|23 out of 41 people thought this review was helpful.|
|Reviewed by: hauntfan1977   (Event Visited: 10/01/16 @ 9:30 pm) |
Review Posted: 10/09/16
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Average|
Visibility/Location: Located across the street and down a bit from the Bowen Building, this location is somewhat easy to find with large IDOT traffic signs giving directions towards parking. Once parked, a well lit sign gave direction where to walk to get to the haunt entrance.
Wait Entertainment: A large video screen was playing music with still pictures of the band that was playing. There were also some custom videos playing, but the volume was too low on those to actually discern what they were about.
Length of Event: After getting through the line, we walked through at a pretty slow pace and it lasted about 15-20 minutes.
Actor Performance: Grandma out front was an absolute riot! She had us laughing pretty hard while she told us the rules of the haunt. We did catch a few actors out of character at one point because one of us went the wrong way. Mask was pulled up and they were conversing back and forth. Somebody yelled "Here come a bunch of A-holes, let's play with them" and another person in our group was told "We're gonna cut your breasts off!" but with a lot more colorful language. This was a definite shock as this haunt is run by the local JFL group! I would expect better discipline from the actors at this haunt. There was a character that stood out towards the end that had a three face mask on that had an incredibly horrifying scream. Whoever he/she is has some amazing pipes!
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: We saw no other patrons going through. Never caught up to anybody and nobody caught up to us. This is largely in part to the abysmal system they are using to organize groups of people. Lines form based on the number of people in your group and then approach a bench area. The benches are chosen and then sent through. We joined with another group so we could go over to the "7 and more patrons" area. Many other customers were complaining when we got to go ahead of them and weren't sure why we were sent ahead of them. Once we made it to the entrance, we were forced to split up and sent through about 3 minutes apart.
Appropriate Ages: 16 and up, only because of offensive language. If the language is cleaned up, this haunt is appropriate for all ages.
Props / Special FX: Attention to detail is lacking in this spot. A few things that stood out were a popcorn machine full of eyeballs still in the plastic wrapping in which they came. The exterior walls are effectively bare tile and take away from the environment. There were no animatronics inside, but some of the rooms were fantastic. One of the rooms that stood out was the electrical area with wires everywhere. One of my favorite sections was when one of the patients came out of what appeared to be a cellar door, but the light inside revealed his pillow and mattress on the floor. The character in this room did a fantastic job, but the pillow reveal really took away from his scare.
Costumes / Make-up: Make-up was really sub-par in this haunt. A lot of white face and black eye make-up was used. The costumes on the majority of the males were on par, but almost every single one was wearing a mask. When an actor yells through a mask, he quickly becomes just a guy in a mask that doesn't emote at all. The females in this haunt had more cleavage than Elvira and were almost all wearing "naughty nurse" costumes. Anybody that was actually wearing make-up seems to have covered up poor make-up jobs with fake blood.
Summary: This is only the 2nd time I've visited this haunt and this year has reminded me why I haven't gone back in years. Many patrons believe this haunt is inside the large Bowen building across the street, but rather it takes place in one of the old infirmary buildings. This fact aside, the haunt has some amazing potential simply due to the location and the connection with local fables of actual haunted buildings. A lot of the staff seemed to have no actual actor training and are doing their own thing in each area. The haunt itself follows a logical theme of a mental patient ward.
I really wish the custom videos showing in the queue line had higher volume as they could have really set the stage for what is about to come. I also think the actors really could have done a better job getting in a personal space and then doing something. Far too often would a character get in a patrons "bubble" and just stand there. If you're going to be in my face in a well lit area, your make-up and costume simply needs to be outstanding. A guy in a mask screaming doesn't always do the trick considering the premium price charged at the door. The queue lines are an interesting concept that I've never seen before, but they need a lot of work. On more than one occasion, we could see actors cutting through completely out of character to go take a break and they would have zero interaction with the people waiting in line.
I really hope that the Haunted Asylum makes improvements in the years to come and can fix the issues at hand. The location alone and the affiliation with the local JFL teams really gives this haunt a chance to prosper. If anything, it's kinda cool to the see the inside of a historic building.
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about Haunted Infirmary At Bartonville Insane Asylum.
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