Brighton Asylum 2019 Haunted Attraction Review October 12, 2019 Location: 2 Brighton Ave, Passaic, NJ 07055 Web Page: http://brightonasylum.com/ Introduction Set upon the backdrop of New York City, is one of the most impressive, continuously growing haunted attractions in the tri-state area, a true passion project and tribute to horror, Brighton Asylum. Brighton Asylum never fails to stop innovating and is indeed best described as a “museum” of horror with such incredible detail and painstaking creative set designs that are unlike any other walk-through attraction you may visit this season. Brighton Asylum is built from the ground up each season, and room design painstakingly planned to balance out innovative, interactive animatronics balanced perfectly with talented “scare-actors” that have mastered their craft. Like other successful haunted attractions, the management, staff, and actors of this attraction are entirely committed to providing an incredible show each year, utilizing feedback and honest reviews to improve the experience of the attraction. We first began visiting Brighton Asylum several years ago and have attended a variety of their regular season and off-season events. What we have always found is that the experience is never the same. While many haunts make minor upgrades or tweaks to their attractions, Brighton Asylum goes all out in its effort to create new, upgraded show every season. The production values of Brighton Asylum are breathtaking, as the design team and management have taken scene creation to a new level. Set within the confines of a large industrial complex, Brighton Asylum transforms each corridor and room into a nightmarish scene, with incredible special effects, intricately detailed rooms, professional lighting and sound effects that create an immersive experience of the highest quality. Very few attractions have a level of detail that causes us to completely stop and want to explore each room. Obsessive attention to detail makes this attraction stand out, from “crayon” drawings created by the “insane” on the walls to some of the most lifelike gory props in the industry, each element is carefully planned and implemented to stun the senses and bring to life realistic scenes that transform the entire environment. Every single season the creative and design team of Brighton Asylum continues to find new ways to revamp its three core attractions; “Brighton Asylum”, “The Bleeding Grounds” and new for 2019 “PORT9L” to always upgrade each set design, add additional scenes and incorporate interactive funhouse elements into a world-class haunted attraction. While many haunts rely on pitch darkness and blinding lights to create fear, Brighton Asylum is designed so guests can see and feel the gruesome details of every single scene. Creative lighting effects augment the realistic, nightmarish design of each room, creating a surreal environment appreciated by haunt fans. Brighton Asylum is once again one of the must-see attractions for the 2019 haunt. Brighton Asylum is interactive, boasts incredible set designs, and talented, creepy scare actors who do a phenomenal job of interacting with each guest in a variety of ways. The incredible details of each room are the perfect backdrop for talented scare actors that feature impressive makeup and costume designs. These actors work tirelessly in engaging guests as they move from room to room, using scare acting techniques to control pacing and manage lines within the attraction. Creative scare-acting and detailed set design is the norm at Brighton Asylum, and without giving away to many spoilers, if you are a fan of “Stephen King’s It or The Shining,” we STRONGLY suggest you see this attraction this year. Not enough can be said about the pure insanity of the scare-actors from twisted families to an aggressive butcher who placed his machete right across our foreheads, as well as a visit with a “Jack Torrance” inspired character in a scene inspired by Stephen King’s “The Shining.” Actors are almost always well hidden, popping out of walls, out of rusted cars, on surgery tables, and in a morgue. Impressive, world-class animatronics are used to create misdirection, which allows scare actors to create an exciting experience. Staff and management are committed to providing a quality, interactive haunted attraction experience for every guest who visits this year and continues to upgrade the attraction on a yearly basis. An improved line management system has been implemented to reduce wait times while keeping guests from encountering other groups while in the attraction. We would also like to give the entire attraction credit for its hospitality and treatment of guests with special needs. On our visit, we witnessed the staff ensure a guest in a wheelchair experienced the attractions to their fullest extent. Every single scare-actor did a great job of accommodating this group and ensuring a positive experience. Attractions: Brighton Asylum, set in an industrial complex in Passaic, New Jersey, is an indoor walk-through attraction featuring three separate haunts. The first two attractions are separated into two “haunts”; guests start their adventure in the new and innovative “PORT9L” attraction prior to entering the “Brighton Asylum.” On the second floor is last year’s major new attraction, a Victorian-inspired slaughterhouse known as “The Bleeding Grounds.” Brighton Asylum features numerous additional “Escape Rooms,” special horror-themed “Slasher Thursdays,” a variety of popular “off-season events” and a new “paranormal investigation experience” giving fans numerous options to enjoy their stay. PORT9L “PORT9L” might quite possibly be the most unique haunted attraction we have visited so far this season and quite the surprise. “PORT9L” is best described as an old, almost evil version of a significant “city” that comes to life. Perhaps heavily inspired by the slums of certain major cities, giant rats come out of sewer holes, the homeless appear to be undead, and Brighton Asylum has somehow built an actual “moving” subway simulator into this unique haunted attraction. Guests feel as though they are passing through an abandoned, horrific subway, having to move on through the attraction while being stalked by a variety of strange characters. “PORT9L” is post-apocalyptic in its theme and design and out of almost nowhere transforms from a sci-fi infused attraction into a dark, Satanic theme. We NEVER expected to encounter a Satanic ritual sequence at Brighton Asylum, and coupled with this dingy, dark city-inspired wasteland it fits in shockingly well. “PORT9L” represents almost