by dubstyle_2k (Senior Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, September 29, 2018 at about 8:30 p.m.
Submitted: Sunday, September 30, 2018
I decided to check out Hill Has Eyes this year. It has been three years since I last reviewed this haunt, and was eager to see what they have done to change it up. I am going to preface this review by stating that if you visit Hill Has Eyes make sure you pay attention to the weather. I bought VIP tickets ahead of time, without looking at the weather, this was my biggest mistake! As soon as I pulled away from my house the rain started! The problem with buying your Hill Has Eyes tickets online is they are only valid that day. The majority of Hill Has Eye is outdoors, on a hill, walking on dirt trails. On any other night I would have loved this, but that night it was cold, rainy, and VERY slick due to all the mud you walk through. Of course this isn't the fault of the haunt, it's my fault for not checking the weather. I will say, if you are headed to Hill Has Eyes, wear shoes you don't care about, but make sure they have good grip!
This year Hill Has Eyes made a few changes. We arrived at the haunt and headed to the ticketing/waiting tent. The parking lot is quite a distance from the tent, and we were left on our own to try to figure out how we get from point A to point B. Well, we accidentally chose the path that led us to point C! We ended up at some bar, I'm still not sure where we went wrong, but we weren't the only ones to make this mistake. We decided to follow some people that at least looked like they knew where they were going, and finally we made it to the tent. I guess my second biggest mistake of the night was assuming it was going to be super busy like three years ago, so I bought VIP tickets ahead of time. Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was because it was so early in the season, but there wasn't very many people there waiting to get in. While you're waiting in line to get to the cashier, you have to sign a waiver. Please note, I never felt in danger while walking through the haunts (other than the muddy trails, and almost falling a few times!), I think these waivers are strictly for liability reasons. The waiting area is pretty great, there are no actors, but there is a DJ and a full bar for visitors. Because I was there as a reviewer I didn't visit the bar, thus I don't know how prices are. Three years ago I inquired, and beers were $3, so expect to pay at least that. Because we were VIP we were able to leave the waiting area right away and head towards the first haunt of four, "Containment". Three years ago the first haunt was called "Hooded", which was great, but they've unfortunately done away with that portion.
"Containment" was definitely my least favorite section of Hill Has Eyes. It was kind of short and too well lit. The theme was Military vs Hillbilly, with a few men in ghillie suits, and doctors. I think they were going for a contagion thing, but it was lost on me. Like I said, this section was short, and not that scary, we made it through in a matter of minutes and exited to an area with a bonfire and some porta potties. Luckily there were a few workers by the bonfire, as we started towards what we thought was the next haunt, we were redirected to the correct haunt, "Failed Escape".
If you read my review of Hill Has Eyes from three years ago, then just know, I could copy and pasted what I wrote then and it would still apply. Nothing really has changed in that three years. This haunt still has a backwoods theme, and freaks a plenty. Though this haunt was too familiar, the actors in this area were top notch. Again I was with a friend who teaches in the area, so a couple actors recognized him and broke character to greet him, however a couple used it as part of their act, calling him out at times! "Failed Escape" was significantly longer than "Containment", and a lot darker, which is always a plus! My favorite part of this haunt was a very short walkway that had strings hanging down. Sounds benign, but those strings give you a tiny zap if your skin touched them! I mentioned these shocking strings in my review a few years ago, but I stated that I couldn't tell if they were zapping us or giving us a prick. This year it was obvious, these things were zapping! It didn't hurt, but it was definitely a weird feeling, I love a haunt that makes me uncomfortable! We once again made it all the way through and exited at the bonfire. Next stop, "Hunger Hollow".
"Hunger Hollow" is another section that was there three years ago, and yet another section that I could have copy and pasted my review from my last visit. The theme still centers around a butcher shop that's using, wait for it... human meat! Nothing new here, really. Again the actors were awesome, I just wanted a different experience. Aside from the butcher stuff there is more back woods hillbillies and creeps. This section of Hill Has Eyes leads you to a satanic church that was pretty great! I enjoyed "Hunger Hollow", it was long and like I said, the actors did a fantastic job! As you reach the end of this section you make your way down a path that leads you to the ski lift, or "Scare Lift". The ski lift takes you to the final haunt, "CARNIvore". The ski lift was a little disappointing. The last time I was at Hill Has Eyes there were actors in clown suits on some of the other lift chairs that would shout at you and squirt you with squirt guns, this time, no actors at all, just a leisurely ride on a wet ski lift! Once you hit the top you make your way to "CARNIvore"
As you could have guessed, "CARNIvore" is a carnival themed haunt. This was arguably my favorite section of Hill Has Eyes. This haunt was not as long as the previous two, but I do love a carnival theme! The climax of this section is a VERY long maze that is almost exhausting! There is a spinning vortex that is always fun and disorienting, with an actress that was very good. The last time I was at Hill Has Eyes, the end of "CARNIvore" included a human puppet show. That was a real awesome way to end the experience, but for some reason they no longer do the show, I was a little disappointed. Again, the actors were top notch, and the whole experience, even without the puppet show, was great!
In all I thought Hill Has Eyes was okay. They didn't change much, and the things that did change, like the removal of the "hooded" section and the human puppet show, was a little disappointing. The actors in all four sections were excellent, and the bang for your buck, length wise is bar none, the best in the area. If you have never been to this haunt, I highly recommend it, if you have been to Hill Has Eyes in the past, well, you might be upset about the lack of change, theme wise. I'll go back in another three years, hopefully it'll be revamped a bit.