|40 out of 56 people thought this review was helpful.|
|Reviewed by: scary1   (Event Visited: 10/08/15 @ 8:45 pm) |
Review Posted: 10/09/15
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Very Good|
Visibility/Location: There were large vinyl banners on the side of the building, but I didn’t see any signage that was visible from the street. The haunted house blends in with the rest of the nearby brick industrial buildings, so you may miss it, if you aren’t looking carefully.
Wait Entertainment: There was one line actor that I saw who looked like the dark-haired girl from the movie “The Ring”. Awesome and creepy performance!
Length of Event: 15 minutes total for both attractions.
Actor Performance: This was hit and miss. Scares were not that prominent. The actors in the first attraction were more theatrical and the second haunted house had more pop-outs.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Flow was smooth, but I visited on a non-peak night, so I can’t comment on how they could have handled a crowd.
Summary: Let me set up this review with a little background that some of you may not be aware of. Firstly, I am an avid haunted house fan and I know the Chicagoland haunt scene pretty well. I do not now, nor have I ever worked at a haunted attraction. Now that that’s out of the way, I will continue with the review.
For those who aren’t aware, the 13th Floor Entertainment Group (the same folks who now produce the 13th Floor Haunted House in Melrose Park) bought out the now defunct Fear City attraction in Morton Grove. They have turned that event into “The Nationally Celebrated House of Torment”. Gotta love those modest tag lines. LOL.
The first attraction at House of Torment is called Contagium. The story line posted on their website says that this section of the haunt was supposed to be some alien invader armed with a contagium that turned people into a half-alien, half-human hybrid. Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, a fairly sizeable chunk of the haunt itself didn’t really seem to follow that theme, not to mention that there isn’t an alien to be found in the entire haunted house. The House of Torment reused all of the previous scenes from Fear City, making few changes other than customer routing. Some of the rooms like the medical center, and post-apocalyptic Red Line Station fit in rather well with the contagium theme, but others did not. Unfortunately they kept unrelated areas like the hoarder’s living room, antique shop, slaughterhouse and a mirror maze. Another scene that they kept from Fear City literally made me laugh out loud when I walked through. About midway through the house was a Day of the Dead scene with sugar skull artwork painted on the walls and a woman in a festival dress dancing on a platform. It was more comical than anything. What in the world does that have to do with the alien theme?
Most of the scenes, however, were very highly detailed.
Although the actors had some great airbrush makeup and decent costumes, they were few and far between. On the night that I visited, they were extremely short staffed in the actor department. With multiple rooms completely devoid of actors, there were times when my friends and I thought we were the only ones in the haunted house. The large rooms and wide walkways in the haunted house made the attraction seem even more empty.
Sound was also an issue. There were some sound effects and music playing in certain areas, but many of the scenes were way too quiet. In some rooms you could hear a pin drop, which contributed to the lackluster feel of the event.
The second haunted house was called “The Abandoned”. “The Abandoned” reused old scenes from Fear City’s “Our Lady of the Cursed” attraction, but in this case it works. The story line for “The Abandoned” is an abandoned old school, which is the setting for the previous attraction.
This haunted house was better staffed with actors than the first attraction. They were more energetic and many had masks, as opposed to airbrush makeup.
One point I have to mention is related to their advertising. The Youtube video on their website shows all sorts of scary scenes and characters. With the exception of their queue line actor who looked like the dark-haired girl from “The Ring”, there was not one character or scene in the video that was actually inside the haunted house. I’m not going to say that it’s false advertising, but it is somewhat misleading and could lead to unhappy customers because the haunt didn’t live up to the hype of the video. Another thing to note is that the price advertised on the website is just the base price. I went on a Thursday and the price advertised was $24.99. After taxes and fees, the actual admission I had to pay was nearly $28!
In general, House of Torment had an inconsistent theme, shortage of actors and not a lot of scares. It’s aesthetically appealing, but that’s not what we went to a haunted house for. Unfortunately, we were disappointed with the debut of this haunted house.
|46 out of 65 people thought this review was helpful.|
|Reviewed by: BIGGUN   (Event Visited: 10/30/15 @ 6:45 pm) |
Review Posted: 11/01/15
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Good|
Visibility/Location: Not very good if you dont know the area.
At lease Fear City used to have signage.
Wait Entertainment: One zombie lady who was doing a phenomenal job!
Length of Event: Appox 25 min, for both haunts
Actor Performance: Pretty good, lots of jump out scares, some however were more mellow
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Very good, did not catch up to anybody, nor did anybody catch us.
Appropriate Ages: 12+
Props / Special FX: Very nice. Lots of detail in certain rooms.
Costumes / Make-up: Again , very good, professionally done
Summary: I was so glad to see Fear City had "died" as I went the first 2 years, and I found it lame, and the owners to be smug.
Torment, while using many of the same sets as FC, knew how to put the appropriate scares in each room.
IE the slaughterhouse, whereas Fear City had this room nice and clean on the ground, Torment had carcasses, and dirtied up the room a bit.
There were ZERO Phantom of the Opera theatrics like FC, just good old fashioned scaring the way a haunt should be.
I am sure they will tweak things in the years to come. If you felt ripped off by Fear City like I did, and need a new haunt to go to in MG, then check out Torment next year. More bang for your buck.
RIP Fear City-good riddance!