|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
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!
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
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,
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
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!
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!
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
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
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?