Review coming soon!
The Haunted Mansion. Oh, I love it. You should go. Right now. Right now. Stop reading the website and go. If you must carry on, pull it up on your phone and keep reading while you drive to the haunt. Come on! It’s mobile friendly now! Get moving!
(Editor’s note: Don’t read reviews while driving. Distracted drivers kill.)
No, I don’t care if it’s closed for the night. You can wait outside!
(Editor’s note: Loitering may be illegal in your region. Hypothermia is a very real concern in Colorado. Always bundle up!)
Alright, let’s just lay all our cards on the table, shall we? Is the Haunted Mansion going to win any Gore of the Year awards (assuming that was a thing that existed and wouldn’t be a trophy that nobody would touch with a ten foot pole)? No. Will it make you vomit? No. Is there, in fact, a single thing that will happen inside that will make you want to run screaming for the hills and never look back? Probably not, unless they manage to land on one of your most primal fears in life, but if that happens it’s the sort of place where it was an accident.
The creators at Haunted Mansion started with a central idea and then built around it, and that idea is fun, more than anything else. And while there are several of us who enjoy a good adrenaline rush now and again, there’s a certain point where it’s gone too far. Most haunts try to overload every one of your five senses (and I’ve suspected a couple are trying their hand at chipping away at my 6th) to create this overwhelming fear or panic that will leave you a huddled whimpering mess covered in your own sick. There’s nothing wrong with that – we like that, in fact, or we wouldn’t go to haunts each and every year and love every minute of it, but there are times where it gets a bit oppressive, to say the least.
Then there’s this, like a ray of original sunshine in a dark and bloody world Haunted Mansion was born, and its creators said, “You know what? Being physically ill, hyperventilating, and having heart palpitations are usually a clue that you’re having a bad time, not enjoying yourself. What if we made a haunt that was fun to go through with your eyes open for a change?” And lo, it was good.
The bottom line is that this is the sort of place you could bring your children without them needing years of behavioral modification drugs or intensive therapy, and if you’re easily frightened and the idea of a slightly less intense experience appeals to you, then nobody here is going to think any less of you either.
Some might level the complaint at the haunt that it’s cheesy instead of scary, that they wait all year for this holiday devoted entirely to big scares and wetting yourself, and by God, they’re going to get it. I suppose it’s possible that’s true, and if you’re the kind of person who takes yourself a bit too seriously and you’re out to find fault with everything that’s not hardcore enough to peel the skin off your face, then you might feel that Haunted Mansion is “too tame” and “not your style”. If you really do seek something that will literally peel the skin off your face, I have the number for an excellent therapist. The best testimonial I can give you is this: of the 7 members of the 2013 review team, 3 of them were previously heavily involved with haunts and have been for over a decade each, and that makes them about the most unflappable, unflinching, jaded haunt-goers in the state, and all of them enjoyed it.
PROS: A lot of fun, great value for the money, set in an amazingly entertaining venue
CONS: I did see into the behind-the-scenes world in a couple of places, a couple effects seemed mistimed, going off after we went through the room.
Haunted Mansion is not cohesive. It isn’t gory or even all that scary overall. There’s an atmosphere none the less. It’s got a creepy nostalgia to it that is almost overwhelming. It pulls together so many different themes, there’s one for every room in a fairly long haunt. They touch on just about everything. It’s an impressive menagerie.
The sets were the main attraction. Animatronics old and new were mixed in with an impressive array of still props. The sets wandered between nicely built out sets and rooms where the props make the scenes. I particularly liked the room where a very nicely built set turned out to be animatronics. It was startling and spooky to have the walls suddenly moving. They did that well in other areas with a drop wall and some creative projection work. The rooms where the sets were mostly a lot of props felt a little crowded, but it worked out so well for the actors. I’d get distracted taking in all the detail around me and one of them would come up and startle me good. The animatronics were used well too. The bat flying over my head made me pause to make sure it didn’t fly right into my face. The projection work was top notch. They had floating heads, ghosts, and one really neat trick. They project a face onto a head form, giving it a moving face. It was really cool.
The actors did a good job. They really knew how to take advantage of the scenes they were in. On top of using our distraction against us, they would also blend in with the props and scenes to give us a scare. There were a few generic lines, but the majority of the actors were creative with their lines. There were even a few funny lines in there, throwing us off. They interacted with us well, too. There just wasn’t all that many of them. They were there to support the scenes, not the reverse. The characters weren’t all that well defined, either. While the actors were good, in the planning of the haunt they felt a bit more like an afterthought.
Haunted Mansion is an adventure. Explore everything from alien space ships to wild jungles. They have clowns, mausoleums, and caves. I know that I didn’t catch everything, as hard as I tried. It’s a very dense haunt, with plenty to see. The actors support this space really well, but they could use a bit more character building. Still, it’s a small detail when there’s so much great stuff going on.
