Knotts Scary Farm 2018- Maze Reviews

November 2, 2018, 9:37 PM

Knotts Scary Farm Maze Reviews!
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Howdy friends! Here’s my in-depth review for the mazes at Knotts Scary Farm 2018! Be warned, spoilers are ahead, and please enjoy! (The number of times experienced is a combination of all 3 of my visits)
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Pumpkin Eater: When I heard about this maze back in 2016 when it was first announced, I honestly didn’t think it was gonna be that great. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I actually experienced it myself. It had some nice sets and solid scares, as well as a easy to follow story which is always a blessing. Overall, not a world-class maze, but definitely a supporter which is always needed at a good Halloween event. My Rating- 7.75/10 (3x)
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Shadowlands: When I visited back in 2016, the line was over 2 hours long so I did not get to do it. Come 2017, I was eager to see it, however, my Scary Farm plans fell through at the last minute eliminating all hope. But then this year, my hopes finally came true and on my first visit of 2018 (in which it was my first maze) I finally got to experience Shadowlands. Walking in, I had no idea what was coming, as I resisted the urge to watch POVs of it for 3 years so I could be surprised, and my oh my it was great. The Japanese suicide forest entrance was scary, the bathhouse scene was amazing, the village was incredibly detailed, and the finale was spectacular. Overall, a solid maze, and I really wish I had gotten to do the preshow in 2016-2017, as I’m told it was truly ground breaking, which probably would have bumped it’s score up a good point or two. All in all, it was truly a spectacular maze, and I’m so glad I got to finally experience it. My rating- 9/10 (2x)
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Special Ops Infected: My goal was to get through every maze at least twice, and this just happened to be the one that almost killed it haha. I always appreciate a unique experience so this was certainly quite the treat. The line moved speedy compared to my 2016 visit, and it seemed like overall, not just in this maze, capacity was big thing for Scary Farm this year. The sets were nice, although not incredibly polished (even in a “rough” aesthetic type of way) and the acting was passable. The clown jumpscare in their Chuck E Cheese knockoff was hands down the best one of any of my visits, and the only time I actually screamed. Everything else about it was pretty good, although the “new ending” was barely new at all, it felt and looked exactly the same. Not super scary, but fun if you’re with a big group. My rating- 7.25/10 (2x)
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Red Barn: Ummmmm… okay. I was expecting a pretty generic slaughterhouse type of theme, and I pretty much got that. It was disappointing to see that they removed the cult theme with the senior trip takes an excursion and gets trapped backstory, as that would have really made it stand out. The music was obnoxious, the sets were severally lacking, and the scares were simply not there, honestly, I’m glad to hear that it’ll be replaced come next year. My rating- 4.5/10 (3x)
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Dark Ride: T E A R S O F J O Y! When this was announced back in 2017, to say I was excited to see it would have been the understatement of the century! I was soooooo sad when my plans were cancelled last year, solely because I knew I wasn’t going to get to see it. So when I arrived this year, I made a beeline the second our group didn’t already have a maze in mind, and it was absolute heaven. The entrance scene was DRIPPING with easter eggs, especially from the trailer, the corny sets were fantastic, the backstage areas were impeccably detailed. The scares were mind bogglingly good, with the cheesy animatronics as distractions before jump scares, the level of detail was eye numbing, and the creativity was absolutely fabulous. Also, they had a scare actor dressed as a chair, you read that right, he was dressed… as a chair!! Anyways, when you combine all that, you have my easily favorite maze of all time, and I don’t think it takes a genius to figure out what I’m going to give it. If you can do a single maze here, please, please do dark ride. Absolutely phenomenal. My Rating- 11/10 (2x)
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Paranormal Inc: Overall a solid maze, but I would count the cow milked at this point and move on, although it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen anytime good. The preshow was good, and the revisions to the length really helped jack up the capacity, and the sets were pretty good. Quick tip, the right side of the “choose your path” after the preshow is far better than the better, just for reference. The laser light with the actors jumping out was the highlight of the experience, and unpopular opinion, I despised the new ending. While it was supposed to be a portal back to Hayden Hill’s operational days, it was super confusing (not made any easier by the fact that the balloon walls were popped on my second run through) which leads to a hallway that -SPOILER- flickers back and forth from demonic to normal world using mesh walls. And then, surprise, you’re back in the good ole days, where you see a monster, although no sets, and then exit out. To top it off, also on our second visit, the animatronic monster was broken on our second visit, so there was really no finale, just black walls, whoops. Anywho, solid maze, although it’s losing a bit of it’s spark. My rating- 7.5/10 (2x)
