Long time lurker, first time poster.
I’ve now done all houses during Haunt 2018 and thought I’d review each house/scarezone.
Zombie High- pretty much the same as it’s been since it’s inceptuon. Some of the actors in the house really brought some commitment but overall it was mostly tame (you’ll see a recurring theme with it being tame all year though)
Chamber of Horrors, Condemned: This has always been one of my least favorite houses since it’s been introduced, and this year it was only marginally better. I thought the flashlight idea was kind of cool, but it remains that if there’s no actors in it there’s never going to be very many scares, and that’s what’s happened every night I’ve done this house. Seems you always go 3-4 rooms in between actors, which is a shame really.
The Boneyard- it’s always nice to have a near pitch-Black scarezone and in a few instances Boneyard worked out with that regard. But it’s still almost the same as it’s always been, despite the fact actors seemed much tamer than it has been in the past. But kudos to how much fog they put in the zone, loved it.
Cornstalkers- still a fairly solid house, but this was another case where 2/3 times I went through it there just weren’t enough actors inside the maze to keep your tension up.
Khaos- For a debut year it was good but not great. Some of the multi-sensory effects and use of additions such as lasers and the light up masks on some of the actors were great, but it was almost completely devoid of scares. Maybe, like Bayou they can pick it up in following years.
Bloodshed- probably the scariest house of the year. The first half of the house each time had plenty of good and devoted actors to the experience. The only issue was more of an operational one, it seemed that a little over halfway each time I did it the line became so backed up that you ended up seeing the actors well before they were supposed to scare you. I’m not sure what causes this backup each time, but they should identify it and fix it for next year.
Blood on The Bayou- my personal favorite house of the year, this has always been a pretty house but lacking in scares. While it still has some work to go with the scares, there’s at least two actors in it that consistently got me.
Ripper Alley- this has to be the worst house of the year, while it was my favorite the year it moved to its current home, this year was not only lacking completely in any scare factor (a combination of poor actor placement and many actors just looked bored while in the house) but the removal of the storyline we saw in 2016 really killed the house. Really hope they fine tune this into its former self.
Outlaws Revenge- Best scarezone, and I still have to admit it has the most enthusiastic and skilled actors of the whole event. My only real issue is the zone itself, much like boneyard, has been there for many years with very little changes. I feel they need to do some kind of serious update or change it completely because the Schtick is starting to grow old.
Carnevil- the added wall and tightening up the zone really helped improve the atmosphere around the zone, and some of the dark comedy bits I saw really worked well within this zone. So it’s much better than in previous years but it’s got a long way to go to make the “hobo clown” thing worth it.
Lore of the Vampire- I actually thought this year saw a decent improvement over last. The basement scene seemed significantly longer with the removal of the skeleton key room and getting that little extra area really helped. If they can renovate the upper level to something a little less cheesy this could become a top tier house.
Overall- this was an improvement over last year, especially in performances, but I’m starting to fear they’re changing for the worse. I overheard a couple actors in the bathroom complaining one night about how they’re forced to be more “kid friendly” than they have been in the past, which is really sad especially when the kids get Great Pumpkin Fest all to themselves, let Haunt stay as a teen/adults event.