Inventive Scenes, Lush Environments Highlight Slaughtered at Sundown

The air had grown cold and the hour late as the headlights of our vehicle cut a swath through the rich blackness. John and I arrived at Slaughtered at Sundown just prior to closing time — the hayride had already ended for the night and considering the biting winds, I couldn’t blame the operators.

A fair amount of patrons were already waiting in line for their chance to enter the haunted house when we stepped into the queue area. WRIF was on hand for the night and while the rock music was a welcome addition, some hot chocolate or roving ghouls would have made the lengthy wait more bearable. We did chat briefly with a family in front of us who had toured Slaughtered at Sundown previously.

Interestingly, our journey began and ended with nearly identical scares and oddly the effect was very well executed. Both the first and last rooms in Slaughtered at Sundown are covered in streaks and splats of neon colored paint, it looked as if a radioactive rainbow had entered the area and spewed bile in spasmodic fits. An actor in a blackout suit which had been painted accordingly lurked in the shadows and jolted guests with lightning quick startles.

Slaughtered at Sundown offered a good balance of haunt fundamentals and old school tactics mixed with modern props and technology. This provided an ideal setting for the actors who performed admirably, one memorable monster was dressed as Pyramid Head from Silent Hill, the costume was finely detailed and highly convincing complete with elongated angles and over-sized knife.

We also enjoyed a dark hallway that featured a spongy floor, our feet sank with each step which created a mild sensation of floating. Soon thereafter we turned into a hall which used lasers and mirrors to create misdirection and disorientation.

The most detailed scenes were saved for the second half of the attraction. Inside a lifeless nursery, a bony corpse rocked an infant to eternal sleep and later we came upon a wall that resembled a honeycomb but there was no sweet nectar to be had. As we approached the structure a pair of undead arms reached out of the wall and attempted to draw us inside.

The scene was visually striking and something we hadn’t quite seen before; it reminded me of the brief, but jarring dream sequence in 1985’s Day of the Dead when a dozen pair of zombie arms burst from a dormitory wall and clutched at one of the main characters.

Slaughtered at Sundown also featured an excellent swamp full of fog and was inhabited by a mangy Skunk Ape who harassed any who dared to traverse the bridge that spanned the bogland. There was also a greatly detailed cave which even had a thick layer of sand spread across the floor.

Our only complaint fell to the group in front of us which was a family of 6-8 people who now hold the record for the slowest group to ever traverse a haunted attraction. On at least three occasions we attempted to separate ourselves from them but they moved at such a snail pace it was impossible without creating a traffic jam behind us as well. Due to the size of their group and the fact that they entered each room ahead of us, the family commanded the lion’s share of attention from the actors and that was detrimental to our experience.

Aside from that, Slaughtered at Sundown did a great many things right — the detailed scenes and shifting environments kept things interesting. A touch more intensity and improvisation would suit this cast very well.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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