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Team Zombillies reviewed this attraction on September 12, 2014.
Final Score: 8.24
Last year, Scream Acres Ct. transformed from a local backyard attraction into a professional haunted house. Now in their second year, multiple additions have been made allowing them to offer 5 differently-themed areas within their 20,000 sq. ft. building! They include Buried Alive, The Castle Hill Funeral Home, The Funhouse in 3D, Blackout, and Hillbilly Revenge! Within these themed areas, you will come across Dr. Boron and his victims, kooky clowns, country-fied chainsaw attackers, crazed kids, and more! Plan a funeral, test drive a coffin, and possibly become the doctor’s next victim at Scream Acres Court… “Come see what all the screams are about!”
On an average night, between 30 and 40 actors can be found within the depraved corridors of Scream Acres Ct. On the night of our visit, it seemed as though this number filled the attraction rather nicely. A handful of characters were verbally interactive with our group, especially the Greeter who was also the most believable character that we crossed paths with. He didn’t miss a beat when given a chance to entertain our group and assisted in planning our funerals for us! We didn’t notice any of the crew breaking character, however a few of them were very quiet and some only screamed at our group when more authentic dialogue may have helped develop these characters. The victims and inhabitants of the funeral home worked with their scenes well and reiterated this area of the attractions theme. The two girls we came across in the toy room were disturbingly eager to play with us and used believable, verbal interaction, which really helped bring their scene to life and had us wanting to get out of there… fast! We also came across a creepy clown crawling on the floor and crazed hillbillies with chainsaws that had plenty of energy to share!
The costuming at Scream Acres consisted of old, tattered, distressed and torn clothing, hillbilly attire, rotten pj’s, fluorescent garments, and appropriate suits that were all period-correct and/or matched the scenes they were used in. Gory wounds, facial makeup, and colored contacts were used to add an extra realistic touch to some of the characters. The realistic “carved” smiles on the faces of Dr. Boron’s victims showed the torturous acts he committed when he got ahold of them! Little to no masks were used at Scream Acres Ct. showing the true, gory identity of its tenants. Costumes worn by the Greeter, Dr. Boron himself, and the vile, staring queue line entertainer were the most notable to our group on the night of our visit.
Customer Service: 9.5
As we approached the attraction, a noticeable sign on the side of the road confirmed that we were heading in the right direction. A massive painting on the front of the building let us know when we had arrived and plenty of free parking was available. Once you get inside, there are several things going on that you should pay attention to. After getting your tickets, be sure to visit the area behind the ticket booth. Here, you’ll find souvenirs, t-shirts, and a green screen where your pictures can be taken by the haunt. Pictures are taken for free and can be found on Facebook after your visit, however you can also get a printed copy for $5.00. An additional “self-serve” photo opportunity can be found in the queue area as well as a large concession room complete with benches. Three different waiting lines were clearly labeled so you can be sure to get in the correct line. Buried Alive has been moved close to the entrance of the funeral home this year, so be sure to pay attention to the signs so you don’t miss out on this portion of the attraction if you’ve purchased combo tickets. Inside the attraction, we didn’t come across any trip hazards and the new outside portion had mulch on the ground for easy walking as well. During our wait in the line our attention was focused on a believable actress who was effectively stalking everyone in the queue area. Welcoming staff members are available inside the ticket booth, concession area, and at the entrance to the haunt in case any questions are to arise.
Other than the sign on the exterior of the building and distant chainsaws, there wasn’t anything going on outside to let us know that we were at a haunted house. However, as soon as we stepped foot inside the door, the entire atmosphere changed! Eerie music, dim lighting, fog, and authentic décor made it very apparent that we were, in fact, at a haunted attraction! The façade of the haunt is a funeral home furnished with a jerky, hanged man which helped set the tone for what we were about to experience inside.
Special Effects: 8.5
Several improvements were noticed this year! The Castle Hill Funeral Home continues to be the most detailed attraction with lots of theme-correct decorations and furniture adorned with realistic cobwebs, blood, bodies, bones, and some occasional gore. Realistic and creepy background sounds could be heard through most of the attraction and some lightning-effect strobes and other forms of strategic lighting combined to give the Funeral Home a dark and evil feel. Other effects in Castle Hill include a claustrophobic tunnel, a falling corpse, loud horns, an infirmary, and a homicide scene! The Funhouse utilizes black lights, fluorescent paint, 3D glasses, and some strategic artwork to create several illusions that worked well at keeping us distracted. Distracted from what, you may ask? You’ll have to find that out for yourself! The Blackout area used some intense fog and strobe effects to disorient us and constrict our eyes just before plunging us into complete darkness. After finding our way to the exit, we were relieved to discover that we were outside, but the joy was short-lived. The pallet-looking walls of Hillbilly Revenge and the ominous chainsaw clatter let us know that we weren’t “out of the woods” yet. Patchy, thick fog and black walls heightened our adrenaline levels even more as we made our way through the complex before narrowly escaping to safety!
5 different themes can be found throughout Scream Acres Court! 4 of these are found by walking through the attraction, the last being the Buried Alive coffin simulator (located between the haunt’s queue line and the concessions stand). The other 4 begin with the Castle Hill Funeral Home, which is the first and foremost at Scream Acres. After planning your funeral, and negotiating the dark passageways of the establishment, try to keep your distance from Dr. Boron or else you may become his next experiment! Next, you’ll transition into The Funhouse in 3D. Here, they’ll give you a special set of glasses so the fluorescent-painted, circus-themed scenes lit with black-light will make even your eyes think twice about believing what they’re seeing! Another transition brings you to the Blackout area where, as the name implies, light is unwelcome. Just try to make it through the darkness, but if you do, Hillbilly Revenge awaits! In this final area, you must try to escape the clutches of these hellacious heathens as you navigate the winding walkways of Scream Acres’ newest attraction! In review, the Funeral Home area was the most clearly explained to us out of the 4 main themes. This was mostly due to the building facade and the explanation given to us by “the greeter” in the visitation scene.
Fright Effect: 7.75
Scares were delivered on multiple levels, from creepy stares and disorientation to a well-placed distraction, banging on the walls and chainsaw chases through confined spaces! Scares were directed towards all parts of our group. Timing was a bit off in several places, which made their attempts less effective, and the techniques that were used by a select few of the actors didn’t make sense with their scenes, skits, or characters. However, most of the actors had pretty good hiding spots. This helped make the scares less predictable and other characters like the chainsaw attackers and the girls in the toy room seemed to deliver more intimidating experiences.
General admission tickets to Scream Acres Ct. are $16.00 per person. Combo tickets which include the “Buried Alive” coffin simulator are available for $20.00. If you want quicker access to the haunt, VIP tickets can be purchased for $30.00, which also includes Buried Alive. It took our review group about 15 ½ minutes to find our way out of this murderous madness, which is slightly less than one minute of entertainment per dollar spent. However, if you keep up with their website and Facebook page, you may come across a better deal from time to time. One of these deals includes a discounted “College Night” where college students can bring a valid college I.D. to receive 50% off! In addition, Thursday night tickets are only $13.00 (excluding VIP)! On Halloween night, Scream Acres Ct. will be hosting their “Hallo-Bass” event which will consist of live music, costumes and more, so be sure to check that out as well! Tickets are also available on DiscountHauntTickets.com. If you are looking for a mixture of themes under one roof and are ready to plan your funeral, then visit Scream Acres Court… they’d love to help you out!
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