Curse of Slaughterhouse Gulch 2013

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall
Kris999109.25
Alex1099109.5
Marlena88777.5
Crystal88988.25
Jason78967.5
Peyton881078.25
Eric910958.25
Overall8.438.578.867.578.36

Kris Kropelnicki

Review coming soon!

Alex Gallegos

As a reviewer of haunted houses (and a nerd in general, really) it’s pretty easy for me to get snobbish about where my scares come from. It’s easy to forget that the average person still has a sense of fear that hasn’t turned into a dried up husk by this point in their lives, and that most people still aren’t used to seeing cobweb infested houses and hanging syringes and dismembered corpses peering out of walls. Most importantly, the reaction of most people, upon seeing a lumbering, slathering zombie with infected pustules on its face and blood seeping from its jaws normally isn’t, “Oh, cool! Can I touch it?”

The general reaction for us is not to be scared by a lot of things (or at least not to own up to it to one another), and it’s easy to forget that not everyone feels that way. Most people come to a haunted house to get scared anyway, not to… not be. So like I said, we often enough get bogged down in this “can’t scare me for nothin’ ” attitude. “Oh, another meal of human heads?” We might say in our best Boston Blueblood accents. “Isn’t that a bit pedestrian Alex?”

“Oh, rather, Kris. Indubitably so.”

The point of all this rambling diatribe is to say that while Curse of Slaughterhouse Gulch didn’t do a lot for me, personally, I can certainly see how it might do something for you, dear reader, provided you still possess a sense of fright and aren’t dead.

The Curse of Slaughterhouse Gulch is a haunt where all the creepies, crawlies, ghoulies, and… bhoulies (I WANTED IT TO RHYME OKAY?!) from your favorite horror series are all gathered together ready to pass you through a realm of terror the likes of which you have never seen before.

While it’s not thematically consistent with anything at all because no one room takes place in the same movie universe as any other room, that does at least lend itself to the sense of disorientation because the first few seconds after you pass through every door is spent trying to figure out just where you are now based on the first few visual cues you can see at the time.

I don’t know all of the movies that were portrayed so I can’t say for certain whether all the actors or sets were accurate representations. The ones that I did know – a few of which are Friday the 13th’s Jason, Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street, Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs, and the titular Alien – were all well done in terms of set design and acting.

There were of course a few minor faults. Freddy Krueger’s lines needed a bit of work, and I noticed that the girl in Saw‘s bathroom searching for a key wasn’t actually shackled to anything, meaning the only thing that kept her from leaving was a fear of going outside barefoot, I suppose. And of course I have to give credit to the ending, which utilized the opposite of misdirection (I guess I have to call it hyper-direction instead) to make me peer closely at the space where a scary loud thing was about to pop out at me.

If you’re only going to see one haunt this year, you could certainly do worse than going to Slaughterhouse Gulch. It really comes down to a question of what you want out of your haunt-going experience, and the re-creation of horror classics in real life certainly isn’t a bad idea, it just lacks a bit of originality. If you’re in a nostalgic mood and want to revisit some of your old childhood traumas then this could definitely be the place for you. On the other hand if you’re wanting to see something new and disturbing that you’ve never seen before, give it a miss.

PROS: A good re-creation of classic, genre-defining films, get to see a wide variety of ideas in a small space

CONS: A translation of someone else’s ideas, not their own new ones, some of the actors were missing some tiny thing that detracted from their believability.

Oh, additionally, there’s a trailer outside with a bonus attraction. It’s billed as the longest vortex tunnel in the world, and here’s my review:

Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeegch!

I kid, of course, I didn’t actually get sick, but I was dizzy enough that I crashed into the walls on the way out and need a quiet little moment to myself before I was ready to drive away. It was awesome! I love vortex tunnels, and this was just like… more vortex tunnel. YAAY!

Be sure to go while you’re there. It’s fun, it’s free, it’ll take all of thirty seconds, so don’t skip it! It’s fun!

Marlena Baker

The Curse of Slaughterhouse Gulch in one word would be dark. The dark can be a powerful tool in a haunt. It can be useful to build atmosphere and mystery. Darkness can disorient and give actors a great chance for scares. I do think that this haunt was a bit too dark overall.

Some areas were better lit and this doesn’t apply to them, but there was a significant portion that was overly dark. Sets and costumes alike were hidden from view. It made the first part of the haunt seen very sparse. There weren’t all that many actors thereto take advantage of said darkness. The sets improved as we moved further into the haunt. It also got brighter. Scenes from The Ring, Saw, and Silence of the Lambs greeted us, among others. There were some areas that had cheap props. They weren’t necessarily to fill space, either. I saw one ‘bloody’ plastic children’s shovel in with some farm tools. I wouldn’t have missed it if it hadn’t been there.

