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Author Topic: Hacker House - 2016  (Read 2265 times)
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« on: October 15, 2016, 09:45:48 AM »

Hacker House
Date visited: 10/14/2016
Submitted by: packbacker

Scare Factor: 5/5
It's the rare person who won't be scared at Hacker House.  If you're not scared, however, you will definitely be thoroughly entertained.  Hacker House isn't your run of the mill haunted house/trail.  There are very few simple scares.  Actors are going to target your group multiple times and they're not just going to yell "Boo!" or scream and then retreat to the darkness.  No, these actors are going to corner you, sniff you, propose marriage, pop out from above and below, and manage to find the button to push to make you run and scream or giggle.  Several excellent prop scares exist with Clam-zilla (you'll know it when you see it) being my personal favorite.  There's no slow spot or respite.....from the moment you enter the front door it's a madcap race to the end.....where you can often see grown men running away in fear. 

Actors: 5/5
As cool as Hacker House looks, the actors are the stars here.  There are no simple pop scares followed by awkward silence, no children yelling "Boo!", and no timing snafus.  The majority of the Hacker House crew are incredibly interactive with guests.  They move way past the simple scream and startle and can deliver eerie one liners or have full back and forth improv conversations with guests while remaining 100% in character.  Beyond the conversation skills, these folks are amazingly in tune with their sets. They won't just scare you once.  No these actors know every nook and cranny and often manage to re-appear three to four times in their area to elicit maximum screams.  Then there's the ability to make you question their sanity....I had a bunny rabbit roll out at my feet from *underneath* an animatronics prop, an actor lick my forehead in the maze, and a marriage proposal.  I cannot say enough good things about the staff here.  While a lot of haunts may have one or two stand-out actors at Hacker House they are all amazingly talented.  These aren't your newbie volunteers; these are seasoned veterans who can make anyone scream or laugh the entire way through the trail. 

Props/Sets/Fx: 5/5
While I say the actors are the star of the show at Hacker House, the sets here are nothing to ignore.  The queue line itself is a creepy, curvy trail around a signature statue and underneath roots.  A subtle facade with an overlooked projector effect lulls you into a fake sense of calm.  Once you enter you encounter a descent into madness from creepy entry hallways, to an over-stuffed doll room, followed by a literally insane medical set.  All the rooms are chock full of appropriate props that will make you point and stare.  As you progress out of the house the visuals only get more impressive with a crypt scene that I haven't seen topped in the state.  Beyond that you still have a full factory set, voodoo area, and more.  Some amazing props are found in the later part of the trail including Cuddles the Bunny, a giant pig, and a man-eating clam.  Costumes and make-up here are excellent as always.  If you can keep your eyes open you'll notice all the little touches the actors add to their makeup....these aren't simply K-Mart masks.  The baby mask seemed new this year and was goose bump inducing freaky.  Also a special mention needs to go out to the laser swamp set complete with swamp monster actor....it's just a beautiful set-up.

Length: 5/5
Your time here may vary.  Without grabbing the personal attention of an actor plan on about 25 minutes to finish the haunt.  Should, however, you scream or show fear any number of actors may decide to "play" with you for awhile and you could find yourself trapped in the bowels of Hacker House for much, much longer....

Value: 5/5
Tickets range from $15-20 depending on early vs late October.  Regardless of which price you pay your experience will be worth it.  For that price you'll be accosted by a giant baby, travel through a laser swamp, meet a couple of bunny rabbits, have to escape a man eating clam, maybe have your forehead licked, as well as experience your "normal" haunt highlights.  Yes, it's more than worth it.

Other:
Free parking!  Hacker House doesn't have concessions or merchandise on site.  They do however have an amazing fog belching statue in the queue area as well as a free photo op at the end. 

