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FrightWorld America’s Screampark Review

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Happy Halloween

FrightWorld (website)

Location: 800 Young St, Tonawanda, NY 14150

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Introduction

FrightWorld America’s Screampark, located outside of Buffalo, New York, is one of the best haunted attractions ever visited by our review team. This attraction features five detailed, innovative and genuinely terrifying haunted attractions.  Each attraction is perfectly crafted and custom-built to generate fear and caters to diverse fears. It is rare to find a scare or scream park, that features an almost perfect haunted attraction experience. Typically, when a scream park advertises “multiple” attractions, some of the attractions are weaker than others. At FrightWorld, every attraction is almost perfectly designed, features insane character actors and movie quality effects to make this a must visit for any haunt fan. FrightWorld America’s Screampark is well worth the lengthy trip to upstate New York as we give this attraction our highest recommendation. It is rare to find an attraction as memorable as FrightWorld, and we cannot wait to see what they have planned for the 2016 haunt season!

Attractions

FrightWorld America’s Screampark is one of the most impressive, innovative and terrifying haunted attractions in the tristate area and features five unique separate attractions. FrightWorld, located in a commercial complex outside of Buffalo, New York, allows guests to visit each of the five separate attractions at their own pace. Each attraction is custom-built and features intricate set designs and intricate details that prompted us to go through the attraction twice to experience the depth and quality of this incredible haunted scream-park. While waiting to enter each attraction, the large space provided by the industrial complex features a snack bar and photo opportunities featuring talented scare actors. FrightWorld also has the advantage of a large parking lot, which makes getting in and out of the attraction far easier than most locations we have visited for the 2015 season.

At first glance, we expected little from FrightWorld, as the indoor/commercial complex did not seem to be the typical location for a scream-park. However, looks were deceiving as we were completely taken back by the design of each specific attraction, atmospheric use of sound and lighting effects used by this expansive indoor attraction. We have visited many of the major haunted attractions in the tristate area, including Pennhurst Asylum, Terror Behind the Walls, Reapers Revenge and Field of Screams, and can honestly say that FrightWorld is among this class as one of the best attractions ever visited. FrightWorld is also shockingly reasonable compared to many mainstream and local haunted attractions. General admission tickets are $25.00 per person, and VIP fast pass tickets are $33.00. The price point of this attraction is well below many of the attractions in the tristate area, and a value as we are typically used to spending well above these prices for attractions of lesser quality.

InsanityINSANITY-2014

The first attraction visited, “Insanity”, is an indoor fence maze, that uses fog, strobe lights, insane character actors, blinding lights and lasers to constantly disorientate guests. “Insanity” was the first time we have ever become truly “lost” in an attraction, as the complicated maze and use of sensory attacks prevented us from easily escaping the attraction. Other guests entered into this maze and felt our level of confusion as we constantly walked into dead-ends and were bombarded by constant loud noises and character actors who clung to the chain-link fences. “Insanity” is designed to generate a genuine emotion of feeling “insane. Blinding fog and disorientating lights made us feel helpless in our endless effort to escape this attraction. Character actors used the all-out sensory attack of this attraction to torment us by taunting, grunting and popping out in front of us at the most unexpected times. We were expecting these actors to help us in our effort to escape but this was not the case.

“Insanity” is a unique maze attraction that uses sensory triggers to build panic and fear. Most mazes are easy to complete, or feature character actors that effectively guide guests to complete the attraction. Furthermore, we have been in mazes in which more guests hurt the overall experience, and reduced the difficult of the attraction. “Insanity” breaks these conventional perceptions of haunted attraction mazes, by mentally attacking and challenging guests to escape this terrifying structure. As more guests entered “Insanity” the panic level continued to rise, and the mazes confusing design, coupled with an all-out sensory attack created a constant sense of paranoia which quickly evolved into fear. “Insanity” uses loud sounds, such as blaring sirens, constant fog, and lighting effects to confuse, disorientate and create an environment in which we felt trapped. Lights would simply go out, leaving us submerged in the darkness, and pressure continued to rise as we frantically searched for an escape.

