In a somewhat odd coincidence this Halloween, somehow three haunts have been doing a similar theme. Though it’s not unusual to see haunts across Southern California do the same generic themes such as scary clowns or insane asylums, it’s rare to see three established haunts do something so specific in the same year. We have Castle Dark with their “Cinema of Fear,” Knott’s Scary Farm with their “Cinema Slasher,” and Rotten Apple with “Let’s Go To The Movies.” Could it be that one haunt copied another haunt, or is it purely coincidence? We do know that Rotten Apple generally plans their theme way ahead of time, as early as the current Halloween season for next year’s concept; so could it be the big boys sampled the idea?
Here’s what we found at Rotten Apple…
Though we cannot speak for Castle Dark, which we did not visit this year, we can say that Rotten Apple and Knott’s are so different that they don’t seem like the same maze. Knott’s Scary Farm’s cinema maze utilizes original characters and movies (e.g., Camp GonnaGetCha). Rotten Apple features a maze full of horror movies that you know and love, including the main characters. Both mazes have you enter a screening room with a distinct movie; after you finish, you go into another movie. (Basically you can legally “theatre-hop.”
Rotten Apple’s creativity doesn’t stop there, but extends to doing a parody of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and displaying spooky snacks such as “Rots” (Dots), “Sour Patch Mummies (Sour Patch Gummies), and “Mrs. Fields Lady Fingers.” With seven screening rooms and an eerie lobby with a concessionaire stand, Rotten Apple stays true to it’s heritage, providing the same spooky fun and light jump-scares that are their trademark.
We still get amazed each time we walk-through Rotten Apple. With its theming and production quality that rivals the big theme parks, pro haunts should really check in here to see how they could improve their own projects. Especially now with an upward trend of home haunts charging admission, the quality needs to be at least on par with Rotten Apple, which is still free* for the community after thirty-three years despite setting a standard that few rivals can hope to emulate.
Rotten Apple concludes on October 31, 7-10pm. The Address is 907 N. California Street in Burbank. Get more info at https://www.rottenapple907.com.
- Rotten Apple 907 does collect donations (which are given directly to charity), but technically they do not charge admission.