Halloween Horror, Backwoods Mazes, Rotten Apples, and the Advantage of Being Jaded

One advantage of being jaded is that it opens your eyes to details that remained invisible when one was easily beguiled. I first noticed this in regard to The Exorcist, which was roundly dismissed as a crude shock-fest when it first hit screens back in 1973; as the shock has worn off over the decades, it has become easier to appreciate the craftsmanship and performances that went into making the film great.

In a similar way, having satiated ourselves on Halloween horror for so many decades, we have developed some measure of immunity to the scare tactics employed by many haunts. Since we're no longer screaming and hyperventilating, our mind has achieved a level of equanimity that allows us to appreciate the finer points of the haunts we investigate.

This may explain why we have developed an even greater appreciation for the design and construction that goes into home haunts such as The Back Woods Maze (reviewed here) and Rotten Apple Hollow (reviewed here). We have enjoyed both attractions for years, but suddenly, this Halloween, we find ourselves awestruck by the ability of these amateur efforts to transport us into otherworldly realms that seem as convincing as anything on view at any professional Halloween haunted house. So we just want to take this opportunity to say "Bravo!" to both of them.

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.