Saturday, October 6, 2012

Zombie Village at Powers Pavilion 2012

                Zombies are the hottest thing right now.  From movies to television you can find them everywhere.  There is even a series of children's books based on a zombie theme.  Many haunted houses include zombies within their repertoire of characters.  On Saturday, October 6, 2012 we went to a zombie themed haunted trail known as Zombie Village located at Powers Pavilion in Newnan, Georgia.  For the fun of it we took a friend of ours with us who hasn't been to any type of haunted attraction in eight years, so her opinions were of great use to us in evaluating them.  It can often be helpful to try to view a haunt through someone else's eyes, and this is certainly the case for Zombie Village.

                We love to share our experiences with haunted houses so that others can enjoy them, but we also love to talk with haunts about their ideas and share what we have seen in our many visits to other locations.  This would hopefully result in haunts which are constantly evolving and taking in the ideas that their guests share with them so that they become better over time.  Yes, we realize that this doesn't always work and we sometimes don't get to speak with anyone at the site of the attraction so that we can learn more about them and share our thoughts with them.  We aren't experts, not by any stretch of a creative imagination, but we like to think that a great haunt wouldn't care who you are and would listen to every visitor as though they were the most important people to come through all season long.  It is never our desire to discourage visitors from attending a haunt, unless there is a very strong reason (which has only really ever happened once and we didn't release the name of the haunt).  Everything that we say is meant to help better inform visitors to haunts so that they can make wise choices, based on their own needs, as to where to spend their hard earned money.

                Now that our disclaimer of the night has been said let us express that this is what we might consider a starter haunt, sort of like a starter home.  Our friend had an okay time and definitely had a few scares, though she did feel somewhat disappointed in the end.  The three young men who were also with us had a rather skittish member in there group who jumped at anything, sort of like a chihuahua running from a leaf.  We didn't have those experiences ourselves, so it is hard to understand them.  We did encounter a woman who was turning in laser guns as she and what appeared to be her husband and son were leaving.  She said, "It would be worth it if you get a gun."  They do have an additional $5 charge to get a gun so that you can shoot the zombies if you want to.  Her phrase actually made us wonder if it might not be worth it without the gun.  Scary thought.

                There were a couple of things that stood out to us before we even made it past the first scene of the trail.  The staff kept telling people that there was a three minute time between the groups being sent in, but we thought that it seemed longer.  Smart girl that our friend is she suggested timing it on the cell phone to see. Sure enough it was almost always closer to six minutes between groups going in.  When we did enter the first scene we watched a video with some of the rules and it told us not to run, however when the scare for the scene concluded we were yelled at multiple times to run.  Really?  Can we get a decision going here as to what they actually want?  Why not tell us to get out or get a move on, or honestly anything other than run since you told us not to run in the video less than a minute before?  On top of those we also had seen on Facebook where they said that it was about a 45 minute walk through the trail, however we timed that as well (since the timer was there) and found that we were back at our car in under 30 minutes.  That thirty minutes included waiting in two different lines and walking to the parking area afterwards.  These may seem like petty things to point out to some, but to us we see a pattern emerging here and it concerns us.

                We feel that this was a starting point for them to grow from with this having been their first year in business, and we sincerely hope that they do learn and grow.  We expect that they will spend some time training their actors, especially about how to stay in character.  Speaking about the appearance of the actors would be useless, since you are in the dark and really can't see much of their character's look anyway.  It felt as though something were missing for us, but we can sincerely say that there were others who enjoyed themselves.  Our guest reviewer did have fun and jumped several times, as well as tossed out a good scream or two.  She hasn't been to a haunt in years, so this was a good way to get back into the fun of the Halloween season.  Since we can't really rate Zombie Village on anything other than our own opinions we scored them with one severed head out of five.  We welcome your opinions if you go and we wish them the best as they grow and develop more of their haunt over time.