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Newbie Review Crew Member

Greg (gregory_carlson)

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Previous Reviews: 2011 | 2010

2010 Reviews

Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Lister F/X Presents Monster Mayhem Haunted Laser Tag (CLOSED)

by gregory_carlson (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Monster Mayhem, as presented by Lister F/X, is a little bit different than your average haunt.  The same theme runs throughout and everything fits within the environment they have created.  My nephew and I thought that this allowed us to get more 'into' the haunt and it felt more believable (as far as haunts go) and I'll say that's a plus.


I personally liked the way they used actors to support the story, as they helped you through the designated mission, killing off the baddies as they came on.  I cannot say I've been to a haunt that had people 'helping' you get through quite like that.

I'll be honest here, when we saw the alien get released I thought it was just a prop.   When it got free and started chasing us it had this long-time haunter moving in quickstep.

This haunt has character and a sci-fi feel that I haven't seen elsewhere this season and it's really nice to have a change of pace instead of the 'same old, same old'.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Directa your feetza to Paulo's Pizza.  Right on the corner of W. Howard and 51st.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


You can wait and have a slice of pizza (might be the only haunt with that option).  Once in the queue/stairs we were entertained by the disembodied voice of the security camera operator, who was pretty funny.

Actors' Performance


Unique in that there were actors helping throughout to go along with the monsters/aliens.  The service men helping we pretty well done and you could tell they were comfortable with their parts.  This did a great job of immersing us into the overall haunt.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


There was a continuity to this haunt unlike any other.  They maintained the military base them throughout and all of the scenes, props and special effects supported the theme very well.

Length


We were through the haunt in about 15 minutes.

Crowd Control


Employee's were present throughout and the crowds were kept small enough to be manageable.

Most Memorable Moment


There was a few times where the baddies were either shot or took a victim and the audience got a bit of the overflow, so to speak.  Didn't see it coming either time, great surprise!  Oh, and the alien about halfway through.

Summary

Monter Mayhem will take you in a different direction than your typical haunt and I for one like the change.  Something you can enjoy while you get a sci-fi scare.

View all Lister F/X Presents Monster Mayhem Haunted Laser Tag (CLOSED) reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Elements of Fear

by gregory_carlson (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Low

Review

Elements of Fear sounds like it would be pretty scary, but it you are looking for something more to the mild side of haunting this might be your ticket.


I was reminded of the 'old school' haunts from my younger years as I walked through.  There was a story told at the onset, but I wasn't sure that I understood all of it.  I think one of the cops was related to the killer?  Hmmm.

After that opening sequence we were brought into a room for a quick sit-down seance.  Goes to show that you can have some entertainment at a haunt on a low budget.  Moving on we met up with the killer we were warned of and 'lost' one of our group.

Before we knew it the haunt was over and we were back outside.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Good location, but not the easiest to see until you are right upon it.  Slow down when you are close so you don't miss the old church.  Plenty of parking right next to the event.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area was a Sunday school classroom, I think...  Refreshments available but not line entertainment other than a TV silently playing a movie.

Actors' Performance


The first haunt of the season that had actors 'acting'.  No one is going to win an Oscar but we got the point of the story.  The mistress leading the seance as pretty good.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Some sets & scenes were better than others.  I think the haunt started on a good note and might have lost it's direction as it went on.

Length


Maybe 10 minutes.

Crowd Control


There really wasn't a crowd.

Most Memorable Moment


When we realized that there were more 'actors' than expected.  It's really a DON'T TOUCH haunt.

Summary

Are you looking for a reminder of Halloween's past, before all the big-time money came in and made things crazy?  Want someplace to bring the younger kids?  Elements of Fear might be what you are looking for.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

by gregory_carlson (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 4:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Do you like to interact with lots of actors who just ooze (sometimes literally) Halloween?  If you like all of that in an intimate setting full of creepy scenes then make sure you visit Mar's Haunted House.


I feel it is important to note that you should not judge this haunt by it's 'cover', it may not be impressive at first glance but once you are inside prepare yourself for an experience you probably won't find elsewhere.  Mar's has quite a few mature actors that really work their areas, whether it be to scare, surprise and have you laughing (or all of them at the same time).

The passageways throughout are narrow, uneven and FILLED with everything imaginable and quite a few things I don't want to imagine again after seeing them.  I had props, scenery and actors constantly in my face or at my ankles.  Some of the scenes were better than others but the actors are really what make this haunt and they should be an example to other haunts.  Get good people, keep them year after year and let them grow into their parts and become GREAT haunters.

