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Read Other 2010 Haunt Reviews

HauntedIllinois.com's
2010 Satan's Portal Haunted House Review


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Satan's Portal
113 Republic Ave.
Joliet, IL 60435

Visited: 10/01/10

 

Visibility/Location: Even though the building was located far off and not very visible from the main road, they did a fine job of making their event stand out.  Along the street, there was a large backlit sign with dripping blood-red lettering that spelled out "Satan's Portal".   There were also several 6 ft tall illuminated Halloween inflatable decorations (grim reaper, Frankenstein, ghosts, etc) near the road.  To make the location even more noticeable, two employees were holding haunted house signs, getting motorists' attention.  Once in the parking lot, there was a large vinyl "Satan's Portal" banner that could be seen on the front of the building and there were floodlights pointed at the entrance, to make it stand out.  The light posts in the parking lot were also decorated with bunches of corn stalks and ghouls, with their tattered clothing flying in the wind.      
Wait Entertainment: None.  I arrived early in the season and there wasn't a line, so there was no need for wait entertainment.  For those in line, later in the season, their indoor waiting room was themed with several horror movie posters with loud heavy metal music playing in the background.            
Admission Price: $24.00 
(Discount: The first 200 customers got in for $10)
Parking: Free
Length:

4 Minutes * 
*
= 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.

LPR: 0.416
LPR stands for Length/Price Ratio. It represents perceived value of an event, by comparing length vs price of admission. Higher numbers represent more value per dollar. Actual quality and/or entertainment value of an event are not factors in this calculation. Click Here to see how this event compares to others visited this year by the staff of HauntedIllinois.com.
Scare Factor: Low-Medium 
Crowd Control: N/A.  I visited early in the season when there wasn't a line, so I can't comment on how well they could handle a crowd.      
Extras: Patrons get to go through as many times as they want to, on the same night of ticket purchase.      

Summary:

The tour started with an intro scene, which was a bit confusing.  The staff sent you into a large, brightly-lit room with various ghouls and assorted decorations attached to the walls. Patrons where then instructed to stay in the room for a minute.  In one corner, there was a skeleton inside of a cage.  The skeleton's jaw moved in sync with a soundtrack, but the voice was so garbled and the volume was so low, I couldn't understand what was being said.        

From there, customers moved through a wide variety of moderately detailed scenes, with plain black walls.   Many areas were themed after popular horror movie characters.  In a number of the rooms, there were simple props like those you would find in a Halloween store (plastic light-up bones, etc).  While most of the props fit in with the rooms they were in, there were a few areas where it seemed like the props/decorations were randomly placed.  Strands of Halloween-colored Christmas lights were used consistently throughout the house, to maintain an eerie atmosphere.    

Some of the memorable scenes were the North Pole, the Jail and Camp Crystal Lake.  The North Pole featured a decorated Christmas tree and "snow" that drifted down from a foam machine.  A very exuberant elf guided patrons into the scene, only to have Santa spring out from a hiding place and attack with a chainsaw.  The jail had barred cells, a vibrating electric chair and a couple of escaped convicts.  Camp Crystal Lake had a small campfire and a winding path that was bordered with pine trees.  Before patrons left the scene, Jason attacked from a great hiding place.  Other horror movie characters in the haunted house included Freddy, Michael Myers, Leatherface and Chucky.  Most of the horror movie scenes featured pleading victims, which made them more effective, overall.    

Acting was a bit hit and miss, though.  Most of the actors were very enthusiastic about their roles and many of them did a good job.  Santa and his elf where the most entertaining and the actors in the jail scene also performed well.   There were a few actor-related issues, however.  For the most part, the actors wore masks, which muffled their voices and made them a little hard to understand.   One actress broke character by pointing and saying "right there" (referring to the exit) in a normal tone of voice.   In another scene, I saw two actors chatting in a corner.  In several rooms, actors yelled "get out!", which got to be a little annoying after a while.  There were also a couple of inconsistencies with the characters themselves.  The actor playing "Chucky" was nearly six feet tall and "Freddy" was wearing a bloody lab coat.  Most of the scares were well timed; however, some were ineffective, because the actors were in plain sight.      

I'll have to admit that before I visited, I was intrigued with the hype created by their high admission price, as well as their online promotion as a "premier" haunted house.  Unfortunately the final product fell far short of my expectations. Just to give you a little perspective, most of the top-rated haunted attractions in the state of Illinois are priced much more affordably than this one.   Also, on their website, they claimed to be "Voted # 1 for newest upcoming haunted events".  How can an event be voted #1 anything, when they haven't even opened for business yet?  

While there were a lot of things about this haunted house that I liked, their regular admission price was not one of them.  Satan's Portal offered a special discount, only charging $10 admission for their first 200 customers.  I was fortunate enough to be one of the 200. After the first 200 people, admission jumps to $24 for the rest of the season.  Don't get me wrong... It was a fun haunted attraction and worth attending at the $10 discounted price, but I personally wouldn't be comfortable paying any more than that to get into this event.  The $24 price tag is completely excessive, considering the brevity of the tour and the overall entertainment value provided.   

To find out more about this event, visit:

http://www.satansportal.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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