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Newbie Review Crew Member

Pete (dubstyle_2k)

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Previous Reviews: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

2015 Reviews

Please note: this review is for the 2015 season rather than the current season.

Abandoned Haunted House Complex

by dubstyle_2k (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Monday, October 26, 2015 at about 8 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Inner monologue: How to write a review that doesn't sound like I'm a fanboy? How to write a review that doesn't sound exactly like last year’s review, all positives? How to write a review that emphasizes the fact that this is truly the best haunt in the area, and I'm not just saying that to just say that? That's the dilemma I seem to run into when reviewing Abandoned Haunted House Complex every year. Now in its fourth season, I'm tasked with trying to write an objective review for the fourth time, but again, I absolutely loved it! Well, believe it or not, they outdid themselves, and the 2015 version of Abandoned is the best version of Abandoned yet!

The first section of Abandoned is called Hysteria, and that's fitting for this haunt. This haunt had me jumping from the moment we walked through the door, but it wasn't the usual generic guy in a costume jumping out at me screaming "BOO!" It was bright lights, loud noises, AND great actors, along with the best sets in the game that made this haunt awesome. It was truly sensory overload in Hysteria! Hysteria was more than your typical haunt, it preyed on your senses, and shredded your nerves! What a fantastic way to start adventure! Now, we were on to haunt number two, Ambush!

Ambush was more of the traditional haunt, but this year it was by far my favorite haunt I've walked through. This year I noticed they used more leveling, meaning you will walk up and down ramps a few times. I love that! The ramps aren't too steep, so don't be discouraged, but it's a nice touch, because this isn't used too often in haunts. There are some super cool areas with grated floors where you can see below you and it reminded me of the boiler room scenes in A Nightmare on Elm Street! Super awesome idea! I don't want to give too much away about this haunt, but they got something into this it that is HUGE, and is out of place, and is amazing, and is one of the coolest things I've seen in a haunt. You'll know it when you see it! In all, Ambush is the best haunt of the season.

To sum it up, once again I loved Abandoned Haunted House Complex! It's the best haunt in the area, if not the state. Value wise, for $20, you can't go wrong!

Signage / Visibility / Location


You seriously can't miss this place, there is a giant spot light illuminating the night sky! Neon letters on top of the building, well lit, right off of the interstate. It doesn't get much easier than this!

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area was okay. It's an outdoor waiting area, so bring a heavy coat! They have videos on a big screen; when we were there they were playing silly viral videos. I would have liked to have seen horror clips and scary stuff, but that's me. At one point they played a pop groups video, didn't understand that at all, that didn't fit the theme one bit!

Actors' Performance


The best! You can tell they really hire the best! No one phoned it in, they are the best A+

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The best in the area! Professional quality, nothing seemed cheap or amateurish. I can't imagine anyone can hold a candle to Abandoned!

Length


We were in and out in about 45 minutes.

Crowd Control


There were no problems, plenty of staff to control the crowd.

Most Memorable Moment


The giant thing in Ambush that I will not mention, you must see it for yourself!!!

Summary

At the risk of sounding like a fanboy I'm just going to say do yourself a favor, go to Abandoned. It is, in my opinion, the best haunt in the area. For the money, you aren't going to have a better time at a haunt. Two great haunts for $20, you can't go wrong!

View all Abandoned Haunted House Complex reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2015 season rather than the current season.

The Hill Has Eyes

by dubstyle_2k (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 24, 2015 at about 9 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Loosely playing on the "Hills Have Eyes" film theme, the Hill Has Eyes spins a tale of similar ghouls, but this time it's trailer park freaks and backwoods creeps who are stalking your every move. HHE boasts an impressive 5 attractions for the price of 1, sounds like the best deal I've come across in my journeys! HHE Does have ALL who attend sign a waiver, more on that later. HHE is yet another haunt that I have never attended, I was very excited to get my journey started.

