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Author Topic: The Haunted Mill *Official* Reviews 2013  (Read 1460 times)
« on: October 07, 2013, 07:11:19 AM »

Visited: 10/4/13
Submitted by: jonesm

Scare Factor: 2.5/5
This trail has heart to spare, and you can really tell how much they care about delivering a good experience.  Last year I thought they really came up in virtually every facet of their trail.  This year I felt like the sets and overall design continued that rise, but the scares actually took a step back.  While there were some great one-liners thrown out, there was entirely too much undecipherable yelling for my taste.  Still, there were several well thought out scares, and every room and hallway is super tight, making you feel generally uneasy throughout.  It's not that the scares are bad, but they need more directed ones, preferably from fewer kids in t-shirts with a mask.

Actors: 3.5/5
This is a hard one to grade because the standouts really stood out and the ones that didn't really were pretty forgettable.  As I said, there were too many kids who just yelled angrily at the top of their lungs the whole time.  What they needed were more Cousin Mabels or Zeke (was it Zeke?  They guy out front who gives you the rules), they were spectacular!  I also really loved the Ring girl coming out of the well (she bent in really painful looking ways), the hot girl in the shower, and the mad scientist choking his victim to shut her up.  There was also kind of little hunchback guy who sounded like Gru in Despicable Me, I liked that kid!  As I say, the heart and enthusiasm are there, they just need a bit more direction to set the hook on the scares, cause the sets are doing their part!  Speaking of which...

Sets/Props/FX: 4/5
The Haunted Mill continues to impress with how much they can cram out of what's really a very small space, and how much of it they redesign every year.  For an entirely indoor space that's really only a few big rooms, the Mill never feels compromised and they never resort to the easy way out of garbage bag divider walls or anything.  Rather, the sets feel fully realized and varied.  The sets, along with some of their really stellar actors, have become the star feature of this haunt.

Length: 3/5
This trail is not long, but that fact is mattering less and less every year.  At this point I think it's worth noting the length only because I wouldn't want anyone to be surprised by it, but I can't imagine there being any sort of disappointment simply because of it.

Value: 3/5
The Haunted Mill is very reasonably priced, and has the added value of being one of the few haunts that isn't in the middle of nowhere.  I'd also add value due to how different they make it every year.

Overall: 3.5/5
I was the odd man out in my group in that I was a little disappointed in the scare factor this year.  Everyone else thought it took another step forward this year in its development.  (Full disclosure: I was accidentally clocked in the face with a severed foot at one point along the trail, so I guess that could've taken me out of the mood a bit)  I just wanted the acting to match the intricacy of the sets, and the performances of their best monsters, and that means more thinking and less yelling.  But the makers seem hellbent on turning this into a premier haunt, and I want nothing but to help them along their way.  And I think they'll get there, too!  So for this season I think it falls short of being a must-see, but it's not far off and hardcore fans who will be taking in more than just one or two trails this season should definitely find time to fit this into the schedule!.  Keep pounding guys!
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2013, 07:12:50 AM »

Submitted by: Screaming_Diana
Date Attended: 10/04/2013
Scare Factor:   4/5
The Haunted Mill is a very intense haunt.  I was nervous going from room to room not knowing what violent act I would encounter next.   Itís loud!  I heard yelling and screaming all throughout the haunt.  Iím not sure if the screams were coming from actors or visitors but it was loud and unnerving.  They sent us through in a group of only four.  Smaller groups like this always make for a more terrifying experience.
Actors:  3.5/5
The actors do a very good job playing their part.  They do more interacting with each other rather than with the customer.  While this is entertaining and scary to watch it isnít as frightening as the actors actually coming after me.  Donít get me wrong there were times when I was singled out by an actor and left the room screaming.  They have set scenes and they act their part.  They are brutal with each other.  There were actors chained up, tied to beds, in cages, being choked, beaten, and just plain tortured.  Many of the scenes were very violent.  I was almost afraid to look at them.  Fearing if I made eye contact I would be their next victim.  The guy guarding the entrance is one creepy looking dude.  He carried a huge knife, wore dingy overalls, and had the most frightening eyes.  I found it best not to look at him.  Iíll admit I was a little freaked out by him.  The clown, with his creepy wiggly little fingers, seemed to know exactly who to target.  He greeted me as we entered the Mill and was so kindly waiting for me as I exited.  He acted like a friendly clown.  Waving and smiling as he approached.  This was just creepy.  Clowns are not friendly!  They are freakishly scary and I hate them. 
Set design/props/FX:  4/5
Each set was well done.  There was always something going on. Everywhere I turned there was a gory set, a creepy actor, or even a cool animatronic popping out.  Itís a busy place.  I never knew a wood chipper could be so scary.  The Ring scene and the shower scene are two that really got my attention.  Scares seem to come from all different directions.  They do a good job of getting you to focus on one thing and then suddenly 2-3 more scares come at you.  At one point the walls started to close in, a high powered mist shot through the wall, but there was no way out because a creature was blocking the door.  It will make you panic for a moment.  They have some interesting animatronics and a gruesome medical scene.  There was always something happening to keep you on your toes.   
Length:   3.5/5
I wish this haunt could be longer.  Itís indoor so I know space is limited.  I didnít notice any bare spots or places where they could expand but I couldnít help feeling I wanted a little more.
Value:   4/5
You can go through the Haunted Mill for $15 or you can get a combo ticket for the haunt and 3D mini golf for $20 per adult.  I think itís decently priced plus you can get discount coupons on their website.
Other:  At midnight they offer a special show, for an additional price, for adults only.  It includes the haunt, Live DJ, and a Wicked Dance Party!  They have indoor plumbing!  No port-a-potties!!!!  Yay!
Overall Impression:    4/5
Overall I had a great time.  I screamed, hid my face, and covered my ears a lot but I had fun.  I even laughed a few times.  It was fun standing at the exit watching people frantically run to their cars with a chainsaw close at their heels.  However it was not funny when I was the one being chased.  The chainsaw guy shows no mercy for anyone.  If you run so will he!
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2013, 07:14:02 AM »

