Haunted Mansion 2014

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Kris | Alex | Jason | Peyton | Marlena | Kennedy | Regina

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall
Kris1010101010
Alex1010101010
Jason66866.5
Peyton781088.25
Marlena10109109.75
Kennedy67887.25
Regina78988
Overall8.008.439.148.578.54

Kris Kropelnicki

Haunted Mansion, shall I count the ways I love thee? I can’t. I shouldn’t have offered; my apologies. There are far too many things on my list of love about this haunt to count. Now, my fellow critics and I may disagree but this haunt is hands down one of the best haunts one could hope to see. Before anyone gets out the white jacket to quickly slip me into, let me explain why. This is not your average, gore/zombie/dismemberment style haunt and it’s fantastic that it’s not! We have plenty of those haunts here and while I enjoy them greatly, there is something grand to be said about the old school method of haunting and it doesn’t get said nearly enough. I hope to close that gap a bit here.

The scares here aren’t your average scares seen in most haunts, although they do rely on a couple of jump scares, the scares come in different forms from most and some people may not even recognize that they were just scared because there is so much fun happening at the same time. Many believe that one needs to be terrified and running for their life in order to classify something as a scare. I completely disagree and wish that folks would realize that scares come in all packages and that getting startled, when you least expect it like here, is far better than a startle I’m half expecting. There’s something very special about that kind of scare, its innocence and nostalgia a welcome treat from the typical bloodbath.

As I walked through the animated sets in this haunt I caught myself feeling anxious and nervous but buzzing with a child like sense of adventure that had me investigating from one room to the next with glee. I became so absorbed in the sets that I forgot, for a moment, that there were scares hidden within these walls. As I said, there’s nothing like being wrapped up in something fun and then getting startled. The scare and jump that happen in a scenario like that are to me, far better than scares that have you fearing for your life because so many emotions get involved.

Although there were only a few actors when our group came through, the ones that were there did a fantastic job because they were doing double and triple duty and they did it well. Really well. I especially enjoyed the headhunter with his shrunken head on a staff. He was so entertaining, yet creepy that I never tired of seeing him and we engaged in some really fun banter that I am still enjoying.

Sets…oh the sets here are so richly detailed and full of wonder and amazement that I could wander through these mansion walls forever and continuously find something I had missed before. The sets are dense, very dense in places and there is creativity here that one can only find in a haunt that really loves what they’re doing and isn’t in it for the fame, glory or guts. They clearly display their love at every turn and the scenes are very colorful and animated combining the best of old school with modernisms that flow together fluidly to make a truly memorable experience.

Clever holograms, intuitive design and animatronics of days past combine to create a journey filled with wonder and amazement. Tikis talk, skeletons dance, doors come alive and seemingly lifeless statues come to life in the least expected ways to delight and intrigue.

The length here is ideal and surprising that so much haunt can happen in a building that also houses a costume and prop store. Because the details are so rich it makes it seem as though it goes on and on, but not in a negative way. How could so much fun ever get negative?

Pros: Sets; props; creativity

Cons: Only a few actors; It doesn’t last forever

 

 

Alex Gallegos

Haunted Mansion seems to be the haunt that can do no wrong… year after year we come to see it, and every time we’re blown away by the level of detail. Haunts in Colorado and especially Denver seem to mainly believe that “gore is more”, and consistently deliver us experiences that are awash in the blood of the innocent. Haunted Mansion is an entirely different animal to the rest, offering us a different take on the whole haunted house vibe, and because of that, they can get away with some things that some of the others can’t. We know what they’re offering us from the beginning – a classic and fanciful journey like something out of our collective childhoods. The whole place feels nostalgic and magical, and considering the setting is the middle of the Reinke Bros. Magic Shop, that’s highly appropriate.

The really pleasant surprise, for me, was that things were still scary despite the lack of terror. I got a couple of really good startle scares throughout, and that’s not a common occurrence for me. We had some actors pop out of amazing hiding places, and they did a great job of getting my heart pumping.

Haunted Mansion is a haunt that understands showmanship, and it’s evident in the detail work. Take it nice and slow when you walk through, because if you don’t, you will surely miss something. The fact that nothing here is designed to terrify you and turn you into a quivering mass of jelly means that you’re free to go through slowly and enjoy everything that’s on display, without a masked madman waving a machete around the place trying to hurry you along. The special effect on display are really incredible to behold. I took my time going through and I guarantee that I didn’t even see them all… there’s stuff above you, below you, to the left and to the right, and some of it only moves some of the time. Pay attention to sounds as well… they’ll help guide you to where the really great scares are located.

