Screamfest 2018 Review: The Final Year Houses & Games (Calgary Event)

Screamfest 2018 is set to be the last year of the event as it closes and becomes an expo next year. I was able to hear about these plans while attending this year and chatting with the organizer. I'll briefly mention it sounds like Calgary Expo, but Halloween themed.

They seem to have some interesting plans for that and it should be neat. For now, there's still plenty of time for Screamfest. This is a fairly well know event within the city of Calgary as it has been running for many years at this point. This is set to be "The Final Year" so I thought it might be neat to check out. I was given some access to the event to visit the houses and engage in various activities.

To start there a couple band options for entry, these tiers will determine how fast you enter the houses. There are six spooky areas setup that each carry a different theme. Either option works fine, there are lines but I felt waiting in them was part of the experience and they're not long. For some context, I hadn't been prior so this was all new to me. I was fairly impressed with the layouts as each took a few minutes to move through offering a unique type of scare.

There was a pitch black one which was terribly hard to move through, suppose that made it chillier and another where it was somewhat of a slaughter house. My personal favorite was a 3D house that was clown themed, you put on the glasses and visual effects were impressive. The paint design mixed with the actors is great, really well done. I felt the acting was good, they put in quite an effort and get the jump on people very often. You can hear the screams while walking through it and I'd view others in front of me sort of backtracking due to a scare.

Aside from the main attraction houses they also have a more intense one titled the "Extreme Zombie House". This is a setup where you fill out a form and the actors can grab you. This is very well setup and certainly a premium experience. I went through it twice, the second time being to capture it on video which turned out great. It was dark, yet balanced with light at the right moments and excellent for a group. The experience of Screamfest in general is best as a group. Other activities included axe throwing from which you get to throw axes at a target. This is showcased within the indoor glowy section. There's a DJ playing, a number of games and this is generally the hangout spot.

Other games varied from interactive rides, to carnival type games such as darts. If that's not enough you can work through a creative, yet fast paced Escape Room. I thought they did a good job with that, well setup and fit the horror theme perfectly. If you're older in age there's a bar area as well and an adult night which is more geared towards that. Generally I had a great time at Screamfest, it was fun and had some high quality to it. The environments were neat, varied and there's quite a bit to do. It could be an exciting night and it should be fun whether you get scared or not.

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Screamfest 2018 review houses

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner