|5 out of 11 people thought this review was helpful.|
|Reviewed by: Hellion47   (Event Visited: 10/26/13 @ 8:45 pm) |
Review Posted: 10/28/13
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Average|
Visibility/Location: It was not difficult to find. There was a large sign with a skull on the main street corner, and red lights spelling "Scream Scene" visible from the street. There was a large, free parking lot with plenty of parking, even on this night close to Halloween.
Wait Entertainment: Wait entertainment consisted of 4-5 costumed characters, mostly creepy clowns, a sort of Reaper character, and a Jason/chainsaw maniac guy. There was heavy metal music blaring from a portable sound system. The characters got up in your face, stared you down, and one clown would sneak up behind and honk his horn right behind you. This got one of the women in our group pretty badly the first time. The line was all outside, on the sidewalk leading up to the building where the haunt was located. We got there around an hour before close on the Saturday before Halloween, and the wait was probably about 1 hour and 15-20 minutes. There was a crowd of wandering, unaccompanied teens hanging out near the line who were nearly as frightening as the characters.
Length of Event: We went through at a fairly slow walk, and it took approximately 12 minutes.
Actor Performance: This was a bit uneven. Granted, we were probably there during the last hour of the last weekend of the month, but people seemed to be a bit tired, not really playing it up as much as they could. Some were great, though. In the bathroom/meat locker room, this crazy guy in a white lab coat (?) was really in the zone - he was screaming, and banging on the wall, and throwing his whole being into that role. The 2 characters in the creepy "living room" also followed our group for several scenes, and were pretty good. To be fair, since I was at the end of a group of 6, I might have missed most of the high energy scares by the time I got into the rooms. But in one or two rooms I waited for the actors to do something, and they just stood there watching me.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: The attraction was definitely trying to keep groups spread out, waiting between each group. Also, we got lucky, I suppose, because the family directly in front of us turned around and left as soon as they went in (I think their young daughters were too frightened). The teenage couple on a date behind us caught up to us at one point, but the haunt crew saw it and held them back as we left the room, and they did not catch up to us again.
Appropriate Ages: My group were all adults over 30, and one college-age, so it is a little hard to tell. We thought it was only moderately scary, but as I said, the family ahead of us with girls under 12 or so turned around and left. So, probably 12+ is fine, but you need to know your kids, and how sensitive they are to blood, dismembered corpses, creepy clowns, and the like.
Props / Special FX: I would say most of this haunt relies on good old fashioned human actors. There were a few memorable props. In one room a corpse lunges out at you. Several rooms were built like rooms in a house where things have gone horribly wrong. There was a bedroom, kitchen, TV room, and closet - lots of hiding places and spooks leaping out, and crawling through the closet was a claustrophobic and unnerving experience. A few rooms seems to be laboratories where bodies were being dismembered. Lots of bloody body part props. Another cool concept was a black maze with TV monitors showing static or random messages, and at one point a screenshot of your own group wandering around. I enjoyed that section. Also, there were many rooms where life-like figures were standing around and it was unclear which were real people, and which were props. Those are always good.
Costumes / Make-up: On the whole it was good. I would not have mistaken anyone for actual accident victims, but in the dark, moving quickly, they were good enough. There were lots of crazy, bloody maniacs, creepy clowns - the usual assortment of characters. Most actors wore make-up, with only a few wearing masks.
Summary: As I mentioned earlier, we were a group of 6 - mostly over 30, with one college-age guy. So, our perceptions will be a little different from your typical 15-year-old.
I thought that the haunt was of average quality and scare factor, and that the actors had a lot of heart, for the most part. We were there near the end of the evening on the Saturday before Halloween, so on the one hand, I would expect that everyone would be on their best performance. On the other, they might also be getting a little tired by this time in the season (and evening). This seemed to show through some uneven performances - some actors were really going for it, and others just sort of stood there. In fairness, since they mostly seemed to be teens, maybe they treat more "mature" patrons differently than younger ones.
There were several stand-out parts of the haunt. I thought the entryway - a walkway lined with scary figures (mostly mannequins), and a bright light shining in your eyes to disorient, was a great mood setter. I also enjoyed the TV maze, and thought that it was well done. There were actually 2-3 different small mazes in the haunt, and some led to dead ends until a spook popped open a door to scare you and let you through. The red/white circus maze area was also good in the sense that if you were even 4-5 feet behind someone else, you might completely lose them. We also thought the clothing closet was good because it created a sense of claustrophobia, and the guy in the bathroom/meat locker room was extremely good. Another member of our group really liked the "birthing canal" part.
Some ways that things could be improved: overall, it was too light. We almost never were in pitch black, so we could usually see what was happening around us. Strobe lights were used in some areas, but maybe could have been set up better to disorient. Also, sound effects - some sort of scary soundtrack - would have improved the atmosphere.
Overall, for $9, this was a decent haunt. I am really big on creepy atmosphere, and this one did not meet my expectations in that area. There was attention to detail throughout - and the many rooms of the scary house was good in this respect - but it mainly relied on tables of bloody arms and heads, without enough variety. Still, there were enough good set pieces, and actors with real heart, that it was worth it. Also, we were not looking for something that would give us nightmares for the next week or two, and the scare factor here was on the medium level - mostly relying on jump moments and screaming actors. As such, it was probably just about what we were looking for.