the “end of times” so to speak in a dark twisted world where one feels almost as a victim in this new experience. “PORT9L” ultimately left us in shock and surprise with its dark, horror focused design and unique city-inspired atmosphere. We only wish that the attraction better paced guests as we found ourselves in a larger group despite our best efforts, which was also a minor issue with the former attraction “The Tunnels.” However, the pure insanity and captivating set designs really kept our attention, and the larger group didn’t hinder the overall effectiveness of the attraction. Brighton Asylum “Brighton Asylum” attraction is one of our favorite walk-through attractions of all time. Once again, massive set changes and additions have been undertaken to create an almost entirely new attraction for the 2019 haunt season. “Brighton Asylum” features some of the very best set designs, special effects, and unique interactive rooms in any haunted attraction. From a movie quality representation of “Stephen King’s It” to a hallway of containment units bursting at the seams, each scene is unique, diverse, and heavily detailed. The quality of set designs, lighting, and audio effects are top-notch and disorientate guests as they transverse the halls of the “Brighton Asylum.” The unique, innovative set designs of the attraction add to the scares, and the actors become shockingly aggressive in their dedicated efforts to “scare.” We witnessed numerous scare-actors work tirelessly to stalk hapless victims, chasing even some into the stairwells and out of the attraction itself. These actors are insane; they hang from sets, jump from planks, make off-color jokes with guests, and play their roles phenomenally. Constant aggression and the use of scare acting to manage the flow of the attraction is a tribute to the level of detail placed into the haunt’s design. The quality of acting coupled with high-tech, detailed set designs make this attraction something special. The level of detail and quality of each set design and corridor are impressive, to say the least. We often found ourselves admiring each room, each hallway, and every little detail that is found in this brutal haunted attraction. Animatronics and props are life-like, feature disturbing imagery such as tortured half-dead hanging bodies, and depictions of gruesome surgery. Corridors feature interactive doors that move and jolt, leaving little downtime. New scenes include an incredibly disturbing “moving” padded room that utilizes creepy scare actors mixed, lit by slow strobe lights in a room that moves, creating a sense of panic. Another long corridor features a scene that is a tribute to “The Shining” featuring an aggressive ax-yielding maniac guarding two bloodied twin girls. Guests must duck, walk across “unstable” bridges, crawl, dodge massive props that “reach” out for their victims and avoid at all costs the twisted characters who seem focused on trapping each guest within the asylum. “Brighton Asylum” is longer, and improved in every way, and a spectacle to see. Despite massive crowds, the attraction manages crowds to prevent guests from backing up or running into other groups. Actors were always in place and utilized their talents to prevent guests from rushing through each scene. You will want to experience each scene in its entirety, and each corridor features action and surprises that scare and challenge guests to escape the “Brighton Asylum.” The Bleeding Grounds “The Bleeding Grounds” is best described as a Victorian-era inspired nightmare, that starts off as a traditional haunted house and quickly evolves into a dungeon of pure gore and horror. “The Bleeding Grounds” brings to life a time period long in the past, with the perfect combination of scare-acting, use of technology to create scenes such as a massive “thunderstorms” and interactive rooms that move and force you to duck at times to generate a time period authentic experience. After an upstairs visit through an abandoned library, rather gruesome “dining room” and “living room,” the experience becomes even more intense. Hanging bodies, mutilations galore, and insane actors seem to pop out of the most unexpected places and have such character designs and engage in performances that make one’s skin crawl. “The Bleeding Grounds” starts off somewhat “traditional” but quickly divulges into pure violence, which fits the unique theme of a period-piece human slaughterhouse and an excellent ending to Brighton Asylum. The Final Word Brighton Asylum is one of the few haunted attractions that not only outdoes itself every single season; it goes overboard in terms of implementing the latest in haunted attraction technology, set design, sound, and actor performance. Each of the three attractions is not only rich in detail but has some of the most interactive set and room design; it is unfathomable how much effort and resources are poured into making massive changes each season. We have never visited an attraction that undergoes an almost complete redesign and improvement process as intense as Brighton Asylum, and this season once again, the attraction lived up to its hype. From a more pragmatic, larger-scale review of operations, what we found the most effective of the large-scale upgrades was a drastic improvement in “scare-acting” coupled with a brand-new sound system that added a layer of immersion to the meticulously planned scenes/sets. Actors worked extremely hard to engage almost every guest in groups, had some of the most bizarre make-up and gruesome designs of any “characters” we have ever encountered and overall just performed with such energy and skill they made us believe in their insanity. So many haunted attractions lack change or fail to capitalize on the “hype” that is created by their branding. We have visited numerous haunted attractions that have fantastic web pages, amazing press packages, and images that convey a sense of Hollywood-quality special effects. By and large, these attractions fail to meet the high expectations, which in some cases are self-defined. Brighton Asylum does not fall into this trap as the creative team and management work tirelessly and invests heavily in ensuring that every season truly outdoes itself in terms of attraction design and overall performance. Brighton Asylum, for the first time perhaps at times, feels eerily “real” as the level of detail and quality of set design, immersive audio, truly interactive props and gruesomely delightful animatronics complement the aggressive, creative and at times terrifying performances of the talented scare actors featured in this attraction.