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.
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.
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