The greeter dude was really good. He looked like a younger, hipper Alfred Hitchcock. Decked out in a tux and sporting 3D movie theater ray bans, he was deadpan in his delivery and just kind of believably “off” and under-the-radar crazy in a nicely subtle way.
The music was good at the entry—big and orchestral. The haunt is situated in an old Chinese restaurant–which works, and doesn’t work. I thought the exterior of the building had a distinct mausoleum-esque look to it, but on the inside there were occasions where some of the old restaurant decoration (Chinese symbols?) hadn’t been completely covered, and were distracting. The entrance of the ride made interesting use of dark stairs, and changes in scale/overhead clearance that were disorienting. I liked that. There’s also a gag that fools one into thinking there’s a descending flight of stairs, but. . . nooooooo! They made good use of the building’s origin, however, and the kitchen is still functioning—though the dishes offered up are far more “exotic” now than when Lo Mein and Peking Duck were menu staples.
It was opening night, when we toured, and some of the acting showed it. There were also a few makeup “malfunctions,” and some costuming that could’ve been more complete. Details are critical! An inspired use of animatronics involved a flopping, partially skinned human writhing on a metal table in the kitchen. The crashing of his body on the table top was loud enough to cover the sound of the hydraulics. Nice. At another point, however, lights from an animatronic control panel were clearly visible while passing by. Not so nice. The cooler was warm (literally) and the bodies stored in plastic bags and hung needing to be pushed by to exit the room were far too light in weight for believability—even assuming they’d been previously gutted. The finale was somewhat out of context, and dare I say. . . cliché. You guessed it—chainsaw guy. Yawn.
Pros: Creepy Maître D’ dude at entry. Clever placement of animatronics. Music.
Cons: Visible Chinese restaurant kitsch. Visible animatronic controls. Loose/not-effective makeup.
Really cool location! This haunt is located in an old Chinese restaurant. Great signage and the stucco made the whole Mausoleum Haunt work! Then main hall inside is dressed very nicely, along with a few props and items hung about to keep you entertained. The fella at the front taking tickets is very witty and entertaining. He tells us that the orchestra pounding throughout the entire haunt is a “live one”! He then opens the beautiful oriental door behind him and instructs us to begin our journey. First thing we see is a hole in the wall (we had to duck to enter) that leads us up into the haunt. This is one element that I really enjoyed as well as all the different flooring throughout the haunt. It was very disorienting and did a really good job at keeping me off balance.
I expect to see some moving stairs, floors, and yes even stairs in this haunt. Some of the scene work in this attraction was over the top goretastic, like the kitchen scene, with intense acting and beautiful props, the cook in the kitchen blasts metal music and works his way through what looks to be human flesh. After getting past this brute of a man you enter into a meat locker and while pushing your way through, you’re startled by an extremely creepy bald guy, with white eyes and skin, dripping with all kinds of ooze from his mouth, he was relentless and scary. This haunt was packed with coffins and a fair amount of gore. There was a killer morgue scene and even a jail cell with a few little surprises.
Lighting and sound in this attraction were done very well, as well as the sets and hallways. The makeup that I saw was executed well. I did see quite a few masks; I personally would rather see an actor in makeup. I believe that you lose too much expression behind a latex mask and it inhibits your ability to project your voice. The majority of the acting in this haunt is very good; they could use some coaching with their dialogue in a few areas. The ending has potential to be a little scarier. I felt it was too open with a clear path to the exit. The youngster yielding the saw could use a little training or maybe some large prop pieces he could hide behind, which could also allow for a more visual path to your exit. On one positive note, I did see this haunt in 2010 and enjoyed it very much! I liked the new improvements and look forward to 2013!
Pros: plenty of gore, cool environment, they make you duck, dodge, and run
Cons: ending lacked punch
This haunt sticks to its theme better than any other I’ve seen all year. This actually seems like it could be a funeral home where the dead are prepared for burial. Not a funeral home built by an architect who got his degree from the University of Crazytown, not a mausoleum where everything is covered in neon or grime or black light for no adequately explained reason. It’s one where the rooms are laid out logically and the purpose of the building seems to be at the forefront of the designers’ minds.
