Another new maze at this year’s Knotts Berry Farm Halloween Haunt is Cornstalkers. We gave it high marks in our review of the haunt, so it’s pleasant to see that it holds up well to second viewing on video.
This one is set outdoors on the Stage Coach Trail, where Dark Realm was situated last year. Fortunately, Cornstalkers is a big improvement. The “cornfields” create a claustrophobic, maze-like atmosphere even though there is no roof over your head; the twists and turns prevent you from knowing what is lurking around each corner. On opening night, there was a high density of monsters; there were only a few passages where you were simply walking between rows of corn waiting for something to happen.
If we have any small complaint it is that the corn-maze them is a bit limited, with the same gags repeated over and over. Most of the monsters look like scarecrows, and many of the actors playing scarecrows are “crucified,” trying to look like dummies until you get close – and then they pounce. It’s an effectively blood-curdling tactic, but it does dry up like a pumpkin in the sun after the umpteenth iteration.
Other than that, we were utterly pleased with this one, and we think most Halloween fans will be, too.
UPDATE: We neglected to mention one point about Cornstalkers. The official website for the haunt indicates that this maze is inspired by WIZARD OF OZ, but it feels much more like CHILDREN OF THE CORN or DARK KNIGHT OF THE SCARECROW. As you can see in the video there is one not very “wicked” witch, and a piece of the Tin Woodsman. Sure, there are plenty of scarecrows, but they hard resemble the character from the classic movie. This doesn’t diminish the effectiveness of the maze; we just wonder why they tried to make a connection to this particularly film when it is so very tentative.