Overall Score - 9 / 10
Scare Factor - 9
Actors - 7
Visuals - 10
Value - 10
Teresa - Netherworld in Atlanta has been on my bucket list for quite a few years now. I expected the sets to look professional, but this blew away my expectations. Outside, there were a number of things to see, and people who weren't actively waiting in line were wandering around, taking advantage of the myriad photo opportunities. The lines moved very fast. There were characters (like The Collector who you've seen on the billboards as the ""face"" of Netherworld) working their way through the crowds, scaring people here, posing with them there. They had the largest gift shop I've ever seen at a haunt, full of fun decor and memorabilia. There was also a machine you could use to see people going through Primal Scream and control props to scare them. We bought the Speed Pass, which is about $20 more than the regular tickets. We walked right into both haunts, no waiting. We were told the considerable line would roughly take about 30-40 minutes, which really isn't bad. The first haunt we went in was Primal Scream. I have never been to a haunt like this one. I knew there would be some professional sets and props, but the sets and sheer number of props were staggering. You go through a maze of rooms, each leading into the next. Every inch is decorated. I have never seen this many animatronics in one place. And they were used so well! The noise, sound effects, and music covered any noises the props may have made when operating. And they reset fast! They went off for the first couple of people in our group, then reset and went off again getting the last couple. I think it helps that the area is somewhat confined, so the people in the rear don't see them when they first go off. That's not to say that there aren't some very tall scenes and props. I pointed to some creepy things way over our heads a couple of times. The lighting was very impressive. There weren't a lot of actors, but the costumes were phenomenal and they were like living props. Some even flew overhead! They grabbed for you, but there wasn't any contact. They did a great job with jump scares. The girls in the back of our group were terrified the whole time. There were some unique scenes, like one that made it seem you were on a capsized pirate ship with sea creatures around you. There were falling and collapsing walls. There were several air tunnels, one which inflated while I was in the middle of it. There were a couple of times that we could see another group of people, but we never really caught up to any or had them catch up to us. I find that very impressive with as fast as the line was moving. Primal Scream is a long haunt. I kept expecting to round a corner and see the exit. It just went on forever. I went through the whole thing with mouth agape. This is something you just have to see to believe. It wasn't the scariest one I've been to (although the girls in the back of our group would beg to differ), but visually it is absolutely stunning and so much fun! Like a playground for people who love creepy things!
The second haunt is called Mr. Grendel's Funhouse of Horrors. I figured this would be a pretty standard 3D Clown maze. Again, I was blown away! This is what all the other clown attractions should be! The 3D glasses really made the rooms crazy! The lighting was fun and the effects were awesome. It was like being in a creepy funhouse! And Mr. Grendel and his clown friends are horrifying! I've never seen a better funhouse anywhere. I was disappointed to turn in my glasses, but it wasn't quite over. After we exited, we noticed foam and bubbles floating around everywhere. We were then herded into another section of haunt and told to keep to the right. I went in, thinking I'd be wading through foam, but it was filling the entire space! You couldn't see anything! It was wet and claustrophobic. I finally felt my way through and back out and as my group re-formed, we couldn't stop laughing. We were all covered head to toe in foam. We laughed and snapped a few selfies. This was such a fun and unique experience. It was well worth the money. I just wish I could go through a couple more times. There was just to much to see! By the way, this is their last year at the Norcross location. They will moving to a new location next year. I hope I can make it to Atlanta to check it out!
Paul - Netherworld is a haunt in the Atlanta, GA area that is widely regarded as one of the scariest haunts in the country. We recently had the opportunity to visit and it was an experience we won't forget.
Our group of three went to the haunt on a Sunday night. We purchased SpeedPasses so we could skip the line, which were a bit on the expensive at $55 each, but not hugely more expensive that most haunts we've been to. We've been to so many haunts where the lines can break 3 hours, we decided the SpeedPass option was probably best.
When we pulled up to the haunt we were waved into a lot where we were charged $10 for parking. This apparently has become a practice that the Netherworld people don't care for but there isn't anything they can do about it. Their on-site free lot is rather small and quickly runs out of space. This is their last year at this particular location and while I didn't ask, I'm thinking the new location will have substantial amounts of free parking.
