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The Haunted => Fright Team Haunt Reviews - 2014 => Topic started by: NCHadmin on October 19, 2014, 12:52:15 PM

Title: Haunted Mill - 2014
Post by: NCHadmin on October 19, 2014, 12:52:15 PM
Haunted Mill
Submitted by: packbacker
Date visited: 10/4/2014

Scare Factor: 2/5
Large groups and small rooms don't mix.  Way too many people are sent through together such that more than half the scares are missed if you are at the back of the group. The actors try but if you know what's coming there is no mystery and you're going to not be afraid or entertained.  The chainsaw finale is always amusing but overall you just end up frustrated.

Actors: 3.5/5
The number of actors at the Haunted Mill is solid.  The majority of them are into their work but can't get a flow going because of the constant parade of patrons.  Pop scare actors can't re-set to get in a second scare and those with more verbal roles can't really gain traction because you're in / out of the room in a blink of an eye.  There is almost no pursuit or holding of a scare until the very end when the clowns do get a little "extra" work in.  The young woman who was hanging off the bookshelves and the clown swinging from the pipes should get some special mention.  It's not that the actors here aren't talented or don't care but rather that they are handcuffed by facing gigantic groups at a time. 

Sets/props/Fx: 4/5
The Haunted Mill features some incredibly detailed sets.  There's nothing cheap in its appearance and they can get you to suspend the belief that you're in an old factory right outside of Charlotte.  There is some good gore, high quality makeup, and the end result is an ominous vibe.  It's hard to get a good look, though, as you are literally whistled through from one side to the other.   

Length: 3/5
This is an entirely indoor attraction so the space they can utilize is fixed.  You double back through the space so they honestly can't make it longer.  It's a short tour, though, and you want more when you reach the end.

Value: 2/5
Tickets are normally priced at $15 with a $2 off coupon available on the website.  While the interior of the mill looks amazing and there are some intense actors, groups are way, way, way, way too large so scares are diluted and it's a short trip.  Cut the group size in half and the inherent value would double. 

Free parking.  The Haunted Mill has a separate blacklight mini-golf attraction we have never checked out but seemed very popular.

Overall: 2/5
Line management, line management, line management.  When we arrived there were less than 20 people total in line including our group.  Instead of smaller groups with a minimal wait we were sent through as a group of ten people.  The group at times spanned 3 entire rooms of the attraction.  Scares could not be delivered effectively as you fully saw what was ahead if you were at the back of the group.  The sets are solid, props are effective, and the actors are talented but ten people bunched together in a tight space is a recipe for a pretty sedate experience.  If you get lucky enough to go through in a small group you will probably have a completely different experience as it *could* be an intense haunt. 

Title: Re: Haunted Mill - 2014
Post by: NCHadmin on October 19, 2014, 12:53:49 PM
The Haunted Mill
Submitted by: Screaming_Diana
Date Attended: 10/04/2014
Scare Factor:  2.5/5
Itís really hard to judge how scary The Haunted Mill is because I think we caught them on an off night.  We walked through multiple sets/rooms that were void of actors and scares all together.  All scares produced in the previous set seem to dissipate when you walk into the next room and thereís no scare.  Our group number was 10 deep which is way too many people for these small rooms.  The back of the line likely missed a lot.  It looks fantastic and I will say not being terrified every step of the way did give me a chance to marvel at the detail and beauty of some of the sets.  With a fully staffed crew and smaller group numbers the scare factor would go way up here.
Actors:  3/5
The actors were good they just needed more.  I was near the front of our line and felt the effects of many well timed actor pop scares.  The actors were well placed in their sets with actors coming at you from below, above, and at eye level.  The Itsy Bitsy Spider girl hanging from the library wall is very memorable as well as the stalking clowns.  The creepy clowns are in your face, interactive, and hold you hostage at their will.  The actors seemed less intense or aggressive than in previous years but in a good way.  Last year the actors screamed and yelled a lot but this year the vocal actors had more control and structure in their acts.   They were much less violent this year but still gruesomely scary. 
Set Design/Props/FX:  4/5
They have every inch of this place covered with props and other creepy dťcor.  The rooms are very detailed and well-designed but when youíre rushed along and in huge groups itís hard to take it all in.  Although some sets were actor less and lacked scares they were still great to look at and marvel over.  Some of the creatures had interesting masks and make-up while others were much simpler.  At one point in the haunt you walk down this narrow passageway and youíll notice a marked temperature change.  It gets much colder through this area which is really eerie.  Iím not sure if this is on purpose or just coincidental but itís very effective either way.
Length:  3.5/5
This is not a long haunt but itís indoor so they have limited space.  It appears they use every bit of space they have available and even continue the scare outside as they chase you away from their property.  I think itís a decent length for the price.
Value:  3.5/5
The regular adult admission is $15 with $2 off coupons on their website.  I think this is a fair asking price for this haunt especially with the discount.  They also offer combo tickets for the haunt and 3D mini golf for $20 and cheaper pricing for kids 10 and under.
They are open until Midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.  Theyíre open some Sundays and even some weekdays throughout the month so you should be able to fit them into most any schedule.  For those interested in more than just a haunt they have 3D mini golf for an additional fee.  Parking is free and only a short distance from the haunt.  Itís indoor so they can still operate on rainy days however Iím not sure how line management would work as the line into the haunt is outdoors.
Overall:  2.5/5
The Haunted Mill is a well-designed indoor attraction with some great visuals.   It falls flat on scares due to large group sizes and sets vacant of actors.   Hopefully as the season progresses more actors will be added and the empty spaces will be filled with fearful excitement.   Overall I enjoyed the Haunted Mill but did leave feeling it wasnít complete and was hoping for a little more.

