Other 2009 Haunt Reviews
2009 Chronicles of Cursed:
Hades Emerges Review
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Of The Cursed: Hades Emerges
Downtown Chicago Grand Ave & Chicago River
504-518 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60610
||I didn't see any signage along the road until I got to the entrance, where there was a small sign posted, telling you where to turn. The tents
could be seen from the road, which helped with visibility. After turning in, there was plenty of signage, as well as several parking attendants with flashlights, to lead you to the parking area. The ticket and event queue lines were all clearly marked.
||Covered waiting was available inside a large tent. Inside the tent, there was a
silhouette of a church tower in flames, that was projected by red and green floodlights. There was one line actor in a trench coat who was asking people if they wanted to pet his rat. Considering the length of the queue line, a few more line actors would have made the wait more bearable. Near the entrance, there was a video being projected on the side wall of the tent, which told patrons the rules of the house. The size and style of the font they selected made the rules very hard to read. The rest of the video consisted of various film clips, one of which being a WGN newscast. I'm sure all the sequences in the video had something to do with the haunted house, but I couldn't understand what was happening, because the volume was set too low and I couldn't hear what was being said.
= Since people move through haunted attractions at different
rates, your time will vary. Note:
The time shown here represents the actual time spent moving
through the attraction. Time spent waiting in queue
lines or staging areas has been subtracted.
||There were some serious problems with patron flow throughout the attraction. After being in the house only about four minutes, my group caught up with the group ahead of ours, then about a minute later a group caught up to us from behind. From that point on, it was one big conga line, all the way to the exit. There were several times when my group came to a standstill, for minutes at a time, waiting for the patrons ahead of us to move. This got pretty annoying after about halfway through the haunted house and it really ruined the mood they were trying to create. Perhaps they shouldn't have let in so many people at the same time. Having employees at check-points, to help regulate the flow of patrons, would have also helped.
This attraction wasn't exactly what I expected; it definitely wasn't a typical haunted house. I found it to be more weird than it was scary. The performances in the house were very dramatic and theatrical in nature, which made it more like performance art than a haunted house.
The walking path of the attraction was laid-out around one central scene, which resembled some sort of weird festival or parade. An actor was pounding a tribal drum with a regular rhythm and there was another actor wearing tattered clothing, who was carrying a trombone. There was also a weird barrel-shaped costume on wheels that spun around in a circle. In another part of the scene, large letters spelling out "WGN 9" were affixed to what looked like a castle wall. Wow! What were they thinking?!?!
There is nothing wrong with hanging sponsor banners and other advertisements outside or in the queue line area, but
they just don't belong inside a haunted house, period! Seeing this blatant advertisement in the middle of the haunt completely killed the mood for me, making the experience less enjoyable, overall.
Throughout the rest of the attraction, there was a collection of simple scenes that were built up on platforms of varying heights, ranging from one to five feet tall. On top of the platforms were actors, along with various strange props, including things like large metal drainage pipes that were wrapped with blood-splattered
strips of white cloth, assorted metal frameworks and workout equipment. Some of the scenes, like the bloody bathroom, were tilted sideways. Several dark hallways were used to create simple transitions between the scenes. Most of the areas inside the house had a minimal level of detail. One of the scenes was nothing more than a blood-stained couch sitting on a platform. In another area, there was a huge banquet table that was covered with severed hands, feet and other bloody body parts. Another scene featured an actor in a cow costume, who was mooing at the patrons, and a hammock that had severed arms and legs attached to it. Some of the platforms had no props; they only had actors on them, who attacked the patrons that were walking around the platform.
I think they could have used a few more actors inside the house, though. On the night that I attended, there were some dead areas (no pun intended) and a number of the scenes were empty. Even so, the actors that were there did a great job. They were all very much into the roles and their dramatic performances were convincing. Throughout the entire attraction, I never saw anyone break character. They also had some elaborate costumes and
the airbrushed make-up looked great. I think that the unique characters really made this attraction a lot more interesting. The scare factor of this event was pretty low, because there were a lot of large, wide-open areas and you could see most of the actors, before they made their attacks.
Overall, I found Chronicles of the Cursed: Hades Emerges to be unique and entertaining. With its theatrical flair, distinctive characters and unusual scenes, this show is definitely one of a kind. The scenes and choice of props were puzzling at times, but they were definitely creative and interesting. I recommend adding this to your list of haunt visits this year, but just keep in mind that it isn't your typical haunted house.
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