February 21, 2018, 06:10:51 AM
News: Do something scary... go to a Haunted House!
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Author Topic: Hacker House - Pilot Mountain, NC  (Read 681 times)
Posts: 54

« on: November 03, 2014, 11:38:43 AM »

Visited Friday, October 31, 2014   

Scare factor: 5/5 -  Hacker House is like the house that hands out king sized Snicker bars instead of dumdum suckers you get at the bank. Word is out to get to this place at least twice because next time you might get a king sized peanut butter cup. HH core strength is scaring and disorienting each individual without prejudice - if they don't get a reaction one way, they just go for broke to shake you up some kind of way - but the point is, they go for broke. I'm a hard2scare generally and actors have sulked away when I didn't scream immediately.  Not here. Between the truly haunted house feel, like wickedly eerie corridors and detailed rooms, excellent sound effects including deadly silence in the skinny, dark mazes, you get a very contorted sense of real haunted house hysteria. You will leave feeling thoroughly entertained, perhaps wigged out, and eagerly chirping with your companions over wtf just happened in Hacker House.

Actors: 5/5 -  Actors' costumes and makeup are fantastically original and creative.  Actors are able to own their scares because they are committed to freaking people out and they get the tools and latitude to make it work.  The only actor micromanagement here is the "what": be safe and have a great time scaring people. Period. The acting  "how" is completely actor driven. Actors use appearance, voice, outlandish personality, body movements, surprises, and leverage punchy spontaneity to rouse an array of customer reactions. They simply don't give up or give in.  Each customer is like a desirable birthday present to this bunch. Actors respect and encourage each other to be their best character and deliver the freak party thoroughly to customers. These  individuals come from all walks, all ages, and bring exceptional leadership that concretizes personal delight in making each other and the show one-of-kind. What strikes me to the bone is that the Owner is not burdened with operations during the show. The ops team manages ops. Professor Hacker is in the haunted trenches sometimes even getting cold, wet and muddy along with everybody else - just having a bang-up time honing in on unsuspecting guests and staying in character.

Set design/props/FX: 4.5/5 - More than 70% of this haunt was demolished by Old Man Winter in 2013. The unfortunate disaster was undoubtedly a HUGE financial hit but an absolute set remix hit. New interactive props, blinding fog, longer black mazes, twistier turns, enhanced detailed scenes, and animatronics just rocked my haunt world.  Clamzilla is still too easy to outsmart but it makes for great crowd engagement planning the run-for-it with people in the group. Enormous improvement in sound - really fits with sustaining a feeling as though it's a Real Haunted House. Totally creepy and thoroughly exhilarating.

Length: 5/5 - Hacker House seemed longer this year - 20 or 25 minutes. Maybe it was the route we got because actors direct which way/s groups proceed with alternative passages.  I went through twice in one night and each time it was different.   
Value: 5/5 -  $15 regular admission and $20 for VIP which means no line-wait. First, I'm pretty sure I'm stealing from these folks because I've spent more and gotten way less in terms of personal haunt tickles. Secondly, they actually lowered the price this year when I'm fairly certain money doesn't grow on trees and who knows how long it will take to recoup the costs of having to rebuild over half of this place from scratch.

Overall: 5/5 - Even though there are a few outdoor scenes, Hacker House feels like a scary, mysterious, absolutely sinister haunted house. It's the best haunted house in North Carolina because you wait in only one line to enter and then it's nonstop adventure from there. It's not an outdoor trail, although it does get wet and muddy when it rains because of a few uncovered sets. However, it was open on Halloween 2014 in the cold rain when several others were closed. Thank you for celebrating Halloween no matter what. Thank you for sticking to what matters - the customer haunt experience. Thank you for your blood, sweat, and jeers. An aside, it's not a hacker house like I originally interpreted...but it is a hacker house in that it invades you in most unexpected and indescribable ways leaving you wondering how'd they do that?

I tried to think of a logical solution that could explain what I had just seen a solution that excluded the assumption that I was insane.
Bella Swan, Twilight, Chapter 3, p.59
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