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|Event Reviewed: Terror on the Square (Petersburg, Illinois)|
Reviewed by: darklaff31   (Event Visited: 10/14/11 @ 7:00 pm)
Review Posted: 10/15/11
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good|
Visibility/Location: Easy to find: just follow the cars & people. On the downtown square, just off the main drag.
Wait Entertainment: There was a small "ceremony" where shrouded figures removed a casket from a hearse & placed it at the front of the line. There was an assortment of ghouls & characters walking the line & making their prescence known. A coffin ride was available that simulated getting buried. We purchased "terror passes" that let us right in otherwise, we would have been in line a good hour or more.
Length of Event: 15-20 min. not counting time spent in the shop.
Actor Performance: The actors are very good here. There were no false starts or "getting warmed up" periods. Everyone was totally immersed in character, even the clerk who took our money while we waited. Our guide did a good job telling the history of each room while making sure we could experience every facet of the set pieces. The performances ranged from subtle/creepy to downright deranged (ain't telling you where).
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: We had a small group, so there there was no crowding or bunching, which works against you if you want to be "protected" by your group. There were many hidden doors/passages & our guide was good to make sure we got through them all without a hitch. Never was aware of other groups nearby.
Appropriate Ages: Depends on their constitution. My 11 yr. old had her hands over her ears, but wasn't traumatized. Some patrons(older & younger) were more spooked than others. 8 & under could make it through knowing the actors do not grab you, but they can get loud.
Props / Special FX: This is what sets this attraction apart from most other haunts. The emphasis on detail is astonishing. One room had a real antique X-ray machine (it looked like it came from the set of "Frankenstein"). What worked best was the seamless mix of state-of-the-art illusions and simple, organic scares; one never overwhelmed (or underwhelmed) the other. The creamatorium & the "psycho hall" are examples.
Costumes / Make-up: There was a universal motif of gothic with dusty ghouls thrown in. Very impressive prosthetics; the performers weren't shy to get close to you. All in all, the costumes & sets complimented the time period this attraction was going for.
Summary: This one never ceases to impress me. I keep returning with high expectations only to find the people involved have even higher expectations for themselves. The people who pull this off each year must really enjoy it, because it shows. The haunt that wowed me ,say, 5 yrs ago, is blown away by a constant evolving creativity. Pieces familiar to me (the elevator ride, the maze) get overhauled and become fresh & innovative. This might not mean much to a 1st time patron. But my 11 yr. old, who went through for the 1st. time, was impressed by elements that I had taken for granted. The jolts & illusions are carefully layered so that newcomers & returns alike are equally entertained. A great time overall.