Terror Chamber 2013

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall
Kris56866.25
Alex53744.75
Marlena76776.75
Crystal76635.5
Jason691067.75
Peyton45665.25
Eric86846.5
Overall6.005.867.435.146.11

Kris Kropelnicki

Review coming soon!

Alex Gallegos

Terror chamber invited me to a demented cult inhabited by the enraged souls left over after a dark brotherhood closed down under mysterious circumstances. I could take this as a cue to reflect over my life choices and determine why it is that people keep inviting me into this type of scenario to begin with, but where’s the fun in that? I’ve got angry souls to face!

The haunt gave us both a little flashlight and 3D glasses to get through with, and while 3D is something I’d seen used before, the flashlight was completely new, and it instantly made me happy. Haunts usually don’t let you have anything, wanting to control where every photon of lighting in the place falls all by themselves, but ultimately I feel like I’m being cast in a bad role when that happens, and I’ll explain why.

Horror movies only work because one character or another spends part of the plot holding the idiot ball. Either he’s a dumb jock who wants to go check out the allegedly haunted house, or she’s a co-ed who thinks she’s should investigate strange noises in the woods in her underwear, or two characters of any gender or sexual orientation decide to have sex and basically guarantee their brutal own demise. And heaven help the poor fool who asks, “What could possibly go wrong?” because he may as well just shoot himself on the spot.

Despite the fact that they move the plot on alright, the average horror scenario relies on someone somewhere being alarmingly incompetent, and if you’re the person who’s about to brave the serial killer’s house and you didn’t bring a gun or a flashlight or a lighter or a katana, then I’ve got some sad news for you, Gomer –  you are the idiot ball.

The flashlight actually allowed me to look at the things I wanted to look at, taking an active role in my own scary time, and in addition the tiny circle of light surrounded by ever-encroaching darkness is the sort of thing any player of a Silent Hill, Resident Evil, or Left 4 Dead game will be familiar with, instantly adding to the feeling of being in a horror movie and actually trying to find your way out. It definitely helps ramp up the tension, and this haunt needs all the tension it can get – it’s just not all that scary.

The 3D effect works well, and while it made the walls pop entertainingly, there were places where we thought we’d rather see these without any glowing 3D paint, which turn the experience from quiet discovery to something more akin to, “HEY LOOK HERE! THERE IS A THING AND YOU SHOULD LOOK AT IT!”

The actors aren’t very plentiful and the ones that are there don’t have much to say apart from the standard cliches, and despite the fact that your tiny halo of light in the darkness actually encourages you to sneak around a bit more, the whole thing is still over after a couple of rooms.

There are some cool ideas here, I won’t deny it, I just wish they were a little more prevalent and given a chance to grow and develop here a bit more.

PROS: new ideas, good use of 3D, they gave me a flashlight!

CONS: Too short, too few actors, light on scares

Marlena Baker

The Terror Chamber had some really weak backstory about a secret cult. Barely any of that came through in the haunt itself. It’s really a haunt built on a gimmick more than an idea. While there are some cool things in here, there’s a lot of room for improvement too.

The sets were usually about half there. Almost all of the walls were just painted black with various symbols on them. At first they looked like the symbols of a demonic cult, including some strange circle and a snake pattern, but they changed as we moved through. The ones I can remember are a tribal symbol, a Celtic knot and a dragon. They weren’t that scary or on theme. Here’s the gimmick. They were painted with paint that, with the glasses we were given at the start, was 3D. What was painted popped out from the wall more or less depending on the color used. Added to that, they didn’t light the haunt, but gave us flashlights instead. That was used to great effect with some of the props. One prop was covered in barbed wire and the wire was painted. In some areas, there were skulls with the paint in various colors, making them pop out at us in varying degrees. The other good part was the end. They put us through two very disorienting rooms before releasing us out into public.

While we tried to find our way through a white room full of smoke we were followed by an actor. He taunted us as we looked for the door and hung onto each other. It was great. If he got more than a few feet away he disappeared and the taunting became disembodied. He was a good actor and it was a great scene. Beyond that, however, there wasn’t much acting. The actors mostly just made noise, hoping for a startle scare. They just kept banging on things, jumping out and making a loud noise. It didn’t’ really help them sell their backstory either. There weren’t any costumes to speak of. Maybe some matching robes could have supported the idea that cultists had been there.

Overall, Terror Chamber wasn’t all that engaging. I never really felt immersed. I thought that there were some interesting elements like the use of paint on props and actors. I liked that I had to light my own way through the haunt, and I really liked the bright disorientation at the end after walking through all that darkness. It just didn’t’ come together. It needs to be fleshed out a lot more.

Pro: 3d paint, disorienting, flashlight

Con: walls were spares, didn’t stay on theme, wall paintings weren’t even horror themed

Jason Peterson

This is the second of our three-event funfest at Elitch Gardens. This 3D black light adventure was a surprise to me. I had no idea this is what I would be doing. So I get my 3D glasses and a small little thumbnail sized black light. That’s what lights our way! It is very dark in this haunt so the little lights are actually pretty effective.

