The Slaughter is actually a redesigned version of the former Asylum Xperiment that used to be at the Odeum in Villa Park (which is now occupied by Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare). As such, much of the haunt consists of props and sets from Asylum Xperiment, but in different forms.
The haunt is divided into three separate sections: The Asylum Xperiment, which is basically an old mansion that is reputed to be haunted, where paranormal investigators are looking into claims of activity; The Lost Woods, which is the outside of the mansion; and Carnival of Carnage, which is a carnival deep inside the woods area.
Visitors move from one haunt to another with no separate waiting areas or introductions. Essentially, it is one giant haunt with different themes.
The mansion is the largest of the three sections, and is elaborate in its setup. Visitors watch an intro video from a paranormal investigator, who gives them the rules and some history about the mansion. Then another investigator leads visitors into the drawing room of the mansion and further explains what they are doing. Of course the investigation goes awry, followed by some very cool effects. The living room set is very elaborate, with two levels and a staircase, surrounded by windows, and the lightning and thunder effects are top notch.
Following this, visitors descend into the depths of the mansion via an elevator, and then encounter all of the secrets of the old mansion.
Most of the scenes are very detailed, having many props and things to look at, including full size cars and elaborate facades. Again, those familiar with the former Asylum Xperiment will recognize most of the sets and props, some of which are recreated exactly as they were, and others that have been rearranged into new scenes. Nevertheless, there is a lot to look at, particularly in the first two sections of the haunt.
Once visitors go “outside”, though, and particularly when they enter the final area (the carnival portion), the scenes become fewer and are replaced my various mazes and winding corridors. The good news is that none of the mazes are actually dead ends or mazes where you keep going around and around. There is actually only one path through them, even though it might look like there are multiple ways to go. The bad news is that, for the last third of the haunt, there is little else to see other than the mazes and a few actors.
There is a cage maze populated by clowns that visitors have to navigate through, a maze made up of striped cloth that visitors have to pass through, a long series of corridors with white walls, and a white maze with strobes. Overall, perhaps 8-10 minutes of haunt time consists of these mazes.
The actors were mainly younger (high school age or a bit older), and the scares, as mentioned, were mostly of the startle type. Actors came out of holes in the sets, from under props, and even from above. There were a lot of actors in the haunt, but the scares tended to be mostly the same, regardless of the scene. Costuming was minimal, with no elaborate costumes or prosthetics. Most of the actors simply used makeup to create their characters, and sometimes had masks on. There were some scenes where actors blended in well with the backgrounds, though.
For fans of sets, the Slaughter has a lot to see, although the last portion is quite Spartan in design and someone monotonous. The length is on the higher end of most haunts, so it does provide a good deal of value for the money in terms of length. Also, the beginning scenes are well executed, with a good back story and some nice effects that set up the scene. Some of the sets do not match the initial setup, though, which makes sense given that they are recycled from a different haunt. Despite this, however, the haunt provides a varied experience that is visually appealing, and is quite good as a whole.
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