Pros: Good effects, very fun, amazing diversity of scenes
Cons: few actors, some cheap looking props
This haunt is nestled inside the Reinke Brothers retail store in downtown Littleton. My favorite thing about this haunt is spending time looking at everything in this historical shop. The animations and props set all over the store are amazing. My group had to come find me as usual! I was way deep into the costume shop looking at steam punk props. So, a haunting we would go.
Once inside, we receive our safety and rules within a heavily detailed room. This room then changed to backlight with an animation startle in the blink of an eye! This haunt has so many details and nostalgia packed into it I couldn’t possibly see it all in one visit. It had a few pretty good actors hiding in key areas that typically helped an animation in the scare or vice versa. One great scare was delivered from the bat area. I won’t give it away because I think this young lady can slay this spot all season, but her timing was spot on and she followed through with on hell of a shriek. I loved the oriental set; that was a masterpiece. Not so much in the scare department but the set walls and props were fantastic. I liked how they used the ghost effects on the mannequin heads. The Dancing skeletons prop is always a hit. I want one of those in my living room!
Although this haunt is typically geared for children or maybe the haunted nostalgia buff in you, it actually had a few pretty good startles from well hidden actors. Their costumes were pretty good for the very brief encounters we had, so I do feel its kid and adult friendly for sure. Just be prepared let the kids sleep with the lights on.
Pros-Horror/Sci Fi store attached to the haunt! Props Galore
Cons-Not super scary, could use more actors
As we approached the Reinke Bros. haunt, we entered the building and my eyes lit up with delight. In front of me was a collision of props, animatronics, masks, monsters, and more! This place is a haunter’s dream come true. Definitely great visuals when you’re waiting in line. The facade of the mansion was gorgeous and really had that life like look to it. “Bang, bang” went the door and the Haunted Mansion tour began.
We walked into a little living room where we were trapped with no escape and no door to exit. In there we listened to a voice telling us what was going to happen. The secret door finally opened and we continued. From that point on, everything was absolutely amazing! The sets, props, and animatronics were all put together and placed wonderfully. There was so much to look at that you definitely needed another pair of eyes to look everything. There were so many things, from doll rooms, candy shops, funeral homes and more! I really liked the hoarding room. I thought all the boxes and files were a really cool touch and the hidden drop effects were definitely a surprise.
The actors that were present through this haunt did a pretty good job at keeping up with speed and time for those who were playing more than one role. The costuming and make up was decent and worked nicely with the rooms. There were very few actors who had the average “raw” or “get out…”, for most the dialogue was great. I thought a lot of the animatronics were used wisely and were timed perfectly with the flow.
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. Also, some actors could use a little work on the dialogue. To help with that, focus on the character you’re supposed to be. Become that character, get into that threatening mode and let that character take over and become a part of you. Immerse yourself with the scene and character, and there you should have no problem getting in peoples comfort zone. Besides that, everything was placed where it should have been and actors were right on cue with the scares. Great detail, sets, layout, and everything else were put into this haunt. The Haunted Mansion is definitely a world of eye candy and will have you “ooing” and “awing” at every turn.
Pros- sets, detail work, entertainment all around
Cons-few actors, some dialogue, queue line music
Going through Haunted Mansion is a lot like playing with a jack-in-the-box. It’s kooky and silly, and will make you smile until it pops open to startle you, and then you’ll jump and smile some more. I could see it being really enjoyed for its silliness and nostalgia by older people and young children, also like a jack-in-the-box or the circus. Definitely good for families, as there were some monsters, but no gore, and lots to make you laugh.
This haunt wasn’t particularly frightening, but it was highly entertaining, so I rated scare factor based on both those things. Most of the scares are startle scares. There are lots of animatronics to pop out at you, which was a bit of a mixed bag for me. Some of them legitimately startled me, as I was wandering through looking at everything and keeping an eye out for spots for actors to be hiding in. I’d be focused on this, and up pops a prop that I hadn’t really noticed before then. There were some really cool props. The clowns on a pulley system were neat, not something you see done elsewhere. The dancing skeletons were delightful, and again, rather unique. However, my overall impression of the props and setting in general was one of cheapness. This is probably a play to the nostalgia factor, as I’m told that many of the things were modeled off of classic haunts. They are things that you just don’t see done anymore, because everyone’s gone latex and silicone and gory realistic stuff. However, this is my first year doing haunts, so I don’t have the memories for nostalgia to play upon. After the umpteenth animatronic startle scare, I was left feeling rather unimpressed.
