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All Visitor Reviews
All 2008 Visitor Reviews Submitted by Horron

Disclaimer: Reviews on this page were supplied by an outside source. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff of HauntedIllinois.com. Haunted Illinois does not endorse, support, represent, or guarantee the accuracy, truthfulness, or reliability of these reviews.
Event Reviewed: Dream Reapers Haunted House (Melrose Park, Illinois)
Reviewed by: Horron   (Event Visited: 10/28/08 @ 9:00 pm)
Review Posted: 10/29/08
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Average
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Visibility/Location: Using mapquest, the event was easy to find. What a rip though that they nickle and dime you to pay 3 dollars to park.

Wait Entertainment: A few actors in elaborate makeup were working the crowd (who didn't seem too impressed).

Length of Event: Not including wait time... 10 minutes TOPS to get through the house. It was very short compared to years past.

Actor Performance: Good as usual, but somehow not scary. It's like the actors are more funny and there to make you laugh instead of scare you. They crack jokes, they talk on their cell phones, and I didn't hear a single customer scream this visit. Which is weird... considering all the screaming the female actors did in my ear.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: They attempt to space groups out. Unfortunately, they sardine WAYYYY too many people into each group. Over 12 people per group is ridiculous. Of course, I got stuck in the back and had to "observe" all the surprises.

Appropriate Ages: Anyone looking for a fun house (not haunted house).

Props / Special FX: They have some really cool props and put work into designing their scenes. However, that alone is not enough to make the place scary. There was also a short vortex and a claustrophobia thing you squish ur way through, but it wasn't very tight this year. It was like some big people went through and stretched it out.

Costumes / Make-up: Some looked very professionally done. I liked their crazy colored eye contacts that some had.

Summary: Dreamreapers... *sigh* I remember when this place used to be incredibly scary a few years ago (at their old strip mall location). There, they weren't afraid to have pitch black cooridors, and actors that snuck up on you in the dark. Probably due to drunk idiots and liabilities the house is super tame (and well lit) these days. The only dark part lasted about 5 feet. The rest of the house is incredibly well lit and you can see everything coming a mile away.  
I am also not impressed with the hype about scents. My group smelled two scents: Old musty props and barbeque on the "elevator". I'm not even sure how the latter fit the theme the elevator. Did the actors just finish a lunch break in there? 
Earlier reviewers hit the nail on the head... the scenes are jumbled together, there's no theme, and they got rid of one of the best parts: the psycho hellbillys.  
It pains me to give this place that is hyped up to be the greatest haunted house that IL has to offer such a poor review. I paid over a dollar a minute to be scared and at the least entertained. The bang for the buck is low, I was more scared at a small town haunted house this year than dreamreapers. 
My suggestion to dreamreapers would be to go back to more subdued tactics of pitch black, "less is more" actors (instead of shrill screamers), dark mazes, multiple paths, smaller (spaced out) groups, and actual SCENTS THAT MAKE SENSE.

Event Reviewed: Amenti - Egyptian Theatre Haunted House (DeKalb, Illinois)
Reviewed by: Horron   (Event Visited: 10/26/08 @ 10:30 pm)
Review Posted: 10/27/08
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: This was located in the Egyptian Theatre in downtown DeKalb. There were signs once you get downtown pointing out where the theatre is. There is also a hearse parked outside, and free parking up and down the street.

Wait Entertainment: I saw 2 guys with chainsaws or a club like weapon outside the theatre. One wasn't wearing a mask or makeup, but he looked like a scary hick. However, there was hardly a wait when I went, so not much need for wait entertainment. One monster did get in my face while we waited in a brief line.

Length of Event: Appoximately 25 minutes (not including wait time).

Actor Performance: Very good. The actors that were there had energy and were not afraid to chase you to your car. They stayed in character and were well rehearsed in when to pop out and scare you.  
My only complaint is that there were not enough actors working. There were spots in the house where it was obvious an actor should be there, but there wasn't the manpower to do so. If this haunt had enough actors, it'd easily get a top rating.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Excellent flow, however things were pretty dead when my group was there. I noticed they let a group of about 8 in ahead of us, so groups may tend to be large on a busier day.

Appropriate Ages: The signs say 13 and older. I say mature (and fearless) preteens may enjoy it as well.

Props / Special FX: There were NOT a lot of animetronics or special effects that you would find in a big budget haunted house. Instead, this haunt mainly relied on more subdued tactics to scare you. For example, this haunt had the longest pitch black cooridors/maze that i have ever seen in a haunted house. If you love haunted houses where you are wandering around in the complete dark, then this is for you! It took awhile to navigate through the dark cooridors, and it was quite unsettling not knowing what was going to be around the corner. Good use of music and sound effects too.

Costumes / Make-up: Many had masks on, but some had makeup too. There was a nice variety. I saw clowns, the insane, evil doctor, aliens, and a mixture of monsters.

Summary: This haunt provides a decent bang for your buck. It is in an awesome location-- a huge theatre where you go up and down several levels. They make use of the entire theatre (basment, auditorium, lobby, even a bathroom). It was very nice to be indoors on such a cold and windy night. This is a good place for people who don't want to brave the elements and visit an outdoor haunted house. 
In addition, the length of the attraction is excellent. It is not something that is over with in 5 minutes and leaves you saying "That's it?" There are so many hallways and twists and turns, it takes awhile to get through. My friend and I had a great time and I encourage people in the area to check it out if mazes and the pitch black frighten them!

 

 

 

 

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