As I walk through the dark ruined city I can hear the sounds of sirens wailing in the distance. I had just left the safety of a laboratory where I was told what had become of this world. It seems our escorts will not be joining us, and this journey has to be taken without their protection. The vast darkness that surrounds me seems to continue on and on, only faintly illuminated by the dim lights of the now abandoned urban landscape. Figures begin appearing from the shadows, following my small group. It is easy to see that some are crazed with madness but others simply call out to us for help. We were warned back in the lab that, no matter what we heard or what they said, we were not to touch or listen to the inhabitants. It seems cruel to have to leave behind so many, but we can’t linger if we want to get to safety. For these poor people are already infected. infected hd
Located in Victorville, California, the SBC Fair and All Saints Lunatic Asylum have partnered together to create Infected HD. This massive haunted attraction transforms a 14,000ft livestock warehouse on the Fairgrounds into an expansive diseased city. The walk-through takes roughly 20 minutes from start to finish as participants traverse a laboratory, morgue, church, cemetery, bog, and an array of dilapidated city streets. Infected HD is a traditional haunted maze with elements of immersive theater as part of the introduction. Small groups that enter will be well-spaced from those in front of and behind them, truly creating a feeling of isolation as they walk the dusty pathways. Participants should not expect physical contact from the actors. Rather than classic jump-scares Infected has opted for a much more eerie, lingering presence of their diseased scare-actors, who form groups and follow groups through large sections of the maze.
Infected HD explores themes of isolation, urban decay, and their own take on a virus-ravaged world. The infected residents call out as guests pass by them, an interesting departure from the classic zombie troupe. This also provides a higher degree of interaction between participant and scare-actor than the mindless moaning of a low-functioning monster. The infected have still retained some level of intelligence, the virus affecting each person in a unique way. Some appear scared and hopeless, others seem to want to manipulate you, and yet others are purely maniacal. The large sets and dirt floor truly give the feeling that participants are outside exploring the landscape when in fact they are in a giant built-out warehouse.
This attraction, though massive, utilizes the space quite well and does not feel under-decorated, a common problem among haunts of this scale. The idea of scare-actors following you in their own creepy and unique way also works well for Infected, creating the sense that guests are never alone. It would have been very easy for large portions of the maze to be unattended without using large amounts of actors, but instead Infected nails it by using their resources efficiently. One of the other major highlights of the maze is an extremely large bog that participants are free to wander for a short while, getting lost in the lasers and fog. Filling sets of this size is an impressive undertaking and one of their biggest triumphs. Another memorable set-piece is a grand cemetery watched over by the statue of an immense lion (we were later told it was used to mold the ones at MGM in Las Vegas). By spacing groups well, having constantly attentive scare-actors, and providing wide pathways that cut back and forth through the warehouse, Infected HD is able to truly allow participants to feel like this maze in an isolated city is all for them.
Being in its first year, Infected HD has definitely rose to an ambitious challenge. There is still room to grow in the immersive space, and this haunt could certainly benefit from adding more interactivity. The introductory scenes in the laboratory are wonderful and immediately set the tone before participants ever begin the maze. The experience felt like being on a mission to get from one safe zone to another, which would be taken to even greater heights if this idea was expanded upon.
Overall, Infected HD brings eerie scares, ambitiously massive sets, and fun for all ages. With plenty of space to utilize, the environments will only become richer. It will be exciting to see how they further innovate through immersion and interactivity as they mature even more. Infected HD tickets cost $17 online (purchase here) or $20 at the gate. They are in their final week of the season, so if you’re traveling from L.A. to Vegas or located near Victorville, it is certainly a worthwhile stop to round out the Halloween season. Final dates are October 31st, November 1st, and November 2nd, Infected HD is open from 6:30-10:30pm.
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