Rory tweaks his maize maze fear factor up to ‘terrifying’

Fear NZ director Rory Foley cannot wait to terrify visitors to his Studholme maize farm. Photo:...
Fear NZ director Rory Foley cannot wait to terrify visitors to his Studholme maize farm. Photo: Hamish MacLean
Rory Foley just might be evil.

There is a running joke, he says, about his involvement in events aimed at scaring people — "Rory will get his ‘evil within’ on."

The Evil Within Horror Maze is the Studholme maize farmer and director of Fear NZ’s sixth annual maize maze and to hear the self-confessed adrenaline junkie describe it, this year’s iteration should be "intense".

"We’ve just become too safe [as a society] and we don’t have that opportunity to come out of our shell," Mr Foley said.

"It’s to the point now where I actually get satisfaction seeing someone crying."

"You’re in a cornfield with psychotic clowns with chainsaws who can see you coming, because we can see your little torchlights.

"We pride ourselves in our work. We are real full-on in there."

Starting on February 16, his actors, all 30 of them, would get the chance to terrify people in the 2.5ha cornfield that has been converted into a maze.

Once it gets dark, groups of two to three people would be dragged in and spend half an hour lost, stalked by the psychotic clowns.

The maze this year featured a "new weave" so punters could not see clearly down the rows of maize.

It featured "honeycomb" tracks, "loop de loops" and "figures of eight", all designed to confuse maze-goers.

And this year the paths through the maze were left, deliberately, "very narrow".

"It feels really claustrophobic in there this year," Mr Foley said.

"I was in there cutting it yesterday and I even got lost — to the point where I had to walk out to a fenceline to get my bearings again. I was actually shocked to find out where I was."

But the piece de resistance this year is the entrance — a 6m "vortex tunnel" — a spinning tunnel designed to discombobulate maze-goers before they even get to the  maize.

"It makes it feel like you have been flipped on your head," Mr Foley said.

"It makes you feel really nauseous."

Fear NZ’s maize maze hosted 1200 visitors last year and this year, raising $15,000 for  South Canterbury Plunket. Mr Foley hoped for 2000 to 3000 visitors this year.

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