Saturday, September 29, 2012

Netherworld 2012

                On Friday, September 28, 2012 we ventured to the Netherworld Haunted House opening night extravaganza in Norcross, Georgia.  This is one haunt that is always ready to serve you the perfect level of terror even if you are their first victims of the season.  Their new store is open on site and contains a wide variety of reasonably priced memorabilia items to remind you of the fear you felt and the laughs you shared.  With the movement of the store location into the previous stereo store location Netherworld has gained more haunt space.  This space has been well used!  This year's two haunts are Banshee and The Hive.  Though both of these are high quality haunts there is a certain extra something that Banshee brings to the table which separates it from The Hive.

                If you want to do the haunts in an order that will allow you to be amazed by each one on a similar level then start with The Hive and move on to Banshee.  However, if time is a concern for you, then we recommend trying to get in at the front of the line for Banshee and complete it before standing in the shorter line for The Hive.  Even with us being the first visitors in line for Banshee it still took us about an hour and a half to complete both attractions at Netherworld.  The line for Banshee grows quickly and should not be underestimated.  Even a line that looks reasonably short is actually substantially longer.  The renovations have added a new indoor que area before Banshee.  The line space wraps around the store and is used to display props and other items that reflect the history and style of Netherworld.  Standing in this line could never be boring.  You can move forward at your own pace and choose to allow others to pass you as you attempt, in vane, to absorb everything that is on display.  We were told by a staff member that this indoor line area can hold approximately four hundred guests, which means if you see the line outside of the building at all then you are in for quite a bit longer of a wait that you might anticipate.   Everything at Netherworld is worth the wait, so find time to take things in and see if you can survive.

                The Hive is the smaller of the two haunted attractions at Netherworld.  There have been more detailed spaces within this haunt in the past, but this year it felt as though it wasn't as complete as we have seen it before.  It seemed as though there were more strobe lights within this haunt than we are used to, which can detract from the sets and either lessen or heighten the experience.  A few times we came across spaces that felt as though they were still blank canvases awaiting their terrifying makeover.  The Hive is very familiar feeling if you are a Netherworld fan, and it is a great time to enjoy a fewer number of characters in a smaller space.  Going with friends really helps to make the situation even more entertaining than it already is.

                Banshee is the primary haunt for the 2012 season at Netherworld.  It is extremely detailed with highly realistic sets and characters.  You become a part of their world from the moment you walk through the entrance and they never want to let you go.  They want to give you a big hand in feeling as though you really belong within their environment and there are many opportunities to get pinned into position and stay with them.  It is quite possible that you will experience such a variety of scares while on this journey that you won't know which way is up and which way is down, perhaps even finding yourself beginning to wonder how you can move forward through certain spaces which seem impossible to navigate.  You never know what you will find around the next corner, and sometimes you don't really want to find out.  Your senses may betray you and have you wondering if you have actually entered into their reality rather than your own. 

                Assuming that you survive Banshee and the Hive you will have had some awe inspiring experiences.  If you get to talk to any of the characters that roam the outside of Netherworld get to know them a little.  They may not be as terrifying as they seem.  Some of these wonderful characters may even develop a relationship with the guests and join them through the haunt if they feel moved to do so.  If you see Stitches tell him we said hi (and be sure to read the fine print). 

                Overall it is quite clear that Netherworld Haunted House helps to set the standard very high for themselves as well as for others in the haunt industry.  At this time we have yet to find another haunt that reaches the same level as Netherworld, though we have found several that strive to attain excellence.  We have given Netherworld a score of five severed heads, our highest possible rating.  They are worth the time and expense of visiting and we look forward to many more visits.  They have been in business for sixteen years, which we dearly hope will be followed by many more years of frightful events.