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October 9, 2015

NEW - Trail of Terror in Melbourne

The annual Boo at the Zoo event begins tonight at Brevard Zoo, but new this year at the adjacent Treetop Trek is a seasonal attraction aimed at a more mature crowd, Trail of Terror launches tonight in Melbourne.


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The Woods family invites the locals to a harvest celebration at their ranch. Woods Family Quality Meat is widely known for being uniquely appealing, and the family is all too welcoming to their loyal public. Mingle with the family and learn a few of their secrets and techniques as you make your way into the festival. 

Nana Woods is the epitome of southern hospitality. Her son Edgar (a butcher by generational trade), his goodly wife Shirley, and their deceptively engaging offspring Ricky and Jessie measure up their guests. The exchanges are politely threatening and delightfully wicked, but the true secrets of the Woods family lurk deeper within the forest. 
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Much like any good horror flick, your time at the party comes to an end when you decide to explore the foreboding trail that winds through the woods. Twist and turn through the brush, seeking the dimly lantern-lit pathway that will (hopefully) ultimately lead you to safety. 

Groups of 8-12 are left to their own devices on this self-led, walking tour. Along the way, you'll encounter the family... including the elusive Uncle Dale... in the midst of harvesting their most secret atrocities. You'll also find countless victims, in varying states of misery and agony, Which is louder - the victims' screams, or the taunts of your hosts - and which is more chilling?

We were the second group to venture onto the trail to face the Woods family, but we were the first to emerge in tact. I must admit that I'm curious as to what became of the first group. 
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Trail of Terror is a wonderful mid-level Halloween event. The setting easily lends itself to the effort, and the backstory is just enough to set the tone. It has mild vibes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre with the eerie linage plot, and that's always a welcome foundation to build on. The makeup and costumes weren't overdone, and that keen element was quite brilliant. The characters didn't need to rely on heavy effects or dramatic physical details to terrorize, and this speaks to the quality of the performers. Groups were well-spaced on the trail, allowing for an enjoyable, worthwhile experience. We spent 20 minutes on the trail, and rarely was a moment dull. It's hard to pinpoint a target age when it comes to horror-themed events. I have a 16 year-old who could handle this just fine, and an 18 year-old who would probably collapse in anxiety. It really does depend on the individual. Do expect jump scares, darkness, blood, and in-your-face antagonists, but it is not over-the-top terror. Trail of Terror is every bit worth the cost of admission, and a fantastic new addition to Central Florida's seasonal scare options.

Trail of Terror opens October 9 through Halloween, on Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30PM until midnight. For the first weekend, admission prices are $14.95. The following weekends, tickets are $19.95. Food and drinks are available for purchase at the end of the trail, at the after-party event. 

Follow Trail of Terror on Twitter and Facebook. #Runforyourfreakinlife