Flesh Factory: Outbreak is a laboratory that has been experimenting on all manner of things from the way it appears and one, some, or all of those experiments have gone wrong. Terribly wrong. The guy at the door, sores and contusions on his face with a heavy metal chain around his neck gave me the impression that he may have been one of those experiments gone wrong. Just a hunch. He didn’t say much, just wanted to know if we were ready. Maybe they fried his brain in there.
I was with two other critics and the staff put 4 more people with us and into the laboratory we all went. We were told as we were going in to pay attention to the video that was going to play and I tried, I really did. The audio was way too low to be heard and it didn’t help that the people sent in with our group were horsing around and being loud. It looked like some old found footage or a video communication from someone on another planet, fuzzy and grainy,which looked fantastic, but what it was about, I couldn’t say.
Once inside the lab I was very impressed with how well the theme had come together and the attention to detail that was there. Because of the realism if the sets, they alone created a sense of fear and dread that began a slow creep up my spine. Normally, the science fiction theme is lost on me in a haunt because it’s just not my bag. This lab however was well timed, as was its accident; its eerie resemblance to recent news stories really brought it home in a bad way that made me very nervous.
As I weaved my way through the haunt in the dim emergency lighting, I noticed different scenes of chaos and was sure some horrid beast was waiting around the next corner for me. Much to my dismay, it happened infrequently. Actors were few and far between and the ones I did see had very little or nothing but a grunt for dialogue and this was a letdown because sets looked so great. Here I was, surrounded by fantastic sets, and some great dialogue would have tied the whole package together quite nicely and increased scores considerably. So, while it was a scary theme and concept, the scare level didn’t get very high for me because the most critical elements were few. Strong actors should always be a haunts number one priority. Everything else comes after. Panicked lab workers, infected by the mishap, running for the showers, jumping into one of the numerous Tyvek suits hung everywhere and merely running for their lives would go a long way in improving scare and acting scores. I was expecting chaos and it appeared I arrived too late and everyone had gone home; this is a very easy fix and could very well be remedied now, it may have been an off night.
The sets were excellent and there was only couple of elements missing: smells and sounds. A couple of rotten potatoes where the dog and cat are in the mangled cage and the realism level just went through the roof. The sound of incessant alarms going off in the distance coupled with a prerecorded voice telling staff to suit up and repeating: “THIS IS NOT A DRILL” would make this extremely scary!! The details are there, and appropriate for each area; just fine tune a couple things, add some intense actors and you have an excellent haunt that deserves to be seen!
Pros: Sets, details
Cons: Not enough actors, needs more dialogue, smells missing from sets
Science is at it again, screwing up the world as we know it and making it impossible to live a quiet, happy life. A bizarre series of experiments at a laboratory have created an outbreak of zombies. Or… maybe it was an accident, or maybe it was intentional, or maybe it was a tax evasion scheme. I really can’t say for sure because the opening video was so quiet that I couldn’t make out a word the scientist on it was saying. It looked like some real effort went into making it, and it was probably meant to set the scene, so I was disappointed to say the least that the actor’s speech sounded, basically, like one of Charlie Brown’s teachers. Wah wah wah wah wah wah.
Once inside, however, I had pretty good feelings about the place. The science lab theme lasts much further into the experience than it did previously, and those pieces that wouldn’t really seem to fit are brought into the fold through branding and labeling that really makes sense. For example, I found a bloody bath tub at one point behind a curtain. Why would that be there? A sign on the wall held the answer – Hydrotherapy.
That might not seem like enough to explain something that wouldn’t typically feel like it was in the right context, but it is. At some level no matter how scared any of us gets in a haunt, we know that nothing in there is real. We know it’s ghost stories and shadow puppets; I don’t think anyone is gullible enough to believe that they paid a few bucks and were granted access to a real science lab overrun by the undead instead of sealed off by a HazMat crew (especially not at an amusement park). That sensation, in haunts as well in movies, tv, and books, is called the willing suspension of disbelief, and it doesn’t always need to be off the charts in order to work. Sometimes, in a case like this, a little push is all it needs.
I really appreciated the sets and design that went into the place, but I found the acting to be somewhat lacking, because even though the people we saw had good energy and weren’t afraid to get into our personal bubble, there wasn’t enough for them to do besides grunt and moan to hold our interest. There are some good jump scares but they just aren’t the kind to really instill terror in us. I think the biggest thing is that this feels like a tour of ground zero of the zombie outbreak after the zombies have all but fled and started munching on grandmas in retirement homes. I didn’t feel like my life was in danger and the biggest adversary in a zombie apocalypse is the sheer number of walking dead, not how scary any individual is. Making the facility feel more populated by monsters would go a long way towards ramping up the scare factor, and adding some dialogue, even if it’s just a scientist or a janitor caught up in the tragedy.
Pros: Simple branding efforts make the entire experience feel cohesive, laboratory setting is believable
Cons: Actors could use some dialogue, can’t hear the introductory video, feels more like the aftermath of a disaster than it does a frightening experience.
Review coming soon!
Standing in line, I face a doorway that leads to a laboratory where experiments are taken place. The scientist who spoke to us sent us in to watch a short film about the haunt. With my eyes focused on the screen, out pops the scientist from a great scare spot and startled me pretty good. Great job!
