Slasherfest Denver – Full Review

Slasherfest Denver is a Haunted Attraction located in , .

3400 East 52nd Avenue, Denver, CO 80216
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Haunt Type(s):

Haunted House


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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, You will NOT be touched, Movie Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on April 13, 2018 by Team Hauntarama.

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Final Score: 7.26

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No genre is as beloved to the Halloween crowd than the standard slashers from the ’80s: Mike Meyers, Freddy Kreuger, and, of course, the venerable Jason Voorhees. So what better day to unite the terrifying trio than Friday the 13th? Fortunately, the good folks at the 13th Floor in Denver, Colorado agreed, and held a haunt, complete with a few other of their good friends!

The 13th Floor is one of the nation’s leaders in haunting, running the namesake show in Denver, Chicago, Phoenix and San Antonio, and several houses under different names in other cities throughout the United States (including Asylum, also in Denver). They’re also responsible for Denver’s annual Zombie Crawl, so if you’re from the front range, you already know of them even if you’ve never set foot in the grounds.

Cast: 7.54

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Given that 13th Floor’s renowned in the haunting arts, it’s no surprise that the cast was top notch! Freddy grinned and taunted guests as he wound through the queue and Jason stared and slowly stalked the guests. The campers greeting us at the Camp Crystal Lake sign were utterly effusive, and the creepers in the darkness caught us at a couple of corners. Even the victims sold their sordid roles well, save the occasional standard screaming pleader begging for help, which is unoriginal but still serves its purpose. Nevertheless, the cast was great, especially the killers, who truly quickened the tension set by the scenes.

With few exceptions, the actors filled their roles appropriately. The Jason characters, in particular, tended to either slowly follow or quickly emerge from a dark corner when least expected, his machete always moving much quicker than his feet. Pennywise likewise popped out of his own putridity to surprise us. While there was good use of the negative space, a few more actors would likely have livened up a few of the quieter areas, but the cast, in general, was above average.

Costuming: 7.38

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Because this haunt was specifically a homage to the ’80s slasher family, there weren’t many various costumes to judge. Mike Meyers donned his mask and blue one-piece, Jason’s mask was mixed into a few spots (including the giant spider sporting a tiny mask!), and Freddy was appropriately toasted and dingy. Even the film characters from later years, such as the new Pennywise, were appropriately and well-costumed. There were a few visible ‘seams,’ of course, like the overly-ghostly campers’ makeup, but overall, the costuming was done quite well.

Customer Service: 7.19

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While the 13th Floor’s size and largess makes its production excel, those same factors seemed to be a double-edged sword with respect to customer service. Though we did not encounter any difficulties with its polished marketing, smooth e-ticketing, and easily navigable website, there was a certain level of cool professionalism about the place that left something to be desired. To begin with, the 13th Floor is in an older part of Denver, in the Sawnsea neighborhood, which is not personally unfamiliar, but we still struggled some to find the location. The fact that this was an off-season event might factor into the lack of signage, spotlights or other means of highlighting which of the particular similar-looking large factories in the row housed the haunt, but it was not obvious until we were practically on top of the place. There was a good amount of street parking near the surrounding warehouses, which filled in quickly, but we did not discover the free parking lot (nearer the entrance) until after we had already squeezed in Austin-Powers-in-a-golf-cart-style. Upon entering the gate, which was also not clearly marked, we were greeted by a single line leading to the dude with the metal detector wand, but not much else.

The e-queue system worked reasonably well, though we did get a text to go to the front of the line before the gates had even opened only to be turned back by the wand dude. It wasn’t a long wait, and once we were wanded by the aforesaid dude, we were off to the races… that is, at least, until it was time to enter the haunt itself. The fast pass folks needed the QR code from the e-queue text and the entry folks needed the QR codes from our e-tickets, all of which were on the one device. Between our fumbling between app screens and the inevitable technological kinks that always arise, the situation generally seemed a tad tenuous. In the end, the people we encountered were all very friendly and helpful, but the customer service systems seemed a bit lacking.