Eerie State Asylumravenhill_lg

The second attraction visited, “Eerie State Asylum”, was a horror movie come to life, featuring authentic set designs, and gruesome scenes which perfectly compliment actors who play their “insane” roles to a tee. The set designs of this mental assignment are more detailed and disturbing than those found in “real” former asylums, featuring props which have been obtained from defunct medical facilities. “Eerie State Asylum” is a disturbing haunted attraction experience, featuring gory set designs, and talented scare actors who jump from “gurney” to “gurney” to convince guests they are truly insane.  “Eerie State Asylum” is a mature haunted attraction, featuring intricate details that make each room disturbing. We visited rooms featuring surgical gloves stapled to walls, bloody props and medical devices used by insane actors, saw a lifelike dead body on an operating table and were constantly taunted by the aggressive scare actors around every corner. The disturbing imagery, and creative set designs, from the disgusting mess hall, to a realistic morgue make “Eerie State Asylum” a memorable haunted attraction, with nonstop action and insanity. We were impressed by the physical effort of each actor who constantly moved from room to room, jumping from scene to scene in an aggressive, relentless attack. Some of the actors ran themselves into walls, jumped in front of us, made inhuman noises and convinced us that they belonged in the “Eerie State Asylum”. We even found ourselves get “lost” in this attraction, as several passageways are confusingly designed to prevent escape.

Grind Housegrindhouse_lg

The third attraction visited, “Grind House” inspired by the infamous movie classic “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, features disturbing imagery, insanely detailed set designs, and aggressive scare actors that use the “saw” to generate constant tension and fear. “Grind House” is a disturbing haunted attraction in which the twisted scare actors use mature themes, gory props and intricate details to create a terrifying atmosphere. The level of detail in “Grind House” is indescribable as we found ourselves constantly finding new details that made each room uniquely themed in this house of horror. A knife yielding maniac chased after us as we gazed at a taxidermy collection, we passed through a disturbing hallway in which the house maniacs seemed to be developing “pictures” of their  various victims, and encountered a movie quality scene in which a chainsaw yielding maniac burst out of a room to aggressively chase after our  group.11-360x360

We cautiously explored this attraction to appreciate the level of gore and horrific scenes featured in this attraction. “Grind House” is an exercise in cautious fear, encouraging exploration and rewarding with terrifying encounters with disturbed scare actors.  Some of the most entertaining scare actors are featured in “Grind House”, such as a menacing weapon yielding maniacs, physically imposing actors, and a crossdressing actor who made us feel extremely uncomfortable. “Grind House” is an exhausting experience which uses mature scares to create a lasting impression on our psyche. We only wish a few more scare actors were added to some of the creepy set pieces. For example, when passing through a dark closet, we expected an actor to greet us before our escape. We were even told to watch out for “Uncle” as we entered into this closet yet the payoff felt flat. This was only a minor issue as the entire horrific design of “Grind House” is unforgettable, and the interactive scare actors featured in this haunt make this one of the best walk-through attractions of the haunt season.

Condemnedcondemnedbig

The fourth attraction visited, “Condemned” is an elaborate, trip through an outdoor environment featuring detailed set designs including a visit with a cannibalistic scare actor in a tree- hut as we passed over a rickety bridge, an excursion through a hauntingly detailed graveyard, and a trip through a life-like swamp that made us forget we were inside an industrial complex. “Condemned” design transforms the environment of the attraction using sound effective and interactive set pieces along its lengthy path. The detail of this attraction is of the highest quality, we gazed into a waterfall, walked through the custom built cemetery and experienced various startle scares created by animatronic props. While “Condemned” is visually impressive, we found it to be the least scary attraction at FrightWorld. The attraction featured less actors than the other four which slightly hurt the overall experience. A few more scare actors hidden along the impressively detailed set pieces would make “Condemned” the perfect “swamp/outdoor” themed haunted attraction.

