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Ohio Valley Haunts
7th Street Haunt
"Ft. Harmony's Revenge"
Category:  Intermediate Venue
Reviewed 10/3/15
RATING:
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LENGTH: - Duration 16 Minutes 7
ACTORS: - # 36 9
- Costuming 8
- Dialogue
- Interaction 8
- Intensity/Delivery 9
SCARINESS: - Ambience 7
- Fearfulness 7
DESIGN: - Concept
- Flow 7
- Lighting
- Soundtrack 8
- Changes 8
PROPS: - Quality 6
- Quantity/Density
VALUE: - Cost $18 ($15 online) 7
ANALYSIS: Ft. Harmony's Revenge begins in the presence of the mayor, whose explanation of house rules gets interrupted by a living portrait of Elvis prior to the adventure itself, which leads the course through a vast variety of random scenes including a bar, butcher shop, school house, playground, jail, rubber room, circus, Grandma's cabin, and Hell before climaxing with an obligatory chainsaw chase-out.  Favorites are dripping water and other sinister sounds emanating from a caved-in mine; funeral wake that's highlighted by an unanticipated startle originating from the opposite end of an open coffin that sets up a blind-sided mourner attack; and Gary's Auto Repair that witnesses a perverted Old Creeper who steals the show by making suggestive comments, and holding forth a broom handle while inviting ladies to, "Stroke his pole!"  His pursuit is relentless, and he unexpectedly continues to pop out a second and even a third time!  Other memorable characters include the town butcher, who makes his presence known by slamming his oversized meat cleaver against a door; a menacing clown delivering terrorizing aerial assaults from an overhead zip-line; a half-human spider that temporarily blocks progression by extending one of his tentacles out towards a neighboring wall; a disgruntled, pig-snouted adversary protecting a room filled with dismembered body parts; and a voodoo scenario featuring a priestess casting spells, as well as a witchdoctor-like nemesis chanting some sort of undiscernible, but intimidating gibberish.

Talkative characters are really trying hard and do their best to interact with groups, but their dialogue is in need of a major overhaul due to the fact that it isn't necessarily threatening or scary, exemplified by teacher promising detention, playground bully requesting lunch money; inmate attempting to line up some "action" for himself in the showers; and circus barker rambling on about clowns, one of whom bursts out of hiding to say, "peek-a-boo."  Child actors are seen in the school, where their presence is at least relevant, but their contribution consists of nothing more than annoying screams.  Loss of butcher's German accent is unfortunate, not only because all he does now is snort, but the foreign dialect brought an identifying character trait to his role.

Numerous static props comprise décor, and attention to detail is appreciated by the use of foul smells, and on a hanged body that has a broken neck, and its head tilted to the side.  Soundtrack is complementary and loud for the most part, but could stand to be more scene-specific, like it is in the mine.  Acrobatics of zip-line clown are appreciated, and Gary's antics are priceless! Overall duration has slipped a few minutes, but steps have been made in the right direction pertaining to flow with the elimination of the bathroom and other irrelevant scares.  Playground now follows schoolhouse, and rubber room follows the jail.  Those successions of events are more logical to follow, but there are still times that no rhyme or reason to the progression of scenes can be found, and randomness remains the rule rather than the exception.  Continuing to address these issues in the years to come will elevate Ft. Harmony's performance.  Concluding the event in Hell just prior to the chainsaw chase-out is a novel idea, but again, there needs to be a more thought-out, methodical way to arrive there from a design standpoint, and more visually impressive scares are needed in order to score higher.  Mayor/Elvis goofiness adds nothing to the beginning, so a much higher impact is mandated there as well.

7th Street Haunt adds a second attraction for 2015 (discussed below), which brings a completely different, more modern style to the "old school" site, thus strengthening the event when considered as a whole.  The attractions are priced competitively in comparison to market standards, but are rather expensive considering what each has to offer.  Take advantage of online discounts, coupons, or the $25 combo ticket whenever possible.

Ohio Valley Haunts
7th Street Haunt
"The Experiment"
Category:  Professional Venue
Reviewed 10/3/15
RATING: 8
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LENGTH: - Duration 13 Minutes
ACTORS: - # 22 8
- Costuming 8
- Dialogue 8
- Interaction 9
- Intensity/Delivery 9
SCARINESS: - Ambience 8
7 - Fearfulness
DESIGN: - Concept 9
- Flow 9
- Lighting 7
- Soundtrack 8
- Changes N/A
PROPS: - Quality 9
- Quantity/Density 9
VALUE: - Cost $18 ($15 online) 7
ANALYSIS: The attraction begins with an immediate confrontation with Dr. Jenkin's wife, who cautions that her husband's "Gone a little mad," and warns "For the love of God, don't touch anything!"  Wooden gates, flickering lights, spider- infested corridors, laser-lit hallways, firecrackers, body bags, short-circuiting wires, and body vaults with human feet and legs sticking out usher the course through an area of living, talking dolls, into St. Mary's Hospital, and through an ominous-looking cemetery guarded by a gargoyle, a pneumatic gravedigger, and an animated, fanged vampire.  Sandwiched in between is a plethora of mechanical props and surprises including a rabid dog; various CGI's; a corpse with some sort of breathing apparatus protruding from its neck; a cadaver holding its own decapitated head; a skeleton propelling out of an upright casket; bodies convulsing on gurneys; chained, iron doors struggling to open of their own volition; and so on.  Horrific sight include a security guard lying in a pool of his own blood clutching onto his recently severed leg, a deplorable nurse eating feces out of a bedpan, a doctor being savaged by a carnivorous puppet, a restrained patient being cut in two by a murderous table saw, another crazed physician climbing wildly onto an exam table to rip open the intestines of an unsuspecting patient, a seemingly-possessed girl that bends over backwards to crawl along on all fours a la Bray Wyatt, and an incubated newborn baby being projected out of its crib and slammed up against a glass viewing pane!  Climax is achieved via a strobe-lit, triple chainsaw chase-out.

Characters are appropriately attired, and their disposition is fairly intense.  A few child actors are present, and screaming is way overdone.  A number of mechanical surprises are scattered throughout, of which chained doors and graveyard vampire are best.  Many are accompanied by their own vicious, prop-specific sounds with our favorite being the realistic saw noises that accompany the victim being bisected by a rapidly spinning blade!  Remainder of background music is generic.  Talking dolls are among the most unique "experiments."  Course is cleverly designed to share the same chainsaw hallway escape as its sister attraction.  Event adheres to its central theme, but is a little on the short side and somewhat expensive considering this is its debut season.  $25 combo ticket is the best option.

7th Street Haunt
LOCATION & ADMISSION INFO:
2900 S. 7th St. (next to Expo Five), Louisville, KY  40215
(812) 989-9224
Sept. 18 - Oct. 31; Fri/Sat 8 PM - 1 AM & Sundays in October 8 - 10:30 PM
$15 per attraction online / $18 at Gate; Combo $25
($5 discount on site w/ Facebook coupon)
click logo at left to visit their website
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