Hiya, folks! So, first let me apologize for my absence and my silence. Between PC issues, migraines, and a lovely head cold/respiratory bug, I've not been myself lately. Not trying to seek pity or make excuses, just reality has been ROUGH lately.
Anyway, I'm kinda back, the PC is kinda working, I can kinda breathe, and my brain hasn't exploded, so I'll call it a win. And I owe you some reviews!! First up is Baxter Avenue Morgue.
Okay, I visited this haunt several years ago (back with Aly) and we absolutely loved it. Suffice it to say that after two or three years, we were excited to revisit. The night we went it was rainy and wet and crappy outside, so naturally the line was short. We only waited about fifteen minutes, but I will say it seemed SO much longer because the ghoulies that normally come around and try to scare the people in line were mostly absent, and the ones present were apathetic. One dude did seem like he'd had a wee bit too much sugar and was mildly entertaining, but he disappeared and we only saw him again from a distance. Some of the ghoulies were standing around talking, which wasn't scary but at least it was something to look at.
We made it to the front of the line and I don't even know how the conversation started but we ended up saying each other's names loudly. Hey, we pay good money to be scared, and when they know your name, it's a little more personal and a little more intimidating! When it was our turn, they called me out first and made me go into this room just inside the door BY MYSELF. I repeat, I was utterly alone with these psychopaths. Let that sink in a moment...
Now, this was awesome. I thought they were doing some little "Hey, your friend went missing, go find her" kind of schpiel. Nope. They were coming at me with friggin needles, talking in the most deranged voices with these eerie accents and turning the lights out on me and overall making me wanna piss my panties. These guys were GOOD. I was ready for a chicken door, but I sucked it up and followed their direction into the haunt. Alone.
Oh. Em. Gee. Have you ever gone through a haunt completely alone?? It's intimidating and I was on the lookout for the chicken doors because I honestly didn't think I'd make it without at least one person holding my hand. I started through, and rounded the corner and then...
Nada. Not one single scare. There were approximately four actors throughout the rest of the haunt, the animatronics were delayed so I had to turn around to see them, the paths weren't marked too well and with no actors to point the way I almost went off the path a time or two. There was one scream and that was when there was a loud burst of air at my feet that I wasn't prepared for. That was IT. I literally went through the remainder of the haunted house waiting for something - ANYTHING - to try to scare me, but then I saw some people goofing off in what looked like a gift shop and I thought I'd finally gone off the path and ended up somewhere I wasn't supposed to be. Nope. Just the end of the line, end of the haunt, please exit through the gift shop (literally), don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya!
Wait. It's over? Like, when am I supposed to get scared? Is there some grand finale that's gonna make me cry like a baby?
Nope. Worst experience EVER. The only one of the three of us who got anything was Jennifer, who was the last of us to go through the haunt alone.
Now, here's a bit of a disclaimer. The night we went, apparently 75% of their haunting staff called in. Well, more than that, but I don't do math. The owner came and talked to us after such a devastating performance and explained that normally there are 40-ish actors inside and that night there were about 10. That's a really good way to make the haunt not scary, and out of the owner's control. What was NOT out of the owner's control was a forewarning of what to expect (since we paid good money for nothing) OR just shutting it down for the night. Yeah, he'd have lost some good money, and that would suck for him. But in my humble opinion, getting crappy reviews from review groups (like us) who paid to be scared and got irritated instead is a much worse blow than losing the money for that night. I appreciate his explanation and apology, but the apology came too late and the damage had been done.
I give Baxter Avenue Morgue 3/10 stars. The only salvation was the intro. Had that been lacking in any sort of way, this would probably be my first ever 0 star. It wasn't even mildly entertaining once we left the intro area. In all honesty, I thought about going easy on them because of how many actors called in, but the reality is: if I experienced it, so did someone else, and that makes it not okay.
I'm so disappointed, Baxter Avenue Morgue. You made a bad call and ruined our experience because of it. I thought you were above that. Tsk, tsk...