Night StalkersNIGHT-STALKERS-LOGO-FINAL1

The final attraction visited, “Night Stalkers”, is the most innovative haunted attraction we have ever experienced.  “Night Stalkers” is by far one of the creepiest, mentally disturbing and scariest haunted attractions of the 2015 haunt season. “Night Stalkers” is a mature, disturbing experience that is best described as an interactive video-game/movie experience, that encourages guests to explore the dark catacombs of this unique attraction. There is no attraction like “Night Stalkers” in the tristate area and the innovative technologies used by this attraction made the trip to FrightWorld unforgettable.  As we entered “Night Stalkers” the attendant handcuffed a flickering “flashlight” to our arms, our only source of light as we made our way through the gritty hallways of this mature attraction. The flashlight turns on, flickers and turns off randomly along the attraction and actors are hidden amongst the darkness. We explored each room cautiously, and the attractions design kept us constantly in fear as we never knew what to expect. The level of detail encourages exploration, yet the flashlights unpredictably made us feel as though we had to preserve the “light” to escape.  The interactive flashlight is not a gimmick, and adds immensely to this creepy, and hauntingly disturbing attraction. Mature scenes, from dead bodies sitting in church pews, to actors who hid in the walls made this experience terrifying. We found ourselves looking over our shoulders, searching each crack and crevice of the room to discover what was the source of our fears. This is by far one of the most innovative haunted attractions in the tristate area and adds an unparalleled level of immersion to the haunted attraction experience.

Throughout the attraction, we often found ourselves loosing track of the scare actors as the flashlight turned off and on. A constant urge to explore the detailed environments added to the dark atmosphere of this dungeon-like attraction. Several scenes featured in “Night Stalkers” are disturbing and mature. Pews of dead bodies greeted us along the darkness, and flickering lights constantly played tricks with our minds. It was difficult to guess what was “next” in this attraction as the constant manipulation of light and a false sense of control exerted by the “flashlight” made “Night Stalkers” an immersive experience that is unique to FrightWorld.

Night Stalkers

NEW for 2015! Buffalo's FIRST EVER interactive flashlight experience. Night Stalkers. Only at Frightworld, America's Screampark.

Posted by Frightworld America's Screampark on Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Final Word

FrightWorld America’s Screampark is one of our all-time favorite haunted attractions, featuring innovative, mature attractions that feature intricate details that have forever been etched into our memories. The attraction generates constant fear, and utilizes dark creativity to achieve this feat. Actors cannot touch you at FrightWorld, yet constantly come close and display a level of creepiness that disturbs throughout each attraction. The elaborate set designs of each attraction are above and beyond many mainstream haunted attractions, and play on individual phobias/fears. FrightWorld’s design is almost flawlessly executed as they use effective line management to ensure guests enter each attraction in small groups. The talented scare actors use the detailed set designs to create a unique, interactive experience in each diverse haunted attraction. Character and make-up designs of each actor are perfectly themed to each attraction and allow actors to interact with guests without touching. Minor touching would add to the terror level of the attraction and contact nights would be a welcome addition to this incredible haunted attraction. The hard-work, and dedication of the management, actors and staff of FrightWorld. is to be commended as they have created a very special haunted attraction experience. We cannot wait to visit FrightWorld again next year and strongly suggest you make the trip as you will experience an unforgettable haunted attraction experience and impressive technological innovations in a custom built nightmare.

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Inside (Remake) Review – Is It as Brutal as the Original?

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Starring Rachel Nichols Laura Harring

Directed by Miguel Ángel Vivas


While the directing duo of the cringe-inducing and original 2007 French grand guignol thriller Inside have gone on to refurbishments of their own—Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo recently helmed a retread of Leatherface’s origin story—their flick now has an American stamp on it with the release of the remake, also titled Inside.

A cheerless Christmas eve sets the stage for heavily-pregnant widow Sarah’s (Rachel Nichols) oncoming ordeal. It’s a frigid and snowy night. She’s got a huge house to herself, following the accidental and violent death of her husband. She wants to sell the home that was meant to hold a family, to forget the nascent memories it once held. But she’s got to ride it out until the baby is born. While Sarah is lonesome, she won’t be alone. She’s got her genial gay neighbor nearby, and her mum is going to come and stay with her for a few days. Oh, and there will be an unexpected visitor too.