I made my first mistake by arriving around 9:00pm... My buddy had dinner plans, what can you do? I was routed to overflow parking, far from the haunt, it was an uphill walk, then down a dirt road. Point is, if you learn anything from me, GET THERE EARLY! This place get busy! After meeting up with my friend, we found the (heated!) ticket booth and preceded to wait in a very long line to buy tickets. A bunch of clipboards started circulating with wavers, but the man in front of me told me I didn't have to sign it because it said for those under 18. Okay, cool! We waited a bit more and made it almost to the front of the line and a gentleman handed us the same clipboard, turns out we did have to sign the waiver, they were just out of the adult waivers. So, after holding up the line a bit so I could sign the waiver that I could have signed 30 minutes earlier if someone had explained to me what was going on, we made our way to the ticket booth and decided to purchase VIP tickets. If it took that long to just buy tickets, how long would it take to get in each haunt? It was only a $10 difference, totally worth it! Skip all of the lines, we got right in!

***One quick thing, if you're worried about signing the waiver, I was never put in danger, hurt, the only time I was touched was when an actor let's say, caressed my beard (weird right?), there were these prickly things that hung down at one point that we couldn't tell if they were pricking us or lightly zapping us. With that being said, there is a bit of foul language, so that might be the basis for the waver, I'm not sure, probably just a liability thing, because there's a lot of terrain you walk through.

***A few notes on the waiting area: If I weren't there to review HHE I would have loved this waiting area! Full bar, although that could be a REAL problem if you have no control considering $3 beers are pretty cheap for an event like this. There was also a DJ laying it down, having contests and giving away stuff. Now, I don't know how they roll in on most nights, but we almost walked out immediately because within 3 minutes of walking in he played Crazy B**** by Buckcherry. I don't need that in my life ever again, and it's still stuck there! YUCK! ANYWAYS, on to my review!

Again let me reiterate, we got the VIP passes, and we didn't regret it one bit! We were able to bypass all those waiting in the waiting area, and the people waiting in the line for the first haunt, Hooded. When you get to the front of the line you are instructed to grab a black hood, from there a man leads you through a door. You will follow a path until you reach what appears to be a soldier holding you up at gunpoint. This is where you put your hood on, now you can't see anything! You are instructed to reach for a rope that is to guide you along the path, that is the only way you can find your way. You MAY NOT lift the mask! FYI, the mask is very dark, very disorienting, and kind of hot! This was unlike anything I've ever experienced in a haunt! There wasn't too much going on here other than it being dark and you had to walk kind of slow. The path was relatively straight and would turn once in a while. It would have been nice if there were more things to startle you, I mean I was expecting something, I was blind to the world, I was on high alert. The soldier plays it well, and gave me a jab or two for having plugs in my ears! After a short stroll through the woods, Hooded is done. It was a fun start to the HHE experience!

On to the next haunt, Failed Escape. We entered our VIP line but were happy to wait a few minutes because this this line was one of the only lines to offer entertainment in the form of a very loud, very charismatic clown. The clown did a great job playing to the crowd, and when he noticed that I was laughing, he asked that I was laughing at, and he called me 4-eyes! I love it! Okay, so I'm just going to say that the next two haunts were unfortunately very similar. They start out very different, but both end up about the same. This makes reviewing these two more difficult. This haunt takes you through a junk yard with some freaks leaping from car to car, then you'll take a trip through the back woods where you'll meet some hillbillies who won't take kindly to your kind trespassing on their property, if you catch my drift. The best part of Failed Escape was by far the actor who recognized my friend and called him out! Nothing like having a backwoods hillbilly knowing your buddies name! After that, the mad men in the woods came out, this was an over used theme, but it's an easy go to in an outdoor, heavily wooded haunt. Now we were on to the next haunt.

