|Scare Factor: Very Low | Atmosphere: Good|
Visibility/Location: There were small roadside signs staked into the ground, but none of them were illuminated, so they were hard to see in the dark. The building itself had a police car with flashing lights in front of it, so the entrance was easy to see.
Wait Entertainment: There was NO wait entertainment. In fact, I arrived at 6:45pm (15 minutes before the advertised starting time) and they didn't start letting patrons in, until 7:50pm.
Length of Event: 20 minutes
Actor Performance: Should have given the actors some cloves, considering how "hammy" their acting was. In an attempt to make their characters real, most of the actors/actresses had overacted performances, which gave the whole production a "cheesy" feel.
Those who tried to scare, failed. Just a hint... Screaming in someones' ear as they round a corner is not scary... it's annoying. Screaming and using an elevated volume in their voice seemed to be the order of the day for most of the actors. Sorry, that doesn't equal scary, either!
Also, several actors were yelling "Get out!" or "Move it!"... Again, more annoying than anything else! I paid an outrageous $25 to get in here, I'll move how fast I want to! LOL.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Poor. Even after waiting an hour after advertised starting time to get in, there were still only 25 people in line... BTW, they tried to group two groups of five together, to go through the haunt. Why? It's not like there were many people in line. As for flow inside the attraction, there were some serious problems. About halfway through, my group ran into another group, then another group ran into mine.
Appropriate Ages: ALL.
Props / Special FX: Overuse of a loud snapping sound effect, with strobe lights. It got annoying after a while.
Costumes / Make-up: This was one of the only positive parts of the show. The costumes and make-up were very well done... very professional.
Summary: Those people looking for a "scary" or even a traditional haunted house will be disappointed. Fear City is VERY theatrical and they had some scene elements that were very professionally done (recreation of a Red Line train car and an airplane exterior). Unfortunately, there is more to a haunted house than a couple of impressive props. It is quite obvious that these guys have never done a haunted house before.
I did, however, enjoy certain Chicagoland references... like creating a "Red Line" entrance and corridors. The whole Chicago Cubs curse scene was pretty funny, as well. There were many scenes throughout the attraction that were very realistically created. The problem is, there wasn't really anything that you could call "scary" in them or about them. These are things that I see in my every day life in Chicago.
Some of the scenes were completely oversized and a real waste of space... Like the broken down car scene and the carnival barker scene... no doubt to fill that 40,000 sq foot claim they are using in their advertising. In this case, bigger doesn't always mean better, folks!!!
There were some BIG missed opportunities in this attraction. They had a long hallway that had flickering lights and doors lining either side... but NOTHING happened. In the laundry room... the main actress in the scene ruined the scare for the girl in hiding. In the scene with the man watching QVC, surrounded by piles of purchased items... nothing happened in there, either!!! There were so many scenes with no punchline, I stopped counting after 10 or so.
And considering how this event was hyped... Geez... seriously, I was duped!
I was VERY disappointed with this event. And before anyone starts to complain about this review, let me clarify that I am not, nor have I ever been affiliated with a haunted house before. I am just a long time haunted house fan, who just needed to clear the air about his opinion regarding a new attraction that bit off more than it could chew and charged way too much... while giving their patrons way too little in return! After visiting Fear City, it is obvious to me, they are just another "Johnny Come Lately" trying to make a quick buck, which does nothing but give the entire haunted house industry a bad name. How sad!
With all that being said... they had an admission price of $25, even though it was their first year. Seriously??? Apparently, these guys don't understand that you need to work your way up to that type of admission price. What are they going to charge next year??? $30? Honestly, I think normal haunted house fans wouldn't attend at half the price.
|60 out of 88 people thought this review was helpful.|
|Event Reviewed: Basement Of the Dead (Aurora, Illinois)|
Reviewed by: HauntGuru   (Event Visited: 10/15/11 @ 8:00 pm)
Review Posted: 10/19/11
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Good|
Visibility/Location: I never have liked the location of this haunted house. It is near the casino, but nearly invisible. It isn't visible from the street, since it is basically underneath a bridge.
Wait Entertainment: They kicked a@@ in this category! Stilt walkers everywhere and other actors stalking the crowd. Loud music was playing outside.
Length of Event: Probably around 15 minutes
Actor Performance: They did a pretty good job. Most of them were in your face, which is creepy, but timing seemed off on some of the scares.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: It could have been better. My group ran into the group in front of us.
Summary: I have always been a fan of City of the Dead. This year they did a good job, although it seemed like the energy level was down a bit this year. Also, I wasn't happy to see that they jacked up the price from $15 to $18 this year and had pretty much the same scenes as last year. Why did the price go up so much???
Don't get me wrong... I thought the zombie girl eating guys guts was cool and the electrocution was effective. I have always liked the gore they have in their scenes... many scenes with body parts and such. The dark maze part was very dark and there were hanging bodies you had to push out of the way.
Again, I really liked this haunted house, but think there was quite a bit less bang for your buck, because of the lower scare factor and price increase.
|Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good|
Visibility/Location: This haunted house is fairly easy to find, since it is at the Odeum in Villa Park. There have a bright backlit haunted house sign at the entrance.
Wait Entertainment: This was pretty good. While there wasn't a huge line, they still had a couple of actors spooking the customers. There were a couple of vendor booths near the line area and a few tombstones near the entrance.
Length of Event: Around 20 minutes.
Actor Performance: This haunted house had a combination of acting styles. In the dark maze, there were some actors doing pop-outs. In the other part of the house, there were some theatrical characters with scripted lines. They were pretty creepy, although some were almost too low-key.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: My group ran into another group inside the house. Hidden exits inside the house spaced groups out pretty well.
Props / Special FX: Amazing! They really excelled in this area. The detailed scenes were outstanding. Great lighting, sound fx all around.
Summary: Wow, the Asylum Xperiment was a great time. Again, the detailed scenes really set this event apart from a lot of others. You were constantly weaving in and out of different themes... The shaking elevator was fun and I really liked the study, graveyard, room of doors, pet shop and others.
The detail, lighting, sound effects and actors all contributed to the creepy feel of this haunted house. They really stepped up the set design since last year.
My personal favorite was the Frankenstein scare. I had never seen that before inside a haunt. The girls in the doors room were bouncing off of the walls. Great job! The tall guy in the study really creeped me out, too.
Another great job by the Asylum Xperiment! Keep up the great work!