The property itself is along Interstate 85 on the Northeast side of Atlanta. It's a commercial area full of warehouse-type businesses which all seemed to be closed during the hours of the haunt. There is a searchlight scanning the sky to help you find it. On the walk down the road to the haunt we noticed a bunch of foamy bubbles floating around, which was a little strange, but just figured it was something else to draw people in. Once you get to the property you quickly start to become immersed in the Netherworld experience. There are animatronics everywhere, multiple scenes set up outside for picture opportunities, lots of roaming actors, and it's all minimally lit. There was a pretty substantial line outside so we figured our choice of buying the skip the line passes was probably a good one. We walked around checking everything out and taking pictures, then decided it was time to go in.
There are two attractions at Netherworld: Primal Fear and Mr Grendel's Funhouse of Horrors. We started with Primal Fear.
Primal Fear is absolutely the most intense non-contact haunt I've ever been through. It's the best example of sensory overload that a haunt has given me. The sets are unbelievably detailed, they have non-stop action, perfect lighting, and the audio was on-point. Your senses are assaulted from every direction the whole way through and you really need to go through a few times to be able to take in just how much they've packed into the building. It's completely disorienting and I was immensely impressed with the entire experience. There were quite a few elements I saw that were the big scares at other haunts that Primal Fear had multiples of, and a bunch of unique ones that hadn't seen at other haunts at all. There were things dropping from above, coming up from below, squeezing you in from the sides, and with the way everything was constructed you couldn't see any of it coming while the group in front of you went through.
Mr Grendel's Funhouse of Horrors had me walking in not expecting much. I've been through several clown-themed attractions before, and when we got to the entrance and realized they were passing out 3D glasses I was a little bummed. Every 3D clown thing I've been through has been a let-down- until this one.
This haunt is the gold standard on how a clown haunt should be, especially the 3D aspect of it. There were 3D effects throughout the entire thing, with perfect lighting, huge quantities of content, very unique clown costumes/makeup, and some fantastic special effects. There were a couple of spots where there was some sort of 3D projector running that made it seem like the brick floor was falling away from underneath you, and one of the longest spinning tunnels I've been through. Other haunts doing clown themed attractions should take a trip to Netherworld to see how good one can really be.
When we finished with Mr Grendel's, we discovered where the foamy bubbles we saw when we were walking in were coming from- the foam room. There's a person at the exit of Mr Grendel's who guides you into a room that's FULL of foam. Literally floor to ceiling foam. It's probably only 15 feet long or so, but you can't see anything. I've never gone through anything like that and it was just another piece of the Netherworld puzzle that made it such a fantastic experience. You don't have to go through the foam room but you really should. Just keep in mind you'll be a little wet once you come out.
A few observations I had that really differentiate Netherworld from the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana region haunts I'm used to:
1. The animatronics are extremely well-done and they're EVERYWHERE. They have them in almost every scene and the actors work alongside them to make them even better. A lot of haunts will just buy/make an animatronic of some sort and throw it in their building, but these folks fully implement and theme every one of them perfectly into every scene.
2: The actors aren't as critical to the experience. This isn't to say the actors weren't good, but they aren't as integral to the haunt as they are in most. There are tons of them, they give some good scares, and their costumes are excellent, but there really weren't any who had dialogue at all. Pretty much any person could play any part with minimal instruction. I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand, the actors are what make a lot of haunts. If you have a few actors in a haunt who really sell their role, they can make for an extremely memorable experience. On the other hand, if you're counting on that actor to make the experience, that actor usually is really engaging and keeps each group for a few minutes, which slows down the flow of customers. Plus, if for some reason that actor can't get to work one night, it turns a great haunt into a run-of-the-mill attraction. With the number of people they're getting through Netherworld a night, the limited actor interaction is probably the best choice.
3: They pump A LOT of people through this haunt every night. Most haunts have gap of several minutes from group to group, where Netherworld is pushing another group of people through about every minute or so. The most impressive part of it to me was that we still rarely saw any other groups, which also kept us from being able to see the surprises in scenes as they scared the groups in front of us. ZERO spoilers, which was unbelievable for a haunt of this size. We never fully caught up to the group in front of us, and we only saw the group behind us once. I'm VERY impressed that they're able to pull that off as well as they do. That also meant that the huge queue we saw when we got there didn't take 3+ hours at all, it was actually closer to 45 minutes. I'd probably re-think the SpeedPass option for next time unless we were going on a Friday or Saturday night.
If you're in Atlanta or are passing through any time they're open, you need to experience Netherworld. Even though our rating categories don't give it the highest rating we've had, It's a haunt I'll never forget and I'm going to make it a point to try to return again as often as possible. They're moving to their new home in the Stone Mountain area of Atlanta for next year, so maybe that'll give me a good excuse to make it back in 2018!