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Farewell Tour Fizzles at Deadly Intentions

Posted in 2012, Deadly Intentions, Review with tags , , , on October 16, 2012 by bluefall8

It was with more than a little excitement that John and I set off for Deadly Intentions last Friday. As this season does indeed mark the final chapter of the vaunted haunt, we were anticipating the same kind of intense show that first delighted us on Halloween 2008 and then once more with an apocalyptic zombie wasteland in 2009. In each of those years the cast at Deadly Intentions earned our Monster award for best actors. Unfortunately, our latest trip didn’t yield similar results and to suggest otherwise would be to insult Deadly Intentions’ storied past. It’s important to temper that previous statement with the following: we did not witness a poor haunted attraction, it was merely average and we simply expected more.

One of the primary features at Deadly Intentions that has always stood out to me is the long, laser and fog filled hallway through which haunters first embark. The hallway is a throwback to a simpler era of haunting. Visibility is low, it’s a bit disorienting, and it’s as if a sense of foreboding seeps from the very walls — this is what we call old school. A hatchet wielding harlequin followed us through fog and shadow before darting off. We ran into the smiling fiend once more shortly later and he proceeded to mislead us through a small maze. When his fun was at an end he delivered a flying kick to a portion of wall to our left, revealing it to be a door. I found the leaping kick to be quite impressive under such conditions. We came across a number of enjoyable characters along the way, those we affectionately referred to as Bone Girl, Toilet Guy, Dinner Man, Phantom Ghoul, and the Tall Man — but they were merely enjoyable. No one stole the show or left a truly lasting impression. We were made to crawl and squeal like pigs by Bone Girl which was fun but even the best bits of interaction and improvisation left much to be desired and were slightly above average at best.

The hallways that weren’t concealed by darkness were nicely detailed as were the various scenes that populated the attraction but everything was entirely too familiar and not particularly memorable. A number of the rooms were scarcely different than they were last year when the Deadland ran at this location. In at least one instance there was even a character who appeared last season, only a different actor played the part. It was distracting and the performance came across as flat in comparison.

The final chapter of Deadly Intentions is not a bad haunted attraction, in fact we enjoyed it on the whole, but it does fall well short of its’ former glory. The smash mouth intensity that allowed Deadly Intentions to carve out a niche in the Detroit haunt scene is now absent. Furthermore, the haunted house is a bit on the short side but this in many respects may be beyond the control of the operators and that is all the more reason to make sure that other aspects of the attraction are as strong as possible. The conclusion in particular is in need of improvement as it occurs abruptly and without much suspense or excitement. Despite my relative disappointment I’ll be sad to see Deadly Intentions fade to black because for the better part of the last decade the minds behind the madness have done haunting right. The folks in charge of the Deadland will take control in earnest at this location next season. I hope they’re able to recreate some of the magic Deadly Intentions provided over the years and stir up a little of their own as well.

Rating: 3 stars

We departed Warren in the Discomobile debating whether or not we’d return to one of Deadly Intentions’ Adult Nights. We’ve been curious about this particular event for a couple of years now but the increased admission ($22 this season) and more importantly the desire to hit as many haunts as possible has kept us from taking it in. We remain undecided but the promise of half naked women inside of a haunted house is a tempting prospect.

2011 Star Ratings

Posted in Star Ratings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2012 by bluefall8

As my small but faithful group of readers know I write a review for each haunt that I visit during the fall. In addition to that at the end of the review I assign the attraction a 1-5 star rating. It’s just my way of summing up the overall effectiveness/enjoyability of that particular haunted attraction. I take a lot of factors into consideration when I determine the rating things like — actors, theme, props, special effects, originality, and level of excitement — just to name a few but at the end of the night the rating comes down to my raw gut feeling for the overall experience. Below is a complete list of the haunted attractions I visited during the 2011 Halloween season ranked by their corresponding star rating. It’s important to note that the star rating isn’t meant to serve as a way to compare one attraction to another rather it’s a reflection of how well each individual haunt executed what it set out to accomplish.

A quick aside before we get to all those goodies though — once more I’ve had a dream about haunted attractions and the beloved Fear Finder. In this dream I was riding around Lincoln Park in a car with my dad and my two sisters when I suddenly realized that it was Halloween. I began to sweat knowing that I hadn’t yet participated in any seasonal activities and then I reached a full blown panic when it dawned on me that it wasn’t just October 31 but also kids were out trick r’ treating! My sisters were dropped off at a friend’s house or something else similarly boring. I apparently was going to do something with my dad (unrelated to Halloween) and that simply could not stand. My dad tried to calm me down but his words mattered not! How in the blue hell had I forgotten about Halloween?! I opened the door to the car, jumped from the vehicle, and ran into the night in search of Halloween fun.