The actors were better the further we went. It seemed like the ones at the start had less direction. The ones based on movies had more to work with. It would be nice to see the rest of the actors have some more definition. I did like the intensity of the actors in the rooms based on movies. Given so much to work with, they really went all out with it. That was fun to watch. Other than a few hiccups, it all worked very well. They engaged with us a lot more too. They had things to say to us beyond the old stand bys.
Curse of Slaughterhouse Gulch doesn’t have a great start, but it does pick up as the haunt progresses. The lighting, the sets, and the acting all improved as we moved through the rooms. Bringing that same intensity through the rest of the experience would help a lot.

Pros: Plays on popular horror movies, a few good actors

Cons: better lighting, pull intensity from movie scenes into beginning

Jason Peterson

Haunted houses themed after movies! That’s a tough act to follow. Yet the Slaughter house and its inhabitants did a pretty good job of taking out of reality and making me feel as though I had stepped into a film.

This haunt had a good mixture of both old school and new. Jason has a pretty impressive set to taunt and attack you from. One of my favorites made an appearance in this haunted movie meltdown, Aliens! No actual alien actors but there was a really cool Alien set piece and set walls. Freddy was on his game, and all over our group with all kinds of crazy diolgue. Whats a party without Hannibal! And let me tell you he was all riled up and ready for a meal. This haunt had a great deal of the old classics and a few of the new monsters.

The overall feel of this haunt is very dark and the set work is very good in most areas and the acting was convincing enough. I would have enjoyed a little more interaction from a few of these movie villans but I was pretty satisfied overall. I feel that the one real drawback from this movie style slasher haunt was the length. I.do enjoy the first set with the animated skeleton,but that alone ate up 1:30 of our experience.. Having only spent 10 minutes with our favorite movie monsters left me wanting more.

Pros – Cool sets,Decent acting

Cons- Way to short

Peyton Lucero

Standing out in the chilling cold, we get our wrist bands marked by this guy whos head seemed to be bashed in or scalped off wearing some creepy looking contacts. He led us into the warmth where we stood and listened to an animatronic skeleton who told us the rules of the haunt. The skeleton was very cool and I liked how both his body and eyes moved. It made it seem that he was giving us eye contact. Neat effect. Once he was finished with his gig, the secret door opens, and unfortunately it opened up right on me. Good thing I moved in time so it wouldn’t squish me completely. Knowing that this haunt is based on horror movies, I was very excited to see what I was in for. We began the horrific travels of the Curse of the Slaughterhouse Gulch.

We walked in the first set and right away I was surrounded by darkness with dim lighting and a woodsy, cabin like home. There was Jason Vorhees in a flash and then he was gone. I thought he was gone for good but then he popped out behind an unexpected spot. I thought that was a very good startle and I’d have to say that was probably the first Jason to really sound and look threatening. Continuing, I’m immersed in sets with full on detail! There was a lot to look at, from run down cabins, bloody and bashed bathrooms, and a creepy looking jail cell, to dark jungles,  hot and rusty boiler rooms, and haunted mine tunnels! This haunt really did its homework on horror movies because I’d say they knocked each and every room out of the park! Even the actors had great costumes and masks on or the make up to fit the theme and character of the room. The actors and their dialogue were great! Each character’s dialogue rolled with the flow, making it seem like you were actually in a part of that movie scene. Although the masks and make up were great, some of the actors seemed a little shy to do their scare. Whether they were supposed to talk or not because of who their killer was, some were just not that believable or threatening. For the actors, don’t be afraid to fully get into character! I’m sure many of you have seen the old horror movies and know exactly how terrifying and monstrous the killers can be. Put yourself in that position and just fully become that killer. Have the thought placed in your head that you are going to hurt or kill anything and everything that comes in your path. Definitely don’t be afraid to make loud noises! If you have a prop, weapon, or device of any kind on hand, use it to your full advantage. Remember, the louder and tenser sounds you make the more scared and uncomfortable people get when going through a haunt. Other than that, I thought the actors interacted very well with the scenes and with us.

This haunt was a very fun, entertaining, horrific, and thrilling experience. It was filled with your favorite horror, Halloween characters and most of them definitely sounded or acted like the real thing. One of my favorite characters was Freddy Krueger. He was placed of course in the boiler set, with the costume looking great and his make up looking very realistic, including his claw hand. I have to say his acting finished it off to perfection. His dialogue was just down right raunchy and dirty and he definitely got in your comfort zone! Even better, he didn’t stop his role until we left the room completely. He continued to follow us and even informed the next room of our arrival. I liked how he played with more than one set. Good multitasking. I have to also say I loved the alien room! The design in there was awesome and the animatronic worked out to its full advantage! This is a fantastic haunted house filled with tons of sets, props, animatronics, and awesome actors. All of you horror hound fanatics and classic oldies horror movie lovers will definitely enjoy The Curse of Slaughterhouse Gulch!

