MILLERS THRILLERS

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My haunt tour would not be complete without a stop at the famous Miller’s Thrillers in Columbia, Tennessee. Miller’s Thrillers has become an annual tradition as this is my 4th year to attend, and third year of reviewing with Scurryface. They have always offered a top notch production stepping up their game a little each year- and this year was no exception! If you just put the address in your GPS then follow the bright spotlights and the Miller’s Thrillers signs you will have no issues finding the entrance. From the moment you pull into the parking area, you start to see the efforts put into Miller’s Thrillers as there are a few scenes and a bonfire within seconds of entering the grounds. Parking is abundant and free with parking guides to guide you directly into a spot. Miller’s Thrillers is an outdoor haunted experience that includes Hillbilly Holler Haunted Woods/Trail, Zombie Hayride Reloaded (Zombie Paintball) & The Entertainment Zone. This year they designed the experience to be 50% shooting zombies, 25% traveling through the woods and 25% musical theater shows. Miller’s Thrillers offers the perfect balance of haunted fun that has so much greatness to see. I went on a record night and watching the staff step up and host such a large number of people was impressive. You will seriously spend your entire night being entertained at Milller’s Thrillers.

CATEGORIES

MIDWAY/QUE LINE EXPERIENCE (9.7)

When it comes to waiting at Miller’s Thrillers it's not like waiting at other places as the lines are strategically placed with nearby entertainment. The entertainment zone is the heart of Miller’s Thrillers as it is literally centered between the haunted woods and Zombie paintball. When waiting for The Zombie Hayride Reloaded you can enjoy fire spinners, photo opportunities with actors, or a scary movie on the nearby large projection screen. While waiting for the Hillbilly Holler Haunted Trail you are surrounded by the entertainment zone with the live band, a pirate themed high wire thrill show, trampoline show, and more photo opportunities with actors. There were several other extremely interactive actors engaging the crowds and ensuring everyone was having a spooky good time. I cannot stress enough how important it is to arrive early and buy your tickets online. This place is very popular & extremely busy with so many different shows and scenes to see that you will want to make sure you have plenty of time. Seriously consider adding the fast passes to skip 80% of the line, you will not regret it as the lines for the Zombie paintball and haunted trail are very long. Purchasing the fast passes ensures you can fully absorb the eerie atmosphere each attraction has to offer. We spent about 3-4 hours total at Miller’s Thriller with the fast passes and we were truly able to enjoy each and every one of the attractions that Miller's Thrillers offered this year. Not a single second of our visit was spent waiting an excessive amount of time because of the fast pass option- all 3-4 hours was pure entertainment. The Entertainment Zone (9.8) I am going to outline the Entertainment Zone in this category because as mentioned above I believe the Entertainment Zone is a crucial part of never feeling like you are waiting at Miller’s Thrillers. You can pay $15 to just enjoy the entertainment zone which is perfect if you are waiting for family or friends to enter other attractions. Of course it's included in the ticket cost for all other attractions. I am almost positive that if they offered the Entertainment Zone year round it would be a top attraction for people of all ages in the area. Every year Miller’s Thrillers books top entertainment talent to entertain their guests. This year the entertainment zone was filled with a Vegas style band that were all dressed in costume and offered a great vibe to the zone. The performance stage overlooks a large bonfire with a ton of seating options. They also have the thrilling Pirate High Wire Thrill show that was so awesome! It's truly a performance that will leave you on the edge of your seat. All new this year was the trampoline show where trampoline performers do a routine to a high energy mix of music. The set they built for the trampoline show was astonishing! They also offer reasonably priced concessions with the friendliest staff! We spent about an hour and a half in the entertainment zone alone and probably could have been entertained there much longer if we didn't have so many other things to see!

EYE CANDY/ VISUALS (9.4)

Miller’s Thriller does not disappoint when it comes to the jaw dropping visuals. The makeup work on the actors is movie qualify and very realistic! The amount of top quality airbrushed makeup on actors was awesome. The costumes were complete from head to toe with all original clothing, makeup and mask use. You do not see any low quality props or masks at Miller’s Thrillers and it is evident that they recruit top industry professionals for every position. The Hillbilly Holler offered some of amazing glowing graffiti, new and unique scenes where the makeup and costumes always further immerse the audience. I overheard comments from someone in our group on how much work is put into the haunted trail and they were absolutely correct. Everyone panicked on the floating bridge in the swamp and I had to slow down to admire several scenes. I loved the scene with luggage used to create walls with skeletons and zombies throughout- truly amazing work. I am convinced they somehow placed the animatronics so strategically that it appears you could get eaten by a cobra or grabbed by a haunted zombie animatronic- but they never actually touch anyone. The Hayride Reloaded is perfect for some great eye candy and getting some hands on experience with all the special effects they offer. Every shooting opportunity is strategically set up to allow the perfect amount of challenge! Of course, the entertainment zone also offers so many special effects. The trampoline stage built behind the haunted white house that has been there every year made my jaw drop when the house split open to reveal the professional trampoline setup, fireworks were shot - and then the trampoline show did not disappoint! If you go to Miller’s Thrillers you will not be disappointed in the special effects- they have been doing this a long time- and it's evident in the setup. They must work year round to make sure every scene is perfect and every scene immediately submerges you into the experience.

