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HAUNTED HOUSE REVIEWS
HAUNTED ATTRACTION
THE DENT SCHOOLHOUSE
Ohio Valley Haunts
SCHOOLHOUSE RATING:
Reviewed 9/12/13 & 9/28/13
view pictures taken at The Dent Schoolhouse:
2013 photos - 2012 photos - older photos
The Dent Schoolhouse
Queen City Slaughter Yard
click logo to visit their website
LOCATION & ADMISSION INFO:
5963 Harrison Ave.
Dent, Ohio  45248
(513) 598-4600
Fri - Sun beginning Sept 13 (except Sept 15)
and Thurs in October
Fri/Sat 7:30 PM - Midnight (7:30-10 PM Sun/Thurs)
$20 ($30 Fast Pass Option) 
Includes admission to Queen City Slaughter Yard
REVIEW
THE DENT SCHOOLHOUSE:   A variety of distraught parents roam the queue line outside the haunt mourning and searching for their lost offspring that have fallen victim to Charlie The Janitor, evil custodian of the notorious Dent Schoolhouse.   The 2013 adventure into the old boarded up building begins customarily through an old wooden gate into an overgrown playground area where undead children are seen mysteriously rocking back and forth on seesaws, climbing on monkey bars, coming down slides, riding on a merry-go-round, and slowly swaying back and forth on spooky looking swings.  A curious detective searches the crime scene for clues that might shed some light on the children's disappearance, as the journey progresses alongside a run-down school bus, then into the Schoolhouse itself, where the indoor portion of the experience gets underway in the presence of an discontented nurse emerging from behind a privacy curtain clutching onto a filthy bedpan.  Exploration leads past a series of lockers finding paint peeling from condemned walls, and the course partially blocked by falling debris!  A tormented student violently bangs his head on a dust covered desk, as a team of skeletons engage in a desperate act of tug-of-war with a helpless girl's head, all in the presence of an innocent teacher that's been strung up by a noose directly above her desk either of her own desperate accord, or via some sort of sinister plot!  Corpses comprise décor as continuance into a wicked looking lab-like autopsy room that's overflowing with blood unearths a distempered embalmer that's chained up the class clown from the ceiling, and refocused attention to a barely alive cadaver struggling for freedom from his confinement atop an ungodly gurney.  A devious playroom is on the horizon before an infinite hallway of lockers yields to the sight of a projector screen that mysteriously displays "All will Die" and "REDRUM" (murder spelled backwards) written in blood, and culminates with a monstrous surprise!  Progression into the basement quarters finds blood-soaked bodies hanged to their demise with their hands tied behind their backs!  Short-circuiting electric panels lead the way into a decrepit boiler room where some contemptible axe wielding brute is rousted out of hiding, and comes creeping up from behind only to divert his aggression to a helpless victim viciously forcing her into a blazing incinerator despite her begging for mercy!  More hanged, bound carcasses encased in treacherous cages drip blood and guts as the first of several confrontations with Charlie finds him hard at work slamming a pleading girl's head into a bed, then turning and waving his deadly pipe wrench at passersby!  Severed heads and upside down human remains ooze more plasma as lights flicker off and on where the floor's been excavated away to reveal a makeshift graveyard!  Caskets shake and vibrate on their own, and even spring sudden surprises as hideous roaches scamper aimlessly about the coffins.  Advancement introduces a workroom of thrashing barrels where an undergrad's been shackled beneath a sink, firecrackers sound off from above, and a second conflict with Charlie that sends groups fleeing through bursting pipes, the water from which spews forth creating a cesspool beneath the legs of a giant creature that comes crashing through a brick wall with an enormous saw in one hand, and a death-grip on another poor soul in the other!  Atrocities continue to mount as undead zombies invade from every direction imaginable including overhead as a horde of the hungry walkers burst through previously barricaded double doors!  Body bags obscure a barbed wire assault as the path forges onward past a lunging guard dog to auto mechanics and shop classes highlighted by a near-miss hit-and-run, and ruled by a fiend savagely assaulting people with a pry bar!  Another undefiled victim suffers the fate of having her torso ripped in two by the murderous blades of a treacherous table-saw as dismembered limbs and gore litter the surroundings, and a towering ogre has his way with one of her classmates!  Then it's onto a defiled kitchen that points the way through a freezer full of butchered hogs into a rotten cafeteria, where a smorgasbord of nauseating delicacies await.  Still to come is an on-stage performance in a haunted auditorium stalked by hovering phantoms, and an abhorrent science lab that's been commandeered by an abominable flesh devouring Alien-like creature!  Departing into a wrecked library setting occupied by an agitated bookworm armed with a paddle showcases a ghost-like curator entity, then digresses through a bug infested bathroom, where a CGI surprise materializes from within a mirror, and a hapless man is pulled beneath one of the stall doors against his will!  A space-invading sideswipe from a gigantic, discontented rat ejects the course into a school bus maze that houses a sickened girl puking out of one of the windows, an unexpected startle courtesy of another giant rodent, and a final deadly pursuit by Charlie that ushers in a wicked chainsaw chase-out of The Dent Schoolhouse!