Overall: 5/5
Hacker House is like nothing you've ever experienced before when visiting a haunted attraction.  It may just be the definition of insanity.  We visit thirty plus trails a year and I never encounter the actor interaction that we find at Hacker House.  The folks here give off the vibe that they just aren't right in the head and do/say things that will blow you away.  Too often attractions look great but have twelve actors repeatedly screaming at you or using throwaway lines like "You wanna play a game?".   Not here....  Descriptions just don't do it justice.  You *need* to meet these actors to fully grasp the difference between the staff here and most other haunts.  While I focus largely on the actors there's an amazing physical environment not to be missed which elicits oohs, ahhhs, and screams as you meander through well decorated sets fearing what's around the next turn.  I've yet to bring a new person to Hacker House who leaves and doesn't remark at the different experience they just had.  Most are smiling, some are frowning and trying to comprehend what just happened, but all of them (once they have recovered) admit that they had a helluva good time.  I cannot recommend this place enough!
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2016, 01:25:33 PM »

Hacker House
Date Attended:  10/14/2016
Submitted by: Screaming_Diana
 
Scare Factor:  5/5
Scary is an understatement. Hearing the name Hacker House makes me shiver.  Riding down the driveway makes me uneasy.  Arriving at the haunt makes me worried.  Standing in line makes my knees tremble.  Now I'm next in line to enter and I feel sick, uncertain, and weak.  I walk through the entrance and I black out.  The rest of my night was mostly a blur as I was too afraid to open my eyes or even lift my head for most of the haunt.  It is the most terrifying place I have ever been and each year I say I will do better, I can do this, this isn't real, nothing is going to happen and each year I am proven so wrong.     
 
Actors:  5/5
These guys are insane.  I wholeheartedly believe they live to scare people and they are extremely successful with it. I was hugged by a bunny rabbit and some guy threatened to lick my forehead.  I never saw either of them.  I did see an actor briefly here or there when I gathered up the nerve to open my eyes and look up, but mostly I was cocooned behind my friend with my eyes closed tightly.  The ones I saw looked scary, covered in blood and dirt, with scars on their faces.  I could describe their feet in amazing detail though as that was mostly what I saw.  I could tell when they were near because I could see their feet as they approached, or hear their creepy little giggles, or even feel their breath on my face.  I knew they were there ready to grab me so I held on tight to my friend, kept my head down, and watched for their feet to walk away.  I guarantee you will not find a more intense group of actors anywhere.  There were actors everywhere.  Were there a hundred of them or did the same ones return again and again.  I don't know but I do know I didn't spend more than 3 seconds without someone or something trying to get me.  Not all actors walked up some flew down form the sky and landed inches from me.  Some actors started at ground level and came slithering up toward my feet but I would only see them for a moment before once again cocooning back behind my friend. 
 
Set Design/Props/FX:  5/5
A lot of what I remember are quick flashes of light.  I remember hasty moments where I looked up. There were streaks of electricity, an old piano, and some very creepy old photographs down a long narrow hallway.  Then I entered a room that appeared to be covered in stuffed toys but when I turned the corner something came flying out of the wall and I blacked out.  The rest was mostly a blur.  At one point I lost my grip on my friends shirt so I had to look up to find him and I was in an eerie green swampy place with branches and twigs all around.  It looked amazing for the 2 seconds I saw it but suddenly I saw a dark shadow and a creepy claw of a hand reach for me and I was down and cocooned behind my friend once more.  Each time a group member would say "look at that it looks awesome" I'd try to look up but as soon as I did something would be coming straight for me and I'd have to cocoon back into safety.  There's a bridge that lead me over some water and then before I even realized what was going on I was being attacked my a gigantic clam.  Speaking of gigantic there was this humongous creature that came to life and hovered over the group and looked like it was about to devour us all.  I believed someone called it Cuddles. There's a medical set where some really eerie music was playing.  I vaguely remember some IV bags and a hospital bed but the doctor and nurse lurking around in there had me so scared and confused I don't even remember how I got there or how I got out.  I thought I was being ran over by a truck and crushed by barrels at one point but before I could even recover from those near death experiences I was encircled by actors once more and back into my safety cocoon behind my friend I went.
 
Length:  5/5
I felt like I was there for an eternity.  I have no idea how long the haunt actually is but I thought they were going to keep me there forever.  I couldn't have survived much longer.
 
