Land of Illusion 2007 Review

Middletown’s Land of Illusion (4 Haunts In One Location)
Here is a haunt that started out as a simple haunted trail, but over the years it has expanded into a massive haunted theme park known as Middletown’s Land of Illusion. This year the outside’s of all four haunts have had major face lifts with the addition of new detailed facades. The excitement could be felt throughout the air, the crowds were massive and we were ready for a little fright. This is Middletown’s Land of Illusion.

Middletown Haunted Trail- “A Scary Sinister Trail”
A Dark foggy path leads the way to a twisted and frightening place known as the Middletown Haunted Trail. Creatures and crazed lunatics lurk around the corner every which way you turn. How has this haunt improved from last year or has it improved at all?

Length-9: It will take you anywhere from 20-25 minutes to walk this popular trail. While there are few dead spots along the way there are a few scenes that take up a huge hunk of time with little to nothing happening.

Design-8: There is a wide variety of scenes and rooms you’ll come across while on your frightening walk. A haunted bus, bone yard, graveyard, skeleton prison and my personal favorite, the area 51 swamp. Many of the scenes have gone to the next level in detail and you will have a hard time finding a haunted trail that has the variety this one does.

Props/Animatronics-8: Many haunts you’ll come across at Land of Illusion use Scare Factory or Unit 70 Studios props. Flying ghouls, a headless horseman, vortex tunnel and more make up the haunted trail. One of the most impressive rooms that has been added this year is the area 51 room. It reminds me of a nuclear swamp with creatures trying to reach out and attack. You’ll encounter alligators, sea monsters and more as you try to escape.

Acting-7: This year Land of Illusion has hired some makeup artists to give its characters a more realistic and frightening look too them. While many of the actors are enthusiast in trying to scare the wits out of you, it just falls short in the end. Many horror icon characters such as Michael Myers have an altered outfit that looks nothing like the jumpsuit he wears in the Halloween series. While there are many actors that make up the haunted trail, there aren’t many that really stand out.

Scare Effect-7: The idea of being alone in the deep dark woods will make anyone’s heart beat a little faster, but  the actors this year just didn’t succeed in trying to scare visitors of the trail. While the blow torch wielding maniacs or the bungee flying foe may catch you off guard, there just isn’t enough to make a person jump.

Fright Value: The Middletown Haunted Trail is obviously the most popular haunt at Land of Illusion and at $12 you do get your moneys worth when you consider how long it lasts. Make sure to visit the trail last so you can save some time to tour the other haunts available.

Final Stab:7.8: This years haunted trail had some new scenes that you’ll notice right away while some are starting to loose their charm. Overall this is one of the best layed out and professional haunted trails in the state of Ohio.

Killer Klowns-“You’ll Be Dying With Laughter”
The majority of clown themed haunts out there succeed in only scaring those with a fear of clowns. But Killer Klowns is a different kind of haunt that doesn’t rely solely on colorful paint of carnival music.

Length-8: Your journey through this creepy circus takes around 12 minutes to complete and after you have exited, you are wanting more.

Design-8: Killer Klowns doesn’t rely on the cliche brightly colored circus rooms. It’s more grim and dark than your typical clown haunts. You’ll encounter a nuclear waste land, ball pit, steal maze and more. Most of the rooms and scenes consistently follow the clown theme, but don’t go by the rules and that’s a good thing.

Props/Animatronics-7: Killer Klowns doesn’t have the most impressive props of the four haunts at Land of Illusion. But they consistently flow with the theme of a haunted circus. You’ll come across static clown dummies, a falling ceiling, violently shaking barrels, a few vortex tunnels and much more.

Acting-7: The acting isn’t the high point for this haunt due to the use of many child actors playing the many clowns. While there’s a wide variety of characters from which you’ll encounter, none of them really stand out to make this a memorable haunt. The most impressive acting comes from the clowns who tirelessly taunt you as you try to break free from the steel maze.

Scare Effect-7: If you have a strong fear of clowns you will damn near piss yourself as you walk through Killer Klowns. But the majority of people will have hard time getting a chill from a child actor dressed as a clown and you will find many of them throughout your tour.