Visit Date: 10/4/13
Submitted by: packbacker

Scare Factor - 4/5
The Haunted Mill is making a concerted effort to up their game; the scares are increasing in number and quality over the past two years.  First and foremost, groups going through the attraction were smaller this year.  During our visit groups went through four at a time.  This alone increases the scare factor in the small rooms of the mill.  Outside of group size, though, the scares were more intense than years past.  Moving walls, more harassing from the actors, and some terrific gore sets all deliver.  It's a ton of fun to stand in the parking lot afterwards watching patrons literally run out of the mill being chased by a chainsaw wielding lunatic who doesn't stop at the back door.  The best advertising a haunt can do is by having patrons run screaming into the parking lot while new guests are walking up.  The mill always delivers on that note.

Actors - 4/5
Several actors have decent speaking roles and can "give and take" with patrons.  There was a lot verbal threatening (ie "You're all gonna die!") and probably more screaming than was needed but you could appreciate that these folks were enjoying what they are doing.  The numbers seem to be just right- very few dead spots but you are never overwhelmed by too many people at once.  The young woman in The Ring set does a fantastic job of creepily contorting her body and scampering around the room.  Others of special note include Cousin Zeke your door manager and the final chainsaw operator.  I watched him chase a group into the parking lot and pirouette in mid-air while brandishing his weapon.  That
young man was having fun and doing a fantastic job of not giving up on the scare.

Set Design/Props/FX - 4/5
It seems like a lot of the rooms have been re-worked.  There seemed to be a higher gore factor this year with one woodchipper scene that literally had me clapping in awe of its bloody goodness.  There are a few animatronic props, a moving wall that may spray people (I was dry but my trail-mates said they got wet), and a lot of random bloody body parts.  Fun times. 

Length - 4/5
The Haunted Mill is an entirely indoor event and therefore is limited on how much they can fit into an attraction.  Groups double back through the haunt to maximize the trail.  The entire "trail" doesn't take a long time to finish but they've done a good job at continuous scares that you don't need the attraction to be much longer.

Value 4/5
Tickets are normally $15 with a $2 coupon available on the website.  The time in the haunt feels a bit short but the Haunted Mill delivers more than enough scares to justify a $15 price tag.

Other   -
Free parking!  The Haunted Mill website mentions a "mature show" for 18+ which is intriguing but we did not inquire about.  Blacklight putt putt is also available on site. 

Overall Impression- 4/5
Our trip to the Haunted Mill this year was, for me, the best time I've ever had at this attraction.  Small groups, tight scares, an increased bloodiness to sets, and a feeling that all those there really care about delivering the scare. An indoor only haunt lacks the natural spookiness that a wooded trail offers but the Haunted Mill delivers solid scares within the confines of a building a stone's throw from Charlotte.
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2013, 11:18:47 AM »

Haunted Mill
Submitted By: regncguy

Scare Factor: 4/5 They got me several times in this haunt. It's set in a old mill and the atmosphere is really nice. They sent us in small groups which was great for the fact the actors really worked our group over. It was intense and there was no time to catch your breath because there seemed to be no dead space to me.

Actors: 4/5 Most of the actors are really into getting you and have no fear about getting in your face to mess with you. The back and forth between the set they are working and the customers coming through was a really nice touch in most of the scenes. When they singled you out, it was hard to get away from them, not in an annoying way, but in a I'm going to get you scare.

Set Design/Props/FX: 4.5/5  The sets are very well done and there are a lot of different ones that you will go through. They really have put some time into making them look good (if bloody gory is good) and none of them seemed to be just thrown together, they were complete. Very detailed in the approach.

Length: 3.5/5 I only give it this number because I wish it was longer. I was having a really good time and then it was over. They did a good job with the amount of space that you go through and liked how they had you double back to maximize their space. No lack of scares, I was just enjoying it so much I wanted it to keep going.

Value: 4/5 For the $15 admission price, they deliver a lot more than other haunts in the area. It was easy to get to, so you don't have to drive 20 miles in the boonies to get to it. 

Overall Impression: 4.5/5 I had a really great time. I love haunts that are set up indoors when they are done right and they seem to be on the way to making this a great dry haunt. The sets are fantastic to look at, most of the actors were having a great time and really wanting to scare you and for the price, it is worth the $15. I will go back next year to see what they have built upon and see this haunt as a " did you go to " in the future.
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