I actually feel bad for the
owner/management of 11th Hour this year. He was sort of screwed
during my visit, and not in a good way. But, I’ll get to that in a second.
11th Hour was semi easy to
find. It was off Devon Road in Elk Grove Village, and I saw multiple signs
pointing us in the right direction, plus it was exceptionally easy finding it
with GPS. The only issue there was parking – they didn’t really tell us
where to park, and therefore, we found ourselves sort of shoved in the back of a
bunch of semi-trucks. We parked in a spot that we were semi-sure wouldn’t lead
to us being towed and headed inside (we weren’t towed, by the way, but a
little sign pointing people to the proper place to park would be beneficial.)
11th Hour is billed as having
a corn maze and three haunted houses, though, in reality, I would label it as a
small corn maze and one haunted house. My opinion is, just because you put a
second queue line inside your haunted house doesn’t mark it as a second – or
third - haunted house.
The corn maze is a corn maze like any
other. You wander though the rows of corn stalks, looking for the way out. In
this particular corn maze, a few hillbillies were located within… one who was
acting exceptionally “drunk on moonshine.” It was fun – and the actor was
great - but again, it’s a corn maze and therefore, sort of limits people in
how much fun it can be. Again, corn mazes are pretty boring in their own right.
It’s corn. It’s a maze. (Shrug) That’s pretty much all there is too it.
From there, you head to the “three”
haunted houses that make up 11th Hour. I had never been to 11th
Hour before this night, and honestly, after the corn maze, I wasn’t expecting
much. But, honestly, I was wrong. It was a lot of fun DESPITE the problems that
took place inside.
The reason is because the acting at 11th
Hour is pretty damn spectacular. It started for me with a line actor who – I
never got his name – was sharp as a tack and quick-witted as hell. He caught
me watching him at one point and immediately started in on me using adult humor.
This led to us having a staring contest, which led to us verbally baiting each
other, trying to make the other person laugh. He finally got me to laugh –
winning the staring contest – by calling me “Abe Lincoln” (Get it? “A
Blinkin?” Um – this isn’t doing it justice, but it was funny. You honestly
had to be there, but it was funny. I lost it, and so did everyone else in line.)
Anyway, the acting on everyone we bumped
into in the first part of the haunted house was truly overwhelming. From the guy
who introduces you and tells you the rules inside the haunt, to the redneck
woman who was flirting with my friend (her little firefighter), the acting was
truly top notch. Everyone had lines, everyone acted them out well, and everyone
was truly ingenious.
The artwork in the haunted houses was
decent as well. While there are many other haunts out there that have more
expensive props or manicured walls, this house really doesn’t skimp on what it
does do. It uses handcrafted items to the best of their ability to create
genuine scenes. For example, an old kitchen really is an old kitchen, not some
props created in a Chinese factory somewhere. The haunt makes you feel like you
are in an old, haunted building. There’s a haunted stair case that puts you
through a secret passage, and a fun little boiler area that is packed with
steaming pipes and an eerie feeling.
But, my favorite part throughout the
haunt was definitely the acting. The actors were spot on and quick-witted. They
clearly knew their parts, were well trained and have done this sort of thing for
many years. I daresay the acting in this haunt was the best out of all the ones
I’ve been too this year.
Now, I did start this whole review off
saying I felt bad for the owners of 11th Hour on the night I went,
and it was because they were screwed throughout the night I went – let me
explain it outright.
As my group stood in line for the
haunted house, the waiting area suddenly went dark, and clearly, a power surge
or something knocked out power of the haunted houses. It was only about a minute
before it started up again, but it caused a queue line between the first and
second haunt to fill up, and put added stress on the actors to keep people
entertained as we walked through like sheep.
Anyway, that first snafu was fixed and
we got inside the haunted house, and as we wandered through the first haunt and
came upon the queue line for the second haunt, we noticed that the line had
Turns out, two kids in the second haunt
got their hands on a couple of CO2 fire extinguishers and, like a couple of
punks, blasted them off in one of the haunt hallways. Now, I could be a total
ass and say “the owners should have made sure that the fire extinguishers
weren’t in a location that the public could get to them,” but I wont. See,
I’m actually happy that the haunt operators had fire suppression devices on
hand and, more importantly, will say that its not a shock that two little punks
would find a way to ruin the night for a lot of other people.
It’s a delay, sure, but not a bad
delay. Things happen.
Unfortunately, though, the management
wasn’t out of the woods yet.
After about 10 minutes to clean up the
fire extinguishers, the owner wandered over to where I was in line, explained
what the delay was, when “blam,” the power went out on him again. You could
actually see the stress in his eyes as he wandered away to flip the breaker one
Then after another minute or so, the
power came back on, and another five minutes later, we finally wandered up to a
girl named Pinky, who was there to tell us the rules of the final two haunted
houses. At this point, she was pushing the groups through at an alarmingly
oversized rate, but it was done in an effort to get the entire haunt back on
track. And, poor Pinky, despite being clearly stressed out from the delays, she
did a decent job of getting people through.
We went into their elevator (where Pinky
told us not to jump up and down and break their old elevator or it would cost me
$10,000) and came out on the other side. I was wandering through the next two
minutes of the haunt, when I heard a giant click and, suddenly, all the
emergency lights came on.
Yes, for the third time, the power went
out and, worse, this time I was in the center of the haunt where a lot of the
animatronics were located.
Now, because of this, I can’t really
tell you whether I enjoyed the second and third haunts because, while were
allowed to wander through the second haunt, then into the third haunt, the loss
of power really hurt the haunt.
I will say that the clown area was high
energy, and the acting stayed on point. I will also say the addition of the band
in the clown area may have been a nice addition, but I won’t know because
their instruments were powering back on as I wandered through the room.
But, despite the problems, the acting
was once again fun. The actors really tried hard to give us a worthy show… and
honestly, because they were at hat point out of their element, it was a
This is a perfect example for a lot of
haunts out there: Honestly, I am giving a haunted house a good review despite
power being knocked out, thus wiping out the lights – and animatronics – for
most of their haunted house. That’s right, kids, acting DOES matter.
In the end, I have to give he actors of
11th Hour a clear A for what they did. They were fun, exciting, and
really, really skilled. I would give other grades for the haunt, but the power
loss and the work of two obnoxious kids forced me to give the rest of 11th
Hour an incomplete this year.
But, still, if you happen to find
yourself in Elk Grove Village and are looking for something fun this weekend, I
would recommend stopping by Eleventh Hour. Despite the infrastructure problems
on full display when I was there, they really did an outstanding job.
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