Fright Value: $10 is a little high for a haunt of this quality. If you are petrified of clowns then it’s well worth the price for admission. But for everyone else I would suggest the combo package so you can tour every haunt in the park.

Final Stab-6.6: This years Killer Klowns is slightly better than last year, but there still needs to be huge improvement for this to be a highlight of Land of Illusion. With more adult actors implemented and the props and design taken to a new level, this haunt could easily be an 8 or above.

DR .Psycho’s Haunted Estate-“Try To Escape Alive”
An old decrepit house waits for you in the distance as ghouls and creatures from beyond try to capture you for their feast. Are you ready to enter its deadly doors and will you ever be the same as you leave Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate?

Length-9: Depending on your pace it will take anywhere from 15-20 minutes to walk through the estate. If you stop and stare at the eye candy around you, it may take longer.

Design-10: Here is haunt that goes above and beyond when it comes to design. When you enter the estate you feel like you’ve entered into a possessed or haunted house. The sets and rooms are heavily detailed and perfectly go with the theme of a haunted estate. An Exorcist room, haunted laboratory, bloody meat locker and my personal favorite is the immersive graveyard. As you walk through this haunted graveyard the old fashioned street lamps flicker, a morgue flashes while skeletons move from within. You’ll have a difficult time finding a better graveyard anywhere. The entire haunt has a wide variety of well themed rooms that flow perfectly with this haunt.

Props/Animatronics-10: Land of Illusion is known for its incredible props and Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate is no exception. Flying creatures, howling werewolves, possessed demons and more only name a few of the props you’ll come across. If you love your eye candy you’ll be in heaven as you take a step through the estate.

Acting-7: Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate has focused more on makeup this year instead of traditional rubber masks and it’s greatly appreciated. The only problem is that the acting is still pretty much the same as it was last year. The majority of characters have little to no lines or just stare at you while you enter their scene.

Scare Effect-8: Many haunts will use expensive animatronics in their scenes, but the props have nothing to do with the theme of the haunt. This ultimately ruins the effect the haunt is trying to achieve with the room, but Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate isn’t your typical haunt. While it focuses more on sets and props, it doesn’t really matter. The animatronics are timed perfectly and placed in the right rooms to create the best scare possible.

Fright Value: $10 is a great deal for a haunt of this caliber and Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate may be the best haunt at the park depending on your tastes.

Final Stab-8.8: Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate is one of the best themed haunts I’ve been to and year after year I’m never left disappointed. When the acting is improved this could easily be a near perfect haunt.

Temple of Terror-“Fear The Temple Gods”
An ancient temple summons you to enter its cursed doors. The beasts from within are waiting to take a nibble out of your shoulder or eat you whole. Will you survive the Temple of Terror or will you be cursed for the remainder of your days?

Length-9: It will take anywhere from 12-15 minutes to exit Temple of Terror. While there are many scenes that take up plenty of time, there are a few dark halls where nothing is really happening.

Design-9: Here is another haunt that is nearly perfectly themed in every which way possible. But there are a few rooms that are a little too dim because they are trying to hide the lack of details here and there. You’ll enter a foggy swamp, stone sanctuary, human sacrifice room and much more. You will feel like you are in an Indiana Jones Movie and you decide the next scene.

Props/Animatronics-10: There is a wide range of animatronics in Temple of Terror, but they all the center around the theme of an ancient temple. You’ll encounter the massive Impaler, winged bats, mischievous natives, towering creatures and much much more.

Acting-7: The large amount of impressive props make up for the lack of actors. They steal the show in every which way possible.

Scare Effect-8: Temple of Terror uses darkness to its full advantage and you are forced to anticipate what lurks behind the next corner. The animatronics are set up perfectly and get you when you least expect it. If you fear the darkness you’re in for one Hell of a ride.

Fright Value: $12 is a deal for a haunt that uses Hollywood type sets and goes heavy on the animated eye candy. I can’t imagine the money that was invested into bringing this haunt to life.

Final Stab-8.6: This is one detersive experience that will put a chill down your spine until you exit the haunt. Temple of Terror is a classic in every sense of the word, but with a little improvement it could be a masterpiece in fright.