Ohio Valley Haunts
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Ohio Valley Haunts
Reviewed 10/5/13
Haunted Hotel
click logo to visit their website
3000 S. 4th St.
Louisville, KY  40208
(502) 634-4478
Sept. 21 - Nov 3 Fri/Sat 8 PM - 2AM
Thurs/Sun & Oct 30th 8 PM - Midnight
$18 ($27 VIP) - $2 Thurs/Sun coupon on website
(Nov 1 &  2 are "lights out" events)
THE HAUNTED HOTEL:  Spooky music welcomes patrons into The Haunted Hotel, where a discontented concierge orders everyone up against the wall, violates their space, then rants and raves over a lost key.  Abandoning hope of determining its location, he ushers guests past a honking horn, and into a rickety old elevator that violently shakes, and thrashes its way to the destination of choice amid atrocious sounds, sparks from a short-circuiting panel, and a repetitive encounter with an overzealous attendant.  Repeated interruptions of light finds him moving around in the dark like a cat, and assaulting from every angle imaginable, even overhead!  Arrival constitutes a pair of CGI encounters - first, the blood-spraying zombie assassination, followed by the asylum door.  A brief exchange with a treacherous desk clerk is sandwiched in between, alongside a hanged former tenant, then the course departs into the clutches of a straight-jacketed lunatic.  Horrific sounds give way to wailing sirens as the darkened progression through "firecrackers" and shock walls abdicate to a broadside mechanical monster attack!  Waiting in the wings, an S&M-crazed ghoul detains a female group member with his chain, as continuance across moving floor panels, and through body bags and severed limbs vaults into an aggressive altercation with a barbaric butcher, who has his way with everyone in the crowd, grabbing onto them, throwing them around, slamming and banging everything in sight, and pressing the sharp blade of his deadly meat cleaver right up against their throats!  Fleeing the blood-spattered horror through a toxic waste holocaust gives rise to a sordid conflict with a Baphomet-masked fiend leaping into his blasphemous rape from above in the presence of Bibles attached to the walls, and a sinless baby nailed to a cross!  Vegetation overgrows a bilateral animated skirmish that protects the ascent upstairs where an irate, one-eyed maintenance man blocks the duck-under path to an open bar hosted by a possessive wench.  Flashing strobes light the way into a contemptible kitchen of unstable floors that houses a pair of impetuous Cooks, hammering pots on counter tops, throwing a pan full of bugs on an innocent bystander, and forcing another into an oven!  From there, it's onto a lightless game of hide-and-seek that quickly yields through more pulling and tugging to an engagement with an irrational cretin demanding passersby to "kiss his piggy!"  Sidestepping the request provokes a bedroom assault from the snarling, drooling Pongo, whose ferocious incursion ensues all the way up to Haunted Hotel's signature scene of a naked girl taking a shower!  A sudden surprise, and another wicked combatant precede an eruption of sparks inside a murderous torture chamber, where a helpless victim is ripped in two by some sort of diabolical contraption amid a stockpile of dismembered body parts!  Transition outdoors is hindered by a metal-blaring battle with enraged army men that climaxes with an unseen machine gun blast-out into the restricted area of Project Alpha, where air raid sirens blare, and a duo of fanatical chainsaw goons give chase past barrels, through a short claustrophobic tunnel, in and out of a surveillance room, beyond a mechanical monster in a cage, and into the trauma unit of Dr. Singe offering free prostate exams courtesy of the glowing, green syringes he has for fingers!  Escaping the grasp of the malevolent physician renews the gas-guzzling, quadruple onslaught through an abandoned, blue-light flashing ambulance, and directly into the path of a near-miss hit-and-run truck that finally exposes the hard sought out exit from Haunted Hotel!

LENGTH - 8½, 18½ minutes. 