Hunger Hollow was the third of the five advertised attractions at HHE. The theme started out centered around a butchers shop. Hanging body parts and guts everywhere! As we made our way through the woods again, a group caught up to us. This group had three very hyper teenagers in it. Not HHE's fault, but I wish they would have spaced us out a little more so they wouldn't have caught up with us so quickly, and unfortunately, I was at the end at this point so I had to hear their goofiness, and I had to keep getting bumped into. Not that big of a deal, just my own pet peeves. After going through another section and more woods you'll happen upon a facade. Here they're are running a wicked church service! Pretty cool, and this split us up from the group that caught up to us, even better! They then send you off to the next section of HHE, the Scare Lift!

The Scare Lift is a ski lift that will take you back to the top of the hill for the final attraction. There were two clown like fellas manning the lift when we went, they seemed ready to entertain, but just as they were going to do their thing, the teenagers showed up and started asking silly questions, and it became about them and not about the show. So we get on the Scare Lift, and let me tell you, they really dropped the ball with this one. It's really just a ski lift with circus music playing. Now you may be asking me "Pete, what could they possibly do to make it more than that?" Well, I would have had actors riding on random carts, squirting people with water, or silly string, or something. It was just a plain old ski lift ride, kind of boring. The lift leads you to the fifth and final attraction, Carnivore.

Carnivore was one of my favorite parts of HHE because it was completely different from the rest of the haunt. Though it's relatively short, it's very fun. You'll experience a carnival style maze, very tight squeeze tunnels, and a spinning vortex, which leads to the climax, a side show featuring a human puppet show! I won't say anymore! You must witness it for yourself!

Hill Has Eyes is definitely the biggest haunt I've been to. Though I focused on the fact that they relied heavily on the mad man in the woods angle a lot, they do mix up the themes more than enough to call this haunt original. The bottom line... was this haunt the scariest I've been to? No, but the fun factor is way up there. You will jump, then you will laugh about it after, at least that's how we were. It was a fun adventure. Was it worth the money? That's up for debate, it's an expensive haunt, but like I said, it's the longest haunt I've been to.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Coming off of the interstate, there was a sign pointing me down the road I was supposed to take. There is parking control to help with the multiple parking lots (it gets full).

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area is awesome. It is heated, which is a plus, also if you so desire, there is a full liquor bar, and a DJ. There were no actors walking the area, but it was fun none the less.

Actors' Performance


The actors were okay. The areas where the themes were prevalent, the actors were awesome, but the random actors were just so-so; you could tell those actors were just bit part players.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


It was an outdoor haunt, the sets were okay. Nothing too fancy.

Length


With the VIP pass we were in and out in 45 minutes, so expect to be in there about an hour and a half if you don't buy the VIP ticket, I would guess.

Crowd Control


Crowd control was excellent! There wasn't any issues, and like I stated above, they were serving cheap beer and alcohol!

Most Memorable Moment


Hooded, though it wasn't scary, and it could have used more jumps, I've never experienced anything like being blindfolded in a haunt. I liked it!

Summary

Though a little pricy, and not the scariest haunt, Hill Has Eyes is definitely bang for your buck. It's the biggest haunt I've EVER been too. It's packed with fun! If you're looking for an amusing, exciting evening, this might be your place!

View all The Hill Has Eyes reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2015 season rather than the current season.

Factory of Fear Haunted Attraction

by dubstyle_2k (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at about 8:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: High

Review

Back for it's seventh season, Racine's Factory of Fear looks to scare you with some old tricks, and a few new ones as well! A century ago this factory was thriving, now nothing is left but the souls who roam the halls. Also, if that's not enough, new in 2015, Zombie Massacre has been added to the fun! You'll have to defend your house from blood thirsty zombies in this interactive laser tag competition.