 Pros- great acting, detailed sets, good diglouge

Cons- not enough lighting, a little too much camo netting, missing a couple actors

Crystal Gallagher

The premise of this haunt seemed to be different rooms dedicated to lots of well known horror movies. Unfortunately, I’m not a big horror movie buff, so a lot of the references were lost on me, and the theme wasn’t one of my personal favorites. It doesn’t take much creativity to string together a bunch of movie references. However, for all of that, I can see how it would appeal to a lot of people and the references I did recognize were pretty well done. I enjoyed encountering Hannibal Lecter and being reminded to bring a nice Chianti with his fava beans. I enjoyed a couple of other references, but in the interest of not spoiling, I’m not going to go into more details. One scene in particular rather bothered me though, and that was one with a girl who was supposedly chained in place. She was loudly rattling chains and pleading for help escaping, and her chains were quite conspicuously attached to nothing at all. Her acting was great, loud, convincing, but she very much could have gotten up and walked away, and the illusion was broken by this.

As far as actors in general go, this haunt had one I didn’t like and several I did. The Freddy here was every bit as obnoxious as the real Freddy, and I didn’t like him. He’s the reason why my actor score isn’t higher. However, Hannibal was great, as already mentioned. He made the right breathing noises and his setup was great. The creepy crawly floor girl here was, well, creepy and crawly, twitchy and spidery. I rather enjoyed encountering her as well.

The set design was really well done. There was detail where it was needed, and dark areas to keep one from seeing where things would come from, and create a nice ambiance. I could not see where the roaming actors were going to come from, because the same dark curtains were used to transition between rooms and for actors to move around inconspicuously. This did create a bit of uncertainty on where to go at some points but there were always actors there to redirect if we started to go the wrong way, so I felt like the uncertainty worked well for the feel of the haunt. There was one room which rather confused me – a blank bathroom area with a fuzzy tv screen. I still have no idea what was supposed to be going on there, but that might just be my lack of movie knowledge.

Overall, it was a pretty enjoyable experience despite the missed references.

Pros: Nice set design, Cohesive theme
Cons: Felt like it needed more horror movie knowledge than I had

Eric Guetterman

Slaughterhouse Gulch, from the same sick minds of the team behind the adjacent 13th Door, deliver another great, entertaining, yet completely different spine shattering haunt experience.  This haunt was similar to 13th Door only in the excellence of the product but not in it’s theme, look or feel.  This haunt follows a movie theme with a variety of recognizable characters and themes.  A haunt of this style only succeeds if it makes you feel like you are in the movie, confronting a killer you know all too well through the graphic brutality and storytelling possible only in film.

This haunt mostly succeeds in transporting your head quickly into a recognizable story and location as you suddenly find yourself directly in front of a madman or creature you have seen brutally attack and kill before with bloody images of his victims brought rushing back into your consciousness.  The actors have the same experienced timing and intensity as the excellent actors in 13th Door.  The scene of one killer, chained, shackled and imprisoned filled me with dread as soon as I recognized him.  The set, the costuming, and even the physical resemblance of the actor replicated the scene so well that my mind was instantly and vividly brought  into his world – his steely yet absent gaze was all it took to almost feel the clutch of his overwhelming craving for fave beans and my liver.  Then, with an unexpected rage that instantly snapped him back to reality, he launched a ferocious attacked as I ran leaving my friends to hopefully slow him down as they suffered their painful death allowing my escape!

While this theme is far from my favorite, so many scenes, actors and gags scared me that the combined effect of the experience, like that of 13th Door, burrowed into my head and took a little bit to shake off when I broke free from the curse and made it back to reality.  An excellent bonus to this fine attraction and 13th Door is the included cripplingly disorienting attraction contained in a trailer in their parking lot.  They offer an effect all haunt fans have seen and enjoyed many times before but stretch it into mind melting punishment that I have never experienced or enjoyed so much!

ADDRESS:
3184 S. Parker Rd.Aurora, CO. 80014
PRICE:
  • $25 VIP Combo good only on preview weekend September 27-28, 2013
  • $20 (Save $1 with canned food donation)
  • $25 Combo with 13th Door and The Black Hole 45ft spinning tunnel ride
  • $35 VIP for both haunts; $10 VIP upgrade
DATES/HOURS:
Preview Weekend September 27th & 28th 7pm-MidnightRegular Season October 4th – November 2ndSun-Thurs. 7-10pm    Friday & Saturday 7pm-Midnight
NOTES:
www.slaughterhousegulch.com
PREVIEW:
None