ON VALLEY STREET: Unsure footing
begins the 2012 Valley Street Nightmare, as the course gets
underway in the presence of body-bags, and a few masked monsters inhabiting
a brief maze, then exits into the woods where groups fall under a sudden
gorilla attack, and become ensnared in an entrapment of spider-webs.
Escape exposes a sudden flash of light that produces an immediate blinding
effect just as the trail makes its way back into complete darkness where
a sudden quad pursuit ensues followed by a series of unexpected confrontations
while passing by a spooky cemetery. Ghouls rapidly approach from
every direction imaginable - even repelling down out of trees! Fleeing
in search of safety leads instead to a run-in with a 10' tall Devil,
then a deadly chainsaw assault into the clutches of Michael Myers.
A deadly junkyard lies on the horizon that witnesses a brute smashing the
windshield of an already wrecked car, then a sparking encounter with a
fiend armed with an electric grinder! Loud pounding, a second chainsaw
engagement, more spongy floors, and an impromptu bungee-induced surprise
that abruptly goes flying across the path from out of nowhere set the stage
for additional rendezvous with overzealous spooks that introduce a not
so festive funhouse of evil-minded clowns! Another graveyard is still
to come, as is a bloody room of dismembered body-parts, a near fatal collision
with a hit and run driver, poisonous snakes, a "Ghostface" resembling
scarecrow, and a battle with snarling werewolves that concludes this year's
installment of Nightmare on Valley Street.
LENGTH - 9, 21 minutes (down from 30+ a season ago when
it included Rat Trap Maze that's now a secondary attraction).
ACTORS - 9, This attraction always features plenty of
actors, and several masked monsters are again present this season, many
of whom did a much better job interacting with groups and engaging individuals
with dialogue. On the down side, a lot of them were clad in Nightmare
on Valley Street t-shirts instead of costumes, and Myers wore
a robe rather than coveralls. Talkative clown inquiring if you're
"ready to die?" and asking to accompany us home is a stand-out. Trademark
returns with a new mask, and Bungee startles are memorable
as well. Leatherface has been reassigned to Rat Trap.
Total Characters = 60! (but down from 72 in 2011 due to concluding maze
now being offered as a separate attraction.)
SCARINESS - 8, Inferior soundtrack (consisting of radio
station playing commercials and Red Hot Chili Peppers Scar Tissue)
unfortunately offsets this season's better acting, as well as this trails
legitimate, unique scares that annually include clever utilization of motorized
vehicles, and unexpected bungee-line surprises out of trees and surrounding
brush. Disappointing loss of Leatherface segment (which teased
exposure to potential victims, then moved on only to return minutes later
and witness him bursting onto the scene to violently do them in) hurts
as well, as it was 2011's best addition.
DESIGN - 7½, Course is well marked throughout,
but as previously mentioned, last year's fabulous Texas Chainsaw Massacre
saga has been lost, which is a major step in the wrong direction.
Overall duration of the course was trimmed by nearly a third, as well.
"Chopping" a haunt up into sub-segments is often detrimental to an otherwise
quality attraction, and unfortunately that's what's happened here with
the splitting off of Rat Trap. Additional impressive
scenes like last year's Leatherface tease are necessary to compensate
for what's been taken away, and regrettably that hasn't taken place.
Spongy flooring is about all that's new.
PROPS - 8, This has always been the weakest link at Valley
Street. Scenes are adequately decorated, but transition zones
are fairly unadorned, and there's not an abundance of memorable props.
VALUE - 8, No price increase for the trail itself for
a fifth consecutive year, but it's 10 minutes shorter, and offers a more
expensive combo ticket for Rat Trap, and the family friendly Hillbilly
Hayride. Need to introduce additional quality scares to make
up for turning this into a multi-venue attraction.
RATING: 8, Unfortunately, expansion has
negatively impacted the performance at Nightmare on Valley Street a
bit in 2012. Most of the same scares remain at one of Ohio Valley's
favorite trails, and they certainly aren't commonly seen elsewhere, but
they're being presented in a slightly different way, and need time to develop
and improve, which they will surely do as the insanity continues for a
tenth season at Nightmare on Valley Street. Come and GET THE
YELL SCARED OUT OF YOU!
|RAT TRAP MAZE: The
former concluding leg of the Nightmare on Valley Street trail has
branched off on its own, and is now a stand-alone attraction. Consisting
mostly of a sheet maze sporting several dead ends and monsters along the
way, this entrapment visits Taylor Meats where decapitated heads
hang down from hooks, and life and death conflicts arise when Leatherface
goes on a rampage! A second and third chainsaw assault further confuses
the labyrinth, which mandates ducking down in order to proceed, and avoiding
such obstacles as hanging body-bags suspended from above, a near hit-and-run
courtesy of a horn-honking semi, and treacherous confrontation with "bleeding
tears" Michael Myers as the desperate search continues for the lone
escape route from the all new Rat Trap Maze at Nightmare on Valley
LENGTH - 8, 15 minutes.
ACTORS - 8, Those present deliver startling scares with
a rather unpleasant demeanor, but nowhere near the density of villains
encountered along the trail, and dialogue is absent for the most part.
Total Characters = 20!
SCARINESS - 6, Sound enhancement would again go a long
way toward complimenting scares, as is the case on the trail itself.
The main threat here is the uncertainty of the path, and the potential
feeling of futility in successfully completing the course.
DESIGN - 7, It's a rather lengthy, yet fairly basic maze
from a stand-alone attraction perspective. Numerous loops and dead
ends are present, but it offers few unexpected occurrences. Having
inhabit the confines is a nice touch, and serves as a distraction as to
which paths have already been explored, but his 2011 role made a much greater
impact as discussed in detail in the trail section above. More surprises
would be nice, including possibly teasing the exit route via "false finishes"
by allowing it to be seen from a section or two that fail to deliver access
to it. Tilted, collapsing, vibrating flooring would also work, as
would mirrored sections, crawl spaces, etc., and perhaps a few central
rooms of named paths all but one of which lead to various failures.
PROPS - N/A, This category doesn't apply to mazes.
VALUE - 6, $10 is a bit too much to expect at this point
in time considering the reason for its existence was to conclude and lengthen
the main event trail.
RATING: 7, The decision to separate Rat
Trap from the main trail results in a secondary attraction at the Nightmare
on Valley Street site leaving its predecessor with somewhat of a void
to fill. The trail needs a new, powerful finish to take the place
of the maze, and Rat Trap needs to grow to be able to be considered
a legitimate stand-alone attraction, but the foundation is now in place,
and time is all that's needed to produce the desired result.