Title: Re: Haunted Mill - 2014
Post by: NCHadmin on October 20, 2014, 08:48:58 AM
Haunted Mill
Date attended: 10-4-2014
Submitted by: krb187

Scare Factor: 1.5/5
Iíll start this off by saying the main reason that this is so low is because of the group size, we were put through in a group of 10 despite literally being the only 10 people in line. We easily could have gone through in our group of 6 or even split 3 and 3 with the other 4 going in by themselves. That being said I wasnít scared once, not even startled and it never even came close. All of the scares were centered at the front and after the initial ďpopĒ there wasnít any follow up, except for the two actors at the end with the chainsaws who did a great job at harassing the group. I think the experience would have been a lot better in a smaller group but I canít rate this on what ifs.
Actors: 2.5/5
There were a handful of actors that really saved this score, first being the woman hanging from the bookshelf, the two guys with the chainsaws at the end, and the star of the show for me: the clown with the mohawk (bonus points for the Misfits shirt). That guy was hanging from the ceiling, literally slithering on the floor and just doing a good job of being everywhere at once. Plus he looked pretty believable and just stared like a lunatic, so bravo man. The rest of the actors did a good job for the most part but I think they just need to be a lot more in your face instead of just the front of the group pop stare and then standing around waiting for the next group. The actors out front/in the very beginning need to be a lot more organized and I felt for the most part they didnít really know what was going on and were just shoving as many people in as they could to keep everything moving. Oh and I canít forget the girl chained to the bed who did an awesome job at selling the fact that she was really about to die.
Set Design/Props/FX: 3/5
The sets at Haunted Mill do look very good, and they fit quite a bit of diversity into the limited space that they had. There were some really cool sets with my favorites being the Ring style well and playground area and a hallway that looked like it belonged in a dilapidated old motel somewhere. There was good attention to detail and they were pretty well organized with the sets. That is why itís even more disappointing how under-utilized the sets were. I felt there were plenty more opportunities for scares than what there was.  The other thing that confused me was the video that was played at the very beginning; it was literally just a clip from the SAW movies. We were told that we had to listen to the rules, but there werenít any rules stated. There wasnít even a SAW set as a matter a fact. It just seemed very random and kind of out of place with no real bearing on the grand scheme of things.
Length: 2.5/5
Admittedly the Mill does only contain so much space to work with, and as far as I know they donít have any room to expand. That being said it was over very quickly, around 15 minutes I think. With the limited space and the large group size the entire walkthrough felt cramped and a little rushed. This again is where a smaller group size and better pacing would have made all the difference.
Value: 5/5
The Haunted Mill is $15 and they offer a combo ticket for $19 if you want to play the 3-D mini golf as well. I think that $15 is the perfect price for the haunt and I respect that they havenít raised their ticket price in all the years that I have known about them.
Parking is free, close to the haunt, and pretty well organized. Itís easy to find and sits right on the main strip of Wilkinson Blvd in Belmont.
Overall: 2.5/5
Unfortunately I have to be honest in saying that this year the Haunted Mill left me pretty disappointed as I have really enjoyed it in the past and canít really say that about this year. I do think that a lot of the problems could be fixed with better group management i.e. smaller groups, and better pacing. That being said I wasnít really left with the feeling of wanting to come back. Itís definitely not the worst haunt experience Iíve ever had but it was far from the best. I hope they can get these issues worked out and get back to being as great as they used to be.

Title: Re: Haunted Mill - 2014
Post by: NCHadmin on October 20, 2014, 08:49:49 AM
Haunted Mill
Date attended: 10/4/2014
Submitted by: weresheep
Scare Factor: 2/5
The exterior of the mill has a very eerie vibe to it however the actual haunt doesnít live up to its setting. There were several jump scares, most including loud noises or blasts of air but the effects only lasted a second.  It would have been greatly improved if we didnít go in as a group of 10, we went with our group and they added four more people even though there wasnít a line.
Actors: 2/5
The clowns were fun as always and the guy with the table saw was cool and fit the part well.  Although the actors were committed and there were plenty of them, there were a few that just didnít add much and werenít scary. There were a couple kids that looked a bit too young and werenít in good costumes. Also I wasnít quite sure what the deal was with the front porch dominatrix. I did however love the person crouching up in the corner on a bookshelf, that startled me a bit.  There were plenty of actors however only a few were memorable.
Set Design/Props/FX: 3/5
Several of the sets I actually enjoyed. It was impressive how much they got so much into such a small space. I loved the setting with the well and swing set (very reminiscent of ďThe RingĒ), however there were no scares in it! I kept expecting someone to come out of the well or something, but no. There were lots of loud noises, almost the entire time and it was deafening. There were a few blank spots but they werenít expansive. They packed a ton of different stuff into a fairly small building so the changes were non-stop.
Length: 2/5
Understandably, an indoor trail can only be so long. There were several different sets packed in, however they went by pretty quick. Donít run through this one or youíll miss it. This is definitely a short haunt.
Value: 4/5
It was only $15 for admission which is great. Also the parking was free and very close. Also itís a plus if you live in the Charlotte area since itís located in Belmont and only a short drive from the city.

Overall: 2/5
The mill itself was cool and I did like some of the sets. However the haunt itself was short and just was not scary.  There was plenty of different things packed in but some poorly utilized moments. I wish they would have put us in a smaller group and I think that would have made it much better.