Decimation – Festival of Fear 2011 Review

Of this we can be certain:  Denver, CO has some spectacular haunted houses.  This year Rex and I have been impressed with the quality, professionalism, and effectiveness of almost every house we have visited.  Times have certainly changed in the haunted house industry and the standard for quality has been raised to an incredibly high level.  Decimation haunted house has helped raised that standard.

We visited Decimation on an "off" day in the middle of the week.  The owners and creative masterminds behind the haunt greeted us with a friendly handshake and told us a little about their location and history of their house.  The location in Englewood,CO  is a wonderfully creepy former preschool that looks like it come straight off the set of Carpenter's 1978 iconic film classic Halloween.  We made our way into the queue area which was designed to be a hospital waiting room, complete with some beautifully perfect music in the background.  We quickly learned that this haunt would be themed around a hospital.  

Upon entering the haunted house, we were immediately greeted by a demented elderly person in a wheelchair, offering a sense of realism right off the bat.  If you have spent much time in a nursing home (which I, The Beast, do almost every week), you will know that this kind of imagery is not far off from the reality of a typical day in a nursing home.  We arrive at the information desk, or perhaps it was a triage room, that was wonderfully set up to welcome us to the beginnings of our hospital adventure.  We were instructed to "ring the bell" which we both enthusiastically rang.  From this point, Decimation is an assault on the senses, utilizing multiple actors in most rooms to provide both a story, where the actors are attempting to do something in the room, and intense scares, where they are also coming after you.  I found this balance to be perfect as I like to see actors in haunts focus on something they are doing (such as operating on a patient) while also paying attention to you walking by.  The rooms are detailed, disturbing, and true to their theme. 

But it is the acting that makes decimation shine.  This is a house where you feel like these guys might really be off their rocker in the truest sense of the word and more than once you will probably think, "I wish I was out of here."  This finds its culmination with the duo team of a Russian janitor and a demented, knife wielding creature who work perfectly off one another, trapping you in a hallway.  I had to get on my knees and beg for my life, which I was all too willing to do.  As is true for any haunt, some rooms were more effective than others, but they all painted a horrific picture of a hospital that is still operating, but is operating under the most severely disturbing conditions. puts Decimation as one of the three must see haunts of the year.  Be warned – if you have young children, we would not recommend this haunted house.  Anyone under 10 or 11 will be completely freaked and some of the imagery depicted in the house would not be appropriate for such a young age.  The Festival of Fear Tour 2011 has come across a gem with Decimation.  Don't miss it.        

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