Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.
Submitted: Friday, October 8, 2010
Our first haunt of the year was Oblivion, a brand new haunt located next to the UW Fox Valley campus. Seeing as we were one of the first groups on their second day ever, I was a little concerned it might be too early to review them. Well, any fears on that were put to rest once the real fears started. From start to finish this haunt is done right. The actor's were spot on, the sets were excellent and the overall atmosphere was chilling. This is a very impressive haunt even without it being their second day. If they keep up what they started they will be haunting us for years to come!
Getting there is a breeze, as they really are located minutes off hwy 441 in Menasha as their profile and website say. I did not notice any signs on the freeway, but once you get close they had a sign pointing the way. Their haunt is located in a non-descript warehouse building that they project their name onto at night. As mentioned earlier Oblivion is located right next to the UW Fox Valley campus, which makes it very convenient. They have been using the campus parking lot for their needs while their lot is under development. According to their website they are expecting to have it completed soon.
We were one of the first groups through, so there was not a lot of waiting to do. The wait area didn't seem to have any sort of organization to it, but that could change later in the evening when a line starts to form. Their entrance is a small but detailed facade with the customary light and music show pounding out metal tunes. They have a concession stand and a few actors walking around while you wait. My favorite costume out here was the miner, there's something about a head lamp and breathing apparatus that's kind of freaky!
The actors were great from start to finish. So good in fact that to pick favorites wouldnt be fair. The new mother, the married couple, the factory worker, the insane and everyone else was done to perfection. All the actors fit their scenes perfectly, and vice versa. The sets were elaborate but not overbearing, with lots of blood and gore where it needed to be, and nice and quaint where that was the needed style. Walking through the house it was very hard to tell this was their first weekend ever.
Crowd control is the only sticky point I could see, and even that was minor. We were there too early to know what it's like in the waiting area once a crowd starts to form, but the inside control was a little lacking. We took an average pace throughout and we almost caught the people in front of us and were caught from behind. It's hard to judge too harshly on Oblivion's part as there are a lot of variables that can factor in but the actors could hold some faster groups in their room and torment them for a while if another group was just through. Other than the one time this happened it was great; and it took nearly 20 minutes to get through.
This is a very good haunt, and an excellent value! With times being tough for a lot of people it is still important to get out and have some fun. At $12 ($10 in advance!) you get a very high quality haunt that will leave you wanting more! They are now on my must see list for future years. If they are this good in year one, I can't wait until next year!