Driving to House Of Torment We did not see any significant signage along the road to indicate that we were at a haunted attraction. However, Google Maps did direct us to the show accurately.
Upon arriving at House of Torment we did see that there is a decent amount of parking on site, it seems like it could be limited later in the season, but it also appears that they may have additional space in the industrial park around the show to accommodate more vehicles.
Outside of the building there was not any large signage that was well lit or clearly indicating what this location was, it gave off the impression of a shady warehouse more than Haunted Attraction. We did eventually locate one small garage door that was painted with the attraction logo, however it was poorly lit and not visible from the road. The only reason we knew we were at the show is because of the event staff in bright orange shirts and some lighting out front of the show.
After exiting the car we were unsure of where to go and start, there was not clear signage to indicate where to purchase tickets and event staff were not entirely engaging to help us find it, unless we specifically asked.
Once we located the ticket booth we did get tickets for both attractions, One major note, their ticket prices change based on the night you go and only go up the later in the season you go. Tickets can get quite pricey later in the season. With that said make sure you check their website and social media for dates, prices and even sometimes discount codes.
We did not encounter any line to purchase tickets, however there is line space set up to allow for this later in the season.
When purchasing tickets they were not really advertising that they had two attractions and it felt as if we had to explicitly ask for tickets for the second as it is deemed and upgrade. This also seems to be the case online as well, you can add your main ticket to the cart and then see a second pop up for the "Upgrade" to add Patient Zero at an additional cost.
After we had our tickets in hand we were directed by event staff to walk over to the General Admission line, there are multiple ticket types available if you want to avoid the line. Be aware that you cannot see the line from the ticket booth to really gauge an accurate wait time.
Here we waited in line for 30 minutes, during this time we did see that they were not terribly busy, this is likely due to how early in the season we visited. It felt like their line was being intentionally slowed to the point where it became a bit excessive, but is understandable as most shows want to pace groups and spread them out to fill the night so actors do not sit too long with nothing to do. Expect long lines later in the season.
While In line we did see there the wait area was themed with a lot of the same elements as in the show, lots of decrepit and destroyed city elements. There were also some costumed actors interacting with line guests, however this seemed very low energy and they completely disappeared at times. Along with the actors there was also a large projector screen that was playing advertising for the show as well as Horror Trivia.
Once we finally reached the front of the line we were given a very brief rules overview, this lasted about 2 minutes.
After we were released from the rules and final wait area we were ushered to enter the show. We were immediately greeted by some decrepit city with some good post apocalyptic themes, We did see a classic Chicago Style "L" car, however when we approached the actors were clearly not prepared, they were standing in the middle of the car conversing out of character and we seemed to have startled them when entering. I do not think they were prepared.
As we continued through the show we did encounter a large amount of post apocalyptic theming, and lots of city elements where we were eventually entered a Hospital themed section, the most notable part of this was the scenery itself, the acting in a large part of the attraction was pretty unremarkable and low energy. Some elements we did like in this section was the fact that they utilized long hallways to add an element of realism to the show.
After we exited the Hospital we were greeted by more city theming and were lead to another part which consisted of a large slaughterhouse room, This room was well themed however felt like actors were lacking and badly needed to fill the space. It was a pretty large room that I felt was a bit under utilized and understaffed.
As we continued through this first part of House Of Torment we did encounter some fun gimmicks, like a Laser Swamp which is always a fun element, however did not encounter any monsters lurking in the fog, which could serve as an easy pop scare.
Speaking of pop scares, we see this widely the theme throughout the entire show, not very theatrical, really no character development, just lots of cheap pop scares without a lot of interaction from the actors. There were some exceptions to this, however this was few and far between
We continued to move through this first part of the show where we did see many great scenery pieces and some fun scenes, but again nothing too remarkable.
Eventually we did reach a second checkpoint, the area was themed like a high school exterior, this flowed very well from the city scenes and was very well executed with that respect.
We did encounter a second short wait to help pace groups further. However the person they had running this checkpoint seemed very disinterested in and was not as careful as the starting point to control traffic, more on this was our feeling later.
After we were allowed to enter the High School, we were greeted by a lot of awesome scenic elements and found that the path was twisting and turning through a lot of common parts of any school, Classrooms, Long hallways, photography labs, theaters.
The use of long hallways was a nice element here as well, we were greeted by a couple actors standing in the distance, this hallways has a lot of potential for some great scares, but felt they were very low energy or just not finely tuned as of yet. This may continue to evolve throughout the season as their actors find a better footing, however this is one negative point for us.
While moving through this part of the attraction we saw that we frequently ran into the group in front of us, the actors did not seem to know how to properly manage groups or scare forward to keep traffic moving. This also was not helped by group spacing not being so great. On a mostly slow night we really should not have to completely stop to allow actors to reset or groups to advance.
