Delirium was the best of three new attractions at last year’s Knotts Berry Farm Halloween Haunt. Although perhaps a bit short on scream-inducing scares, the walk-through maze benefited from a surreal if somewhat vague theme, which allowed for a variety of weird and wild imagery: eyeballs embedded in walls, corpse covered in cockroaches, and assorted denizens of the darker realms of demented imagination.
A few of the monsters looked a bit generic (one seemed to have escaped from the “Meat Market” scare zone featured Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood). A few of the gags were familiar, but at least they suited the eerie tone of the maze (the styrofoam heads suspended by strings is an oldie but a goodie). As a whole, the maze felt entirely new, even if some of its components show visible signs of their ancestry.
Typical for Knotts Scary Farm, the Delirium maze was extensive and loaded with a multitude of sets and decorations portraying a bewildering array of environments. Our favorite was the twitching animatronic body beneath the plexiglass in the floor, over which you would walk, looking down helplessly at the swarm of insects crawling over his flesh. There is much organize texture in the settings – not quite the biomechanical landscape of H. R. Giger, but enough to make you feel as if the walls themselves might be imbued with a hellish semblance of life.
Eventually, the maze moves toward more overt gore, with cult-like images of satanic human sacrifices – not exactly what you would expect from a theme that up till then is more akin to “Alice in Wonderland on Acid.” Fortunately, that was part of the fun of Delirium: you never knew quite what to expect around each new corner.
Hopefully, this maze will return for 2012. With some ramped-up scares, it could be quite a crowd-pleaser.
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