There are cramped hallways and sections you have to duck to get through, but for the most part you spend your time in hallways and corridors that are actually designed for human beings to be able to navigate. That’s not to say they aren’t scary, because they are; it just means the actors have to work with what they have and find a way to pull it off anyway, a task they do remarkably well. For example at one point I turned a corner and nobody was behind me. The lights went out for a moment, and when they came back on a guy with a creepy burlap mask was right behind me, reflected in a mirror so that I could see him back there as soon as the light returned. It was a beautiful effect made better by the fact that it didn’t rely on him hissing in my ear or screaming “get out!”
There are a few rooms that are actually fully lit and while that’s not standard haunted house fare it’s enough to help set the stage. One room is an open casket viewing, with light bright enough to banish the shadows, and beige walls. Again, not normal haunt stuff, but it sets the feeling that this is indeed a real mausoleum instead of something someone made out of black plywood. I’ve said several times that I think a haunt that uses light could be great because there are plenty of things to be terrified of even in a brightly lit room. And, haunt owners, take note, because there is an unexpected bonus to this; you force the audience’s eyes to readjust to the dark all over again afterwards.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the kitchen set, which is the best and most believable kitchen I’ve ever seen in a haunt. I was told afterwards that this is because it really is a kitchen, as the building is a disused Chinese restaurant. But it brings up a valid point nonetheless; believability isn’t built upon ramping up the “eww” factor or even by actors in great costumes. Believability comes from being able to recognize everyday objects and places in a macabre light, and one stove and a microwave does not a kitchen make. Again, take note, haunt owners. Mausoleum knows a thing or two about set design.
There are other great areas, including the ending which I absolutely loved because it utilized the largest room, I think, of any haunt this year, but you’ll have to see that for yourself. Go to the mausoleum. You won’t be disappointed.
Pros: Use of big spaces and lighting to contrast dark closed spaces. Haunt owners understand “location, location, location”, good use of mood setting lighting and preexisting structures.
Cons: Seems to end all too soon, some of the behind-the-scenes bits are accidentally exposed.
Mausoleum lives up to its name. Much to my delight, they really did stick with the theme. It probably helped that it was so short. Still, there were some great scenes in Mausoleum. They all fit with the concept of a mortuary gone wrong, and they make great use of the space they have.
For example, the building is a restaurant, and they make great use of the kitchens to help their sets feel real. They have an industrial kitchen, and they bloody it up good. It’s freaky, the idea that the bodies are being used for food. They could have tried to make the meat freezer cold, though. Not as cold as it really goes, but it would have been a nice touch. The kitchen had one of my favorite uses of hydraulics. It was on a metal table, and as the body thrashed, it made a lot of noise, hiding the sounds of the hydraulics. It made the prop so much more believable. They have a fair amount of effects, and some are more effective than others. Not all the hydraulics were masked, and I even caught sight of the controls behind one. The effects built into the set were great. The shifting floors and the crawl spaces added a nice touch.
The actors were okay. The man at the entrance was good. The makeup was hit or miss. Some of them were just yelling at us, or telling us to ‘get out’. A few of the actors felt like they were more than just a few lines. The guy in the kitchen, I think he was a butcher. His makeup needed work, but his acting was great. He didn’t want to let us go, and I believed it. There were a few bodies that popped out of their coffins, which I enjoyed. Overall, the acting just didn’t add to the scares much.
Mausoleum is relying on its sets too much. There isn’t the acting to bring the scenes to life, so that makes a great room less interesting. There were some neat effects, but they need to add some more finishing touches to keep the mechanics from being too visible. The sets, as cool as they were, needed polish, and the acting needed some work to make the scenes even better.
Pros: Good use of the space, nice sets
Cons: Short, needs finishing touches, hide mechanics of effects
The Mausoleum is a very neat haunt located in an abandoned Chinese restaurant. The site for this haunt is very original, has a good feel to it, and is something I’ve never seen used as a haunt before. As you come to the entrance you are greeted by an awesome doorman who is totally hilarious. He is an older gentleman who is very creepy and plays his character to a T. There is loud orchestra music blaring in the front room which gives him major intensity. He gives you the rules and directs you in.