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Trick or Treat Lights Out: After briskly strolling to this one to form the friday night’s later 140 minute line, I was handed a flashlight and headed through the Green Witch’s house. The sets were nice (I think, I couldn’t see much) and the scares were world class. Too bad the maze was pretty short, as I’d really have liked it to be longer. Since there isn’t much of a story and even with multiple runs I couldn’t grasp much of the sets, I think that’s it for this review, just know it’s a great maze. My rating- 9.25/10 (2x)
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Dark Entities: Poor Dark Entities. To start, the maze is tucked all the way back in the middle of nowhere, so even during an insanely packed Friday night, it was a walk-on the whole evening. This is the first maze where I really felt a sense of progression as I walked through it, and it was absolutely fantastic. However, the scares were lacking (the only good one was a boo-box) and the sets seemed limited to walls and popouts, almost making it feel like you were watching the maze action, instead of being in it. A generic theme should be used a challenged to do great things with it, instead of simply succumbing to what the “obvious limit” is. Props to the actors for really trying to create a sense of urgency as they ran among the first scene, and also quick comment, the droid medical bot was absolutely adorable, probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen at Knotts. Next year, I think they should go back to the drawing board, amp up the intensity and the scares, and that’d make it a really, really good maze, as right now it falls in the- there’s nothing bad per say about it, there’s just nothing that stood out as good- category. My rating- 6.5/10 (2x)
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The Depths: Yikes. That was a rough showing. Be forewarned, the rest of this review is dripping with unpopular opinions, so if you’re easily offended by facts, this might be a good time to drop a nice comment and then promptly scidaddle scidoodle. It starts off as an adventure through a cavernous mine, before quickly becoming an exploration of a giant skeleton, almost as quickly as you then walk onto a underwater ship with miners (?) before entering the Aztec laser swamp, which in all defense was insanely cool. After this you again enter the underwater mine where miners are lurking with terrifying boo-box scares, before all of a sudden, there’s a kraken and a pirate ship! To be fair, the kraken and the pirate ship (which actually violently rocks) was one of the most visually impressive things I’ve seen in any maze anywhere, if only the rest of the maze is similar. And to wrap it all up, Davy Jones comes out to scare you, before being stabbed for having one sequel too many, where a giant great white shark animatronic pops out of the wall and split blood on you before you exit out a lighthouse. Confusing? I think so. The maze has potential, as seen with the laser swamp, the rocking ship, and the shark, however, going back to the drawing board and throwing the entire storyline out and rebuilding it from stratch (and then making necessary adjustments) is probably the best course of action. Everyone I spoke with said it was a great maze, which I’ll agree, it had some very nice elements, however, the storyline was super confusing and made no sense. Judging on wait times alone, this thing will be here for the next couple years, and I’d assume it’s not going to change much while it’s here. To recap, certain spots had good scares, and there were a few standout moments, however, a murky storyline left me more than confused with everything than impressed with what just happened. While Knott’s official hashtag is #WhereNightmaresNeverEnd, for this maze alone, it should be #WhereStorylinesNeverBegin My rating- 5.5/10 (3x)
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Overall Maze Rankings:
1- Dark Ride
2- Trick or Treat: Lights Out
3- Shadowlands
(decent sized drop-off)
4- Pumpkin Eater
5- Paranormal Inc
6- Special Ops: Infected
(huge drop-off)
6- Dark Entities
7- The Depths
8- Red Barn
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Thank you so much for tuning into my Knotts Scary Farm 2018 maze reviews! Please comment, or let me know if you have any questions and I’d love to help! Thank you again!

Replies (1)

November 3, 2018, 2:07 AM

Great review of 2018's Scary Farm mazes! I'm surprised that you really didn't care for The Depths...I agree that the story is a bit murky, but it just has so many great effects that I'd easily consider it among the best in recent times. With the new ending, I'd actually say Paranormal was my favorite this year, though it has been there four years and probably doesn't need a fifth. On the other end of the spectrum, Red Barn is awful...the only maze at the event I dislike, and definitely one I won't miss. I mostly agree with you on the other mazes, though maybe not to quite the same extremes. Personally, I rank them as follows:

1. Paranormal Inc.
2. The Depths
3. Trick or Treat
4. Dark Ride
5. Special Ops
6. Shadow Lands
7. Pumpkin Eater
8. Dark Entities
9. The Red Barn