By: Dallas Thompson
Recently, had the chance to head to Adventure Landing in Jacksonville, Florida for the annual Haunt Nights event. It runs throughout October and this year there were four attractions.
Apocalypse 3D has been at Haunt Nights for several years at this point and has become a classic. Since I have begun attending, they have changed the theme and each year have progressed in the intensity of the effects. The costumes and props are designed to be viewed with 3D glasses to make the scares more intense.
This year is the second year of Apocalypse 3D: Clown Takeover. This year they seem to be more devoted to getting the scares from you where in the past there were a couple quick startles. This time around, I got quite a few surprises. For a house that I have been through many times before over the years, it is great that I am able to get shocked a little bit. The kid that I went with was terrified, and others seemed to be as well.
Apocalypse 3D is at the top of my list for this event because of the theming, character interaction, 3D effects, and constant surprises. I give it 4/5 skulls!
New for 2016 is Descent. It had a delayed opening, and this was their first night running it. However, my thoughts on this house were mixed. For starters, it was a bit difficult to find. There is no signage leading to it, and it can be confusing if you have never been to the event before.
The house itself is full of strobe, claustrophobic effects, fog, lasers, and more! The effects are definitely what make this house. There were a lack of characters in this one, and it felt a bit empty. The ending gives you two options: the first of which you get wet. We were told we would only get a little bit wet, but that ended up not being the case. If you stay in the bubbles for too long, you will get pretty wet. So, if you are with a group that doesn't seem to know where they’re going, I don’t recommend that exit. Otherwise, the effect was one of the highlights and I think the rest of the house could be improved I give it 3.5/5 Skulls.
Containment is another new addition to the haunt this year. Containment is themed around zombies, so I didn't know if it would be one that I liked. In previous years, there was Zombie Laser Tag, which I am glad was replaced by this zombie-themed attraction. I loved everything about Containment, from the sounds to the effects to the make up. The only thing that I felt could be improved was that it got cluttered towards the end because no one could figure out where to go, and there were people that went in circles several times. 4/5 Skulls.
Pinehurst Asylum was new for last year and made it's return this year. To me, I felt that it is the weakest at the event. It has improved since last year, and the character performances make this house worthwhile. However, I felt the rest didn't live up to Containment and Apocalypse. This one has the potential to be one of the best in upcoming years. 2.5/5 Skulls
Haunt Nights has always been my favorite local event, and this year was no excpetion! I enjoyed the new haunts and the improvements to the previous ones. We will be back for Haunt Nights 2017! Happy Halloween everyone!