The Fear Complex – Full Review
The Fear Complex is a Haunted Attraction located in Colorado Springs, CO.
2220 E. Bijou Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80909View All Details
Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, “Hi-Tech” Attraction, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction
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This attraction was reviewed on October 7, 2022 by Team Hauntarama.
About Our Reviews and Rating System
Final Score: 8.97
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The Fear Complex is Colorado Springs’ newest and biggest haunted attraction, featuring four different themes running throughout its labyrinthian layout. Fear Complex is a sister attraction to Hellscream, the Springs’ other major haunt, and is run by the same fearsome family of sordid minds. Fear Complex combines the well-known Haunted Mines with a medical setting in the Sanitarium area, the macabre Sinister Manor and the always identifiable 3-D Carnevil into a single haunt that fills the building.
Speaking with some of the Fear Complex crew, we learned that the move to Fear Complex was quite the endeavor. Starting the move out of Haunted Mines’ former digs on November 1, 2021, the hard-working crew dug in, filling and emptying dozens upon dozens of semis full of stuff and moving it into the newly purchased building. We later learned that the building itself seems to have a mysterious history, including the soundproof interrogation room on the second story with unexplained occurrences both there and just down the hall.
In any case, having accomplished the incredible undertaking of recreating and building a heart-stopping haunt, the Fear Complex folks were able to put on an awesome show, packed with some of the coolest décor and props we’ve encountered and an abundance of high-energy actors, each of whom were their own unique character.
The Fear Complex already provides a great experience, but, equally exciting, is the potential for the future, as the Fear Complex takes root in its permanent home. If you’re in the Pike’s Peak region and you like getting scared, don’t miss the Fear Complex this season, and make sure to get the combo ticket, which also gets you into Hellscream. Even if you’re in Denver, Pueblo, or nearly straddling the Kansas line in Burlington, the twin line up of Fear Complex and Hellscream is worth the drive. At one of the best minute-to-dollar values we’ve seen in years, it’s almost like they’re even pitching in on gas! So do yourself a favor and head to the Fear Compex this weekend!
Cast Score: 9.1
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The cast at the Fear Complex is among the most dedicated and skillful we’ve encountered. Every actor interacted in a notable way. Even the simplest of interactions was brimming with effusive zeal, whether manifested in unnatural movement, clever conversation, faithful adherence to the character (the caged person who pleaded to get out prior to being executed before our very eyes, in particular), or even just blood-curdling screaming that had an almost uncomfortable edge of realism. Just by the sheer size of Fear Complex’s new location, there were a few spots that would have benefitted from an additional actor or two. Still, knowing this, there were too many cast members to count as we went through. Given the casts’ dedication to giving a great show and getting a great scream in return, it was sometimes hard to keep track of the cast members, as they disappeared into shadows or behind objects only to emerge again later.
As always, some cast put on performances that stuck with us. One clown, in particular, not only provided a vocabulary lesson but struck a bargain allowing me to get out of the room unscathed. Unfortunately, the free phalanges all seemed to be in the Sanitarium, so I was never able to make good on my end of the deal. Speaking of the Sanitarium, the actor who charged at us with an ax, coming close enough to give me a sense of what Wendy felt when Jack went all Johnny, sold the interaction really well even though it lasted but a second or two.
All said, the cast at the Fear Complex is one of its strongest assets, which is really saying something given how well the Fear Complex performs in several other categories as well.
Costuming Score: 9.03
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Not surprisingly, the costuming at the Fear Complex is done amazingly well, and, much like at Hellscream, the actors get to develop their own characters, including selecting their costumes and accessories under the watchful eyes of the masterful management and ownership teams, which are then perfected throughout the season.
All of the costumes we saw were original and complete from head to toe. As noteworthy as the high quality of the makeup, masks, and prosthetics, so is their application. None of the characters appeared over or under done, with some even donning simpler or more straightforward duds while others had complicated makeup patterns and prosthetics that clearly took time to do each day. None of the characters appeared out of place either, all showing up in settings that made sense.
Even the queue actors we encountered wore amazing outfits, complete with dentures, contact lenses, prosthetics, and an amazing costume with shoes that sparked when walking. Coupling the great cast with the great costumes really helped solidify the Fear Complex as a top-notch haunt despite this being its first year in its new building.
Customer Service Score: 9.25
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Customer Service Review:
There’s no beating the customer service at the Fear Complex. The one difficulty we encountered was not something we can fairly blame on the Fear Complex, as it’s a combination of roadwork and Google Maps, almost as if the app itself had been possessed.
The website, however, was a breeze to navigate and provided nearly all the information one could want when planning a visit. Although the parking situation here was better than that at Hellscream, the Fear Complex website would also benefit from a mention of where to park, safer crosswalks, and a few more lights on the street side to call attention to the attraction.
