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Read Other 2014 Haunt Reviews

HauntedIllinois.com's
2014 Fear City Chicago Review


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Fear City Chicago
8240 N. Austin Ave
Morton Grove, IL 60053

Visited: 10/03/14

 

Reviewed By: Ben Graverobbin
Visibility/Location: This attraction was located inside an industrial warehouse off Austin Ave in Morton Grove. There were no signs directing us to the parking lot, and the one sign located right at the entrance to the parking lot was not lit. I wasn't able to see the sign until right up on it, so you may miss the turn if you aren't looking hard enough.
Wait Entertainment: The wait entertainment consisted of a few costumed characters walking around the line scaring customers, as well as a live band. The band is slated to perform on Friday nights only in October, with a DJ filling in on the other nights. The waiting room is design to resemble the city streets of Chicago, and does an exceedingly well job of achieving this. There was also a nice run down Catholic school facade for the second haunt, Our Lady of the Cursed.
Admission Price: Fear City: $25
Our Lady of the Cursed: $20
Combo Ticket: $35
Parking: Free
Length:

Fear City: 20.5 Minutes
Our Lady of the Cursed: 6 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: 1.741
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: Fear City: Medium-High
Our Lady of the Cursed: Medium
Crowd Control: Fear City: There were multiple times throughout the haunt where we were stopped to allow the group in front of us to get ahead. Unfortunately we caught up to the group in front of us several times, as they were moving exceptionally slow.

Our Lady of the Cursed: Since we were stopped numerous times to observe the theatrical performances, we never ran into another group.

Summary:

Fear City:

Fear City has been known to not portray the typical haunted house image. This year is no different.

But in no way is that meant to be taken negatively. The scenes in this haunt have an exceptional level of detail that succeed in kidnapping you from reality and leave you believing you've wandered into the darkest depths of Chicago. There is a lot of eye candy here, and impossible to soak it all in during one visit.

After entering, you are "preached" the rules of the house in a church scene by a couple of very eccentric evangelists. Afterwards, you are thrown into the streets of Chicago, weaving your way around many street scenes featuring broken down cars and run down store fronts. Along the way you encounter crazed bums and flesh hungry cannibals, some of them using the very effective lighting schemes to take advantage of pop out scares. Others had very theatrical performances with speaking roles, and for the most part were very believable in the characters they were attempting to portray. In the beginning you were directed onto an "L" subway train affect that simulated a ride on an actual subway train. The lighting and movements were impressive and realistic, yet the only problem was the actors didn't close the door all the way, allowing me to see that the train wasn't actually moving.

A lot of the lighting affects were utilized well to disoriented you, such as in the long hallway of the mental hospital. In this area they used flicker lights to simulate broken bulbs, sometimes going completely dark for several seconds, allowing patients to sneak up on you. This area was also exceptionally detailed, and made you feel like you were in a real hospital. Although to achieve this they had to make the
hallways a little wider than your typical haunted house, it made you feel as if you're on the set of a horror movie. The two story high slaughterhouse was also impressively detailed, with meat hanging from hooks 20 feet high and multiple butcher tables with human sacrifices. Another area was the hoarder's house, with scenes of garbage and random junk that seemed to reach the ceiling. The family in this area was a bit more deranged and comical than scary, but they had some of our group laughing.

At some point through the haunt, my group had gotten off the beaten path and we somehow ended up backstage. This was during the black light laden area of Day of the Dead inspiration, and due to blocking off non patron areas with half curtains. Full curtains or walls were needed in this area, to keep customers on the right path.

The last section of this attraction featured multiple detailed voodoo scenes. The priests and priestesses of this area taunt and chant hexes in your direction. One actor did a particularly exceptional job of remaining hidden in plain sight, startling patrons at exactly the right moment.

Our Lady of the Cursed:

This second attraction was themed after a run down catholic school gone wrong.

As you enter, you are greeted by a nun identifying herself as Mother Superior. She explains in a theatrical manner the history of the school, and what evils lurk inside. As she does so in the main hall of the school, some of the possessed "students" come out of the darkness and your tour begins.

Almost every scene in this haunt has you stop and watch theatrical performances, usually involving the nuns and students. One such scene featured a classroom with several desks. You are instructed to sit at one of them, and a student actor is pulled up to the front of the class and "punished."

The scenes are all very highly detailed, just as in the Fear City haunt. All of the rooms are made to resemble classrooms, bathrooms, hallways, all desecrated with anti religious and satanic imagery. The bathroom is another interactive scene where one member of your group is forced to recite "Bloody Mary 3 times into a mirror. A nice surprise is the end result.

The conclusion of the haunt has you meet the high priest of the school, and he has everyone get in a circle and join hands. As he recites his praises to the "mighty one," it is revealed quite obviously
how un godly he really is.




Final Summary:

I must say that Fear City is definitely one of the most unique haunted attractions I've ever visited. There are some startle scares, however a majority of the performances are highly theatrical in nature, especially in the Our Lady of the Cursed attraction. If you are looking for a traditional haunted house experience, you will not find it at Fear City. Fear City is more of a horror performance piece, or interactive play, with scenes that succeed in immersing you into their world. Although the price may be a little steep, I highly recommend this attraction be added to anyone's must see list.

To find out more about this event, visit:

http://fearcitychicago.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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