NCHaunts FrightSeekers

The Haunted => Member Reviews - 2014 => Topic started by: Badger on October 12, 2014, 05:31:26 PM

Title: Sweet Dreams Scarehouse - Anderson, SC
Post by: Badger on October 12, 2014, 05:31:26 PM
Attended 10/11/14

Scare factor: 2.75/5 - Sweet Dreams Scarehouse is a second year haunt but a first year haunt in this location.  It is literally less than 300 feet off I-85 on a frontage road (appropriately named Frontage Rd) and the traffic helps to keep this place noisy.  You can see the haunt from the interstate, but can't access it for a couple exits.  We arrived late in the evening and the crowds were starting to dwindle.  However, we could hear screams from patrons inside and from far out in the field that I somehow failed to notice at first.  Boy that field went a long way out...and was that the sound of a chainsaw?  The building is bathed in an eerie glow and is pretty cool looking.  The moon was rising over the trees as I looked out over the field and noticed a series of what looked like...tunnels.  More on that later.

Actors: 3.75/5 - I enjoyed several of the actors who worked multiple rooms.  They do a good job getting the scares and being loud and in your face.  The clown with the sofa was fun and unique and I'll bet he was used to control throughput when it was busy.  One actress really bent over backwards to up the creep factor and the ice cream clown was both funny and terrifying.  Remember the tunnels I mentioned?  If you are claustrophobic and don't like moving along tight spaces with a giggling actor mere feet behind you, you will be genuinely creeped out.  A few actors wander the path along the trail and they are both stealthy and loud, sometimes at the same time.

Set Design/Props/FX: 2.5/5 - Sweet Dreams Scarehouse is a multi-themed haunt and in some places it seems to be a bit haphazard. You can walk past a couple of people behind bars without really knowing why and no explaination.  It IS a new haunt with a smaller budget and in some places it shows.  They do a good job of utilizing dark passages and simple props in making their scares work.  The tunnels that are outside are extremely claustrophobic and their length can unnerve even the most stalwart haunter. Unfortunately, there are a couple of 'Spirit Halloween' type props, but they are few and far between and not used as main scares.

Length: 4/5 - About 30 minutes to go through all of it, depending on how long it takes you to get though the tunnels.  Probably 15-20 minutes for the building, 10 minutes for the trail. No complaints.

Value: 3.5/5 - It's $20 for adults, $10 for kids, with coupons and online discounts available. 

Overall: 3.3/5 - Free Parking, easy access from the interstate, (maybe 3-4 minutes), no major concessions, but a lot of fun packed into one neat package.  For a newer and smaller haunt, I'll give it a recommendation and encourage everyone to check them out.  They have a lot of potential and I look forward to seeing them grow over the next few years and being a much bigger and better haunt over time.

Title: Re: Sweet Dreams Scarehouse - Anderson, SC
Post by: 13moons on October 14, 2014, 11:51:54 PM
Visited Saturday, October 11, 2014  

Scare factor: 3/5 -  Sweet Dreams Scarehouse features a sizeable indoor haunt with a brisk outdoor trail at the end. It's a new location in a big ol metal fab warehouse in its second year of operation.  It is not the sexiest haunt but it produces satisfying levels of anxiety and some great startle scares. Weaving through the dimly-lit indoor mazes themselves was creepy entertainment. I'm always captivated by creative ways haunts deliver their own brand of scary and build on it. Sweet Dreams has solid layout with the potential for big haunt engagement.                                                                                                                    
Actors: 2.75/5 - I jumped several times during our tour from actors' well-timed use of set props.  Much of the scare factor was built-in to the maze itself where actors nailed startle scares interacting with the set itself in loud and unexpected ways. The costumes were not epochal but effective use of simple methods worked well... sneaking out of dark corners and banging on claustrophobic tunnel walls was unnerving. There were some great female screams that tore right through me. I look forward to seeing the originality of the set design shine through with richer actor character-defining, makeup, and costumes.
Set design/props/FX: 3/5 - Lots of grest haunt detail and labor has gone into creating the framework for the indoor maze. It is well-built and sturdy, poised for layering serious haunt effect.  There is good detail in many scenes that jangled my nerves: really long spiderweb strings in my face and unending creepy hallways. The set integrated props into its design which I thought was clever. The crouching mazes were claustrophobic and partially cardboard,  which reminded me of being a kid so I got a personal blast of haunt nostalgia in that section.  The outdoor loop in the field seemed like an afterthought, but therein lies great potential.

Length: 3.5/5 -  Sweet Dreams Scare House took about 30 minutes. Some indoor haunts are 10 minutes and score better simply because there's more action and concentrated haunt energy.  If the actors in the field moved into the big maze with their scare on, it might serve to improve the length score even though throughput time would be less.

Value: 3.5/5 - $20 adults and $10 for kids with coupons via the web site seems about right for the market. The product is unique as primarily an indoor haunt.  But, it's still a haul out there to Anderson, SC. I'd like to see these area haunts offer a 'scare fare' between them with some kind of combo ticket to attend them all for a flat rate over the season for a set, pre-paid amount. This could help to offset marketing costs and get more exposure given the wild growth in haunt offerings located in the Upstate.

Overall: 3.5/5 - Much attention to detail meant a good haunt time out on the town. However, nothing struck to   the bone as a real sense of the Sweet Dreams brand except for set design. Curious to track how this haunt will gel as they keep crafting their art. It's a fun haunt for haunt newbies and to include in your Upstate haunt plans.