Value:  5/5
General admission is $20 with $5 off on some nights.  Check out their website for more details http://www.hackerhouse.com.  If you like being scared or like seeing your friends pee themselves from fear it's well worth the money.
 
Other:
Parking is free.  They have a cool photo opportunity at the end of the haunt and you can stand back and watch all the scaredy cats come running out screaming as they race to their cars for safety.
 
Overall Impression:  5/5
When I left I was shocked, frightened, and wet.  Was is sweat? urine? tears? who knows but all I do know is I was petrified.  At times I felt all alone.  Was that because I got so scared I wandered away from my group, was I lead away by some Hacker House monster, or was I so afraid I blacked out and imagined I was alone?  I guess I'll never know.  I do remember going to Hacker House but I do not remember ever leaving.  I was so shocked and scared by the end I could barely remember which car to get in. The haunt is settled deep in a little valley where the fog settles and helps give the low lighting an eerie glow.  The outside looks scary but that's no comparison to what awaits you on the inside.  Hacker House, Oh how I tremble at the thought, is the place to be if you want to test your fears.  This is where your nightmares become a reality.
 
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2016, 10:32:59 AM »

Hacker House
Date Visited: 10/14/16
Submitted By: jonesm

Scare Factor: 5/5
The trick to Hacker House is in how relentless it is.  They get on you in each new scene and work you until you leave it, usually in a hurry!  Nowhere takes as much pride in its scares, and they'll do whatever it takes to find what gets to you.  It's a super fun trail, and you almost feel like high fiving the monsters sometimes for how into it they are, but the odds are super good that you're gonna jump a couple times in this one!

Actors: 5+/5
Best actors around, bar none!  These guys know their characters, can stay in their characters no matter what you throw at them, and roll with you as long as you want if you're one that engages the monsters (which I most certainly am!).  Usually you're lucky if there's one or two monsters clever enough to banter without a rote backstory to fall back on, and it feels like half of the trail here is dying to! Oxanna and that filthy, filthy bunny and good ol' Skippy and all the guys out front in the line are so good!  I know this our home base and all, but I promise you nobody has monsters than Hacker House.  Other haunts train up to get to their level!

Props/Sets/FX: 5/5
I hadn't been back to this trail since they made some major changes to the house.  I love it!  The swamp was my favorite, a great effect expertly deployed.  Great animatronics too, I think I was positioned perfectly for every one of those and they worked gangbusters on me this year!  And it's always good to visit Clamzilla when you get the chance!   I don't want to give away any secrets, but the sets here are really top notch, and seriously I could've stayed in that laser swamp for hours just looking at branches in the light from different angles!

Length: 5/5
I'd call this a choose-your-own-adventure length trail.  Because the monsters are so good at vamping with patrons, you could skip through it quick or take a ton of time if you, uh, get hung up somewhere along the way.  You get what you want out of it, but I'd say it's a good solid trail that feels longer than the distance traveled.

Value: 5/5
The experience at Hacker House is absolutely worth the $20 or less it costs.  Good times!

Overall: 5/5
A lot of haunts go through ebbs and flows of quality and one season's best-of-the-year becomes blah the next all the time, but I've never had a blah experience at Hacker House in all the years I've gone.  And that's because they just love doing it, which is something you can feel in every nook and cranny of the trail. It's one of the very best in the state, and an absolute must if you're deciding to do just a select few for the season.
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2016, 10:35:01 AM »

Hacker House
Date attended: 10-14-2016
Submitted by: krb187
 
Scare Factor:  5/5
Year after year Hacker House sets the bar for the scariest, most intense haunt in the entire state. They may not be the biggest, longest, or have the most money but they are absolute experts at extracting fear. I canít even count the amount of screaming I heard, running I saw, and looks of pure terror that were on peopleís faces. The actors here are out for blood and make sure that theyíve gotten every possible reaction of fear that they can get from you. Multiple times I find myself separated and quickly surrounded by multiple monsters on every side. There are some excellent prop scares here (looking at you Clamzilla), and they provide the perfect distractions for the actor driven scares. Also a side note is so far Hacker House is the only haunt this year to really get me, and without giving it away it was a perfect moment of timing, sensory deprivation, and an ingenious mask that definitely caught me off guard.
 