Let me start off my review by saying that I was very excited to review Factory of Fear, this was my first visit to the Factory, so I didn't know what to expect! We were first lead to a stairway where we were given some instructions, our group of 9 was then split into two separate teams and we were lead up the stairs where we entered two different wooden shacks. Zombie Massacre Laser Tag had begun! The object of the game was to not let the attacking zombies knock off the boards from the windows of your house, the team with the lowest score at the end of the game wins. Each team member gets a laser gun, and you defend your house by shooting the zombies in the head; they attack at random, sometimes in hoards. Zombie Massacre was a blast, and it was one of my favorite ways to begin a haunt in quite some time. We were against a family with a mother, father, and three children, two of which were under 13... Our team of four adults lost the game easily! Pretty embarrassing! After the game we were pulled into a room and huddled all together so Mrs. Bones, and puppeted skeleton could explain a little of the back story of the Factory of Fear. Next they split us up into our groups that we were in for laser tag, and sent us through two separate doors. We were off to haunt number one!

The first haunt you go through is called Devil's Nightmare, and I can attest that that name is fairly accurate, well, at least the beginning was for us! The first section was the longest, most grueling section of a haunt I think I've ever gone through! With that being said, I applaud them for it! It was so simple, yet so tedious to get though. It WAS like a Devil's Nightmare, great job Factory staff! Devil's Nightmare is an actor heavy, theme in every room, haunt that leads you though some dark hallways and dead ends. This haunt is your traditional gore-fest, with misdirection, loud noises, and great acting, In all, Devil's Nightmare is just what you're looking for in a haunt, it covers all of the bases. After we exited Devil's Nightmare we again met up with the other group from laser tag. A staff member held them up a bit, sent that group on, and then had us wait a while before sending us along, into the second and final haunt, Blind Madness.

Blind Madness wasn't my favorite haunt of all time, it is short and lacks too much interaction, but I guess that's what you are going to get when you enter a haunt called "Blind" Madness, right?! But what it lacks in duration, it makes up in sensory deprivation and overload! If anyone has read a review of mine, you know I LOVE that! Any time you mess with my senses I am all in! Blind Madness is a nice little throw in to a pretty good attraction, which makes Factory of fear a well rounded haunt.

Signage / Visibility / Location


If you're not from the area, make sure you have GPS on, it's tricky to find! The sign was pretty dimly lit, and if you weren't looking for it, I'm not sure you would spot it.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The waiting area is indoors, which was nice. There was ZERO organization to it. When we got our tickets we had to give them my cell phone number, I got a text thanking me for my purchase, and the cashier told me when I got the second text that I should tell the security guard that I received a text... I didn't realize that it would take an hour and a half for the second text to come. It was just a bunch of people hanging out in a room, with no directions, for hours., waiting for texts. There were two actors in the waiting area roaming around that were VERY entertaining. One actor had an alien baby puppet that would awaken and scream, and the other had a possessed demon woman puppet attached to him that would scream. These men were great!

Actors' Performance


The actors in the haunts are are great. From the zombies in the laser tag which really hammed it up, to the giant creature on stilts, there are some great ones at Factory of Fear!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Factory of Fear does a lot with the dark. The sets and props Factory has are average, they aren't blowing you away, but with that being said, a lot can be done with a little

Length


30 Minutes

Crowd Control


Like I mentioned above, the waiting area is a joke. No structure, nobody really knows what's going on. Unless you can squeeze your way to the front and ask one of the security guards, you're going to be left in the dark. Bad set up.

Most Memorable Moment


A man in black popping out startled my girlfriend quite a bit! It's something I was expecting, but she wasn't!!!

Summary

Factory of Fear is back for year seven, and this year it's added laser tag to the mix! Factory of Fear's two haunts Devil's Nightmare and Blind Madness are two typical walkthrough style haunts. What sets Factory of Fear apart from other haunts is Zombie Massacre, the interactive laser tag! This got our night off on the right foot, and made it totally worth it! If you venture out to Factory of Fear, make sure you spend the extra $10 and play Zombie Massacre, it's totally worth it!

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View my 2021 Reviews




April 14th, 2021 2:47 p.m. CDT 13.5