Atmosphere: 6.58

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The scene outside of the warehouse was somewhat barren. There was a hearse and an ambulance parked nearby, while a random zombie prop stuck out the top of a Jeep. Meanwhile, a Victorian clown ran a small DJ booth, occasionally interrupting the soft beats for e-queue reminders. Since we were there earlier in the evening, we didn’t get the benefit of darkness and whatever lighting was intended for the courtyard, but the haunt staff’s frantic efforts to prepare for the onslaught of customers provided more entertainment than the scant props scattered around and drum beats emanating from the DJ booth. Also noteworthy is that it is spring in Colorado. Both Thursday the 12th and Saturday the 14th were beautiful weather; Friday the 13th was cold and windy. Although the haunt seemed ready for the weather, with propane heat lamps located along all of the queue lines, none were actually turned on. Eventually, one was lit near the end of our queue line, but for most of our time there, the heat lamps were merely monuments to the torturous cold.

Once you’re inside of the building, however, it becomes much more unmistakably a haunt. Upon entering, you are sent down a small hallway into one of three or four small rooms whereupon you are photographed (for the last time, perhaps!) and sent to another queue line. Not only is this entire area indoors, thus warmer, it is decorated appropriately to boot. All said, the atmosphere outside of the building was too calm, quiet and mundane, but the atmosphere inside was just right.

Special Effects: 8.03

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The 13th Floor hits it out of the park in this category! From unexpected movement to disorientation, the special effects were stupendous! The haunt operators masterfully mixed old school techniques with newer technologies to conjure an experience unlike any other we’ve had yet, setting the bar not only for themselves but for others throughout the State. Although some of the animatronics and mechanics were aging less gracefully than others, most were spectacular and multifaceted. Unfortunately, some of the effects render the haunt inaccessible to people with mobility or vision issues, but overall, the special effects were nearly flawless!

Theme: 7.5

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The theme was as clear as the waters of Camp Crystal Lake, as the haunt was titled ‘Slasherfest’ and it was held on Friday the 13th. Suffice it to say, we were not disappointed! The spirit of Jason Vorhees permeated the haunt, as bloodied hockey masks were everywhere. The heavy helping of goaltenders was complimented by a dash of Mike Meyers murdering a woman in an asylum, a sprinkling of the Creeper and his peepers, and a pinch of Pennywise and Georgie floating around. Overall, the theme was pulled off superbly!

Scare Factor: 6.83

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The fright effects were also stellar at the 13th Floor! Although there were the obligatory predictable scares, there were enough nooks and crannies in the wending walkway that several spots were empty, lessening the predictability of people popping out. That great use of negative space coupled well with the unexpected scares. The haunt also beautifully paired eye-catching animatronics and other mechanised monsters as set-ups for the real scares, which waited in the wings for your attention to be drawn elsewhere. The variety of scares was unexpected, which speaks to the overall quality of the haunt, as the catalyst wasn’t always what we anticipated. For instance, in one location, Jason stood silhouetted in the distance and we had nowhere to go but forward. As we did, his latest victim sprung to life, effectively delivering the best scare of the scene. In other locations, however, the trailing member of our group was being actively pursued by a killer while the leading member was left out of the interaction entirely.

The finale, however, was simply disappointing. We anticipated a few more rooms, so when we stumbled into a colder area, we thought we would encounter corpses hanging in a meat freezer or something of that sort; instead, we made eye contact with another Jason character who attempted to quickly start his chainsaw and chase us down a short ramp to the exterior of the warehouse. Unfortunately, in our concurrent confusion, we walked right by him and he just sort of watched us go. We did get to see him chase the next group down the ramp (much quicker than I’ve ever seen Jason move before), though, so we did get to see what we missed.

Entertainment & Value: 7.02

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All said, we were definitely entertained. The haunt operators could have done more, particularly outside of the building, to set the scene and build anticipation, but the haunt itself was very well executed. It was reasonably lengthy, not too short or long, and the line moved fast enough that there wasn’t excessive delay at any point. With respect to value, the 13th Floor cost is about on par with other professional haunted houses in the Denver metro area. Although the price of fast passes and skip-the-line passes adds up quickly, particularly for larger groups, you would be hard pressed to find better rates elsewhere. Should the 13th Floor up its queue line entertainment game (and turn on the heat lamps right away when its cold), the standard tickets would be much more attractive. Nevertheless, the overall value, particularly with the terrifically terrifying cast and extra special effects, was slightly above average.

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