Pure Terror Screampark 2019 Haunted Attraction Review October 31, 2019 Location: 299 Museum Village Rd, Monroe, NY 10950 Web Page: https://pureterror.com Introduction Pure Terror Screampark each season raises the bar in haunted attraction set design and effective use of expensive, large-scale animatronics to create diverse worlds within the context of a long, almost hour-long experience. This season Pure Terror Screampark has added several new attractions and once again enhanced its perhaps most famous attraction “Legends of Horror.” Adding additional length to the attraction is not an easy task with an already long show, but the level of detail and creativity which inspires this “big-budget” show completely transforms each diverse attraction and pushes the envelope in terms of how an attraction can change and improve its show on such a large scale each season. Vastly improved over the past four seasons, Pure Terror can rise to a new level of excellence if it adds additional scare-actors and goes beyond the general jump scares. While some attractions featured more interactive actors than others, most of the attractions rely heavily on their immersive designs, big-budget animatronics, and special effects to get scares. Combining such quality designs with improved acting will take Pure Terror to the next level of excellence and we have no doubt that the attraction is headed in such a direction. For the 2019 season, Pure Terror Screampark will be hosting an “extreme” night that promises to engage guests and allow more interaction between actors and patrons. We would like to stress that from a creative and design standpoint, this is one of the most impressive attractions we have ever visited as no expense is spared in the build/development process. Stylistically the entire attraction relies heavily on scenery and environment to create scares. Massive budget intensive scenes transform the entire wooded area from a trip through “Ancient Rome” to a visit with horror legends such as “Freddy Kruger” each theme is diverse yet heavily detailed. Pure Terror Screampark spares no expense in terms of set design and use of impressive technological animatronics. Pure Terror Screampark goes overboard each season in its build design and is a Halloween fans dream, especially for those who enjoy the budget heavy intensity and level of detail and careful thought into each room. Pure Terror Screampark can genuinely be a perfect experience if it can address its somewhat lack of quality scare acting. While the animatronics props and scenes are lifelike, most of the human interactions generally don’t go beyond simple or jump scares. Now not all attractions have to be theatrical or performance heavy, but there is so much potential for quality acting that can augment the first-class set design and overall environment featured at Pure Terror Screampark. From a resource standpoint so much heart and dedication is put into changing this attraction, growing it and improving each year and Pure Terror features some of the most impressive walk-through attractions we have ever visited such as a tribute to the movie “The Nun” and picture-perfect representation of a variety of movie quality horror scenes in “Legends of Horror.” With several brand-new attractions this year, we hope you get the chance to experience the “movie-quality” set design and immersive atmosphere created at Pure Terror Screampark. Attractions Pure Terror Screampark is a “scare park” in a sense that multiple, diverse attractions are featured during the roughly hour journey features nine interconnected haunted attractions completed in succession. While guests complete each attraction after another, diversity in attraction design and effective line management prevents bottlenecking or line backup for the most part (some line control perhaps in the middle of the attractions would help even further). Despite attending on a packed night, we never encountered another group on our journey, each actor was always in place (we wish there were more actors), and at times we felt completely isolated in each diverse attraction. Improved line management and continued investment in immersive architectural improvements have once again placed Pure Terror Screampark into a professional haunt category the exceeds many of its competitors. Terror in the Woods “Terror in the Woods” is an expanded outdoor trail that connects each of the core “haunted houses.” With a few scare-actors, what this attraction really does is add value to the overall experience. Massive props and animatronics are featured in between each formal attraction, and the addition of this new trail allows for guests to be separated and allows for effective line management. Setting a scene or atmosphere associated with the attractions creates a more significant immersive experience and the detailed journey along the already lengthy journey. The Crypt Entry into the mausoleum, quickly reveals endless catacombs of horrors that is the starting attraction at Pure Terror Screampark. “The Crypt” is disturbing and built to create a sense of cautious paranoia. Each scene conveys a sense of fear, skeletons, rotting bodies, and enhanced special effects that create an appealing yet horrific haunted attraction. Life-like “dead” animatronics reach out and grasp for guests and the use of “sound” plus intense lighting effects create at an atmosphere of fear. The attraction uses periods of darkness, strobe lights and a variety of other fog/special effects to create a surreal, terrifying atmosphere, and as usual sets the tone for the entire attraction. Periods of darkness, a sense of isolation, and a downright creepy atmosphere allow the hordes of the “undead “scare-actors to terrify and disturb each guest.” “The Crypt” kicks off the attraction on a high note, quickly establishing to each guest that this is a professional, quality attraction focused on scaring right from the start. “The Crypt” also brings to the forefront the quality and level of interactive animatronics and props, unlike those seen at other attractions. “The Crypt” is an interactive, yet controlled attraction that relies on the quality props and atmosphere to create effective scares. Resurrection