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Read Other 2012 Haunt Reviews

HauntedIllinois.com's
2012 Basement of the Dead Review


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Basement of the Dead 
42 W. New York St
Aurora, IL 60506

Visited: 10/13/12

 

Reviewed By: The Webmaster     
Visibility/Location: Visibility has always been a problem with the Basement of the Dead. First time visitors and those who aren't familiar with the area will most likely have a hard time finding this event.  The attraction itself was below road level, so it couldn't be seen from the street. On the night that I attended, there was one small orange sign near the sidewalk, next to the brick wall of a local business. Unfortunately, it was very hard to see because it was obscured by the vehicles parked along the road. Not only was the event hard to find, but there was no signage telling you where to park, which would be confusing, if you have never gone to Basement of the Dead before.        
Wait Entertainment: They did a nice job in this category. Near the entrance, there was a ghoulish costumed DJ, wearing a straitjacket, who was spinning some tunes.  Various characters were roaming around outside, in the queue line area, to entertain the crowd. There was also a large canopy set up near the entrance, as well as heat lamps, to help keep patrons dry and warm.   
Admission Price: $25
Parking: $4.  When I got there, street parking was not available, so I had to use the casino's parking garage and pay the $4 dollar parking fee.
Length:

Basement of the Dead: 6.5 Minutes *
Shattered 3D: 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 forward through the attraction. Time spent waiting in queue lines, staging areas, intro scenes, rules rooms and when traffic jams cause patrons to come to a halt, has been subtracted. 

LPR: 1.267
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: Basement of the Dead: Medium-High
Shattered 3D: Low
Crowd Control: Basement of the Dead: Crowd control was pretty good, but there is still room for improvement. There were not many people in line on the night that I attended, but my group still ended up catching up to the patrons at of us after about 3 minutes.
Shattered 3D: Crowd control was great in this attraction. I never saw or ran into any other groups, while inside.

Summary:

Basement of the Dead 

Basement of the Dead consisted of several graphic scenes, separated by lengths of dark hallways.  Some of the scenes were well detailed, while others were more basic.  Basement of the Dead has always had an old-school vibe and this year was no different.

My tour of the haunted house started off with a really cool effect.  In one of the first hallways, there was a grid of more than a dozen 5 gallon water jugs tied together, next to a stone wall. When we walked into the area, an actor bounced the jugs off the wall, which made a creepy rattling sound. After that, he charged at my group.  

From there, we continued on through the rest of the attraction, experiencing a number of scenes that were pretty gory.  In one area, there was an actor slicing up body parts with a meat slicer. Surrounding him were metal tables, piled high with body parts and intestines. Another similar scene featured an actor wearing a pig head mask and a bloody apron. As my group walked by, he was cutting up body parts with a power saw.  There was also a disgusting bathroom that had a grimy sink and toilet, with feces splattered all over the tile walls.  

Throughout the attraction, there were also some undermanned static scenes.  In one corner, there was an animatronic character vomiting into a 55 gallon drum and another hallway had fake snakes and spiders on display, in cages, behind chicken-wire screens.

One of the more memorable scenes was the devil worshiper room. As my group walked in, an evangelist was chanting in a foreign language into a microphone, while an actress on the other side of the room pleaded for us to stay. To add to the atmosphere, there was a red spinning pentagram on the wall and Satan was sitting in a chair in the corner.

My favorite overall had to be the room with the Silent Hill nurses. Although it wasn't the most elaborate scene, actor performance and the quality of costumes / makeup really put it over the top. The room featured two Silent Hill nurses laying on metal tables. As we passed by, the actresses stirred, moving toward us with herky-jerky motions. After that, they stalked us until we had left the room. 

While I really enjoyed the haunted house in general, there was one thing that seemed to ruin the mood, in many areas. In several scenes, there were cameras with large arrays of infrared LEDs, mounted in plain sight.  I understand that security is important; however, the red glow of the infrared LEDs was a constant reminder that cameras were in use. This was pretty distracting and seemed to ruin the mood they were trying to maintain. 

Also, the Basement of the Dead attraction seemed to be smaller than it had been in previous years. 

Overall, actor performance was great. Most of the actors were very animated and had a very in-your-face style.  The scares were on target and they stalked you relentlessly. 

There was one exception, though.  In one area, there was a metal cage mirror maze, illuminated by strobe lights.  The actors did a great job when we entered the scene, but they stopped acting before our entire group had gone through. I still had one more turn to make in the maze and the actors had already turned around to reset, looking for the next group. I'll have to admit that was a little disappointing.

Shattered 3D

After exiting the Basement of the Dead house, patrons moved on to the new attraction, Shattered 3-D.  Inside this event, customers wore 3-D glasses, and walked through an array of scenes with all sorts of glowing artwork. Let me tell you, the artwork was phenomenal and really seem to pop out at you. Throughout various scenes, patrons can see a wide variety of themes including caverns, clowns, oozing sewer pipes, skulls and more.

Along with the artwork on the walls, a number of the scenes contain supporting props like the front end of an "I-Scream" truck, a candy cart and a puppet show stage with animatronic puppets.

Various rooms had a mix of static clown figures and live actors, where patrons had to figure out which was which. This 3-D attraction was a little more lively than some I have been through. In a number of areas, clowns charged out from around corners, blaring electric horns.  In other places, there were drop windows and other scare attempts. 

While there were numerous scare opportunities, a number of the scares were off target, since the characters were out in plain view, which made scare attempts much less effective.  There were also a couple of times when I came around a corner and surprised the actor who was waiting for the next group to come through.  All of this resulted in a lower scare factor throughout the attraction. 


Before I conclude this review, there is one important issue that I need to address and that is the Basement of the Dead's increase in admission price.  Over the past two years, admission has jumped from $15 to $25.  Did their new 3-D attraction add value to the event? Yes, but it was a small addition.  There definitely wasn't enough value added to justify such a drastic price increase.  The Basement of the Dead used to be one of the best values around, but sadly those days are behind us. 

Still, price aside, the Basement of the Dead is still a great haunted house.  I have always enjoyed the old school nature of this haunt and I still do. The high energy performance of the actors, along with the fast-paced nature of the attraction, make this event a lot of fun to go through. The new 3-D attraction was enjoyable, too.  Be sure to check them out if you get the chance.

To find out more about this event, visit:

http://www.42fear.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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