Analysis: 
LENGTH - 8½, 16 min.
ACTORS - 9½, Costuming and make up are outstanding as always.  Character aggression is high; their performances are enthusiastic; and dialogue is improved, more meaningful, and sometimes threatening.  Multiple violent encounters with Charlie are impressively intimidating, and appreciated as he is the haunt's main villain.  Several other confrontational struggles return including boiler room fiend, and shop class ogre, which serve to amplify scares.  Scenario of a dead female's chest being sliced open by an assailant to expose her internal organs, then having him turn the lethal scalpel on himself to peel away the skin from his own face was a memorable scene from last year that unfortunately didn't make its way back for 2013.  Total Characters = 44 (up from 34 a season ago).
SCARINESS - 10, Superb animatronics, eerie lighting, and a fantastically loud soundtrack compliment nearly every single room.  Detailing is unsurpassed, and cast intensity adds to the frightfulness.  New brutal scenes have joined forces with those that debuted in 2012 creating even more memorable scares that leave customers talking!  Playground sets an appropriate mood for what's about to be encountered, and finish is powerful featuring Charlie introducing the finishing chase out.  A variety of villainous attacks are present, and blood and gore is on the rise once again as well.
DESIGN - 10, Haunt is bloodier, gorier, and scarier than ever before!  No stone is left unturned from the playground to the chase-out, as scenes and rooms exhibit unsurpassed detail and definition.  Connecting corridors along the progression of rooms are short, and equally as decorated offering a higher density of scares per square foot than any other attraction.  Several new scenes are introduced annually, with this year's once again being significantly more powerful and stimulating than their predecessors, with the exception being the auditorium which remains weak, and isn't scary.  The upstairs was almost entirely redone last season, so this year's efforts were concentrated on the basement portion of the attraction.  Clown segment has properly been done away with as its presence was about the only questionable aspect of the theme.  Queue line features a video monitor that entertains customers waiting their turn to enter, and is stalked by roaming characters that likewise fit the storyline.  Changes have shortened overall duration just a bit, but it doesn't get any better than this from detailing and design perspectives.
PROPS - 10, Every room is decorated from top to bottom with visually impressive scares.  Plenty of animatronics are on display, zombie doors make their debut, and a  new monster has taken up residence inside as well!  The use of actual buses legitimizes an already authentic structure, and the haunt as a whole pushes the envelope to exhibit atrocities to their ultimate degree permissable in the Cincinnati market!  Aforementioned zombie doors are the season's best, and most impressive new prop, and Dent is the only place we've seen them outside of Transworld.
VALUE - 9½, No price increase has been implemented for the second consecutive year.  Single admission ticket was eliminated a couple of seasons ago in favor of a combo admission that includes Cincinnati's newest attraction, Queen City Slaughter Yard.  If you happen to think the price is somewhat steep, keep in mind this is one of the best attractions in the world! 
RATING:  9½ (9.73), Last season's OVH HAUNT OF THE YEAR is back to defend its title with a vengeance!  The Champ means business, and is going to be hard to beat!  If anything, it's even better than last year, with the only drawback being a slightly shorter experience.  "Zombie Night" returns on Sunday, Oct. 6th,  "Lights ON tour is scheduled for Oct 27th from 5-7 PM only, and "Lights OUT" tours are being offered on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1st and 2nd.  Don't miss your opportunity to see one of the best Haunted Houses the world has ever known - The Dent Schoolhouse!

QUEEN CITY SLAUGHTER YARD:  Prior to entering, patrons are shown several video clips that set the stage for the tragic trek through a wooden, stockade-like maze that hides a variety of blood covered, pig-faced fiends, many armed with murderous chainsaws!  The sound of squealing and snorting hogs fills the air, as villains chase victims up and down the winding paths, terrorizing them with vicious verbal threats.  Dense fog and flickering lights compliment the environment that also sports ribbed metal panels as part of the traditional barnyard décor.  Butchered sows and boars hang suspended from the rafters above, accompanied by an ominous omen that "you're gonna be next, piggy!"  Access to the interior of the facility observes the attack and subsequent demise of an innocent girl at the hands of an irate brute, then exposes an imprisoned, half-naked, female captive that witnesses the return of the previous assailant promising "she belongs to me too!"  Additional damsels in distress are subjected to various tormenting acts of violence by many of the same apron-wearing aggressors, then the tables are turned when a male subject is dominated by an antagonist of the opposite sex!  One final skirmish through a smokehouse stocked full of chained, restrained, and slain swine and humans alike is still to come, preceding a final, gas powered chase-out of Queen City Slaughter Yard!

Analysis: 
LENGTH - 5, 5½ mins. 
ACTORS - 9+, Excellent costumes comply with the theme, and legitimize each character's persona.  Attraction showcases an enraged cast mixed with threatening acts and confrontational dialogue!  More of both would provide additional scares, and in turn elevate the score.  Total Characters = 14.
SCARINESS - 8½, Armed assailants are responsible for providing scares, but their opportunities to do so are limited by the event's short duration.  Soundtrack is simple, yet appropriate and effective. 
DESIGN - 8, Course is constructed to resemble corralling one might see within a typical meathouse.  It's design isn't complex, thus direction of travel is never in doubt, unlike Detention Hall, which it replaces.  While it's name and concept depart from the schoolhouse theme the location is famous for, its environment is far more frenzied and intense than its predecessor, and attacks are much more threatening making for an even scarier experience.   Several hiding spots have been built in for actors to utilize in order to initiate previously unseen assaults.  Fog and sounds complement the adventure, and a few rooms have been detailed as well.  The only real drawback is that it only lasts for five or six minutes.
PROPS - n/a, It's mostly a maze, so this category isn't applicable.  Nevertheless, a few climaxing scenes are included, and are adequately decorated with chained animal and human cadavars, restrained captives, blood and gore.
VALUE - n/a, This haunt cannot be purchased as a stand-alone event, but you're entitled to access without an additional fee with your ticket to the Schoolhouse!
RATING:  8, Queen City Slaughter Yard takes the place of Detention Hall as a secondary on--site attraction, and it arguably showcases the most aggressive acting seen in the Cincinnati area.  Admission is included free of charge when purchasing tickets to The Dent Schoolhouse, so how can you go wrong?

The Dent Schoolhouse
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