Junior Review Crew Member

Ron (spirit44)

Photo of Ron

Previous Reviews: 2017 | 2016

2016 Reviews

Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.

The Dark Carnival (PERMANENTLY CLOSED)

by spirit44 (Junior Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at about 8:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review

When you hear that you are going to a haunted attraction called the Dark Carnival your mind begins to conjure one thing, and you get gripped by coulrophobia (fear of clowns). Well let me tell you, this attraction will not disappoint you there. You are in for a heavy dose of clowns, including one that may be the creepiest I have seen at any of the haunted houses I've ever been to. But a Carnival is so much more than clowns alone. The Dark Carnival really exploits the possibility of a carnival gone horribly, horribly wrong. They stay very true to the theme throughout, and give you many unique twists on the terrifying characters you could find in a normal traveling show.

While the design of the sets was kind of basic, it did contain elements of some rooms that really were able to grab your imagination. You would enter a room and were visually drawn to certain focal points and they would hold your attention long enough for the suspense to build, then in what kept feeling like your last breath you let out a scream as another creepy crawly jumped out of some unseen hiding place.

A couple of the things I would have said were well done with this attraction was first the appearance of the characters. The details in many of the costumes was outstanding and convincingly transformed the actors into the ghastly individuals they portrayed. The other thing that I felt was very well done was the execution of the jump scares. They were so well placed and timed, that even the ones you felt were obvious, still managed to give you a great adrenaline rush.

Signage / Visibility / Location


It was very easy to notice when you arrive at the Dark Carnival, there is plenty of signage and a big circus tent next to the building.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The waiting area is a large circus tent, it really puts you into the mood as you enter to buy your tickets. There are plenty of actors walking around the lot outside of the tent and walking through the tent interacting with the guests as they wait in the queue. The staff was extremely friendly and really seemed to enjoy interacting with everyone.

Actors' Performance


The actors performance was a little intense. There were some that really captured the essence of their character, but there also were some that seemed a little over the top. Although, since the theme is a deranged carnival, maybe they were actually dialed in at the right level.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets were fairly basic, however were pretty interesting in concept and design. There were a couple of rooms that really drew you in though. And for a few moments of your journey through the carnival, you wanted to pinch yourself to see if you could wake from this nightmare.

Length


The trip through the attraction took us 17 minutes.

Crowd Control


There was armed security on the premises. We felt safe and secure all evening, well that was until we entered the carnival, then we did not know if we would make it out.

Most Memorable Moment


There were a couple of characters through the haunt that I thought were just creepy and outstanding. But there was one room that we entered that really stood out to me. While the actors were becoming more and more menacing, the big scare of the room came from an unexpected source A mutilated body that looked like there was no way possible for it to do anything, sprung to life with a very cleverly placed actor.

Summary

This was a fun haunted attraction. We came to this one last year, and will probably return again. It has been a fun time, every time.

View all The Dark Carnival (PERMANENTLY CLOSED) reviews

Comments: (0)

Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.

Terror on Rural Street

by spirit44 (Junior Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at about 7:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

The Terror on Rural street is located in Hartford, just a short drive north of Milwaukee, and well worth the trip. The friendly staff and comfortable waiting area make you feel very welcome, right before the creatures lurking through the rooms and halls of the attraction scare the bejebus out of you.

It was a very well done haunt combining some classic elements of haunts, along with some great original scares. The walk through will test your senses as you encounter uneven paths, optical illusions that disorient, walls that close in on you, and of course light deprivation. Some very detailed rooms will draw you in and give you the feel of walking through a nightmare. And as you get focused on the great sets, very unexpected jump scares give you a great rush. The original use of technology and animatronics really make your trip through the haunt a very memorable experience. While the detail of the rooms was fantastic, there were a couple of elements scattered throughout that could have used a little more work to get them to have the same professional look that the haunt had overall.

I would say the rooms of this attraction are what make it very memorable, but the real stars of this attraction are the actors. They do a terrific job of selling their characters without over acting and drawing away from the scene. As you go through the rooms they are very engaging and interactive, making you feel like you are part of the scene being portrayed. The only thing I would have liked to see with the actors was more use of prosthetics to give them as much detail in their appearance as the rooms they are in.

Signage / Visibility / Location


There were many signs on the roads leading to the attraction, including a lit up marquee at the entrance to the parking lot. The haunted house does share a parking lot with another building so the attraction does not stand out on it's own. The night we went there was an event going on at the other building which made parking pretty hard to come by. However they did have security walking in the lot that were using flashlights to guide people to open spots when they became available.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The waiting area wasn't your standard waiting queue. It was a large open area with benches and concessions. We actually wished we had a little more time to enjoy the waiting area, but since it was early in the evening and in the season the wait was minimal before our ticket numbers were called to enter the attraction.

Actors' Performance


The actors were very engaging, and interacted with the guests very well. All were very convincing in their characters without over acting.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets were very well done. The rooms were nicely detailed and lit perfectly, with just enough light so that you could appreciate the intricacy of the scene.

Length


It took us 17 minutes to walk through the haunt.

Crowd Control


The night we went there was almost no crowd for the attraction. However they did have marked security personnel walking the parking lot.

Most Memorable Moment


Our entire family agreed that the most memorable moment of the haunt was the dining room scene. When you walk in to the highly detailed room, you enter into the middle of a discussion. It was so well done that it gives you almost a feeling of a ghostly encounter and is concluded with a very cool surprise exit to the room.

Summary

This was an evening well spent. Not only will I go back to this haunt again next year, but I am definitely recommending this attraction to my family and friends.

View all Terror on Rural Street reviews

Comments: (0)

April 24th, 2024 6:39 a.m. CDT 24.05