Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.
Submitted: Sunday, October 23, 2016
First year hiccups aside, Terror at the Fair impresses! Being a southeastern Wisconsin guy I was psyched to see that new for this year, the Kenosha County Fairgrounds was putting on Terror at the Fair. The descriptions intrigued me, so I had to review this one. Aside from a few very fixable issues, this haunt has extreme staying power!
We arrived at at Terror just after 7:00, well when I say arrived I mean after we drove down a road that lead us to some locked gates (thanks Apple maps!), turned around, took a left, drove past the entrance (which was a barely lit up sign and a $9.99 strobe light above said sign that I only noticed when we actually entered the grounds... it was tiny!), turned around and finally entered the fairgrounds. The first thing I noticed was there were maybe 15 cars in the lot. Sweet, no need to pay the extra $5 for the fast pass, this should take no time at all! Boy was I wrong! We purchased our tickets and proceeded to the line area, a stable I think, which was hazed with fog and music courtesy of a DJ! He was playing season appropriate tunes, this was a nice touch. The waiting area had a few clowns that terrorized those waiting in line, a timely treat as we all know clowns are the it thing (based on the news at least!). The were entertaining to say the least, and they knew EXACTLY who to mess with!
Alright, here we are, it's been 10 minutes, the line hasn't moved yet. At least there was line entertainment to keep up from falling asleep! Another 15 minutes goes by, OOOH! Two people enter! alright, we're in business! 10-15 minutes more, two more people enter. Does this open at 8 and they are just letting a few people go through as a test run? Nope, the website says 7, what's going on? We wait probably another 15 minutes and I decide to step out of line and see if we can pay the difference and trade our tickets in for fast passes (I have another haunt to get to, and at this rate I wont even get into the haunt until after 10!). On my walk I genuinely enjoyed the look of confusion on the actors faces as they asked me where I was going. I replied that it was already too scary, and they were confused by this! If they only knew how much it took to actually "scare" me! The ladies at the ticket booth were more than happy to exchange our tickets, and we were on our way to the front of the line! I can see now why it was taking so long, as we arrived to the fast pass area there was a couple that they were letting in, and then they let us stand at the entrance. If you buy a fast pass they aren't letting ANYONE in until you've entered! That line was never going to move if people kept shelling out the extra 5 bucks. I get the idea, you pay the extra and you get the perks, but you gotta let some general admission folks in between fast passers or that line is never going down. But I digress, we waited for another 7 minutes or so, being entertained by the lady at the door with her demon baby that she told me was an "it" after I asked the sex of her beautiful child, and one of the clowns that was legitimately making us laugh out loud! Finally we were able to enter the haunt.
This haunt was super surprising in that they had some of the best actors I have experienced in my tenure as a Review Crew member! Little to no animatronics, which is a good and a bad thing because I truly like them when used sparingly, but they relied on genuine human interaction to get you jumping, and they excelled at that! The sets were pretty good, and they had a good mix of sets and darkness. A really well put together haunt. I don't mean to keep bringing it back to the actors, but I was taken back at the commitment and the willingness to put caution to the wind so they could make the show memorable for the visitors. When I say caution to the wind I mean each and every one of them is going to have the WORST sore throats in the morning! I've never been screamed at quite like these actors screamed at us! It was jarring to say the least, and to the 3 "little girls" that were in that haunt, kudos to you! Funny and terrifying at the same time! The haunt revisits a theme that was pretty popular 5-6 years ago, and that is 3D. The use of glasses and and 3D paint is a fun effect, and the second section is full of this. It was nice to see this again, as I enjoyed it quite a bit years ago when it seemed like every haunt was doing this.
The only con I can say the actual haunt has is that it is WAY too short! We were in and out in less than 15 minutes, and I'm a slow mover in these things, I like to take it all in. The price and potential wait just doesn't jive with the time spent in the haunt. The space is limited, and I really hope they expand on it in the future.