When a shadowy, seemingly stranded stranger (Laura Harring) knocks on the door pleading to be let inside, Sarah instinctively balks. She even calls the cops. But the woman leaves and all seems well. Crisis averted. Sarah puts the housekeys in the mailbox outside for Mom, and goes to bed. Big mistake.

Mystery Lady shows up at Sarah’s bedside armed with chloroform, an IV bag, and a case full of sharp-and-pointies (sorry, ’07 fans… those implements do not include a pair of scissors). The horror unfolds and the expected yet lively game of gory cat-and-mouse ensues. Then the tete-a-tete becomes a body-count chiller featuring one shocking moment after another.

Nichols is fantastic in the role, giving it her all. When the original Inside came out eleven years ago, she was starring in another French-helmed horror, P2—also set on Christmas eve—and she stole the show. She does the same here but with a less-intense adversary. Harring’s killer character, unlike her European counterpart, has a lot to say—which takes away from her initially mysterious manner as the minutes tick off. Still, the girl-on-girl action is a welcome change from the usual gender dynamic one sees in these things. Both deserve kudos for their performances.

While Inside isn’t a died-in-the-wool “Hollywood” remake (Miguel Ángel Vivas directs, while [REC] co-creator Jaume Balagueró wrote it) it feels like one. For those who’ve seen the original, there will be mild disappointment (which turns to major letdown at the very end). However, Inside is still a serviceable thriller that’s well-acted, beautifully shot, and effectively scored. Folks coming in fresh, and casual horror fans, will more than likely enjoy it.

  • Inside (Remake)
3.0

Summary

Inside is a serviceable thriller that’s well-acted, beautifully shot, and effectively scored. Folks coming in fresh, and casual horror fans, will more than likely enjoy it. For those who’ve seen the original, there will be mild disappointment (which turns to major letdown at the very end).

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What If Tina Fey Wrote Jennifer’s Body? My Friend’s Exorcism Book Review

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“Rummaging in one of his duffel bags, [the exorcist] pulled out and athletic cup and slid it down the front of his pants. ‘First place they go for,’ he explained. He then adjusted himself and picked up a well-worn Bible. ‘Let’s do the Lord’s work.'”

It was about a year ago now (it seems) that I first saw the cover of “My Best Friend’s Exorcism.” If you haven’t seen it for yourself in all of its glory, make sure to click the image over to the right for a more in-depth look. Awesome, right? Got to love all the VHS details such as the “Horror” and “Be Kind Rewind” stickers. Classic. Utter classic.

Now I’m fully aware that one should not judge a book by its cover. Literally. But still the moment I saw this work of delicious art crop up in the inbox I had to read the book asap. Well, it turns out asap was about a year later, but all the same, I’ve now had a peek at the inside of the book as well as the outside. Does the content inside match the content outside?

Let’s find out…

For those who might not know, “My Best Friend’s Exorcism” (henceforth referred to as MBFE) tells the tale of two best friends named Abby and Grethen. One night the two, and a few of there other friends, drop a bit of acid for the first time. While the drug never kicks in (no worries, there’s no lame twist-ending to be had here) poor Gretchen still wanders off into the woods and gets possessed like a motherf*cker in some creepy abandoned building. From there, things go from bad to worse until an unlikely exorcist is called in and things go off the wicked walls in all the best ways possible.

Now, to review. First of all, let it be know that MBFE is more of a teen romance (between two friends) than a straight tale of terror. Think of it as “What if Tina Fey wrote Jennifer’s Body?” and that will give you a good hint at what the book holds in store for you. Not that that’s a bad thing. Still, you should be aware that the first 2/3 of the book is almost exclusively teenagers not getting along, bitch about losing touch, who is sleeping with who, and yada, yada, yada for pages on end. Dramarama for days. Mostly.