Cemetery “Resurrection Cemetery” emphasizes the first-class set design and heavy use of animatronics featured at Pure Terror Screampark. An interactive, traditional yet technology-infused experience, the undead come to life, coffins seem to pop open and shut at will, and each scene feels like a nightmare. An extension of the “Crypt” attraction, the level of detail, and interactive design used by the technology aspect of each scene make this one of the most detailed attractions and a grand opening theme to the overall attraction. With some additional scare-actors and additional theatrics associated with the “death concept,” the opening scenes of Pure Terror Screampark can become even far more real and terrifying than they already are. As it stands the spectacle and pure impressiveness created by each scene is useful but also can serve as a more significant performance platform. Evil Harvest Brand new for the 2019 season, “Evil Harvest” is a take on the haunted attraction concept of enchanted pumpkins and evil scarecrows that embrace a traditional “Halloween” or trick-r-treating theme that resonates with a broad appeal of guests. Evil scarecrows are downright creepy and Pure Terror Screampark spares no expense at designing an atmosphere that feels as if one is at times lost in a cornfield, perhaps in a classic “Halloween” movie and the large-scale pumpkins have a very seasonal feel. We always appreciate attractions that celebrate the grander nature of the season and “Evil Harvest” does so by displaying such massive life-like pumpkins and harvest-themed horrors in a creative manner. Scenes of Halloween “beauty” are the perfect distraction for scares and the few startle or jump scares featured during this attraction (such as evil “scarecrows”) add to the overall surprise factor. The Coven “Coven” is dark magic or a “witch” themed haunt, with an emphasis on the surreal, or “fantasy” entertainment side of Halloween entertainment. Giant animatronic spiders, horrifying witches, and set designs that bring to life one’s dark fantasies are the norm at “Coven.” Guests must interact with the talented scare-actors who do a fantastic job at playing their absurd, but convincing roles as practitioners of the dark arts. “Coven” is best defined as a traditional haunt, and again scene design, lighting, and special effects are the focal points of the show. “Coven” has vastly improved as an attraction since last season, improving the level of interactivity between guests and the variety of witches and goblins that inhabit this attraction. Creepy rooms of spiders and scenes of sacrifice are featured in this attraction and while we generally are not a fan of “witch” themed haunts the attraction did feel much more intense and violent than previous years. Again, strength in animatronics coupled with creepy scene designs featuring shrunken heads, warlocks, and other minions creates a unique atmosphere. While not the “scariest” of haunted attractions featured at Pure Terror Screampark, the quality of each scene brings to life an almost childlike yet mature nightmare. Terror Under the Big Top “Circus” or “carnival” themed haunted attractions are commonplace in the industry, and at times this concept is slightly overdone and has lost its effectiveness. Every single haunted attraction feature at some point “clowns,” and the theme is generic. However, Pure Terror Screampark’s “Terror Under the Big Top” attraction takes this tired, generic concept and injects a sense of insanity and intensity that, at times, creates genuine fear. “Terror Under the Big Top” has evolved into a genuinely insane fun-house style attraction. Traditional fun-house style concepts such as slanted rooms, rooms of misdirection and trick rooms, create an interactive house of the insane. Clowns are not of the general sort, these scare actors are genuinely psychotic, brutalizing each other, and working tirelessly on stalking each guest. Clowns carry a variety of weapons such as hammers and “tasers” and create a sense of pure chaos that adds a new level of horror to a generic concept. Pure Terror Screampark is again masterful at creating an authentic “atmosphere” or backdrop to create unique scenes. Sounds of the circus permeate the air, and props that look exactly like their “living” counterparts. At times we thought we were looking at an impressive statute only to be suddenly chased by these freakish clowns that genuinely take pride in creating a fun yet intense scares. A twisted soundtrack adds to a level of disorientation and creates an almost nightmarish experience. Pure Terror Scream Park presents an authentic, genuinely twisted trip through a carnival of insanity, nonstop intensity, and pure evil displayed at this violent visit to the “greatest show on earth.” “Terror Under the Big Top’s” is a lengthy funhouse filled with classical components of a funhouse such as slanted rooms, mazes, vortex tunnels, and 3D imagery that creates a chaotic atmosphere. As expected, “clowns” are the stars of the show, and terror clowns are of the violent type. Pure Terror Screampark utilizes a variety of hanging or prop-based obstacles in a majority of its attractions, and each one has a life-like “weight” to it to spur authenticity as well as manage lines. At one point, we waited for what we thought was a clown blocking our way only to figure out it was a large, life-like prop. Clown props yielding a variety of disturbing weapons and those that squirt water and taunt guests appear to come to life out of nowhere, and a sense of controlled insanity fills the big top of this dark carnival. The entire mind-bending experience is enhanced by brand new 3D art effects and maze-like elements that create the perfect twisted experience under the “big top!” Pure Darkness “Pure Darkness” is a “pitch-black” style maze that effectively features moments where guests cannot “feel” their way to escape. Items block passageways; claustrophobia is combined with startle scares, and guests can quickly feel trapped in this lengthy effective maze. Another concept that is becoming popular in the industry, “pitch-black” style mazes are perhaps overdone, but Pure Terror Screampark has designed its own take on