By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
from 7 to 11pm daily
continues to Nov 1st
10375 Wilson Rd.
North Saanich, B.C.
Travelling down a dark and lonely road can be a terrible experience. Imagine getting lost, or finding yourself at a decrepit barn and your vehicle is low on gas. Let’s suppose everything is silent but that house you need to approach is the only place to find a phone so you can call a tow truck. You’re damning your cell phone because there’s no reception out in the countryside. Evil Acres has the potential to be just that if only …
The sad truth with some haunted attractions is that the producers are usually wanting to deliver a carnival style experience. I’d love to visit a haunted asylum aka Grave Encounters but that may not be coming for some time. To enter a haunted house when no one else is there is typically more terrifying. I can only imagine entering it with a few friends in search for something — like a treasured baseball with Miguel Cabrera‘s autograph that got tossed in there by an annoying nephew — but its labyrinthine corridors and odd reeking smells is suggesting otherwise.
In what’s out in North Saanich, that would be that musky smell of fog at night than smoke generators. Fortunately, the smell of barnyard animals are not deterring.
In the Slaughter House, the set designs are impressive. When I’ve been groomed by the works of the Twisted Twins and Tom Savini, what’s there is good. When there’s a no touch rule, I knew the macabre would not hit me in the face. I can understand why. When some people might respond with a strike back, that’s a no-brainer.
The shocks are gentle and the mood is effectively cast with a few shadow characters lurking about. I suspect the squeamish will be more frightened. The only problem I find is that at night, some eyes will not be able to make out the details of the decaying corpses lurking around. By light of day and in the promotional material, the zombie designs are fantastic. I just wonder if they were hiding from me because they sensed I came dressed like a monster hunter. No weapons, but I guess I had that attitude.
I loved the Darkness Maze. When I have hardly any night vision, to feel around in the dark was worrisome at best. The imagination can run wild. In what I stepped on was like popcorn and what I touched, I wondered if I was to come across bloody entrails against the wall. More could have been done with the latter, but I guess the early show was not without some kinks. I noticed a bit of illumination from above but it’s not enough to help me see where I was going. Yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but what’s next is more than optical illusions to mess with anyone’s sense of direction. The second half of the maze was fantastic. I noticed things from afar that toyed with my imagination. Is that Pinhead from Hellraiser? Perhaps not… Nothing jumped at me here, and again, I suspect those demons knew I was out hunting for them and they were more afraid of me than the other way around.
I suspect those frightening encounters depends on location and where the gruesome lies. I heard more screams from those who were victims to my own scare tactics ala Freddy Kruger and good ol’ Doctor Claw.
Perhaps one day someone will scare the pants off me in one of these interactive haunted attractions. As a simple Halloween treat, Evil Acres is an enjoyable strip tease to get into the spirit of things this month. Now where did I put my proton pack?