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Author Topic: Hauntworld vs. Americasbesthaunts (industry reviews)  (Read 2004 times)
hauntedgenre
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« on: October 11, 2011, 02:03:22 PM »

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« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 08:15:14 PM by hauntedgenre » Logged

If you don't pay attention and if your imagination isn't pretty much engaged, you're going to miss things and you're going to miss opportunities for it to be as compelling and as creepy as it can be. -Bruce Greenwood
packbacker
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 02:13:34 PM »

First of all, I don't have answers to your questions.  I find any "official" reviews that don't have criteria or rationale listed to be a bit dubious.  Best suggestion would be to email them directly to ask their criteria...my guess is that there are no real guidelines. 

People's preferences and fear "buttons" are always different.  You'll find that there are haunts on here that the majority will rave about that others will have serious misgivings about.  Personally I tend to skew towards the smaller haunts.  They may not have the visual craziness of special props but I find that the feel there is more fun/terrifying.

To each their own Smiley
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Slappy
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 02:43:13 PM »

You want an honest answer, read below.  If you want to stay in the dark and believe that the only good haunts are big haunts, skip this thread ENTIRELY!!!!











Here at NCHaunts, we select several actual haunt attendees each and every year to give honest, unbiased and un-manipulated reviews on all haunts we feature, and then some.  These reviewers are not paid, are not coached, and are not compensated in any way other than the free tickets they get to the haunts (which is the only way ANY of them would be able to afford to make it to at least 13 haunts every year).  I have done this myself in the past, and have had an incredible time.  However, I was also let down buy some of the bigger haunts, and not just the ones local to us.  I've been to other big haunts in the country, and haven't been all that impressed.  Don't get me wrong, they usually look incredible, but by employing so many people, it's very hard to train them all how to be scary.  Actually, you can't train someone to be scary, it's not possible.  If you don't have that certain flare for it, then you'll never get it.  It's not something that can simply be taught.

Now, you look at all of these "reviews" and "ratings" at major PAID magazines and websites.  Ever wonder how these websites and magazines stay afloat?  Still haven't figured it out?  It's because these haunts PAY to get on these lists.  Yep, that's right, I finally came out and said it.  I've been holding this in for years, ever since I truly found out how the haunt industry works.  If you have the money, you become a big haunt, buy fame, and become even bigger.  All the while the smaller guys are struggling to stay in business, but have actors that are far more dedicated and talented.  So remember this the next time you go to any haunt.  The small place where the actors are working their butts off to get a scare out of you, as opposed to the big spectacles where the actors look like kids and just stand there and stare at you.

Oh, and when I say they pay to get put on these lists...  I'm talking more than some people make in a year.  Try $20,000 plus...   Angry

And yes, I KNOW I'm going to really piss some people off with this!   Grin
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 02:46:22 PM by Slappy » Logged
~honey~
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 02:47:27 PM »

I have much more to say, but I'm going to keep it short for right now since I don't have much time to post.  :-)  But I am of the understanding that certain review places CHARGE to be put on their lists, the same as certain shows on TV that list the best of the best.  I have heard of ungodly amounts of money going back and forth between these big haunts and the big review sites/magazines/tv shows, etc.  Now, I cannot say any of this for sure, but I'm pretty damn positive...  Your experience isn't the first and it unfortunately won't be the last.

More to come later.


And by the way, I've heard of haunts paying up into the quarter of a million dollar range for some of the tv shows and all.......... Yes, up to and over $250,000................ Now do you want to imagine what some of these haunts pay to obtain the scenes and facilities they have???  Take a guess.  And they STILL make a profit, and pay everyone who works there.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 02:51:00 PM by ~honey~ » Logged

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Slappy
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 02:54:28 PM »

Oh, and PS...you might want to see if you can find who owns some of these publications and/or websites, and then see if you can find out who haunts some of the haunts they have listed.  You'll be very surprised.
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jhc36
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2011, 03:02:36 PM »

This doesn't surprise me at all...in fact  I kinda figured that was what was going on.  I appreciate the info Slappy, at least you're straightforward with this.
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packbacker
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2011, 03:39:03 PM »

Very interesting yet not that unexpected info, Slappy. 

On a related note, I found this website because of a similar experience at a haunt that I shall not name.  I heard the hype, drove a car of four of us out there, and just had a miserable time.  I spent the whole drive home apologizing for dragging my friends out there.  I came on here to share my experience and found reviews of "customers" like me and now turn here first for information / first impressions.
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Badger
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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2011, 03:57:36 PM »

Slappy and ~honey~ are both right to a degree. Many of the larger haunts do pay a lot of money for the honor of being listed in magazines and being on TV.  

The owner of Hauntworld owns 3 large haunts in the St Louis area, and while his haunts are never ranked number one, there is usually one or two in the top 20.  It's not a coincidence.  Many of these owners do pay for the privilege of being listed as they believe that it will bring in larger numbers, especially if they're lucky to get on TV.   Ironically, he has also mentioned on another forum that all his haunts are all doing terrible numbers this year.  I have a couple of professional theories as to why, but I will not mention them.  One unrelated theory I have (and it is strictly my opinion) is that due to the tornadoes in St Louis and Joplin, their populations have already experienced REAL horror this year.   I will not bash any haunt unless it is truly deserving and I have experienced it firsthand.  If I go to a haunt, I expect to be entertained and for the most part, I am.  I have really only truly been disgusted with a haunt and it wasn't due to props, animatronics, nor lack of good actors.  It was one actor in a totally inappropriate place that completely ruined the haunt for me.

I will disagree in that you cant be trained to be scary.  I have seen many actors start slow and then hit that moment where it all comes together.  I have also seen actors that I thought would be great turn out to be real busts.  It's like riding a bicycle; anyone can be trained to ride one, but there are those with whom it comes naturally and can do all those cool tricks, and yet there are some who never really get past riding in a line.  I will absolutely agree that its how much passion you put into this industry that differentiates between a world-class actor, and one who is merely going through the motions...
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 03:59:23 PM by Badger » Logged

Cousin Levi Slaughter
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2011, 08:08:05 PM »

[quote author=Slappy link=topic=888.msg9728#msg9728 date=1318362193

  It's because these haunts PAY to get on these lists.  Yep, that's right, I finally came out and said it.  I've been holding this in for years, ever since I truly found out how the haunt industry works.  If you have the money, you become a big haunt, buy fame, and become even bigger.  All the while the smaller guys are struggling to stay in business, but have actors that are far more dedicated and talented.  

[/quote]


Amen!!!!    Say it again!!!   Amen!!
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I have a $89.00 chainsaw.... and I know how to use it....
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