The rest of the haunt was cool. It stuck with the theme pretty well as for each room contained all kinds of equipment Iike barrels, personal records, lab tools, etc and the entry ways to certain doors mentioned each sector I was in. They payed close attention to detail which I like. Shows they mean business.
The actors throughout the haunt seemed a little lost with dialouge and persistence when it came to scares, but they were loaded with energy, and used all their props to their best advantage. The sets had some great detail and the lighting through most areas lit up the rooms perfectly. I enjoy the falling barrel effect because it definitely makes me think quick on my feet to move and not pay attention to who or what I might run in to.
Flesh Factory is the night of feasting for all the strange experiments living amongst the haunt. Here they wait with all their fun toys and gags to use on the crowd and entertain til the nights end. The haunt is average in length but may take longer depending on how high the fear level is. Don’t fret though because at Elitches, there’s all kinds of entertainment to enjoy, from exhilarating coaster rides to 3 different haunt attractions. The night is never ending when you purchase a ticket to see the Flesh Factory and make sure to clean your glasses when you walk through because the park itself is set up like a small haunt, with roaming zombies, creepy store fronts and grave yards all around. A perfect night to enjoy with the family or with a date. 🙂 What an enjoyable sight to experience!
Pros: special fx, energetic actors, props
Cons: dialouge, length, some dark areas
Flesh Factory is a narrative haunt. There’s a bit of story to it. The haunt is a laboratory, but something has gone horribly wrong. It’s not really established what that was, though. Some back story at the front can go a long way. There was a movie to watch in the first room, but the actor moved us along before we could see much.
The sets are all themed as various sections of the lab. There were a few rooms where I felt like the theme was weaker than others, but they had a logo that they used throughout to mark each room. It helped a lot to keep things together. Then there were rooms that fit the theme perfectly, like the robotics lab. Little details helped a lot in those rooms. I particularly liked the robotics lab, the security office, and the lobby. Little details like twisted motivational posters and the hazmat help sell the idea that this lab wasn’t on the up-and-up. The bodies might have been a clue as well. They were even weighted. I also have to mention their live cut wires effect. It was really well done. The only issue I had with the setting was the dubstep music. It didn’t really fit the haunt. I like the idea of using some deep base to simulate the building’s structure failing, but the music didn’t work for me. I’d suggest switching it out for some more sound effects.
The actors were the weak point of the illusion. First of all, there weren’t very many of them. Room after room there wasn’t anyone there. What actors we did see often lacked intensity and their dialogue didn’t fit with the theme that well. I suggest making sure that all the actors have scripts and that they fit the room they are in. There isn’t much else to say.
Other than the issues with actors, this is a good haunt. I really love the sets that they’ve built. The theme is just what I want, science gone wrong. I’d just love to see better execution.
Pros: fantastic theme, good sets, attention to details
Cons: sparse actors, dialogue didn’t match theme
Flesh Factory is one of three attractions located in Elitch Gardens’ Fright Fest. This haunt is a more detailed, brighter theme but still in a creepy way. There is so much detail throughout the entire haunt you truly believe you are in the theme and part of an outbreak.
This haunt was not particularly scary but I jumped multiple times from actors and special effects. I think adding more actors and actor intensity would add to the scare easily. I did love how special effects and environment was a part of why you were scared. The theme of an outbreak (of which kind I will not disclose) is scary alone in itself. An outbreak is a realistic theme and it makes the haunt scarier because it is more immersive into reality. My biggest scare was in one of the first rooms when your attention is being drawn into an animatronic and an actor comes out at you.
Acting wasn’t my favorite because there was few and a lack of interaction. The actors that were interacting and present were pretty good. They were able to provide scares, some interactions and an addition to the theme. My favorite actor was the one in the very beginning who sends you away into the haunt because he gave the most interaction which was part of his job, but his makeup and demeanor set the mood for what we entered into.
Detail in this haunt is magnificent. There is so much from an opening video to hanging props with realistic gore. The opening video sets the theme of the haunt, my only wish is that you could hear the words being said. All the props followed the theme and built on each other. There are the infamous air blasts catching your breath as you walk by, hanging props that you truly believed were a part of the outbreak. MY favorite was lit up props that moved slightly and were part of a bio-hazard outbreak. Yes, I am a nursing nerd who thinks that is the best prop ever. I would love to see a little more lighting in some rooms providing more ability to see the details and fall deeper into the story line.
The length of this haunt could have been slightly longer but it was still an excellent length. I think the length just came from lack of actors so there was an expectation that something would happen. The current length provided a consistent theme and details so I am very happy.
Overall I truly thought this theme was realistic, consistent and detailed. I loved the use of detailed props, the scares I did receive and the change in environment.
Pros- detail, theme, actors
Cons- few actors, some rooms too dark, a little short
|2000 Elitch Circle
|Fridays & Saturdays October 3rd – November 2nd6pm – 10pmSundays October 3rd – November 2nd6pm – 9pm|
|FLESH FACTORY: OUTBREAK: Explore the hidden chambers of a science lab turned deadly. It has been overrun by zombies with an insatiable hunger for flesh. But don’t worry, the zombies are safely behind bars in this science lab turned “human zoo”. You’re perfectly safe… as long as the cages stay securely locked.|