The actors did a fantastic job, though I had the sense that the haunt might have been a little short-staffed the night we reviewed. Actors covered several rooms in sequence and while it’s standard practice for haunt actors to have parts in several scenes, we saw several people who were clearly not outfitted for the room they were in later in the haunt. The haunted mansion has several rooms, all with varying themes, from prisons to jungles to shipwrecks to space, and I’m sure I saw the same prisoner in at least two rooms besides the prison where we first encountered her. I liked this aspect, actually… it made me feel pursued by the same frightful characters that had been after me from the beginning of the experience onwards, in addition to giving the subtle impression that the integrity of the mansion is breaking down, with the characters from one area bleeding through into the next. However, the voodoo priests were absolutely everywhere warning of “Bad Voodoo for you!” and it got a bit overwhelming. Bad Voodoo in the meat locker, Bad Voodoo in the laundry, Bad Voodoo in the kitchens and in space and at the site of the shipwreck, Bad Voodoo in the hospital… you get the idea.

These are minor complaints, though. The actors are a fantastic and integral part of the success of the Haunted Mansion, with their fantastic intensity and their extremely intricate and detailed costumes, and the fact that we saw the same folks more than we might have otherwise isn’t enough to detract from the experience. If the actors are the icing on the cake, then the complaints I can muster are the huge decoration made out of icing up on one of the corners… you know the ones, like the big flower that everybody takes pictures off, but scrape off of the cake before they actually eat it.

Pros: Amazing set details, very subtle scares and effects, a fun experience

Cons: Actor density was low, actor re-utilization was high and could be easily noticed

Jason Peterson

Review coming soon!

Peyton Lucero

I always get so antsy and excited when I go to the Reinke Bros. to visit the Haunted Mansion. It always seems to amaze me when so much work can be put together in such a small location.

In this store / haunted house, a mass plethora of props, animatronics, masks, monsters, and more surround me with delight. It excites me knowing that the inside of the haunt I’m about to go through will take me into complete awe even more, just like the store did when I walked in. This place would definitely be a haunters dream come true! Fantastic visuals when I’m waiting in line, along with some fun, oldies music to keep me in the mood of this old school, classic haunt. The facade of the mansion was gorgeous and really had that life like look to it. What topped it off, was the giant creature standing outside the mansion and showing us his mighty rawr! This animation is always a joy to watch in action.

Walking into the set, there was a little old lady’s corpse sitting at a desk, who then began to speak to us & inform us about the rules. One little thing that I thought was off though, was the fact that we were looking at a female corpse moving her lips while a male voice was speaking. I can understand, that because the voice over was already made, the haunt would like to use it as much as possible, but it is a little distracting (to me anyways) when voice overs are not matched with gender. I noticed there was a female actor in this haunt, so maybe it could help if you were to record her voice and match to the female corpse. Change it up a bit, especially because most haunts always have male voice overs.

The hidden door finally opened, which is where we continued our journey through the Mansion. My mind was absolutely amazed when I stepped foot inside the mansion! The sets, props, and animatronics were all put together and placed wonderfully. There was so much to look at that I definitely needed another pair of eyes to observe everything, or to at least go back through again so I could see certain features that I missed. So many rooms full with detail, head to toe, that it was actually hard to pick an all time favorite! If anything, my favorite touch about this haunt was the fact that there was a complete handful of changes made throughout, which kept my mind interested because of all the new scares I would encounter. I loved the fact that it wasn’t just the average mansion with furniture and old, dying things. Instead it had a nice change of environment, from deserts with hanging men and ships sailing away to oriental sushi nights and talking Tiki heads chatting in my ears.

The 2 to 3 actors that were present throughout this haunt did an amazing job at keeping up with speed and time! Not only did they stay in character, but they managed to pull off every role and keep consistent with scaring me and my group, or at least keeping us entertained. The costuming and make up was decent and worked nicely with the rooms and actors.

For as little actors that they had, both of them worked so well together that it was almost hard to tell the actual amount in actors the haunt really had. This is a great group of workers, and it is very well distinguished because I see everyone working and bouncing off each other like a charm.

I thought a lot of the animatronics were used wisely and were timed perfectly with the flow, as well as the props and special fx. If there were anything wrong with this haunt, I’d say all it really needed were a few more actors to fill the rooms and balance out the animatronics. It would also help with the flow of the haunt when it’s a packed house. It won’t tire out the actors so quickly. But like I said, it was almost too hard to tell the actual amount anyways. Besides that, everything was placed where it should have been and actors were right on que with the scare.

Great detail, sets, layout, and everything else that was put into this haunt. The Haunted Mansion is definitely a world of eye candy and will have you “ooing” and “awing”at every turn. It is also a wonderful place to take the family to. Kids would absolutely love it and adults would be turned into kids and never want to leave!

Pros: new sets, detail work, acting

Cons: few actors, it ended

Marlena Baker

This is a haunt unlike any other. Haunted Mansion is not the place for blood, guts, or screaming bloody murder. It is, however, one of the most entertaining places I’ve been all year. What I got at Haunted Mansion is a whole lot of old school creepiness. The vibe that I got walking through this haunt was unlike anything else.

The sets are the foundation. Every room is different, from the dusty, cluttered study to the tiki room to the pirate ship. Every doorway is a promise of something new and interesting. I loved the room of doors. It was eerie and quiet except for a few jostling doors. It’s the kind of room where I know there’s going to be a jump scare but it could come from anywhere. Then there were the rooms that were more aimed at entertaining. The dancing skeletons is always a favorite, I could have stayed in there for hours.

