Danger Run: The Nest and Pongo’s Revenge Reviews 2015

Danger Run taps into our primal fears in TWO brand new, original haunts this Halloween!

After the screams faded and its 20th Anniversary season came to a close last Halloween, Danger Run was again faced with the challenge of topping itself and improving the overall experience for 2015. The road game and riddle solving quest to find the haunted attractions was working just as it always had, and the three major haunt destinations were among the best Halloween attractions in town, but the wait times at each haunt made the game almost all but impossible to complete in one night.

The ultimate solution to alleviating the wait times while keeping the game fresh has sent Danger Run into uncharted territory. This year the event organizers have created two of their own, exclusive haunts that don’t also sell tickets to the general public separately, keeping the wait times at those haunts to a minimum while delivering experiences that players won’t find anywhere else.

They’re still working with one of the major haunts in town, which won’t be revealed here but will be reviewed in a separate edition of The Phantom Gazette. That attraction now completes the road game as the finale of a trilogy of terror that begins with two pop up haunts created and constructed in a couple of the most remote and creepy destinations in town.

Admittedly, when Danger Run opened its new attractions for their first weekend on September 18th, it suffered some severe birthing pains and seemingly everything that could go wrong did indeed go wrong. The organizers and crew spent the next week, almost 24/7, and many thousands of dollars doubling the size and scope of each haunt and completely reworking the existing structures. I have seen both attractions in their first incarnation and in their new, pumped up versions and can tell you that all the sweat and creative retooling has paid off in two incredibly fun and scary pit stops.

Each of the two new haunts focuses on a different fear: Arachnophobia and Coulrophobia. Which fear you’ll face first depends on which clue book you receive at the starting gate. We’ll start our review with a look at—

THE NEST: Do you have a fear of spiders? If you do, The Nest just may make your skin crawl like the thousands of little eight legged freaks infesting this attraction. This ultimately was my favorite of the two original haunts. It’s a mix of 1950’s, mutant science fiction terror and old school scare tactics. In the first part of the haunt you’ll meet a clearly mad scientist and his brutish assistant who are in desperate need of new legs to continue their twisted experiments.

Escaping the doctor’s fixation on vivisection, you might encounter one of the doctor’s twisted creations before you’ll enter a laser spider tunnel and are forced to navigate a dark, twisted maze that preys on your worst fears of the dark and your overactive imagination. What is that fuzzy thing you feel hanging from the ceiling in the dark? Is something crawling in your hair?

The climax involves entering The Nest itself, a hellish containment room overwhelmed by cobwebs spun by something much bigger than your average black widow. You’ll have to bend and twist your body to make it through the webbing without getting stuck and becoming a human fly.

I had quite a bit of scary fun finding my way out of this 8 to 10 minute little web. Next stop—

PONGO’s REVENGE: If clowns are your psychological poison, Pongo’s Revenge is designed to tap that terror vein. This is not a typical carnival themed attraction, however, but a much darker excursion into the lair of a serial killer (or family of killers) who just so happens to like to paint his face like a circus jester, perhaps as a way to lure innocent victims into his house of horrors.

You’ll find yourself stranded at the screen door front porch of a dilapidated country house in the middle of a thunderstorm. The special effects are really convincing here; lightning flashes and crackles outside while you make your way through this shabby shotgun shack that hasn’t been updated since the early 1970’s.

While evading the owner of the house, you might encounter others who weren’t so fortunate. The unlucky ones are still alive. You’ll have to grope your way through a blinding fog tunnel where you can only see inches in front of you, but your adversaries can see you! There is a really great dead end where you’ll be forced to go a way you’ll really wish you didn’t have to go and be forced to touch some cold, bloody and wet props to make your escape. This was my favorite scene in the haunt.

The second half of Pongo’s Revenge consists of an outdoor, disorienting maze with hidden passages and multiple turn arounds that may have you retracing your steps more than once. Oh, there are also clowns wielding chainsaws. I forgot to mention that. Good luck.

I also had fun with this 8 to 10 minute nightmare, but spiders tend to push my creep buttons more than psycho clowns, so I’d have to pick The Nest as my favorite of the two. Results will probably vary depending on your own phobias.

Danger Run’s haunted attractions will be open for horror business the next three weekends through Halloween on Friday and Saturday nights. Of course, you can play the road game any night you wish by starting online (see www.dangerrun.com). Starting Gates are open on Friday and Saturday nights from 7 PM until 11 PM and the haunted attractions are open from 8 PM until 2 AM.

The Phantom of The Ville

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