Lots of various symbols and neon painted props. A few hanging corpses bring the 3d paint effect to life very nicely. Loved the walls of skulls painted in various neon colors. This haunt has an incredible fog too. The actor in this room is pretty creepy, especially since you never get to see him, just feel him breathing and speaking in your personal space. This was a pretty cool idea. I think it is definitely geared for the younger crowd but fun for just about anyone. Just not super scary.

Pros- Fun interactive

Cons-Felt Thrown together

Peyton Lucero

We are getting our tickets checked for Terror Chamber and we are given 3D glasses and a small UV flashlight. We were finally prepared to enter the dark paths of the Terror Chamber.

I wasn’t sure when to put the glasses on because we weren’t really told. We get told instructions by a woman and then let in even deeper. I was seeing a lot of painted creatures and water pipes and such. There were walls of skulls and bones and some body parts hanging here and there. There were a lot of what seemed to be hieroglyphics of certain symbols painted on the walls. There was another hallway of bones and bodies and an actor was blended in with it. I thought that was a cool room. It was very black and bright for the most part but there was one room in particular that really put me out of my comfort zone. The fog room was very well done and lit. There was just enough lighting to where I could see just an inch of what was in front of me.  Once I blinked, I was pretty much screwed on finding my own way out. It was very disorienting in there and the fact that I knew there was an actor in there with me but couldn’t see him really threw me off guard.

This was a neat haunt to experience and it’s always fascinating going through a 3D haunt. 3D haunts seem to be more on the PG rated version because of the colors, brightness, murals and more so the interesting illusions to observe. I saw a lot of that in this haunt and they definitely threw me off guard and wanting to mess with my vision even more.

I also felt that it had lacked actors and energy. I think I heard more music and sound effects than I did acting and dialogue. The music at the beginning sounded a little like Indiana Jones. It eventually faded into darker, creepier music, but to maybe fix that, you could keep the music the same throughout the whole haunt. I like the fact that with this one they only give you a flashlight to observe everything with, so you definitely want to use your time wisely to take a look at everything. You never know what you might miss lurking behind you. If you have kids and want to do family time, definitely check out the Elitch Gardens Haunts because there is a lot of entertainment there that will keep your mind and body moving constantly!

Pros- neat concept, illusions worked out well to their advantage

Cons- not enough actors, wish the paintings were both neon and natural color, actors had no energy

Crystal Gallagher

I’ll give this one points for trying. The premise was really weak, but the execution was definitely unique. Before entering, you are given 3D glasses and a handheld blacklight pointer. Inside your only light comes from the tiny lights you and your friends are carrying. If you turn these lights off, it really is pitch black. If you turn them on, you have small points of illumination which activate the 3D paint throughout the set. This was a really cool idea, and I enjoyed it. However, by the end of the haunt my thumbs really hurt from squeezing my light’s trigger. Apparently there was a switch one could use to keep the light on, only one out of four of our group realized this, so having the staff member who hands you the light tell you this would definitely be a plus.

The 3D paint caused the designs painted onto the walls everywhere to pop quite nicely. However, after the first bit, I began to realize that they were repeated a lot. A bit of creativity with these rather than the same stencils repeated would up the impressiveness of these a whole lot. I did really like the paint on the actors and the barbed wire on one of the props, as well as on the fences. I also really liked the very ending of this haunt. I won’t get into the specifics because spoilers, but this chainsaw guy actually felt inescapable, which changed the feeling from ‘oh great a chainsaw guy, the almost universal sign for the end of a haunt’ to ‘oh crap, where do I go!?’ Definitely helped the scare factor. I also enjoyed the fog room. The fog is super thick and you cannot see anything. You have no choice but to feel your way uncertainly, with actors popping in and out of the fog and looming alongside you the entire way. That was well done, and I enjoyed those actors. I also enjoyed one which was very well camouflaged on a wall with the 3D paint. The actors didn’t really have any lines though, again, mostly startles.

This haunt took us 8 minutes to go through. At $8, that’s a dollar a minute, making it the most expensive haunt we went to this season, before considering the price of admission to Elitches on top of that. However, I did enjoy it quite a bit more than the Flesh Factory (the other haunt-like attraction at Elitches), so if you’re picking between the two of them, definitely recommend this one.

Pros: Disorienting, unique execution, actually had well done chainsaw ending
Cons: Very weak theme, very short

Eric Guetterman

Review coming soon!

 

ADDRESS:
2000 Elitch Circle
Denver, CO. 80204
PRICE:
  • $8.00 + Park Admission or season pass
DATES/HOURS:
October 5th-27thFriday & Saturday Dusk-10pm   Sunday Dusk-9pm
NOTES:
Terror Chamber
PREVIEW:
New frights wait around every dark corner.  Civilians deemed worthy are summoned to an initiation rite of passion for the most sinister and dangerous secret society.  Inductees are given a flashlight as they are challenged to survive this dark and consuming haunted experience.  Located in the Water Park.  Please note this is an extra-charge attraction.  Open from 6:00 P.M. until closing.