The Scream Queen
Visibility / Location:
While Midnight Terror lists an address on 111th Street, my group was rerouted by haunt workers to a larger lot on 95th Street, roughly ten minutes away (where we parked last year). While there was ample parking in the parking garage, we had to instead wait for an "interactive" shuttle to take us to the actual location. This added roughly half an hour to our intended start time. Make sure to check out the website for information about the parking issues.
Very little signage existed along the road, which would be helpful in terms of redirecting parking.
The wait entertainment was surprisingly intense for opening night. A DJ and drummer dropped beats reminiscent of a night club to keep the line entertained.
While the waiting area is a bit lacking in decoration, a handful of talented line actors worked the crowd.
Multiple options exist for ticket prices:
General Admission: $23 (online), $25 (at the door) for both attractions
VIP Admission: $31 (online), $35 (at the door)
General Admission Fear Package (includes a tee shirt): $33 (online), $35 (at the door)
VIP Fear Package: $43 (online), $45 (at the door)
Factory of Malum: 13 Minutes
Black Oak Grove: 10 Minutes
LPR Score = 2.668
LPR stands for Length/Price Ratio. It represents perceived value of an event, by comparing length vs price of admission. Higher numbers represent more value per dollar. Actual quality and/or entertainment value of an event are not factors in this calculation. Click Here to see how this event compares to others visited this year by the staff of HauntedIllinois.com.
Generally, pacing and crowd control were fine, especially with it being opening night. During the second attraction, the actors attempted to break up groups and space things out, but we still caught up to a group ahead of us (and the group ahead of them). No groups ended up catching up to us, though. This may be due to the fact that we walked rather quickly.
I was really excited to see that Midnight Terror was moving to a larger location this year; boasting 60+ rooms in a giant space seemed like it would be a strategic move for Midnight Terror. While I can see the potential for this larger space, I think Midnight Terror may need a year or two to grow in this larger location.
Let's look at the positives first: Midnight Terror has fantastic makeup and acting. The actors really throw themselves into the scenes (shout out to the girl eating her own vomit from a bowl and regurgitating it - excellent, stomach-turning effect). Similarly, the scare actors working the lines had great makeup and costumes and were quite dedicated to their roles. The actors also did make some solid attempts inside to slow down the pacing and stagger the groups, which is always appreciated.
One of the biggest concerns I have about the current set up is the parking situation. While the parking area is quite spacious, it's also about 10 minutes from the haunted house. During opening night, only one shuttle (really, a yellow school bus) was running at the time. While the shuttle is being advertised as being interactive, it was really just one costumed actor/actress screaming and contorting along the way. It seemed like an unnecessary add on and didn't add much to the ride over.
The haunt itself is quite spacious, with some interesting effects added throughout. Again, I loved the walls with syringes on them such a cool effect! Midnight Terror also makes use of multiple water elements, which is a unique feature. One of my favorite scenes was a post-apocalyptic library with a hangman game on a chalkboard (with the hangman appropriately spelling "goodbye"). However, some of the rooms throughout felt sparse (either through the number of actors or set decor). If Midnight Terror ends up keeping this location, I imagine that the rooms will fill up more as the time goes on.
One of my biggest concerns with this current incantation of Midnight Terror is that it's very tricky to understand the plot behind the haunt. While the haunt begins with a video introducing the story behind the two houses, it was very difficult to hear it amongst the cacophony of haunt sounds. If there is a way to soundproof this room or turn up the volume, it would be greatly beneficial.
A final concern is the ending of the haunt. Last year, Midnight Terror's chainsaw maze was one of my favorite endings to a haunt - the chainsaws were surprising, and the acting was top notch. This year also ends with a chainsaw maze, but there's nothing super frightening about it (in fact, with the layout, it seems that some guests may be able to walk around it completely).
I'm taking this year at Midnight Terror as a reboot, and I'm curious to see how this haunt will change in a year or two. Until then, I have my fingers crossed that Midnight Terror will continue to fill the rooms with characters and props (and up the ante on the chainsaw maze).
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