Upon arriving at the attraction we were immediately flagged down by someone who looked like a parking lot attendant, he did hand us a flier and mentioned that there was no parking onsite and we had the option of driving around the corner to a lot or to a parking garage where the attraction had an "Interactive Shuttle" to bring us back to the location.
Since the directions to the lot around the corner were vague at best, we opted to drive to the parking garage and take the shuttle back. It should be noted, this parking garage is not on site and can take around 10-15 minutes to reach. The parking garage is across the street from the Oak Lawn Metra Station. The correct address for the parking garage is 9525 Tulley Ave Oak Lawn, IL 60453. You can head directly to this location and bypass the extra trip to the haunt to avoid any unneeded driving.
We found that this extra trip to the garage took us about 15 minutes total, finding the location was fairly easy. They do have signs advertising "Haunted House" parking. Watch for signs along your route and once you arrive at the destination. We were able to navigate directly to the garage with Google Maps without issue. The parking garage is well lit and seems to be in a safe area.
Once we parked in the garage there really was not a ton of direction on where we needed to go or stand for bus pickup. I think it would be wise on the haunts part to perhaps have some people on site to direct where pickup and drop off is. We were able to find the bus, however if it isn't there, it may be a challenge.
After locating the bus, we had a short wait to board but were able to find seats on the bus. After about 5 minutes of waiting on the bus we departed for the attraction. On the bus we did encounter an actress in full costume and makeup that was interacting with people. This did add a nice element to make the ride a bit more entertaining, however this is challenging in the aisle of a school bus. Some tips for this actor would be to work the space a bit more, screaming in the ears of people in a confined space crosses into the realm of annoyance verses scary. Overall, we felt this actor did well and do fully recognize the challenge of acting in this space and staying in character.
The shuttle bus ride took 12 minutes to arrive back at the attraction. Once we stepped off the bus, we were directed to the line to purchase tickets. This process took around 5 minutes and overall was fairly smooth. Once we had our tickets in hand, we were a little unclear on where to go, what line to stand in and ended up in an incorrect line at first. We had to seek someone out to be directed to the general admission line. This can be easily fixed by adding some event staff to direct traffic.
Be prepared to wait in a range of different lines varying in length and wait time, the first of which after tickets was the outdoor general admission line. This area was mostly covered by some tents and shade pop ups in the effort to keep people dry as it was raining. They did have straw spread along the path to keep it as mud free as possible. We did not encounter a super long line outside, over all we spent around 5 minutes in line.
After the outdoor line we were directed into a small staging room where we were shown a video, this video did not really shed much light on what was going on, and really felt out of place where it was presented. Hearing the audio was difficult, so we really didn't get any story out of it. It was not a rules room, however I can assume it was used to help build some storyline for the haunt. We spent around 5 minutes in this room.
Once we exited the "Introduction" room we were directed into another line. This line was indoors, and it was completely decorated in an industrial dilapidated warehouse theme. The sets in this area were high detail and you can tell they put a lot of effort into this area. It did set a nice ambiance with their costumed actors to introduce everyone to the show. There were costumed actors who were interacting with people; however, we really did not see all too much of them.
It should be noted that in this line, the idea of fast pass and general admission go out the window, all the lines are combined in this space. I'd imagine the direct access people are not in this line, however I cannot be certain as we purchased standard general admission tickets. We spent around 15 minutes in this line total. Lines on the night we attended were not super long, I would say this Sunday night was lower on attendance due to being early in the season as well as due to the rain this night.
From this line we were directed with two other groups into the rules room. The rules were short and sweet and directly to the point. This actor was in makeup, however, was not in costume. It was a little difficult to take his character seriously when he was in full makeup, rocking really out of place clothing. I can commend him for staying in character and interacting with other people in line while he was trying to space the groups but consider putting him in costume if it is going to be in character. This part felt a little rushed and the groups really were not spaced all too far apart. We spent about 5 minutes in this room total, and we were the second group to be ushered into the show.