Next thing I knew I had entered the lobby of a haunt which was strangely situated on the grassy median of what seemed to be Electric Street. I found a stack of Fear Finder and greedily thumbed through one to see what haunts I could possibly hit. I quickly decided their was no time for such planning, I would merely run about feverishly looking for the next available haunt once I’d finished at my current location. On the cover of the Fear Finder was a depiction of a hooded character similar to Ghostface from Scream. The hooded phantom had strings attached to its’ fingers as if it were puppeteering the letters that comprised the phrase ‘Fear Finder’ below. The background of the cover was strikingly designed as stained glass windows; all things considered I think something in this vein would make a pretty damn cool cover for the actual Fear Finder.

Suddenly I was joined by my fellow haunters, John and Jason but before we could enter the attraction I wandered into a bathroom. The walls separating the stalls were comically short and in no way provided a sense of privacy. The stall next to me was completely filthy with feces and toilet paper spilling over the sides of the porcelain throne. I ignored the mess and began to urinate and then I noticed a large window in front of me. I peered out the window and discovered the turret of a castle mere yards from my current position. I took it to be a second haunted attraction and for the first time in this dream I started to feel as if I could salvage the night. I was brought out of my reverie by the arrival of my cohorts and a man I assumed ran the haunted attraction. He made some comment about the filthy stall next to me and then proceeded to jam his hands into the disgusting mess. He yanked a jagged block of ice out of toilet — excrement and used toilet paper jutted out at odd angles. As John and Jason stood by watching the man then acted as if he was going to heave frozen fecal bomb in my direction. After a few moments of  anger and disgust the man relented and began to laugh, turned out that the turdsicle was merely a prank he used to rile up haunters. An odd and tasteless tactic perhaps but now I was excited to see what this haunt had to offer to its customers.

However, as is the case with cool dreams, that’s when I woke up. Does anybody find it strange that as a grown man I’m having a recurring nightmare about missing out on the haunt season? What an awful prospect that would be!

2011 STAR RATINGS

Krazy Hilda’s Barn of Doom – 4.25 (Saline, MI.)

The Catacombs/Rusthole – 4 (Darksyde Acres/Jonesville, MI.)

Chelsea Feargrounds – 4 (Chelsea, MI.)

Tent of Terror – 4 (The Boneyard/Stockbridge, MI.)

13 Feet Under – 4 (Grand Blanc, MI.)

The Haunting – 3.75 (Adrian, MI.)

The Deadland – 3.75 (Warren, MI.)

House of the Dead – 3.75 (Terror Town/Maumee, OH.)

St. Lucifer’s Haunted Asylum – 3.75 (Grand Blanc, MI.)

The Crypt – 3.75 (Burton, MI.)

Realm of Haunted Minds – 3.25 (Romulus, MI.)

The Dark Abyss – 3.25 (Darksyde Acres/Jonesville, MI.)

Scarecrow Hollow – 3 (The Boneyard/Stockbridge, MI.)

Barn of Blood -3 (New Boston, MI.)

Scream Machine – 2.75 (Taylor, MI.)

Deadwood Forest – 2.75 (The Boneyard/Stockbridge, MI.)

Papp Park Trailer – 2.75 (Taylor, MI.)

The Funeral Home – 2.5 (Inkster, MI.)

Woods of Darkness – 2.25 (South Rockwood, MI.)

Lockdown – 2.25 (Wyandotte, MI.)

Papp Park Hayride – 2.25 (Taylor, MI.)

Big Top Terror – 1.5 (Terror Town/Maumee, OH.)

Anxiety Alley – 1 (Lincoln Park, MI.)

Haunt Season Set to Explode

Posted in Preludes and Nocturnes with tags , , , , on October 14, 2011 by bluefall8

Last night was yet another fun night of haunting as Jason, John, Cikalo and I hit Lockdown in Wyandotte and The Deadland in Warren, expect full reviews later this weekend. Tonight we embark on a trip to three — count’em three haunted attractions! First up is Krazy Hilda’s Barn of Doom in Saline followed by the enticing Chelsea Feargrounds, we’ll end the night with a visit to The Boneyard in Stockbridge! This should be a good one!