"The devil's coming for you, bitch!" Truer words have never been spoken as my group left the first of two haunts at the newly-renovated Midnight Terror Haunted House. Last year, I anecdotally shared that I felt Midnight Terror was experiencing some growing pains due to moving to a giant new location. So, I was excited to return this year and see what changes that had been created in the interim. I tend to have a soft spot for Midnight Terror, mainly because the owner started from a small yard haunt and has progressed to an impressively large space. I'm happy to say that 2017 has brought a marked increase in the decor, acting, and scareability (spellcheck tells me this isn't a word, but I'm embracing it).
From the moment my group walked past the ticket booth, we were greeted (harassed?) by the line actors. I legitimately jumped at one point, not realizing a ghoul had snuck up behind me. After quickly progressing through the line, we entered the rules room, which was staffed by two of the finest haunt actors I've had the pleasure of meeting. Excellent work, gentlemen! This year's rules room was a vast improvement over the subdued video monitors of last year. Once our guides were fully confident that we understood the rules, we were turned loose in The Factory of Malum.
Stepping foot into the first room, it was clear that Midnight Terror had made vast improvements from the previous years. Per the Midnight Terror website, more than 85% of the haunt had been remodeled since the previous year, and the effort was noticeable! It's clear that Midnight Terror has settled into their space more this year. I was happy to see that my favorite effect, the wall covered in syringes, was still there this year. Midnight Terror seemed to also do a nice job of decorated vertically, giving guests scares from all angles.
The actors within ranged in two camps: ones who taunted us to hurry up, and others who heckled and paced us by slowing us down. I appreciated this attention to crowd control, as I imagine that it will come into play more throughout the season. I was especially impressed by an actor who was downright coated in peanut butter; great effort inside a very warm room! The actors are also doing a better job of utilizing the space this year, with clever comebacks and more areas to pop out of. It seems that a handful of actors were not fully prepared for my group to enter their rooms, but it was both early in the night and the season, so I imagine that works itself out as the lines become longer.
One concern with the haunt is that it's still a bit tricky to follow the storyline. The website does a good job of filling in the details, so I'd recommend visitors reading up ahead of time in order to follow the backstory further.
One noted new addition within Midnight Terror is a blackout maze, which perfectly set off the panic alarm in someone as claustrophobic as myself. It's a great addition to the haunt, as I can't think of many others in the area that are currently employing this technique. My group spent what felt like hours (in reality, a few minutes) navigating the pitch black pathways as our eyes played tricks on us.
I'd also be remiss to skip the chainsaw maze at the end of the haunt, which, again, was a great improvement over last year's. This year, guests are directed into the maze, and the actors inside put extra effort into being more menacing. I can definitely see this being an additional scare at the end for many guests.
Overall, Midnight Terror promoted vast improvements over the previous years, and I would have to agree - they've put a lot of effort into making this haunt scarier than previous years. They've also paid immense attention to detail, fully committing to the space. I'm excited to see what next year brings!
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