Nothing in the haunt felt unsafe, despite the multiple physical effects employed to make it seem as if there was. Much like the haunt itself, however, the people really shine through. All of the staff we encountered at the Fear Complex, from actors to security to the folks running the doors and gift shop, provided terrific customer service. Shout out to the owners and masterminds behind Fear Complex, as well as the marvelously scary clown host of the locale. Of course, the award for absolute best customer service we’ve ever received goes to our four legged friend with the softest ears we found at the haunt. You know who you are and you are, without a doubt, a good girl.
Immersion Score: 8.7
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The orientation of the building that houses the Fear Complex hides the delights that are found around back, but approaching from either side gives just enough of a glimpse at the fun that you know where to go, including the Ghostbusters car, complete with glowing slimer present on the night of our visit.
Once you get around to the back side of the building, however, you are greeted with a ticket booth and queue line decked out with some custom blacklight art on the ground, with cool props strategically dropped along the serpentine queue making for great selfie spots. After receiving the rules from the spitting image of Jack Sparrow, guests shuttle in toward the queue actors awaiting their arrival. Perhaps you’ll even spot a Jurassic Park employee holding a baby velociraptor. Some of the line actors even entertained the crowd from above, inviting guests in, dropping confetti on those below before disappearing back inside of the haunt. To put it as simply as possible, the vibe outside of the attraction is a lot of fun!
Inside the haunt, the frequency of that vibe was kicked way up! Beginning with the gore of the Sanitarium, which includes real medical equipment and records paired with really good-looking props, we were stuck in the present for the next twenty-something minutes until the gift shop sign came into view letting us know we’d reached the end (or so we thought). With barely enough time to breathe before being led or forced into the next encounter, that’s a long time to remain so well immersed in an attraction, approaching the most notable we’ve had the pleasure of living through.
The haunt experience doesn’t end after surviving the finale, though, as haunt goers are sent down a thoroughly decorated hallway to the gift shop where there is haunt merchandise and there are all sorts of curios for purchase. Honestly, I still regret not pulling the trigger on the set of custom Lego men made into horror movie icons. I doubt they’ll last long. In any event, don’t count yourself safe until you’re outside. Who knows which of the energetic Fear Complex inhabitants might still hunt you down!
Special FX Score: 9.08
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Special FX Review:
The special effects were a tremendous part of the experience, offering a variety of events running the gamut from physical effects and amazing animatronics to gross gags. The audioscaping was very well done, with both ambient and stationary sounds emanating from all sorts of spots. Although there is room for improvement with respect to some of the audio in the attraction, it was effective and usually appropriate in terms of length, volume, and fitting well with the scene.
As anyone who visited Haunted Mines over the past few years can attest, there is no lack of cool stuff abound for the masterminds behind the mayhem to use in setting things up. Although some props were clearly more for comedy relief, the vast majority of them are very well made and maintained. One corpse in particular was so realistic it almost looked like she flinched a bit when I snapped the picture below. This prop in particular is certainly unparalleled, but also representative of the quality of props found all throughout the Fear Complex.
The set is so designed well, with areas transitioning almost seamlessly into one another (it’s hard not to notice the scenery switch when you’re handed the 3D glasses and see glowing neon, of course, but I’m a sucker for it, especially when paired with strobing blacklights… but enough digression, back to the review!). Although there were a few spots throughout that will benefit from another year of the love and attention we know it will receive, it is striking to note that the entire set was built in just a few months time after a lengthy move. That move seemed to have a couple of casualties when it came to a few animatronics, but we have no doubts that those too will be returned to their former glory soon. In any case, the special effects at the Fear Complex were executed successfully, if not spectacularly, in some cases.
Scare Factor Score: 8.65
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Scare Factor Review:
The Fear Complex proved to be eponymous, as there was no shortage of terror. The dynamic and industrious cast worked hard to provide a great time to our entire group, delivering vivacious performances and working the set for all its worth to deliver the best scares they could: scurrying around, leaping onto things, bellowing bluster, and delivering dialogue.
Most of the time, we weren’t sure exactly how or from where the scare would come, but we knew it was coming and we weren’t disappointed. Only once did I spy an actor snuggling into place as we entered, but there were a few times I got so taken with examining the décor or trying to figure out if a prop was a real human that I was made easy prey. Other scenes, like the live-action murder that played out, involved some great acting that really sold the scene and made us wince. The finale was also a lot of fun with quite the sparkling performance, a fantastic way to end a harrowing journey through the Fear Complex.
Entertainment & Value Score: 9.08
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Amazingly, the Fear Complex came out at 22 minutes long, just like its sister haunt, Hellscream, which puts it right at the dollar-per-minute value as well, which is a bargain to say the least. A combo ticket, including entry to both the Fear Complex and Hellscream, saves you even more.
Considering the amazing time to be had, both before entering the haunt and inside the attraction itself, true haunt fans would be remiss to miss this haunt. The Fear Complex provides a fabulous and frightful time if you think you’re up to it, just make sure you’re truly prepared, or you just might find that you’ve developed a fear complex yourself.
Pics We Took From Our Visit:
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