FRIGHT GUYS HARVEST
2021 Official Score: 9.1
Review Score: 9.6
Score 2: 8.9
Score 3: 8.8
This is seemingly my last stop on my haunt review tour for 2021. As I drive from Rome, GA into the night I soak in the ride over the mountain area beyond Summerville, into Mentone and eventually end up in Scottsboro, Alabama. It was a relaxing drive in the crisp Autumn air that brought me to an industrial area with a large brick warehouse that is now home to Greg Gamble’s Harvest haunt. I have already been informed that this is not so much a traditional haunt as it is a cinematic experience. As a theatrical person and also someone who loves interactive experiences, I am excited to experience this new concept of a haunt. Parking was just off the street and easy to navigate. I could hear music playing as I approached the building.
This haunt did not have queue actors, but the way their waiting area and queue are set up, it was not needed. This haunt has a large open space that contains a concession bar area to get snacks and sodas. There was also some great lighting and music playing, you really could dance in the middle of the room if you were inclined. A gift shop area sits in the corner that had merchandise with original characters found in the haunt. You can also purchase horror related merchandise, including autographed photos of horror icons! The ticket system is a grouped system based around the haunt’s original killer characters. You wait until the killer name on your ticket is called. In the meantime, check out that gift shop or even go inside their Monster Vision room. It is a large theater area that plays classic horror films, conveniently located next to the concession area. Once your killer’s name is called, you line up in a holding area. The wait can be long because of the unique experience that Harvest offers, but there is plenty of entertainment to help pass the time.
EYE CANDY/ VISUALS
This haunt was well detailed. The atmosphere that was created really made me feel immersed in the story. The costumes were what one would expect when living out a horror movie. There was not too much makeup besides blood and the normal wounds and gore. Most of the killers had their own mask that was unique to their design. A few of my favorite scenes were ones that required you to interact with the environment to proceed. There were some great video effects and prop effects used during this show. Fair warning, especially if you had PTSD, there are numerous blank rounds fired to simulate gunshots. This was another effect that really pulled me into the experience.
As I have already stated, this was very different from a traditional haunt experience. You enter a room and are shown a short film that sets up the completely original storyline.Imagine all your favorite killers are locked into one asylum and then there is a breakout. This is the story but with original killers and also zombies thrown in the mix. The movie fades and actors enter the scene. You are now living in the movie. This haunt offers two experiences. General Admission and VIP. If you choose VIP, you are given a glow stick accessory. This indicates you are cool with more aggressive interactions. VIP patrons will be pulled and shoved a little more than general admission. This is a full contact haunt either way. You will also have some obstacles to contend with, be prepared to crawl and help the protagonist of the story escape. Is it scary? I can say that nearly everyone in the groups I observed were terrified. I got so into the story that I felt like I was actually in a horror movie trying to survive. I was so involved that I snagged and ripped my hoodie trying to escape a killer. There are jump scares, silent scares, and also the gunshots going off jolted me several times as I hoped each shot would keep the killers down. This experience lasted close to 40 minutes, making it one of the longer haunts that I have experienced ever. I think that it was well worth the money and an amazing immersive experience. I do not wish to spoil too much about the story, but I suggest you interact with the cast and really get into the story of trying to survive this mayhem!
So the actors for the concept must be extremely dedicated to pull off a show of this caliber. They have to basically perform a live play multiple times a night with the same energy and quality. What amazed me the most is that this cast is volunteer. This could sometimes set a haunt back on how well the actors work, but not here. Each actor was dedicated to their role and refused to break character. The improv that was required for small details was amazing. ( a door that was supposed to be shut was open, and a character closed it and said “ hurry, no telling what came out of that door.”) Small details such as that really make a difference between good and great storytelling. The killers really embraced their roles and none of them had any lines, but were able to instill fear into the whole group. These actors also acted as their own stuntmen, which I have to respect because several take a beating over and over again nightly. Our protagonists were all so believable in playing their parts. I really began to believe that I was being rescued by some horror movie heroes. I found myself calling out their names and trying to help them navigate the halls. I would even say “ Shoot them!” when a killer was drawing near. The main detective really embraced his role as hardened law man and was able to play his role well until the end. The young lady playing the head doctor played her hateful and condescending role so well that my whole group wished her dead by the end and did not go out of our way to help her. No one was trying to upstage one another, but working collectively and in sync to give a fantastic horror show.
This was one of the most original concepts that I have ever seen in a haunted attraction. There was so much work put into this from writing, to video production, and all the blood sweat and tears that had to be put into bringing this story to life and executing it with group after group and night after night. What is even more impressive is that this haunt is open year round and provides us with new stories for each month of operation!
Overall, this was an impressive attraction for a haunt that is only five years in the making. While it is not a traditional haunt, it offers an experience that will not be forgotten. Harvest is for people who love horror films and want to live out the fantasy of being in one. I for one look forward to visiting this haunt several more times throughout the year and watching it grow! It was a very entertaining and fun experience
REVIEWER PERSONAL NOTES
On a more personal note: Greg, the owner and creator of this attraction expressed desire to watch his crowd increase without having to compromise the show. I think that a few tweaks such as a second trail or mirroring the story so two groups can move at once would help him with that goal. I also think a few characters in the queue area, if executed properly could begin the immersion into the story even sooner by interacting with guests.It is not required, but might be a nice bonus. This is going to be a place I visit multiple times a year. A great concept and a great staff!