Screamfest Burton has now opened for the 2019 spooky season with them kindly inviting us down for opening night. Offering 5 mazes as normal, we are promised bigger and better scares alongside a brand new maze replacing Demonica called Hillbilly Joe’s Zombee Zoo.
Screamfest Burton is a small event which runs through selected nights throughout October at the National Forest Adventure Farm in Staffordshire. With the last few years including 5 mazes which ranged in scares, strong storytelling and surprises;vthe family entertainment is seemed to be loved across the UK with thousands flocking to the farm to enjoy a festive evening out.
One of the first surprises for 2019 was the roaming characters. It seems Screamfest Burton have switched it up and introduced popular movie characters such as Jigsaw, Chucky and much more, walking around the main hub area interacting with guests. With nowhere being safe, these actors were super interactive with them achieving repetitive screams throughout the night. We think this change was well received and gives the event a nice refresh with the addition of their own characters however, some of the costumes were quite low quality compared to their own characters which made them less creepy.
Freak out returns as one of the longest running attractions within the event. The clown based maze is a fun interactive twist on a fun house. Without many changes over the last few years, the maze includes different routes and options throughout to give it that fun feeling which you would normally associate clowns with (outside Halloween). The scares weren’t as strong as previous years however, the few we did get were short and sharp. Although we had a lot of fun, we do think this was the weakest maze of our evening and hope to see some changes to this attractions for 2020 to help it bring it up to par with the rest of the event.
Scare: 5/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 5/10 – Actors: 5/10 – Overall: 15/30
Love Hurts is also another returning attraction to the lineup. A maze based on speed dating, you enter into the Diced Heart Pub with a great themed facade. To start the attraction, you enter through the toilets and go through several underground chambers and sewers. The scares were ramped up this year with the most actors we’ve seen throughout the passageways. With the same great effects and layout as in 2018, the maze was very similar which isn’t a bad thing due to its high quality in themeing and incredible storyline already. With the increased actor level and intensity being turned up a level, Love Hurts is still a solid attraction for Screamfest Burton and is popular with all speed daters.
Scare: 7/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 8/10 – Actors: 8/10 – Overall: 23/30
Dia De Los Muertos
A personal returning favourite, Dia de los Muertos never seems to dissapoint. A unique experience based on the day of the dead festival celebrated in Mexico. The attraction starts with getting on a trailer on the back of a tractor as you make your way to the festival. With music and laughter, its a great way to start an attraction. The attraction layout has slightly changed but with the majority of the same themeing and story sections still hidden within the corn field. The most terrifying part of the attraction is the lucha libre wrestlers with chainsaws surrounding you within a open section of the route. Overall, the light hearted start through to a classic scary finish, this attraction is well thought out with a simple theme which works effectively time and time again.
Scare: 10/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 10/10 – Actors: 10/10 – Overall: 30/30
New for 2018, Insomnia was brought in as a unique concept of a strong storytelling attraction based on the crackerjacker and the nightmare of a young girl. Winning a SCAR award in its opening year, Insomnia starts as soon as you enter the queue line with several pre show elements going on to introduce the story right away. The maze has slightly changed from last year with some of the sections having more effects and causing disorientation on another level. The actors were in force within Insomnia this year with much more jump scares happening throughout the different rooms whilst keeping the great story with the themeing elements. Our favourite part had to be the mirror maze which seemed longer and with strobes, smoke and actors within, we were completely lost and terrified.
Scare: 8/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 10/10 – Actors: 8/10 – Overall: 26/30
Hillbilly Joe’s Zombee Zoo
The brand new maze for Screamfest Burton in 2019 is Hillbilly Joe’s Zombee Zoo. Based on Hillbilly Joe… And his zombie zoo! A random attraction where different zombies are collected within exhibitits for the public to go and see. Until that goes wrong and they take over. The maze was quite long with several scares but plenty of laughter. This comedy styled horror attraction allowed guests to find it funny whilst being scared. With the characters being in full force and plenty of jokes throughout, from zombie santa to a zombie hotdog, you really had no idea what was round the next corner. The Themeing inside was done quite well within the containers for the zombies and throughout the rest of the attraction. In places it is noticeable some more work is required to make it a more polished and finished attraction, but this was very strong for its opening year and with a few additions, this could soon take the crown in our opinion as the best attraction at Screamfest Burton!
Scare: 8/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 8/10 – Actors: 9/10 – Overall: 25/30
Overall, Screamfest Burton is the perfect event for a spooky atmosphere and fun evening out to enjoy Halloween. With the range of different attractions, each unique in their own way, makes for a enjoyable time which ends all too quick. From the scares to the comedy, the roaming actors and Hillbilly Joe, we recommend you visit on of their remaining nights for the 2019 season.
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