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Read Other 2012 Haunt Reviews

HauntedIllinois.com's
2012 Eleventh Hour Haunted House Review


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Eleventh Hour Haunted Houses
Berthold's Garden Center
434 East Devon Avenue
Elk Grove, IL 60007

Visited: 10/12/12

 

Reviewed By: Minion     
Visibility/Location: The location is a nursery/garden center on Devon Road in Elk Grove. It was easy to find with a GPS, and the signs throughout the area. However, it would be helpful if there was some sort of a sign pointing people where to park. I had no problem finding it using a GPS.    
Wait Entertainment: There were multiple people floating around as wait entertainers. All of them were good, especially one that beat me at a staring contest.   
Admission Price: $23
Parking: FREE
Length:

Corn maze: 7minutes *
First haunt: 10 minutes
*
Second haunt: 8 minutes
*
Third haunt: 9.5 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: 5.250
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: Medium
Crowd Control: Bad – though, that was more of a problem with the power going out and other infrastructure problems.

Summary:

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 stopped moving.

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 more time.

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 worthwhile effort.

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.      

To find out more about this event, visit:

http://www.eleventhhour.info/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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