Simply put, this year Dominion of Terror has some of the best sets I have ever seen in a Haunted House. I was even more blown away by the fact that almost everything is new for 2008 with virtually no scenes being repeated from previous years. On top of all that, this haunt supports the non-profit Jaycees charity group which means all actors and designers are volunteers. For the price and the quality, an hour drive from Green Bay or Milwaukee is well worth the trip.
Wait Area / Line Entertainment
All the action takes place in and around an old condemned looking three story brick warehouse. Outside there is music, a hearse, and frequent scares from actors to keep patrons entertained while waiting in line. Inside there is a brief wait in a staging area before the scares begin.
Overall, most actors gave very engaging performances. Many ghouls had unique dialogue and noises to get your attention. There were several loud and shocking surprises, but nothing that is overdone or will leave your eardrums ringing. For me the scare factor is always dependant on the group I go with, so on a different night it may have been higher.
Sets Scenes / Props / FX
It is safe to say the themes and rooms of the Dominion of Terror will not be found in any other haunt in Wisconsin. Work started in July, and if they chose, volunteers were able to let their imagination go crazy and design their own sets staffed by their own friends. This accentuates the uniqueness of each scene because they are built and overseen by different people. Although it may sound disjointed, this is an incredibly well tied-together haunted house. Rooms transition smoothly from one theme to another and many ideas carry over for two or three rooms like the sprawling city scene (props to the butcher). The vortex tunnel was so effective I had to close my eyes, great use of old-school dark tunnels to break up scenes, and my favorite room was the movie theater.
It took 20-25 minutes to work our way through. Great length, and it seemed even longer.
The group size was limited to four victims, which is an ideal size for any haunt. This will probably change towards Halloween when lines get longer. Everything moved very smoothly through the haunt, and there were five or six security guards on hand outside. All of the actors take a break between 8:30 and 8:45 so be patient while waiting in line.
Most Memorable Moment
We were paired with a nine year old girl and her father. Initially, I was concerned that this may be too scary for someone of her age, but her father assured us that she watches plenty of movies and will take the haunt in stride. She went first throughout the entire haunt and was visibly calm and unafraid the entire time! I could not believe that we were more scared than she was. Seriously, how many 9 year olds do not find a chainsaw terrifying? I was pushing past her like George Costanza in Seinfeld at that point.
Great scenery, good actors, admirable charity, extended length and terrifying chainsaws.