Upon entering the show, we were led through a large mix of heavily industrial themed rooms. Rusted pipes and gore galore. I could not really distinguish many of the rooms from one another in this space; they really did feel like a lot of the same in a different shape or walking pattern. They did stick to one central theme in this space and it works. However, I am unsure of any storyline or why we were going through this scenery. Some scenes in this area that stood out were the narrow hallways that progressively got shorter and shorter where you can to crouch to walk through. This was paired with an actor with spark gloves in a large central cage. This was a nice effect and I felt it was a lot of fun.
Continuing through this portion of the haunt we saw a lot of rooms following the same industrial theming with a mix of blood and gore in some scenes. I felt like there were a large amount of "Medical Experimentation" rooms that felt like a lot of the same repeated in a slightly different room. Some others that we particularly noticed were the insanely disgusting bathroom, complete with inverted toilet fountains and the force-feeding room. The actors in the feeding room fit the part well and we did enjoy their disgusting antics.
We spent close to 13 minutes winding through narrow industrial hallways and rooms in this first half of the show. We knew we reached the end of the first show when we reached a small courtyard of sorts and the front part of a high school faĆ§ade
There was no wait in this line at all, we were quickly pushed into the show by the attending actor. I feel that if this is the common routine here that this is what contributed towards our line of people later in the second half of the show.
Upon entering we were introduced to a fairly realistic take on a high school interior, the scenes were well detailed with stacked desks, scattered papers and actors dressed to fit the scenes. We saw a good variety of scenes in this portion of the show and ultimately ended up moving from a high school to a mishmash city scene where we zig zagged building to building, scene to scene into a variety of rooms. Some that particularly stood out to us were a library scene, Nasty barber shop with hanging hair all over the room, and of course the creepy Doctor/Mad Scientist who was reminding us just how rotten our souls were. Towards the end I do feel this was appropriate and gathered some fun interaction with this actor and a good laugh, I could not distinguish if this actor was truly acting as since he was of older age, perhaps a little bit crazed, but none the less he left a memorable impression on us.
We spent around 11 minutes in this second half of the show.
In this second half of the show we did see groups back up behind us. I feel that traffic control was not the greatest in this section and it would be wise to have some actors slow groups to ensure that a long line doesn't form in the show.
We did enjoy the use of a lot of fun effects and props throughout the show, things like the laser swamp, tilting fireplace mantle with an actress on it and the use of air and light effects triggered by patrons added nice startle scares. The scenes in most rooms were all very well lit, removing some of the mystery, however, I felt they made this work.
The show did use a mix of static props, animatronic props and actors, I did feel that the actors were a little scarce. This can be in part to it being a Sunday night, but I do feel more actors would drive the show far better. Actors that were present were high energy for the most part and stayed in character even when groups backed up. I can see that the actors were very dedicated to their roles and seemed to really enjoy being in the show. Overall, I can give the ones we saw kudos for doing a good job. I felt they all fit their roles very nicely and it was a relief seeing more dialogue driven acting and less screaming than other shows.
All actors were in costume that fit the scenes they were in and I do feel like a lot of effort was made here. I did see a couple actors that were really lacking in costume, like the video room. However, this is easy to address.
Makeup was good over all, I did not see the use of a lot of prosthetic pieces or similar applications, most of the makeup was flat and while it had a good amount of detail painted in, I would love to see some additional texture added to them as many makeups tended to blend together in this respect. I do admire the limited use of blood on their actors which allowed the flat makeup jobs to shine through nicely in their scenes removing a common crutch that many "artists" rely on. This was effective but I know first-hand how far some wounds and texture can go with playing with in room lighting and effects. This would raise the bar on what to expect in haunted house makeup if executed correctly.
There were a fair share of actors using silicone and similar material masks throughout the show, I do feel that the mix here was nice, it was not too heavy where we ran into a lot of expressionless masked actors and provided a nice balance in look.
All of the scenery of this show was very high detail and you can tell the attention to detail was considered when they made these rooms. It looked great.
In conclusion I can say we did enjoy this show, while it was not necessarily a super scary show in our opinion, I do think that what was done was effective in making a memorable show that can get a good variety of reactions out of patrons. Midnight Terror did provide a show that I would attend again and perhaps consider personally working one day. I do see the passion in this group of people and am excited to see how this show goes as it continues to grow. Good Job on providing a fun experience for us. Cannot wait to see what else you bring to the game.
To find out more about this