ACTORS - 10, Characters have always had the reputation of being THE most aggressively intense in the business, and this is arguably their best performance to date!  Although many new faces are now onboard, they know what's expected of them in order to live up to attraction's reputation, and they don't disappoint!  In customary fashion, many are armed with a multitude of deadly weapons, and covered with blood!  Dialogue is employed where possible, although there isn't a lot of opportunity for excessive communication due to overwhelming nature of the atmosphere.  Profanity has been reduced this season, but they make up for it by physically accosting everyone in the group, perhaps a little too much, and Concierge's caressing is a bit too close for comfort.  Elevator is much improved this year due to the presence of a much more imposing Attendant, although it's still a notch below its "glory days" level.  Other favorites include Butcher, Baphomet-masked fiend, Cooks, Pongo, and Chainsaw Goons, however picking standouts isn't easy because so many of them go outrageously berserk! Straight-jacketed Loony cleverly tells customers to feel their way along the walls so they don't miss the shock skins. German speaking Nazi combatants are unfortunately no longer present.  Bar and hide-and-seek scenes are weak, not only from an acting perspective, but in general.  Other less effective, non-important characters have properly been eliminated. Clowns, which didn't fit the Hotel theme are also gone, even though their replacements raise eyebrows for similar reasons, as does military presence.  "Zipper mouthed fiend," Necromantic Dominatrix, and Barber are missed. Audio accompaniment is loud, and several of the ghouls wear masks, so they need to speak up to insure that their words are discernable.  Total Characters = 26.
SCARINESS - 10, NOBODY makes customers fear for their lives like Haunted Hote!  The attraction annually delivers some of the most terrifying frights the industry has to offer!  This year, the legend continues, as irate acting to yields high-impact scares!  Contact is elevated here above all the rest, which authenticates confrontations to the utmost degree, and an assaulting soundtrack compliments each and every scene.  Some of the 2012's deficient scenes have cranked it up, as discussed below.
DESIGN - 9½, Blood and gore profusely cover the walls, the environment is more aggressive than ever, and the central theme is adhered to more so than in the past. Course duration is a bit longer as well.   Last season's new beginning returns in a tamed down fashion.  Cussing, and dropping "f-bombs" have been eliminated, and there's still no rhyme or reason for the lost key that is so desperately being searched for.  The scene is far more offensive than it is scary because the character goes overboard with his space violating tactics, to the point we thought he was going to kiss us!  A pat down might be more efficient, or just go ahead and take it one step further, and conduct a strip search!  Elevator and Chainsaw Maze are much more intense and aggressive this year, returning to their standard as suggested in last season's review.  CGI timing has also been addressed as recommended, and they work much better in tandem, which has been achieved by relocating the Zombie shoot to the main level.  Unholy scene involving Bibles, an infant nailed to a cross, and the Baphomet-masked fiend is visually impressive, and among the best of the new arrivals.  Duck-under at top of stairs also debuts, so watch your heads!  Nun childbirth, Barber's brain transplant, and green laser tunnel with "floating" axe have all been lost.  Military scene was more powerful with the use of German speaking soldiers.  Shotgun suicide was removed a season ago, and nothing as visually appalling takes its place.  Bar scene is useless, as is hide-and-seek.  Customary H2 style "music morphs" seem less noticeable, shower scene needs spicing up, and traditional Christmas trademark remains gone, but not forgotten. Pick-a-door is absent from outdoor segment, which has added enclosures with the introduction of Project Alpha, but it doesn't make much sense from a theme standpoint.
PROPS - 9½, Things have been relocated and moved around a bit the past few years, but not much is new, with the exception of the ambulance.  Elevator is the best of its kind, and CGI's are now paired.  Other technological advances are also present in the form of claustrophobic air bags, shock skins, firecrackers, etc., and all the props are in working order.  Machine gun remains a phenomenal scare as well.  Vortex has been canned from the outdoors, but isn't really scary or necessary.  Broadside surprise, and Beasts guarding the bottom of the stairs are among the few mechanical startles on display.  Additional animatronics would prove beneficial. 
VALUE - 9½, Price of admission remains unchanged this year, costing just $16 on Thursdays and Sundays with their $2 website coupon.  A Season Pass is being offered this year for  $49.99, and includes UNLIMITED haunt access, a Haunted Hotel t-shirt, one-time VIP admission, entrance to their "lights out" event, a picture ID card key, custom keepsake photo, 10% off all merchandise, special e-mail offers and event notifications, and a ticket to 7th Street Haunt!  Not a bad deal considering it's arguably THE most terrifying haunt in existence!
RATING:  9½ (9.64), 2008's HAUNT OF THE YEAR came under new ownership a season ago, but the attraction hasn't missed a beat, and picks up right where it left off!  This year's installment reasserts its dominance with one of its best performances ever, all but wrapping up OVH's Best of Kentucky Award, and furthering the legacy of the one and only Haunted Hotel