The acting was sparse by most standards, but it was really well used. The actors were full of energy. What was really stunning was how well they built up good characters. They were each a distinct character and when they’d pop up again and again they each maintained their character and kept up the banter with us really well. The scenes they built had some fantastic hiding spots. The actors were disappearing and reappearing all over the place.

Then there were the effects. They had so many cool effects and they used them so very well. There were lots of animatronics, but not just the usual monsters popping out at you. The statues in the tiki room were talking to us, a bat swooped down on us and so much more. I loved the use of projections and holograms to make talking heads and ghosts as we wandered through the haunt. The voice acting for the various effects was just as well done as the rest of it. They really polished every detail.

There’s just too much going on in Haunted Mansion to even scratch the surface, and of course I want to leave the surprises for you to find when you go. This is a great haunt with tons to see. It’s not the scariest place but it’s definitely the most entertaining.

Pros: Superb effects, crazy detailed sets, so much good stuff

Cons: I got nothin’

Kennedy Horstmeyer

Haunted Mansion is a more entertaining haunt and I loved it. I have never seen a haunt that was in a store and more of a prop haunt. To me this haunt was different with strong visuals of props in use.

I had several jumps from this haunt but nothing major. The actors hid well to come out and make guests jump at the right moments throughout. There were a limited number of actors which took away from availability to give more scares. To me the scariest part was walking through a darker themed room and not until the end did an actor appear and from behind me.The few actors were strong and did a good job switching in between rooms. The costuming of the actors was unique and also adapted to go throughout the haunt.

For me the haunt was eye candy from the animatronics to inanimate props. The sets were what really got me into this haunt. There was unexpected wall movement, unique play on sheets and movement. Most of the scenes there had very realistic details and props. To truly understand the detail and effects you have to see it yourself or, I tell you everything, which is not going to happen. Some of my favorite were dancing animatronics and a large prop that you do not expect to see in a haunted house. One of my favorite rooms is a mirror room with strobes that give a very eerie, deceptive view of those in the group.

To me the length was perfect. You weren’t walking in and back out overwhelmed by the amount of sets thrown out you or there wasn’t a point where you began to become bored and wonder when it would ever end. A little more length could be added but only to allow a closer look at the current sets not adding more. The change in floors and direction slowed you through the haunt allowing more views of what surrounded you.

There are a few improvements that could be made such as more actors, and a little more scare. The amount of actors can highly depend on the night, and timing. The limited amount did not have a huge effect on the haunt itself. A little more scare goes with the amount of actors and the type of haunt. Honestly it isn’t a haunt designed to be super scary or wild with actors and it is still very good.

Pros- acting, props, length

Cons- amount of actors, not very scary, amount of dialogue

 

 

Regina Kropelnicki

Down in Littleton, you will find Haunted Mansion. Haunted Mansion is inside of a costume/Halloween store which is awesome in and of itself. Be sure to check it out before or after visiting the haunt.

Inside of the haunt, you will find a very fun, creepy and entertaining set. They use a lot of animatronics and some other neat effects throughout, so slow down and pay attention to it all. I really enjoyed the vortex tunnel. This has always been a favorite part of mine at Haunted Mansion.

While I was in there, I only saw two actors who popped up in numerous parts of the haunt and did excellent! There is a very persistent caveman who insists you have his bones or his lucky foot and will keep finding you throughout the haunt. There’s also a lovely contorted girl who doesn’t have anything to say, but will still give you the creeps. There really was no interaction with me and either of the actors, but it worked in this haunt! They did a great job and stayed in character and for it only being the two of them, I still got plenty of startles! The caveman’s timing was excellent and he jumped out at all of the right times when I least expected him.

The clown room could probably benefit from an actor somewhere in there since many people have a fear of clowns, but it was still good. I loved all of the different clown props throughout the hallway. I really got a kick out of the “Western” room. Before even walking in and seeing anything, I could hear the music and knew instantly it would be entertaining, I loved it! The room with the dancing skeletons absolutely cracked me up, I loved it so much! I should have stayed in there longer, I could have stood there for awhile watching them.

Overall, I really enjoyed and had fun in this haunt. It’s not the most terrifying haunt you will see, but it is definitely entertaining and you can see the hard work that went into it and can tell they are passionate about their work.

 

ADDRESS:
5663 S. Prince St
Littleton, CO
PRICE:
  • $15 – $1 off with a canned food donation
  • See website for additional discounts
  • $7 Kids Lights on tour
DATES/HOURS:
September 26th – November 2ndMonday – Thursday  6-10pmSaturday  3pm-MidnightSunday 3pm-10pm

Kids Lights on tours: Saturday & Sunday  September 27-November 2nd   10am-1pm

NOTES:
Haunted Mansion
PREVIEW:
The Haunted Mansion, Denver’s oldest haunted house attraction is a must see for any haunted house fan!