As you begin to walk through you are forced to walk through a tiny door that allows you to get in to the actual haunt. I enjoyed this it made me feel like Alice climbing into the rabbit hole. Once inside you can see that the set is totally amazing. This haunt did a very good job playing off of the pre-existing sets to design an original haunt layout. My favorite room inside is the meat freezer. Inside it looks amazing, the meat seems frozen over, is the correct weight to make it more believable, and the actor inside seems totally disturbed, his makeup was amazing. Another thing I liked about the set was the use of all the coffins. They look realistic and are placed in good spots, watch out some monsters may be lurking within and waiting to jump out and get you!
The acting throughout the Mausoleum was great; all actors stayed in character and were intense. Everyone was in your face looking for another scare at almost every chance. There were only a few empty spots throughout that could have used more actors. The makeup and masks used here looked amazing and were very original. I like how the haunt uses a mix of different types of makeup to get a good overall variety; it’s not all cheap masks, good job.
All in all, the Mausoleum is a great haunt with little room to improve. The location is off the hook and has a great creepy feeling to it, it’s like your local Chinese restaurant has been overtaken by the underworld. All of the acting is great and on point, actors stay in character, have good makeup, and are very intense. The set is beautiful and played on very well for its location in a Chinese restaurant. The lighting is amazing, good use of props, and very detailed set design. So, if you want to go to a haunt you usually don’t see, with a very original spin to it I recommend you stop by the Mausoleum.
Pros: Good makeup, very detailed set design, location
Cons: Some actors need more intensity; some areas were sparse and needed more actors
Pulling up to the Mausoleum, I am captured by these big beautiful, antique looking, Chinese buildings, which made me want to hurry up and take a look inside. I enter the building, as my bones crunch to their intense, dramatic Goth opera like music, blasting from behind the doors, which were huge and gorgeous might I say. Our greeter was this older gentleman who looked like he had just escaped his casket. He was very entertaining. Alas, it was time to enter and first up was a very small corridor that leads me to some stairs. Completely oblivious, the stairs move on me, almost making it seem like I was about to take a tumble down them. Very cool animation and effect. Definitely freaked me out a bit.
Making my way through The Mausoleum, I stumbled upon some amazing sets and props. One of the scenes I really enjoyed was the jail cell with the small funeral going on in the background. The lighting was great, along with the props and actors. The mother, I believe, was very believable, shouting for her lost child, also the little kid who was shouting in terror. They all worked out great! Another set that I thought was awesome was the freezer. I walk in and see body bags hanging everywhere. Pushing my way through the life like dead bodies, I’m startled by this guy who looked like he had just got done snacking on some meat. He had these crazy, piercing white eyes and it also looked like he had been picking at his brain with that big slice in his head. His character was great and became a part of the scene, which is always what I’m looking for. A prop that I found amazing was the corpse that had an autopsy on the table after the kitchen. I kept thinking it was going to start screaming or something, it was that real looking! Just amazing!
Coming to this haunted house was awesome! I thought the facade outside looked amazing, as did the inside. Pulling up, right away you’re able to know that you will be entering a Mausoleum just from the look of the outside. For it being opening weekend, everything and everyone was one top of their game. The only thing I would say that could use a little help is a few actors and their dialogue. I would enter a great scene and see a cool character, but when they went for the scare, I didn’t really get the intensity I was looking for and the dialogue was not scary nor did it fit with the character. To be more intense and threatening, let the character take over. Don’t be afraid to say or do anything disturbing and out right wrong! You’re in makeup and costume, so that should be the time to let your character shine and be the monster you’re supposed to be. Other than that, I had a blast at this haunt! These guys are serious and don’t mess around. I definitely look forward for another visit! Good job all around and keep up the good work!
Pros: acting, props, sets
Cons: some dialogue, makeup, it ended
152 West Rafferty Gardens Avenue Littleton, CO 80120
Sept. 28th – Nov. 3rd.Closed Oct. 1 – 3
Thurs. – Sun. 7 – 10PM
Fri. – Sat. 7 – Midnight
Mausoleum Denvers Sickest Haunt You’re Already Dead!