|Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good|
Visibility/Location: There is a digital traffic sign pointing you in the right direction from the 290 DesPlaines exit which is where I came from. There is no actual signage on the house itself but it's pretty hard to miss. It's a huge mansion sitting right in the middle of the park.
Wait Entertainment: Several costumed characters worked the line including one truly creepy guy in a sort of turn of the century vintage waistcoat getup who was violating everyones personal space in the most hilariously entertaining way. He was worth the price of admission alone!
Length of Event: When they say "Depends on how fast you run!" they really mean it. Not only are the groups beautifully spaced apart but the design of the house is so well done that you never see another group no matter how many guests are in it. You can wander through at your own pace or take your sweet time, it doesn't seem to matter. I actually went through twice and the first time was about 10 minutes, the second time I went in to catch more of the detail and it was closer to 15. Never saw another "soul" either time...
Actor Performance: I totally disagree with the first two reviews on actors. Yes there are younger actors but there were just as many adult actors as well and there was absolutely no distinction between the two as to quality of performance. Both the adults AND the younger actors were totally into their roles and getting the scare each and every time. Some of the younger actors were actually scarier than a few of the adults! Clearly these kids worked at it very hard and I give them kudos!
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Beautifully laid out. They took what I think are the shower/locker areas for the pool are built the attraction inside. Except for a few visible showers at the exits of the first and second half you would NEVER know what the building actually was. Lots of twists, turns and all the feature areas and pop out scares were placed in such a way that the traffic flow was never stopped or backed up.
Appropriate Ages: They suggest 12 and over but I saw plenty of kids from toddlers on up going through there. A few kids ahead of me never made it past the entry lobby and one older kid actually wet his pants at the very end. I would say that parents should really use their better judgement in letting any kid under 10 attend.
Props / Special FX: The toxic room area where the cannibals skin their victims is beautifully done with one barrel tipped over and the "acid" flowing out into another barrel. The meat butchering room is also another highlight with lots to see in there as well. My second time through I was able to see a LOT more of the smaller details like the cellophane wrapped meats with their little price stickers on them. They've invested quite a bit of money in body parts many of which are so amazing if you can take the time to really appreciate them. One great special effect they have is one of those things where they turn one kid into something else (I think they used actual twins!) using a mirror or a piece of glass... truly creepy. There are no high priced animatronic effects that you find in other houses but I don't find things like that scary at all anyways so I didn't miss them here. The actors do such a great job they don't need em anyways.
Costumes / Make-up: Again, second time through I was able to notice more of the makeup which is really well done especially with the toxic area guy and a lot of the "victims" who are appropriately bruised and bloodied up. Costumes were not anything anything out of the ordianary since were talking about cannibals and victims and not classic monsters but the laundry room lady and the butcher in the meat room as well as the nurse in the "employee clinic" looked great.
Summary: They advertised somewhere that this was terror "worth the 25 year wait" and I tend to agree. There is a difference here in this haunt that I haven't seen in any other attraction I've attended and I think it has to do with the fact that these producers are theater people and it clearly shows. This really is a "show" and not just a garden variety haunted house. I totally agree with the other reviewer who said this attraction can only get better with time. I can't wait to see what these guys will come up with next since they have set the bar pretty high for themselves with this debut. Murder Mansion does not dissapoint and is NOT to be missed!