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Ohio Valley Haunts
Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride
Category:  Homemade Venue
Reviewed 10/23/15
LENGTH: - Duration 18 Minutes
ACTORS: - # 21 (down from 30) 7
- Costuming
- Dialogue 9
- Interaction 9
- Intensity/Delivery 8
SCARINESS: - Ambience 9+
- Fearfulness
DESIGN: - Concept 10
- Flow 9
- Lighting 8
- Soundtrack 7
- Changes 9
PROPS: - Quality
- Quantity/Density
VALUE: - Cost $12 ($20 Combo)
ANALYSIS: Following a brief introduction from Mortimer Sneed, the adventure begins beyond Motel Hell with an immediate pig-faced, chainsaw initiation into an isolated cornfield.  Bilateral flames burst skyward upon entrance, as the melody of Jeepers Creepers foreshadows an imminent, horn-honking assault by a delivery van driven by The Creeper himself speeding up from behind!  A giant, illuminated jack-o-lantern points the way to a cannon-firing pirate ship, then onto a succession of scares witnessing victimizations from Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Leatherface, each accompanied by the appropriate themes from their movies.  Additional confrontations soon follow, beginning with a tractor that thunders out of the corn; The Headless Horseman charging past the hayride, then circling back and riding up along both sides; evil clowns that climb aboard wagon; gunshots; an axe-carrying fiend threatening to make BBQ out of everyone; and a hotrod pick-up truck shooting fire from its dual engine exhausts!  Additional skits include a lethal run-in with Lizzie Borden anxious to deliver more than 40 whacks, before concluding in a snowy Christmas extravaganza that finds Santa Claus separating naughty from nice at Sandyland Acres' Haunted Hayride.

The wagon pauses to insure everyone gets to enjoy the various skits.  Interaction is good throughout, and often consists of meaningful words.  Movie slashers are best, as each one witnesses a victimization, with Jason running an arrow through his casualty!  Reenactments have been relocated this season, and characters bear striking likenesses to their original counterparts!  Soundtrack is present to compliment these segments, but absent elsewhere.  Scenes themselves are adequately decorated and lit, especially the lengthy engagement with The Headless Horseman that finds his initial emergence well illuminated.  Three distinct, well-hidden motorized chases are present this year, and appreciated for the enthusiasm of their pursuits.  Fire is also utilized to legitimize scares, and some characters actually climb onto the wagon further strengthening their conflicts as well.  Cornfield is mostly unadorned, and connection zones are quiet outside the chases, which is likely attributable to a decline in cast size.  Pirate ship is new, as is Lizzie Borden, and Santa makes a much-anticipated return!  His scene is an appropriate finisher in the sense that it foreshadows the upcoming holiday season that soon follows Halloween, but it doesn't really provide an ultimate climax for the event.

Now celebrating its 10th year, The Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride is a most enjoyable experience, and one that's suitable for the entire family!  It's always a highlight of the season, and a tradition not to be missed! Cost of admission is only $12.

Ohio Valley Haunts
Farmer's Revenge
Category:  Secondary Attraction
Reviewed 10/23/15
LENGTH: - Duration 7 Minutes 5
ACTORS: - # 8 5
- Costuming 7
- Dialogue 4
- Interaction 6
- Intensity/Delivery 7
SCARINESS: - Ambience 7
- Fearfulness 6
DESIGN: - Concept 8
- Flow 6
- Lighting 7
- Soundtrack 7
- Changes 8
PROPS: - Quality
- Quantity/Density 5
VALUE: - Cost $10 ($20 combo) 6
ANALYSIS:   Back for its 5th season, the experience begins with a short video presentation of a farmer displeased with trespassers and unwanted visitors roaming around on his land and sneaking around in his barn, and promising revenge.  Upon entrance, a brief, monster-inhabited dark maze lined with shock walls stumbles upon some sort of liquid surprise prior to arrival at a dinner table displaying a severed head.  Caged skeletons, a hanging IV bag, and a stretcher supporting a body covered by a bloody sheet guide progression into the clutches of an enraged brute armed with a meat cleaver that's detaining a pair of imprisoned hostages in advance of an elevator with unsure flooring that dumps through a lengthy claustrophobic passage into the laboratory of a mad scientist attempting to reanimate life.  Forging onward through a werewolf-infested forest accesses a spinning vortex belonging to a circus of clowns in a brief entrapment before the discovery of a hidden door enables escape from Farmer's Revenge.

Several new scenes have arrived for 2015 including an elevator with a visible pulley and chain assembly, and flowing "electricity" alongside Frankenstein's monster.  Claustrophobia, shock skins, and initial video are appreciated, and serve to strengthen the performance of this event, which is the best it's ever been even though scenes are quite random in nature.  Maze inhabitant is armed with a knife, concealed in total darkness, and can only be seen when he shines a flashlight on his face.  Brute delivers an intimidating scare as well. Pinhead is absent, but his abode is present, The Farmer fails to appear in person, and a larger cast is needed in general.  Given its brief duration, the attraction is priced a bit steep when considered as a stand-alone event, but better value can be found on the combo ticket, which reduces its cost to $8 in conjunction with the hayride.  Ordinarily, Farmer's Revenge would NOT be rated due to its classification as a secondary attraction, but it's sold as a separate haunt as opposed to being included with the main event.  It's made positive strides forward this season.  Continued expansion and development will be rewarded with a higher rating.

Sandyland Haunted Acres
4172 Belleview Road, Petersburg, KY 41080
859-322-0516 or (859) 250-9790
Fri/Sat, Sept. 11 - Oct. 31; 8 PM until Midnight
Hayride $12 ($15 VIP); Farmer's Revenge $10 ($20 Combo)
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