For this year, Psychosis relocated to a new building, and as such the layout naturally changed. The theme changed as well, with the introductory portion of the haunt explaining that the city/town inside had been infected with some type of disease, causing the inhabitants to go crazy. This theme of disease was supposedly going to be carried throughout the entire haunt, but it only seemed to apply to the first couple of rooms and then the haunt theme switched back to elements from previous years.
To be honest, the disease outbreak/zombie theme is a bit overplayed these days, especially with the popularity the Walking Dead and now in real life with the current Ebola scare. Thus, it was a bit disappointing that Psychosis chose to go with this theme for this year, but thankfully it really only came through in the first area.
To start, visitors found themselves inside a CDC building, where two actors separated them and put them in individual metal cages. After being put into the cages, the actors simply told jokes about who they’d like to eat first, fresh meat, etc. There really didn’t seem to be any purpose at all to this portion of the haunt, and visitors were left in the cages for a few minutes, then told to try to get out, which was simply a matter of opening the back door to the cages. Precious haunt time was wasted in this area, where nothing at all happened.
To make matters worse, the following two scenes involved a doctor’s office, where a doctor and a nurse explained the virus to visitors and asked if they had their shots. This was very similar to the introduction to the haunt that visitors received before they entered, where a couple of actors explained that disease had taken over the town inside. It seemed a bit repetitive, and went on too long, again taking up a decent amount of time.
Thankfully, this theme ended here, and the remainder of the haunt was mostly the Psychosis of old, or at least portions of it. The wax museum of previous years was here again, with some new additions and a great old favorite (no spoilers). Also present was the half maze, which is a feature of Psychosis. This time, however, visitors were made to go through the maze three times. Visitors would enter the maze, then exit into other rooms, then come back to it later, then exit, then come back for a final time. Nothing was different in any section of the maze, and it seemed as though it was divided into three to make the haunt seem longer.
There were some other stand out scenes which helped to lift the haunt experience, including a great scene where Samara comes out of a TV set, and a very creepy little girl on a bed who was acting quite possessed. Both of these were exceptionally well done. Other interesting scenes included a room with two sisters, one in front of visitors and one hiding in a corner, who did a good job of acting psychotic, and a spider room with hanging web-covered bodies.
The actors were all mostly younger people (from about 14-18) in makeup or masks as opposed to prosthetics. Costuming was more simplistic than elaborate, but it got the job done. There was also a new addition of an outside portion which provided a bit of a twist. Visitors seemingly exited the haunt (there was even a person at the exit thanking visitors for coming), then walked outside where they were greeted by a live actor who led them through a cemetery setup and up some stairs to another portion of the haunt. While this additional portion was short, it was still a nice unexpected surprise to have some more of the haunt to visit!
Unfortunately though, some parts of the haunt seemed unfinished, particularly the very last room, which was basically a store room for haunt props. No doubt the unfinished nature was due to the move for this year, as adapting an established haunt layout to an entirely new location must be difficult. The main problem with this year was the disease outbreak theme. While the theme itself is fine if done well, Psychosis seemed to take the setup portion too far. The cage scene in particular took several minutes and had no real purpose, and other areas seemed padded as well.
At $18 Psychosis is still at the lower end of pricing for a professional haunt, and in previous years $18 was money well spent. This year, however, at least 4 minutes of the 18 consisted of the cage scene, plus another minute or so for the doctor’s introductory scene, so in reality the haunt was more like 13-14 minutes in total. This and the unfinished nature of some of the scenes lessened the experience this time around and made the haunt less of a value as well. There are other haunts in the same price range than offer more value for the money.
As Psychosis was in an entirely new location this year, there may still be some growing pains, and some of the haunt experience may have been out of their control. Thus, it will be interesting to see what changes may be made in future years if Psychosis remains at their new location.
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