As we continued through the show we did see a lot of great sets, some notable rooms here were the theater and a large and slow strobe light room where lights are absolutely blinding and disorienting. The room was large and almost completely empty, or so it seemed, leaving a lot of space for actors to hide easily and pull off some great scares, however the actors in this room seemed to all group together and honestly this room brought foot traffic through the show to a halt. Very cool concept and could evolve further once actors find their footing, but currently it was a bit of a mess. We had 3 groups, including ours stuck in this room as no one was really pushing traffic forward.
Another notable room was the theater, I really enjoyed the theming and see this room as a lot of room for growth. we did however get slightly lost on where to go in this room, it appears that there are multiple options, however the one you must take was not really easy to identify and we were not really directed that way by the actors of scenery. The actors in this room did try to be a bit more theatrical, however there seems to be a lot of early season discomfort in what they were doing.
We kept pushing forward through the show and did wind through some fun, school themed rooms, the most notable was the Detention room, this room and actor were really our largest highlight, she was working the group well and interacting. She showed a good deal of character development and made it a little more believable. She was doing a great job.
Moving forward we wrapped up house of Torment with a classic chainsaw scare at the end, however I did not actually see the actor, just heard his saw and smelled the exhaust fumes.
We exited and were brought immediately into a haunt merchandise shop, however it was quite difficult to find the next attraction period. There was not signage, event staff were not very helpful here and we actually walked outside looking to see if we missed it, It was only after asking some of their very helpful merch staff that we were able to locate the person who lead us to the second attraction. This felt very much like the second attraction was rushed to complete and was very much and after thought. We would not have found it if we did not ask. as it was clear on the opposite side of the warehouse.
Once we did reach the Patient Zero attraction, we did not have any significant wait time. We were explained that this attraction is a multisensory experience and you would actually be pushed around in a wheelchair while you had a hood draped over your head the entire time.
This attraction was absolutely something different that we have not seen any other shows doing yet, it was a lot of voice acting, sensory elements, sounds and some very distorted sights that guided you through an actual story.
We were greeted by some wheelchairs and our orderlies who would guide us through this experience. These actors in this part of the show seemed like their strongest, they were on track with their acting, however we did not actually see them at all. They did a good job of guiding us through the show, adding fun sound elements and some other sensory details to help make it a more believable experience. This is a truly different concept that I have not seen in many years of haunting. I won't ruin too much here as it was a fun touch and worth it to some degree. My biggest complaint is that it could have been longer.
Overall this show was decent, I cannot say that I would even remotely justify their pricing for the length of the attraction, especially later in the season when their prices skyrocket. Quite honestly, $40 or more for one attraction is WAY overkill and really only deters patrons period. While I understand this is done to promote people going earlier in the season when things are slower traditionally, I do not feel that the price justifies the cost of the show or is adequately matched with a longer show. I felt that for the price for the length of the show was excessive and more of a money grab than offering a quality attraction.
Throughout the attraction I felt that elements were lacking, there were a lot of very large rooms that were outright empty, there were a lot of scenes that could use more actors to really fill out the space. I also think that the actors they had were very low energy and honestly needed to develop characters further to make their experience more believable.
The scenery for this show was pretty as is every other 13th Floor Entertainment show, they seem to reuse a lot of scenes seen in other markets and even their sister show 13th Floor in the Chicagoland area. To me, it felt lit a lot of the same, none of their shows have their own identity.
Makeup and costuming was consistent with the scenes the actors were in, makeup jobs were outright messy and lacking any solid skills. this could be from rushing with a very small makeup team, or it could be due to their artist just being fresh in the makeup world. They have a good deal of improvement and should seek further training and practice here. Costuming did look good, some actors did seem out of place, but it did work for the most part.
Ideally I would like to see 13th Floor Entertainment help mould and drive their actors a bit more than their sets, if they put as much time into their actors as they do their sets they could have an incredible show. I feel that while everything was pretty to look at, I do feel that the show is lacking in length and scare factor. I think they have a lot of room to grow, however this is not a new show so they cannot really use that as a crutch. This show badly needs more actors and more development to keep energy high in the show and make it believable.
Overall, I can say that if you are looking for a haunt on the slightly lower end of the scare spectrum while having some fantastic set pieces this one is good in that respect. However if you are looking for something that offers a ton of value for your money while offering an amazing show, this just isn't it. The experience we had wasn't awful and I have certainly been to shows that were a lot more rough than this. I can safely say that this falls into a point where it is very mediocre and has a lot of room for improvement. I am curious to see how this show evolves and I will absolutely be returning down the road to see how it has evolved.
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