2011 Review Team


Kris Kropelnicki – Team Lead / Critic

When I go to a haunt, I am looking for a complete suspension of disbelief and authenticity. If I am supposed to be in an old abandoned mansion, I want the experience to be just that. I’m looking at the set design, lighting, props, smells, costumes and make up. If the set looks authentic, yet smells like latex, that ruins the overall effect for me. Consistency of theme is important as well. The things that scare me most are the unknown, especially in the dark. Allowing the suspense to build makes for a much better scare for me.


Ryan Acker – Lead Assistant / Critic

In a Haunted House, I look for originality, something that makes it stand apart from other haunts in the area. I also expect to see good actors/actresses. Good actors either make or break a Haunted House as it is something that scares me. Good actors who actually seem determined to hurt you really strike you with fear. A simple “Boo”, “Grr”, or “Get out!” does nothing. Any Haunt with these qualities is sure to go far in the industry.


Steven Acker – Critic

The sets don’t have to be Hollywood quality but they can’t be cheap & cheesy either. I don’t want to know what’s coming, please be totally unpredictable and surprise the hell out of me…I want to have to go straight to my car and change my shorts when I run out of a haunt! I expect to be accosted by actors that are LOVING their job, that take great pride in their makeup and costumes, you don’t have to be particularly gory but be original and give me a good fright just by looking at you…and if they make you scream like a high school cheerleader they’ll try harder to make the person behind you scream like a junior high cheerleader. Haunted houses are a Great form of entertainment, too bad they only pop up 1 month out of the year, and I feel I’ve gotten my money’s worth if I’ve had the crap scared out of me and I come out of it laughing my fool head off because I’m thrilled to still be alive!!


Kathie Holt – Critic

I have come to appreciate all aspects of a good haunt. For instance the setting, the smells, the props and of course the actors. I have only been to one haunted house that truly just made me want to run screaming as I came around a corner and was face to face with a clown. I am literally terrified of clowns, but for whatever twisted reason, I love to be frightened and follow it up with a healthy dose of laughter.


Alex Gallegos – Webmaster / Critic

As far as I’m concerned a great haunt provides me with an experience that’s somehow new and different. Jars of blood with shrunken heads in them, prisoners reaching at me from their cells screaming, creepy clowns that jump out at me from behind doors and a wailing demon straight from the fiery depths of hell can all be entertaining, sure, but these set pieces have a tendency to wear a bit thin. Something unconventional – zombie uprising, aliens, robot apocalypse… even a deranged undead Betsy Ross who stitches a five point star onto each victim’s corpse will make me sit up and take notice just for the sheer novelty of a unique experience.


Justeen Walters – Junior Critic

What I am looking for when I am going through a haunted house is a consistency of themes; that is what makes the haunted house make sense. Something that scares me when I am going through a haunted house is when the actors get in your face and don’t lay off. Something that does not scare me is when the actors pop out and say, “boo”, or, “get out”, it is not good acting.


Alex Kratz – Critic

The best haunted houses are the ones that keep building the tension and atmosphere. A sense of fear that builds to hopeless terror is a great experience. I love seeing the twisted creatures and gory scenes as much as being startled for the shock value. Haunted houses that make you check all the dark corners of your home afterwards are really to die for!


Marlena Baker – Critic

A haunted house needs atmosphere first and foremost. I look for a haunted house that really draws me in and keeps me nervous between scares. A cohesive theme always helps me stay in the mood and really believe I’m surrounded by horrible things. Good haunted houses don’t overplay one particular scare and keep the pacing steady so the crowds don’t detract from the mood.

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