That said, not only is the teen drama bearable (and truthfully quite sweet in spots), Hendrix keeps the horror in the spotlight just enough that I never lost faith the book was heading somewhere truly balls to the wall. And it does. Oh, boy does it. From the time the unholy shite hits the fan in the last third, to the time the last word is read, the book is filled with horror moments that will make even the most jaded fright-fiction fan gag, grimace, or stand up and cheer!

You just have to get through all the angst first…

But speaking of angst, let me get a bit of extremely personal business out of the way real quick. Can I trust you with this info? Sure I can. MBFE made is cry like a baby. Not kidding. There have been very few times in my life that I have literally burst out crying. I’ve had some sad shite happen in my days, and I have seen some sad-ass movies, but nothing has made me cry out of the f*cking blue like MBFE. I’m not going to go into details about the final 10 pages of the book, but it tore my poor horror-heart a new one. It was bad. Like snot and hyperventilating type shite. Again, not kidding. Thank the lord I wasn’t in public is all I can say. I would have arrested and thrown in the booby-hatch.

MBFE goes along like a slightly horror-centric version of Mean Girls and Heathers for most of its page count. If you’re a straight horror fan, you’ll be at odds with whether you should bother finishing it or not. You will. Trust me. But listen to me now and know that once our heroine goes into the dark, dank bedroom of the school’s resident bitch to find out why she hasn’t been in school the past few days/weeks, the horror hits like holy hell. And it only gets worse (RE: better) from there.

In the end, MBFE is a book ever horror fan should own – if only for the cover. I dug the hell out of the book (eventually) and I’m sure the majority of you guys will too. But even for those hard-hearts out there that just can’t stand to read about things like uncompromising love, and hellfire-forged friendship, you still need to own the book. You still owe it to yourself to give it a try. If you don’t care for it, that’s cool, just display in on your bookshelf in all it’s VHS glory. It will make you look cool.

  • My Best Friend's Exorcism - Book Review
3.5

Summary

Grady Hendrix’s “My Best Friend’s Exorcism” is a killer mixture of Mean Girls, Heathers, and The Exorcist. Just think of it as “What if Tina Fey wrote Jennifer’s Body” and you’ll have a good indication of what lies in store for you within the amazing VHS-inspired cover art.

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Knock Knock Review – This Throwback To The VHS Era Packs A Fun Punch

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Starring Kerry Tartack, Sisi Berry, Chuk Hell

Directed by Toby Canto


I remember the glory days of my youth back in the early to mid-80’s, renting every friggin horror flick on VHS and keeping the cassettes well past the return dates, eventually blacklisting my name from damn near all of the movie shops in my hometown. For the sole reason of wanting to hop back in the time-machine, I’ll never turn down the opportunity to check out a film that promises to ship you back to the days of all of that cheesy-neon attire and overblown hairdos.

Director Toby Canto was generous enough to offer his latest film up onto the sacrificial stone, and it’s called Knock Knock – about a WAY past his prime pugilist named Sam (Tartack) who is unwillingly thrust into a throwdown with a bloodsucker who happens to reside in the same apartment – damn noisy neighbors! His only birthday wish is to spend his 60th go-round safely hold up in his domicile, away from pesky residents alike. Well, that plan goes to shit when his kooky neighbor (Berry) comes by and pitches the idea of throwing hands with the newest tenant: a real creature of the night (Lucas Ayoub).

Sam initially nixes the idea wholeheartedly, but when more of his quirky neighbors show up to his place to substantiate the vampiric-claims, Sam finds himself lacing up the leather for one more round…or two, depending on if he can still take a beating. Filled with more than a handful of goofy instances, this near-hour presentation won’t blow the doors off of the horror/com vehicle, but should more than suffice in the short-term until the next spooky-laugher comes slithering out of its hole.

  • Film
3.0

Summary

Historians alike, this movie’s for those who want a reminder of how loopy those VHS days were, and the best part is you don’t have to rewind a freakin’ thing.

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