As part of the Festival of Fear Tour 2009, Rex and the Beast went to Fright Fest at Elitch Gardens in Denver, Colorado on October 16, 2009. This is the home park of RexandtheBeast.com, so we were excited to hit the park again and to see what its two haunts, Bloodlust: The Immortal Crave and The Suffering, had to offer. Honestly, we weren’t expecting much, and to our surprise, the haunts were not too bad. Another positive was the minor upcharge of $5 per haunt to experience the haunts.
As we entered Elitch Gardens we were pleased to see some decent theming was in place. There were a couple of hanging ghouls and as we walked out toward the carousel, we saw a simple graveyard and a nice little scarezone area. Nothing too spectacular, but moody nonetheless. Of course, the neon lights and general “carnival” atmosphere of Elitch Gardens added to the mood.
In addition to the haunts, we were able to do a few walk-on rides of Ghost Blasters and Mind Eraser (a coaster we are always impressed by; if it was 45 seconds longer, it would match up with any coaster anywhere), which really added to the overall fun of the short night. But, on to the haunts.
Bloodlust: The Immortal Crave
We headed first to Bloodlust, where we entered the VIP line and spoke to the scareactor who gave the rules and introduced us to the haunt. We have a great picture with him that will be posted on RexandtheBeast.com. The concept of this haunt is that the Bloodlust is a club, which turns out to be for vampires and similar beasts. The opening room is a dance floor for the club, with brights lights and a concierge, which was very disorienting and fairly effective to start the haunt. Due to the lighting effects, it was nearly impossible to see where you were going or where you should go, which was very spooky. There was a couple of other interesting effects, including a vampire on a bungee cord who leaped out in conjunction with good timing with lights and sound effects to a very scary effect. There was also a classic heads on a wall corridor, where one head is controlled by a worker who can move it towards you as you walk by, which resulted in a pretty good scare for Rex.
Bloodlust also had a few rooms that had some decent detail and tried to add to the overall theme. Generally, it felt more like an old-school haunt, a concept which we enjoyed. Overall, a pretty decent effort considering the add-on to Elitch’s nature of this haunt. Perhaps partially due to our low expectations, we enjoyed Bloodlust and found it a good stop on the Festival of Fear Tour.
RexandtheBeast.com Rating: 6.0 out of 10
The Suffering was not up to the level of Bloodlust, but still had a few good moments. There was a room that seems to make it into a lot of haunts, which is the hooded, robed figures in a room where it is impossible to tell who is real and what is a prop. Again, somewhat standard, but still pretty effective. We didn’t really feel that the theme of this house made a big impression (suffering occurring because of human flesh being discovered beneath a theater), and we came out of it feeling that it was a sub-par effort–although still probably better than we expected.
RexandtheBeast.com Rating: 4.5 out of 10
Overall, we enjoyed the quick night trip to Elitch Garden’s Fright Fest, and appreciated that the park had attempted to decorate the park and its workers to match the Halloween season. The two haunts were not bad, and at the relatively low cost are certainly worth a trip for anyone already at Elitch Gardens or in the Denver area.
Rex's Overall Fright Fest Rating: 5.5 out of 10
The Beast's Overall Fright Fest Rating: 5.0 out of 10