I had mixed feelings regarding the actors in this haunt as well. There were a couple who stood out as really great, particularly the limber girl and the guy who was singing and dancing. I enjoyed encountering both of them immensely. The “I like to move it, move it” song was definitely a nice variation on the normal ”Get out!” or “Move!” that you tend to hear at so many haunts. However, most of the actors were the sort to pop out and scare you or to just keep screaming. There was no interaction with these actors, although they did seem to have set characters which they stuck to. I tried responding to a couple of them, but they just kept screaming their lines. It would have been nice to have some sort of acknowledgement or back and forth.
So, in conclusion, a lot of things in the haunt amused me, yes, but overall this haunt fell a bit flat for me. It’s definitely a good one for people with children, or people who want to experience a haunt with an old timey feel. Unfortunately, I don’t really fall into either of these categories. That being said, I can appreciate the merit of a haunt unlike any of the others in the area.
Pros: Family friendly, lots of laughs, unique experience you won’t get elsewhere
Cons: No dialogue, no cohesive theme, not really frightening
This fun haunt built inside of Reinke Brothers fascinating costume, prop, mask, magic, make up and oddities shop will bring back great memories for many. I stood in line with a father as his daughter and her friends entered the Haunted Mansion, several for their first haunted house experience ever. He and I reminisced about our young haunted house memories, many of which occurred here at the Haunted Mansion. His daughters eventually came out screaming, obviously thoroughly entertained.
I was entertained as well in this haunt that offers lots of movement and animation. With its dense, occasionally beautiful scenes and well executed examples of some classic haunt gags and acting I was pleasantly entertained and scared – if I was 12 years old again I would have been terrified. Not that this is a children’s haunt by any means, it’s just that it works well for a younger age set, or a haunt fan willing to suspend disbelief and participate in the fun of being startled, not a haunt snob critical of a lack of demented scares and gore.
While effective at generating a good startle with some classic haunted house gags my feeling was that this haunt had scenes that appeared to be in need of freshening up. Details like red paint for blood, a couple of sound issues, and some animatronics with timing that was off reduced the overall impact for me. In a haunt otherwise dense with eye candy and movement, these issues, while minute, did reduce the level of immersion for me. Adding quality fake blood, adjust sounds that are fuzzy and quiet so they are crisp and clear and re-timing some animatronics would go a long way to tie everything together nicely. This creepy mansion has some beautifully executed and perfectly lit scenes like the bats, boiler room pipes and funhouse marionettes animated on pulleys; bringing all scenes to the level of those just mentioned would prevent the flow of the haunt from being interrupted.
The actors ranged in their ability to scare me or creep me out; one woman was so crazy and deranged that I hoped she was acting but wasn’t sure. Some actors gave me a quick but effective startle but lacked the character depth to really get in my head. Some suffered from poor timing, lack of experience or lack of intensity. While costumes and makeup overall were good, some actors needed a bit of polishing to really enhance their character, scene and scare.
I always enjoy being entertained by this haunt with its effective use of some classic scares, set density, animated props, a solid number of good startles, and the occasional actor that has me launch myself back with a scream. A couple actors even made me laugh with well timed and delivered comments after hitting me with a solid scare.
The Reinke Brothers Haunted Mansion will entertain a wide variety of Halloween revelers. It’s a great start if you are new to attending haunts and are unsure of your taste for fear and tolerance for intensity and gore. It’s also fun for an experienced haunt fan that can appreciate a scary, classic, dense and clever haunt without needing the gut wrenching punishment and realism offered by other haunt experiences.
This place is a blast and made me relive some memories of coming here when I was young. If I had kids I’d go through with them and watch as they face their fears and begin creating their own lasting memories. The nostalgia is in the air and it’s a fantastic walk down memory lane.
If your taste in Halloween entertainment requires more intensity, hard core scares and a degree of realism, gore, and movie quality art direction, this haunt might not be for you. I believe though, if you go in with an open mind, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
My visit confirmed for me that although the changes haven’t been drastic and it’s not pulsing with insanity and terror, it’s still very entertaining and worth the admission price.
For those of you who have never been, I believe creeping through Reinke Brother’s Haunted Mansion and browsing its amazing store afterward is a Denver area Halloween experience that everyone needs to take in at least once, no matter what your personal taste in haunts.
Pros: Classic fun, beautiful sets overall, deranged woman
Cons: Some scenes need spruced up, Some actors need to develop characters, some areas with audio need clarity
|5663 S. Prince St.
Littleton, CO. 80120
|September 27th – November 3rd.Mon-Thurs. 6-10pmFriday 6-MidnightSat & Sun. 3pm-MidnightKids lights on haunt Saturdays & Sundays Sept. 28-Nov. 3rd10am-1pm|