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All Visitor Reviews
All 2008 Visitor Reviews Submitted by pondfly

Disclaimer: Reviews on this page were supplied by an outside source. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff of Haunted Illinois does not endorse, support, represent, or guarantee the accuracy, truthfulness, or reliability of these reviews.
Event Reviewed: The Fear Haunted House at Navy Pier (Chicago, Illinois)
Reviewed by: pondfly   (Event Visited: 10/30/08 @ 8:30 pm)
Review Posted: 10/31/08
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Very Low | Atmosphere: Poor
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Visibility/Location: Good visibility- Located on the entry horseshoe drive into Navy Pier. Well illuminated column sign, but could use a little illumination for the "eye candy" from the curb.

Wait Entertainment: Four actors / line management personnel working the front. One person would occasionally come out and "spin" glow sticks. Can't exactly see how that would go with this theme, but more of a rave.

Length of Event: 12 Minutes including the queue line video, explanation of the house rules and then the walk through the house

Actor Performance: Poor energy and focus on their section. While most of the actors were young and needed some actor coaching they would do a simple scare and pop back thinking that there would be another scare, but nothing came. A couple of actors did a better than average job, but as soon as they grabbed a scare they stopped. If you grab a scare, capitalize on it and run. It's great entertainment for the other visitors

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: With the crowd being small <100 patrons, they were able to use smaller groups 7-10. The flow went at a standard pace as most other houses go. However after about 3 minutes into the house the group behind us caught up and began tripping up on my heels. An actor should have tried to slow the other group up a little by being more in the haunt path for a few seconds would have helped.

Appropriate Ages: 6-8+

Props / Special FX: Props were limited for the size of the haunt (construction trailers) and the overwhelming union stranglehold on the facility. They were basic with some detail in places, however I want to commend them for the unique use of LED module lighting to achieve the effect of highlighting areas of attention, or accent lighting. It wasn't the "holy grail" but I think this will be a good path to follow for other haunts in the future.

Costumes / Make-up: Costumes were basic, as well as the makeup. Some of the commercially obtained masks and costumes could have used some time additional detailing to pronounce the features and bring the costume to life rather than a latex mask or suit just thrown on.  
As for the makeup, at appeared that it was all hand applied and very light. some airbrushing to shade and increase the density of the colors would have done greatly for them.

Summary: Please read the whole summary to understand the following comments. 
I went to the house since I was near for a conference and took a friend who does not go to houses and he thought it was bad. I would have to place it with levels of smaller production park district, or smaller Jaycee productions. I was hoping for more, but was left with dashed hopes.  
I think that some of this would be from the perceived thought of Navy Pier is big, therefore the production would be also. This is where I think I was most disappointed.  
if I was a betting person the production company was able to wrangle a space from the Pier Authority, but was extremely constrained by rules and other factors. Trying to produce in a set of construction trailers with very little eye candy, off the shelf lighting, basic costuming and acting with no punch attached to a price tag of $20 plus parking (no comment here), left me extremely disappointed.  
The biggest downfall for me was the lack of actor participation. The staff working in the line and ticketing area would either shuffle along or catch a small scare and then keep moving rather than using that opportunity to use the scare to their advantage. At one time I made a comment to the person next to me and an actor overheard it, broke character attempted to try and insult me. Bad idea. In the end he walked away dismayed and other customers questioning why he tried to do so. However not all actors were bad. There were a couple that kept themselves in character, made a good scare, but moved along before more could be done. These characters also did have a little more energy, but could have done more and made it a great time for them and probably more enjoyable for them as well. 
The use of the tent for the line staging was a great idea, but dump the white light and add some color to add to the atmosphere. The use of additional fog in certain areas would have also done magic. Please add some external eye candy to the haunt (some accent lighting, not flood and some occasional fogging.  
The use of the inflatable haunt, was unique and added time, but I would have loved to see the huge expense of the inflatable put towards adding to the punch. 
I judged this with the thought of them being a first year haunt. Scale back from the big location, focus on the eye candy, actor coaching, additional actors inside and better value and they may have a potential. 
IMHO, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone until the price becomes more par to the quality. 





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