer. In several spots there were black curtains that appeared to be the path but led to backstage. By adding a prop in front of the backstage curtain or making it appear more like a wall would clarify the path. Also some actors could improve the intensity and follow through of their character. These few improvements would strengthen the scare factor and haunt in general.
Pros- timing of actors, darkness, use of strobes to confuse between actor and prop
Cons- intensity of some actors, pathway is confusing, a little to dark
Located in Aurora, Curse of Slaughterhouse Gulch is one of two full size haunts at this location and if you purchase a combo ticket you can see both haunts here.
When I entered this haunt, I encountered a skeleton telling me the rules of the haunt as opposed to a real person, which was a fun twist.
The theme of this haunt is a mix of classic Hollywood serial killers and some newer scary characters as well. I personally love it! Having to get away from Michael Myers, how awesome is that? There was a room I entered with two zombie girls and they were amazing! One of them got really close to me and snarled in my ear. Her presence, closeness, and intensity literally gave me goosebumps, I was very impressed! Going throughout the haunt, I saw familiar faces such as Freddy and Michael. One of my favorite parts was rounding the corner to find Hannibal Lector. I was very flattered to find out I looked good enough for dinner and he was even kind enough to tell me what he planned to eat with my liver. He did an amazing job as Hannibal, stayed in character, and quoted the movies so well. Getting so close to me and whispering in my ear so creepily gave me the chills, he did so good! Although I did not get to see her come out of her well, I really enjoyed seeing the girl from “The Ring” and she played the creepy little dead girl so well.
I do not want to ruin this part for you, but if you enjoyed “Scream”, you will really enjoy one of the rooms in there. I was laughing from how fun I thought it was, but was also in suspense the whole time. There’s strobe lights going on in there too which is what makes it work so well. All I will say, is I LOVED it! The set was not as detailed as it could have been in places, but it all worked. I think the acting and the well known serial killers are what truly make this haunt great anyway! There are a lot of curtained doorways to go through and it becomes confusing; I was starting to become unsure if I was going the right way or entering an area where the actors go. Making patrons passageway curtains clearer would be good and prevent confusion.
Overall, the actors and the characters they portray make this haunt worth it! It’s fun to go see the serial killers you grew up watching and afraid of in person!
Pros-Amazing acting, great characters, “Scream” room
Cons- Set could be improved, too many curtains
|3184 S. Parker Road
|October 3rd-November 2ndSunday-Thursday 7pm-10pmFriday & Saturday 7pm-Midnight
Remember when you could sleep, knowing you were safe? Not anymore!
Jason, Mike Myers, Leatherface, Freddy and all the rest of the “monsters of mayhem” are waiting for you at Slaughterhouse Gulch. They have all been cursed to live here for eternity and are dying to have you join them.
Fear is lurking around every corner and it’s waiting for you at Slaughterhouse Gulch!!