DATE OF VISIT
October 21, 2017
BRICK, NEW JERSEY - Given our Annual FrightTour is comprised of locations we have never experienced who are then up against our award winning haunts from the previous year... we sometimes get a request to update a review for an attraction we have already experienced. Considering Scary Rotten Farms is very local to our main headquarters we agreed to make a visit to the two haunt attraction and update the review we had posted from our official visit in 2013. Unfortunately since Scary Rotten Farms didn't take any awards home that year, they have been off our radar for the last four years. Considering that time frame, we were excited to see what has changed at this local attraction.
We began our night with the Chaotic Carnival of Chaos and while I am personally petrified of clowns, this attraction was anything but chaotic. Now, don't get me wrong, the foundation for this haunt is superb! Clowns are just downright creepy, terrifying... don't look at me or come near me. Just stay away from me with your big shoes. However, that foundation is all this attraction had going for it. I feel like again, this attraction suffered from a lack of direction and intensity. I so wanted this haunt to be terrifying, because clown attractions can be... well for me they can be. However, due to the sheer size of this haunt and lack of involvement/enthusiasm from the actors The Chaotic Carnvial was a MAJOR let down.
First of all, the actors seemed uninterested in what they were doing. Now it could be because they all volunteers which I have learned from reading other reviews. But most of them stood up against a wall and slammed a hard object against another over and over again. Now the first time is great... the second time is fine... but when it is a so repetitive it is like beating a dead horse. Put some body into it, move a little and put yourself out there in front of those walking by because the actors who did just stood there and looked at you as you walked by. Totally ineffective to me! The art of a good haunted house is the effect of distraction and pop-up scares. There was a very small amount of "pop-up" scares inside the carnival. Most notably and effective were the guy on stilts and the creepy clown in the rubber ball room. Awesome job so I give you two kudos where as the others should take notes. Now I had mentioned distraction... Well along the very long walk, there were a ton of static fake clowns who stood in various positions in various locations. Given the very dark nature of this haunt, it was very hard to tell whether or not these were fake or real. I found myself getting closer to examine, or shimmying away from it because I thought it was real. Now to me this would have been the perfect time for someone to lunge from a completely different angle or side of the room to scare the living daylights out of me. But yet it never came... I waited every single time we came in close proximity with one of these static clowns but not one actor used them to their advantage.
I also feel like the entire attraction is too long and drawn out just for the sheer fact of having a very long haunt. There were some decent spots of dead space and I know you can't have someone every two feet. I feel like if the attraction was downsized, the actors would be consolidated into a small amount creating a more extreme intense attraction. Oh... by the way, there were a total of four, yes four guys with chainsaws! That is complete and utter overkill. The chainsaws are so 1990 and I really wish that someone would outlaw them! By the end of the attraction I was disappointed and discouraged.
Leaving the carnival it was time for Scary Rotten Farms second haunt, Blackened: The Plague. This outdoor wooded trail attraction is well... very dark. So dark that I couldn't see who or what was attempting to scare me. There was hardly any lighting therefore any scenes or pop-up scares that took place were shrouded in complete darkness. Again this trail was way too long for the amount of actors found inside. And again the actors just gave off an energy of not wanting be there. Some did the repetitive banging approach and some stood in the middle of the path glaring you down as you passed. Then there were a select few who thought it was necessary to turn a haunt into a comedy club. Now I don't mind a joke here or there inside a haunt. But when five actors crack a joke and you are laughing more than you are screaming, there is a problem. I don't visit haunted houses to laugh at the actors, I visit to scream and then laugh at my own reactions. It again was a very MAJOR let down. Again if the attraction underwent some shrinkage and redirecting, I think it would be a decent ns scary attraction. But for right now, it was just a stroll through a patch of dark woods.
Overall, Scary Rotten Farms wasn't scary nor rotten. There is major potential as the foundation of each haunt is creepy... creepy clowns and creepy woods. With a little bit of direction, downsizing and increased intensity, Scary Rotten Farms could be a major terrifying attraction. However, given my most recent experience, I personally wouldn't recommend it to anyone looking for the most intense scares out there.