WALKTHROUGH EXPERIENCE (9)

I will break down Hillbilly Holler & Zombie Hayride Reloaded drive by experience into separate sections below as they both are individual experiences. I highly recommend you make time to do both and plenty of extra time to spend in the entertainment zone. Take advantage of all the attractions that Miller’s Thrillers offer as they are truly one of a kind. The Hillbilly Holler Haunted Woods with a slash pass & The Zombie Paintball hayride with slash pass are $40 each. You can also buy a combo ticket to both for $40 without the slash pass or $65 with the slash passes. My group was fully entertained and submerged in the experience the entire time I was there and felt we more than got our money's worth at Miller’s Thrillers.

Hillbilly Holler:

Make sure you wear your walking shoes because Miller’s Thrillers offers about an hour long trek through the woods. Over the years, they have built ramps and walkways over 90% of the trail. It rained a lot the night before I went but my shoes did not even get muddy! I am so thankful for their hard work to make it a safe and dry walk. Typically they send about 6 people per group which is a suitable group size. In a few spots they used actors to stall our group to prevent us from grouping up with the group ahead of ours. I was in the front of the line, I stalled our group several times to prevent catching up with others as well. There are so many scenes along the trail that are so unique and several all new scenes this year! The new greenhouse part of the trail was very creative and our entire group was tripped out in the checkered maze with slanted floors. You are wandering in an abandoned mine lands with a documented history of disappearances (really check out the story on their website) and that is a pretty creepy experience in itself. In combination, with the well executed scenes, top notch actors and productions put on by Miller’s Thrillers- the element of fear is there.

Zombie Hayride Reloaded:

If you got to Miller’s Thrillers you cannot miss the Zombie Paintball Hayride. Every year they step up their game getting bigger and better. They have 4 of the huge 5-ton military army trucks pulling trailers holding up to 18 guests. You are submerged into the experience by drill sergeants rushing you into a waiting area after splitting you between Black Ops & Code Red teams. When it is your turn to load the hayride you will be handed special paintballs designed to kill Zombies then you are sat behind your Zombie killing weapons. Your drill sergeant instructs you through filling your paintball gun and then you are off! As you approach the zombies, you are instructed to remove the cover from the guns and prepare to shoot. The hayride drives you through scenes where zombies need to be destroyed. Everyone always loves the zombie on the trampoline! They offer a chance to buy extra paintballs at the ticket stand and again on the trailer but if you want to buy on the hayride, make sure you have cash handy! You will want extra paintballs because there are so many zombies and they are so much fun to shoot! At the end of the Zombie Paintball, Miller’s Thrillers offers a zombie stage performance with zombies performing to upbeat music by dancing and doing trampoline stunts. The dancers and performers offer a top notch performance that I look forward to each year!

ACTORS (9.4)

The actors at Miller’s Thrillers are true industry professionals. Each actor takes on the role they are performing and executes their characters with such passion! Everyone in the audience wanted a photo opportunity with the zombie on stilts with white eyes- his makeup, costume, and performance were entertaining and flawless. The cat lady in the entertainment zone was straight up giving creepy vibes. Great costume and performance to bring it to life! In the haunted woods several times we had to question if something was an actor or prop- then when you are convinced it is fake they jump and scare you! Miller’s Thrillers also has so many actors- its a huge haunt and the actors feel spaces like no other. The joker clown in the haunted trail area either has a twin or filled about 5-6 scenes along the way! When it comes to the Zombie paintball I have to give a shout out to the drill sergeants, especially the one helping entertain the audience right before you enter to have your picture made and board the hayride. He was so energetic and hoarse from yelling but did not give in. The zombies put on a great performance as they were shot down to their death- especially the graveyard zombie. They were so committed to the role as they flopped to the ground and started having compulsions- great acting there! The actors are interactive, full of energy, and just all together great at what they do!

ORIGINALITY/CREATIVITY (10)

There is nowhere else like Miller’s Thrillers and creativity is where they shine above all categories. The experience they offer is one of a kind. They know how to bring the entertainment in a way that no other haunt does. Some haunts offer more scenes of gore or a larger "scurry" factor but there is no where that will entertain you like Miller’s Thrillers. I cannot even begin to fathom the amount of work put into executing the creative ideas that make up this haunt.

OVERALL GRADE : 9.55 

From the hospitality to the entertainment we always love our time at Miller’s Thrillers. This year they really stepped it up another notch. Each year I wonder how they will improve for the next season and they always more than deliver. After the show, creativity and overall experience this year I honestly do not know how they will step up their game next year but I can guarantee they will.

REVIEWERS PERSONAL NOTES

When scoring a haunt I always ask myself where they could improve. When it comes to Miller’s Thrillers I have no suggestions- they hit the mark again! Their staff is amazing and they really work together to accomplish their vision. If you are looking to be terrified, Miller’s thrillers may not be the place for you. But if you are looking for spooky vibes with maximum entertainment this is the place for you! They maintain a family friendly environment and it has become a tradition for me to take my nephew. I can guarantee you that both of us will never forget the Halloween seasons spent at our own little Halloween Town, Miller’s Thrillers. I cannot wait to see what the Miller’s Thrillers team comes up with next year.

*This review includes individual category ratings as requested by the haunt owner*

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SHANNON SANDERS

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