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Friday, October 10, 2014

Knott’s Scary Farm 2014, They Keep The Scares Coming

by Andrew Gallardo with contributions by Jonathan Bilski 

Sept 25- Nov 3
Select Nights
Knott's Berry Farm
8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620
Starts as low as $39

The popular Knott's haunt returns again with it's 41st haunt, this year promising more fantastic scares than ever before. With three new mazes this year, making a total whopping eleven mazes, Knotts did it right. What stands out about Knotts is that they don't rely on big Hollywood films to scare us.
Every idea they have is an original adaptation of something that perhaps wasn't creepy and made into a terrifying experience.

Let us run through the mazes and other scares like we ran for our lives.

-Special OPS Infected

Finally we go with the most creative, immersive, and FANTASTIC maze.Special OPS Infected brings the war with the infected at home.We are enlisted by squad of Special OPS and given riffles.
In true military attitude we are told to line up, listen and shut up.We are quickly briefed about the situation or mission is simple to contact the scientist in order to save humanity.Then it's show time, as we leave the hut we see a number of infected slowly making there way toward us. Our riffles shoot light in a scattered fashion like a shotgun. The light is essentially a triangle but with just the top and two bottom parts.

The trick is to angle you shot in a way that one of the corners hits the infected. Each Infected has a headband with a light sensor, once hit it turns blue.We make our way trough the town encountering vandals and a group is trapped while the others we go and rescue a scientist. After that  long struggle we find the scientist (who was bit) and instructed under no circumstances are we to shoot the scientist.Shooting zombies was the best part of this maze. My overall score was 17,000 which was pretty high up there. This maze deserves a perfect 10 out of 10, truly flawless action with scares.

New Mazes

The overall theme appeared to be The Tooth Fairy for Knott's, you may ask yourself, "A fairy? That's not scary at all, (Yoda talk)Wrong you are." The Tooth Fairy  brought everything you knew when you were a child and made it into a distorted reality. Starting off the maze with a very disturbing glance of what appears to be a little girl's bedroom before going to sleep, I felt like just that alone was creepier than anything that could of been expected. When being essentially a peeping tom on this poor girl you feel strange. The reality of it get's worse as we make our way inside the maze, we can see the inside of what appears to be a house. As we make our way through this house we see several children's bedrooms. We are presented with the most grisly sight I have ever seen in a haunted house attraction, mangled children size corpses lay there with their lower jaws removed. We can see children in cages tortured and abused. Screams fill the air as we make our way deeper in. Blood and teeth decorate the interior as we make out way around. Just this single maze blew anything I have ever seen before out of the water. A true 10 out of 10.

-The Dominion of the Damned

Before going into The Tooth Fairy, one must join the Dominion of the Damned and become a guest in there blood sucking house. We are greeted by a collection of beautiful succubus. The overall theme for this was vampires, but done right for a change! We normally think of a vampire mazes as a bore, but this one truly captured all the satanic worship and human sacrifice that was well needed.
One of my personal favorite parts was a human flesh wall made with different body parts. It somehow reminded me of Animal Crossing and decorating my house with the flesh wall, surely the happy home academy points would be through the roof. Overall this was amazing, the most terrorizing maze with vampires I have ever been to. A score of 8 out of 10.


Voodoo was a unique maze using the New Orleans swamps as a way to make a maze inside a maze.
With each turn taking you somewhere new, one has to explore this maze more than once to see it all.
Each hut we enter is a new terrifying voodoo ritual. This maze is sure to make your head spin with juju magic. Unique runs every time and dark sided magic makes me give this maze a 7.

Returning Mazes

-Black Magic

Speaking of such, Black Magic was another fantastic maze. With a overall setting of Harry Houdini gone to hell. This maze provides many hair raising moments.This was one of those mazes that was less terrifying and more interesting.With settings that made me just want to sit down and enjoy the view of Houdini's twisted world. Providing a live magician for a select number of participants and killer bunnies makes this maze a strong 8.


Forevermore often confused for Nevermore, but I can tell you I'll NEVER do that again.
Entering the twisted dark world of the master Edgar Allan Poe, one becomes part of the stories of Poe and can experience first hand the terror of it all. From the Raven to the deadly pendulum everything is captured in a perfect way.The maze was fantastic although the ending was a bit weak with some kind of techno night club, because of that I'm going to have to give Forevermore a 5 out of 10.

-The Witch's Keep

There's not much to say about The Witch's Keep without being overall negative. This one took place in the old timey calico mine carts. The idea was good, but the exception had problems.With poor lip syncing from the animatronic humans and the bumpy ride, it did not go well. Granted that they did have some very creative parts such as going inside the mine felt like some sort sauna. Unfortunately this maze did not make it in the top spots with a score of 3 out of 10.

-Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat was more of treat then a trick. That is until the last part. We enter this old little house which has the most astonishing collection of pumpkins I have seen since... well since the "Trick 'r Treat" movie. A fantastic collection of masks can be found lining the walls. Making your way through the house is very spooky. The final trick is the witch that we are faced with yelling at us to leave her house.Then out of nowhere a chandelier drops down on the table giving us a true scare.
With all these great elements this maze gets a 9 out of 10.

-Pinocchio Unstrung

Pinocchio Unstrung? That can't be scary, one might think to themselves, think again.
Knott's brought this sweet story into a terrifying experience. Entering we can see Pinocchio sawing a mini doll.The sound of saw blades fill the room with a slight scent of wood, the mood or should I say wood was all here.We are faced with several puppets to bring terror into our hearts. Like the classic tale with go inside a whale and it truly feels like we are underwater. Being a huge Pinocchio Fan I have to give this a 9.5 out of 10.

-Gunslingers Grave

This one was another one of those that are less scary and more interesting.Visually we are taken to a wild wild west town. As we explore we can see a collection of angry westerners coming at us.
This felt much like the world of Red Dead Redemption, expect everyone was upset with you for some weird reason.This maze had a good atmosphere, but not many scares and for that I give it a 4 out of 10.

Scare Zones

As usual Knotts had four scare zones. Gypsy Camp, which was too busy to even notice any scare actors. Ghost Town, which had a perfect fogger to distort your vision and the scare actors can sneak behind you. Carnevil, had to be my favorite of them all, Clowns and jokes go together perfectly.
Fiesta de los Muertos, spooky Dia de los muertos ghouls coming up to us in panchos and pretty dresses.

What we missed: 

-Elvira’s Big Top, a new show featuring the mistress of the night filled with laughs at your expense.
-Trapped: Locke and Key, the pay extra maze that give you clues and hard to follow fear breaking tasks.
-Rides open all night at the park

Overall Knott's hit the ball so far out of the park that the park was on some other planet, a planet of undead monsters. Knott's outdid everyone besides Delusion, of course, but that is a different category. Knott's provided original scares with great actors and even better props for another year of horror service only they can provide.