Everyone has ideal things that they look for in a haunt, and while I really like to be scared I also like to be entertained by people that are enjoying themselves just as much.  Mar's might not be the scariest haunt you'll visit but it may be the most fun you'll have getting scared.

Signage / Visibility / Location


It was the only place where you could see long lines of people waiting by a hearse right in Milwaukee.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait was over 40+ minutes and curbside.  There isn't any seating, that I saw, but there are a number of creatures and characters walking through the area to keep you entertained.  There was also a movie showing if you were on that side of the building waiting.

Actors' Performance


I don't know that there wasn't an actor that didn't hit their marks, scare or surprise at least one person in our group AND provide some of the best one-lines and come backs in any Haunt I've been to.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The overall atmosphere was very intimate, creepy and kept me off balance.  They really make the best use of the space they have, as all of it was filled to the hilt with detailed scenes, a few static and animatronic props but more than anything it was filled with LOTS of actors.

Length


About 15 minutes will get you through the haunt, some of the best parts are when you are stopped, waiting for the next scene to empty and you are left with the actors in the area.

Crowd Control


The Mar's staff and police were present and in control.  The lines were well managed as well as incoming foot traffic walking to the haunt.

Most Memorable Moment


There was a scene with a small room with a bed in the floor and a bearded man dressed as woman in full gown.  His dowdy gown was backless, displaying his hairy back while he kept us entertained with humorous & witty conversation (and maybe creeped out a little) while he 'managed' the traffic.  There were many other fantastic interactions throughout.

Summary

If you're in Milwaukee you really need to visit one of the oldest haunts in the area.  You'll have a great time and won't regret it.

View all Mars Haunted House - CLOSED- reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Hauntfest - CLOSED -

by gregory_carlson (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Medium

Review

If you like your haunts loud and over the top, you better visit Hauntfest in West Allis.  Be prepared to be inundated with loud music, sound effects, bright lights and movies...  And that's all before you get into the haunt!


The entrance into the haunt itself is a 'moving' elevator that goes haywire, we were closed in with with a girl who played her part with manic intensity and perfect timing to what was going on in the scene.  It was the high point of the haunt, but don't take that to mean it was the only fun to be had.

This was my first experience with inflatable walls, luckily the other girls in my group had no qualms with pushing me and I easily discovered the way through.  There were numerous dark areas with surprise scares to keep you on your toes.  

Keep in mind, Hauntfest is a "Don't touch" Haunt but that doesn't mean that the others in your group won't push, pull hair, grab shirts or do other things with reckless abandon.  You might want to try and ensure you know everyone in our group so you aren't surprised like I was.  I simply wasn't prepared for 4 women I don't know to go on a crazy rampage the second we were in until the moment we were out.  You have been warned.

Hauntfest is as much an 'Event' as it is a Haunt, passing on the creepy atmosphere and going for the loud carnival.  There were LOTS of young kids & teens to which I think that suited them well.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Hauntfest is at State Fair park, who doesn't know where that is?  Find gate 4 and listen for the haunt sounds/music.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There was a large wait area with some seating, movies played on a large inflatable screen and refreshments were available.  That's good, because the wait was very long at about 90 minutes.  Actors were present, most of the screams heard were for the guy with the chainsaw jumping up on people.

Actors' Performance


Let me first state that the actress in the elevator at the entrance was great, she gets groups for a captive performance was the best throughout.  There were a few others that did stand out but some rooms we entered had the haunters standing together talking until they saw a group come through and then darted about, which was a bit of a disappointment and not really gonna scare someone.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The balloon walls & ceiling were fun but the best was the shock wall.  Again, the elevator was great but otherwise nothing of note stood out.

Length


Going through the haunt took about 20 minutes.  We were delayed in some areas to keep the groups separate and we didn't see any other visitors while were were in.

Crowd Control


The crowd was large, but with Hauntfest security and police present there weren't any issues.

Most Memorable Moment


Some of the darker areas had 'shock walls' and the group we were with were pushing me into the walls but the most memorable was the elevator at the entrance.

Summary

The loud, over the top atmosphere wasn't exactly for me but if you are looking for a wild night to meet your friends and go through a haunt this is the place for you.

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March 7th, 2021 6:38 a.m. CST 13.5