the theme by avoiding pitfalls such as helping guests navigate the dark. “Pure Darkness” created a chaotic atmosphere and added the overall “package” presented at the attraction and their focus is on isolation and sensory deprivation as tools of “fear” which are far more effective sometimes than even the most impressive of animatronics. Desecration Inspired in part by New Line Cinema’s “The Nun,” “Desecration” is for the second season genuinely one of the most “atmospheric” disturbing haunted attractions we have ever visited. Pure Terror Screampark has built an almost picturesque, haunting abandoned “Abbey” possessed by a demonic presence and an ominous sense of dread that permeates the walls of each corridor. As soon as we cautiously entered the church, we, disturbing “nuns,” and their subordinates bellowed to us to “get out” and as we continued our journey the situation took a turn for the worse. “Desecration” is carefully constructed to be authentic in its design, taking guests to an entirely different universe and designed to build a continuous sense of pure, unadulterated terror. As we cautiously explored the haunting abbey suddenly the “spirit” and attitude of the scare-actors began to develop an ominous tone. We would continuously hear whispers to leave, almost taunting us as demonic symbols, overturned “real” church pews (obtained from a closed church) build anticipation to a meeting with a Satanic priest, presiding over a hauntingly realistic sacrifice scene. “Desecration” is a transformative experience, demonstrating the best in scenic and attraction design to create an entirely different, immersive adventure that totally displaces one’s reality. “Desecration” is perhaps best described as an adventure, boasting the finest scare actors, set upon a backdrop of scenes rich in authentic sound and lighting that influences the tonal development creating a one of a kind, genuinely horrifying haunted attraction, one that can be taken to a new level if additional scare actors were featured. However, “Desecration” does feature perhaps the “best” acting of all the houses at this attraction. Creepy nuns and satanic imagery create an effective sense of fear, and really the overall design of this attraction highlights how immersive and impressive the set designs are in this attraction. Legends of Horror “Legends of Horror” is a tribute to iconic horror cinema from the Universal Horror age right up to today’s modern horror films. While at first thought numerous haunted attractions feature characters such as “Freddy Krueger” and “Michael Myers,” Pure Terror Screampark goes above and beyond by creating movie-perfect recreations of sets and scenes featured in each character’s respective movies. Early on, we encountered “Jason Voorhees” from Friday the 13th Part II (Sack-Head Jason) and quickly entered a haunted house that featured scenes ripped directly from iconic movies. Authenticity from period-specific props, to soundtracks straight from each series “Legends of Horror” is a masterful tribute to horror cinema. “Legends of Horror” is our favorite haunt featured at Pure Terror Screampark, an absolute masterpiece that is a tribute to modern and vintage cinematic horror. Ionic horror villains vividly come to life in scenes that are ripped right from their several classic movies. No other haunted attraction, perhaps outside of Universal Studios, has paid such close attention to the “details” associated with each horror movie and creates the illusion of if walking into a “living, breathing” movie. “Legends of Horror” takes its theme seriously, recreating the scenes and sets of horror movies right down to the smallest of details. As one enters the “boiler room” of “Freddy Krueger” it is almost an immediate shock that this attraction strives to create movie-authentic experiences. Each scare actor works tirelessly to bring to life their respective characters, and it is almost impossible not to enjoy the passion and nostalgia that fills each scene. Movie-specific scenes from “Friday the 13th” “Halloween,” “Stephen Kings It,” “Psycho,” “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and “Annabelle” are featured in this attraction and each tribute is designed to almost perfection. Every single scene shows deep reverence and respect for these iconic franchises and is as close to a “Hall of Fame” for horror icons that one can ever dream of. “Legends of Horror’s” scenes do each movie character justice, is pure joy for any horror fan, and one of the best indoor walk-through attractions featured at any haunt this season. Any fan of horror will appreciate the movie-quality scenes brought to life. The Final Word Pure Terror Screampark’s management prides itself on presenting an all-encompassing, first-class show that has improved by leaps and bounds in the past four years. Each haunted house featured along the journey is a brand-new adventure, one that shares little in common with its predecessors and is built to the highest quality. We have witnessed first-hand the impressive level of growth and improvement that has driven the transformation of Pure Terror Screampark into a must-see “scare-park.” Pure Terror Screampark has undergone a complete overhaul, using critical reviews as the driving force behind its growth. Not many haunts have reached a level of excellence that allows the attraction to stand out among competitors. Pure Terror Screampark prides itself on presenting a quality show that focuses on “scaring” each guest. You will be hard-pressed to find many attractions that can compare with the production quality of Pure Terror Screampark. While we have visited many large and small haunted attractions, very few pay attention to “detail” on a level that is presented by Pure Terror Screampark. Each attraction is all about “atmosphere,” presenting an exciting, memorable experience catering to the diverse interests of Halloween fans of all backgrounds. While not the most “actor” driven show, Pure Terror Screampark relies heavily on first-class animatronics, immersive set designs, and quality audio that go beyond one’s typical expectations of most haunted attractions, and truly targets the diversity of scares and horrors of the season.