Actors:  5/5
It feels almost redundant at this point to say, but there arenít really any actors at Hacker House so much as there are characters. These guys know exactly who and what they are and are seasoned fear professionals. There are no kids, simple pop scares, or recycled Ďget out of my houseí lines here. Youíre in their world and everything feels so natural and organic that itís not hard to believe that this is just how these people are. On top of the expert scare tactics, they are one of the funniest crews around. For people who donít scare easily you will be spending a lot of your time laughing at some hilarious quips and one-liners. The level of interaction here is simply unmatched and will last long after the initial Ďpopí. These guys only let up when theyíre bored of you. In my opinion the crew at Hacker House is the all-star team of the NC haunt scene.
 
Set Design/Props/FX:  5/5
As many times as Iíve visited Hacker House by now it still never ceases to amaze me the level of detail that goes into the environment. Every time I go through I see things that Iíve never seen before and am astonished at all the little brilliant accents that are there. The devil is certainly in the details here, and you can tell that years of work have gone into what you see today. Hacker House is delightfully grimy and reminiscent of old horror films. The wooded setting is absolutely perfect and the low ground allows for all of the fog to sort of hover around instantly getting the hair on your neck standing on end. The stand out sets for me are always the doctorís room in the house, the graveyard, and the swamp , but all of Hacker House is a macabre piece of art to be marveled at.

Length:  5/5
Hacker House in itself takes around 25 minutes to complete, but donít expect to escape that quickly. They will keep you for as long as they like and you will find yourself running in circles many, many times.

Value:  5/5
Tickets run $15-$20 depending on when you attend in Oct and honestly either one of those prices are more than worth it. No matter what you pay you will be getting every cent worth for your experience.

Other:
Free parking! They donít offer concessions or merchandise but they do have a cool photo op at the end of the trail.

Overall:  5/5
Hacker House is a different kind of animal, trust me when I say there is no other haunt like it in the state, or that I have ever been to for that matter. Itís the most organically twisted haunt that Iíve seen, and really itís less of a haunt and more of an experience. Youíre going to be thrown into a world of madmen and there will be running, screaming, laughing, and all sorts of other emotions. I canít recommend Hacker House enough and is without a doubt a must see NC haunted attraction. So whatever you do make sure that you make it out to Hacker House before the season is up. This is where fear lives.
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2016, 04:50:53 PM »

Hacker House
Date Attended: 10-15-2016
Submitted by: Bethyboo

Scare Factor: 5/5
I thought that Hacker House was extra scary this year.  I donít want to give anything away, but my group consisted of two people and they didnít add anyone to our group with was very traumatizing for me.  The actors are ďin your faceĒ and loud and there are a lot of them (or so it seemed) and they kept calling my name thanks to one of the queue actors alerting the house.

Actors: 5/5
Letís just say they are really into their job of scaring you to death.  They were loud, and followed us throughout the haunt.  I was wishing some would go away because they were breathing on me and talking to me (which was VERY SCARY).  They did a great job!!!

Set Design: 5/5
The Hacker House is detailed.  I really liked the way they changed it up for 2016.  The sets are dimly lit and make it difficult for you to see the next scare that is coming up. There are lots of hiding places for the monsters of the house and you get a really ďup close and personalĒ experience with the actors.  I personally like this because you are forced to be in close proximity with the action.  Nowhere to run!

Length: 5/5
Hacker House is so much fun and I like that they take their time with each group and everyone is really paced out well. I think we got through in about 30-45 minutes. It could be partly because I was moving at a brisk pace in parts of the house.

Overall: 5/5:
I really enjoyed the Hacker House this year.  It is definitely in the top group of scary haunts this season.  Hacker House has great set designs and effects staying true to its ďold schoolĒ style of attraction cleverly knowing what is really scary.  Parking is free and the driveway into the attraction feels like you are driving into some forbidden horror movie and you are the star. I recommend this attraction and will continue to go each Halloween season.
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