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  • Writer's pictureChandler Clouser

Shady Brook Farm Horrorfest - 2018 Review

Haunted Attraction Reviewed: Shady Brook Farm HorrorFest


Location of Attraction: Yardley Pennsylvania

Date of Review: Sunday October 28th 2018

Total Number of Attractions Available: FOUR

Overall Haunted Attraction Rating: 7.5/10

Entertainment and Food Rating: 10/10

Atmosphere Rating: 9/10

Overall Costume and Make Up Rating: 7/10

Overall Cast and Crew Rating: 7/10

Overall Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 7/10

Overall Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 6.5/10

Overall Feedback: Coming into the 2018 haunt season on of the more looked forward to reviews for our squad was Shady Brook Farm Horrorfest. We’ve been meaning to pay a visit to this haunt since 2016 and we just now finally got the chance to attend. On a perfect weathered Sunday evening we had arrived shortly after opening time on their final night of operation for the 2018 haunt season. The parking lot was rapidly filling up with both guests for the HorrorFest and PumpkinFest. Once receiving tickets and breezing through security guests spew right into the immaculate midway/entertainment area! Right off the bat you can feel an instant rush of energy and joy overtake you. It was clear that Shady Brook Farm wants their event(s) to have something for the entire family. Various kids activities/play areas, live entertainment, multiple food vendors, wine/beer stand, paintball, carnival games and much more is available for guests to enjoy. Before beginning our haunt experience we took some time to enjoy this remarkable midway area. The food, including the wine, was delicious. Shady Brook Farm offers four separate haunted attractions; Barn of Horror, Alien Encounter 3D, Carnage… In The Corn and Hayride of Horror. To begin our experience we set off for the Barn of Horror. As guests wait in line you can hear the shrieks of other guests throughout the attraction. This instantly gave us hope that the Barn of Horror would kick our night off on a strong note. Right off the bat the first actor encountered before even entering the attraction quickly provided a engaging and quite comical skit. This actor did a classic scare tactic and forced us to enter the attraction one by one. Although this initially gave us an instant rush of adrenaline and nerves it quickly wore off. Once we were a few scenes in we quickly realized that the one by one entry was by far one of the biggest miscues with this attraction. It took our members until about halfway through the haunt to reconnect with one another, but this wasn’t the issue. It was the fact that the actors in the first half of the attraction didn’t have time to do a proper skit or reset for the next guest. We often stumbled upon actors trying to recollect and get back to their spot. This lead to very little actor and guest interaction and forced the actors to resort to short and simple pop scares. We will say that we were impressed with several of the set designs encountered; a lot of detailed work and handcrafted props. Just when we thought we made it out of the attraction we came to find out we were only half way through. As we entered into the basement of the attraction the scare factor kicked up a notch. Better actor and guest interaction in this section lead to significantly better experience. With a little different approach to how guests enter the attraction and more guest/actor interaction, Barn of Horror could easily become a top notch attraction. Next up we headed for Alien Encounter 3D, a classic 3D attraction. The simplistic nature of this attraction made it a huge success. Once we put our 3D goggles on and entered the attraction we knew we were in for a special treat. The actors featured costumes that blended them perfectly into the set design. This lead to several high startle pop scares! The attraction kept a high energy level from start to end. Scares came from all directions and were coming at us one after another, leaving us no time to catch our breath. Several scenes featured heavy fog usage which made it incredibly difficult to see; this made it easy for the actors to catch us off guard. We absolutely loved the swamp scene, a perfect combination of fog and 3D effects made the swamp scene quite simply amazing. We can’t forget to mention how spooktacular the scare actors were; they delivered pop scares one after another! Long story short, Alien Encounter 3D was a spooky fun experience! There aren’t many all 3D attractions around anymore so it was quite enjoyable to experience something different. Next up we headed for Carnage… In The Corn. Carnage… In The Corn is your typical corn maze attraction. Unfortunately we felt this attraction had several major flaws that lead to a mediocre at best experience. Right off the bat we felt a rather dull atmosphere/energy, this never seemed to pick up speed throughout the attraction. This was primarily due to the lack of actors and those whom we did encounter lacked energy. We can recall walking past at least 2-3 actors who failed to engage with our group at all, they literally watched us walk right past. Set design was unremarkable, featuring bland props/animatronics that were few and far between. For our squad, there was very little scare/thrill factor throughout this attraction. The easiest fix would be adding in more scare actors and hopefully ones with an abundance of energy and passion. We would also like to see the set design be spiced up a bit; adding in more “wow” factor to engage guests. Unfortunately Carnage… In The Corn was a bit of a flop in our book and by far the weakest of the four attractions offered at Shady Brook Farm. To finish out our experience we headed for the Hayride of Horror. A large wagon with bench seating along the sides and down the middle can hold a rather large number of guests. We were squished onto the wagon and then sent on our way. The first scene encountered got our hayride experience off to a fantastic start. This scene was set up as a military base that was under attack by zombies. Army vehicles with machine guns lined a pathway for the wagon. Eardrum bursting cannons sounded as we strolled through the scene. Zombie scare actors taunted guests and had folks jumping up out of their seat. The attraction went from high energy/high startle to family friendly after the first scene. Scare factor began to dissipate the further along we went. We will say that the actors all did a spooktacular job at engaging with the guests and clearly possessed the needed energy/passion. Set design varied from impressive and detailed scenes to at times mediocre and bland. Just when we thought we were finished with our experience we were greeted by the headless horseman, who appeared out of nowhere and delivered a good fright! Prior to heading home for the night our group elected to stick around for a bit to once again enjoy the immaculate midway area. We spoke amongst ourselves about our experience at Shady Brook Farm. The group consensus was that Shady Brook Farm is a perfect family haunt! There really is something for all ages. The Hayride and Cornfield are lower key and suitable for younger aged kids. While the Barn and Alien Encounter possess high startle scares suitable for the haunt enthusiasts. Not to mention that the midway area itself could be a nights worth of activities/entertainment. Set design throughout Shady Brook Farm varied and showed glimpses of top notch work. We would certainly love to see them become a bit more consistent in their set design and feature a bit more “wow” factor in the scenes. Actors were a big hit or miss element that either positively or negatively affected our experience. We would like to see better consistency in the experience the scare actors provide. Costuming and makeup was average, nothing that was notably impressive but nothing sloppy and unprofessional either. Long story short it is safe to say the Shady Brook Farm Horrorfest is certainly a family friendly haunt that possesses something for everyone. If you’ve never paid them a visit and you’re in the area, certainly give them a whirl! The atmosphere and entertainment area alone certainly makes your trip worth it. Come experience Shady Brook Farm Horrorfest for yourself, you never know, it may become your favorite haunted attraction!

Individual Attraction Review:

Attraction Name: Barn of Horror

Overall Attraction Rating: 8/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 7/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 8.5/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 8/10

Attraction Name: Alien Encounter 3D

Overall Attraction Rating: 8/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 8/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 8/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 8/10

Attraction Name: Carnage… In The Corn

Overall Attraction Rating: 5/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 5/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 5/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 5/10

Attraction Name: Hayride of Horror

Overall Attraction Rating: 6/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 6/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 7/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 6/10

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