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The Rohnert Park Haunted House
311 Rohnert Park Expressway, Rohnert Park
Reviewed by Hauntmistress with counterpoint by Hauntmaster: 10/19/2003
This is one of the few times we disagree on a haunt and can't come to some sort of mutual ground.
HMiss: You know the warning signs outside haunts that say don't touch the actors and the actors won't touch you? That doesn't apply at The Rohnert Park Haunted House. The actors here delight in touching you and that makes The Rohnert Park Haunted House much different from other haunts.
HMr.: Yes, but different is not necessarily better! In principal it can be really spooky and scary, in practice it isn't.
HMiss: Inside, you go through rooms filled with actors in various scary get-ups. There didn't seem to be a storyline associated with the haunt. What there was, was a ton of actors reaching for you, begging for you to save them. A particular favorite of ours was the autopsy room with the strobe light in the background. The actresses were very believable and the scene very gory.
HMr.: For the most part the actors weren't very scary. I can't stress this enough. To an adult male, children just aren't scary. Having one of your own may be but a little 4'5" munchkin isn't menacing. Children, for the most part, should play little evil things or Chucky or victims, or anything but trying to play big tough guys. They just can't pull it off. Going through this haunt I couldn't help but think, "Guess the high school basket ball teams are busy."
HMiss: Another favorite of mine is a dark hallway where you are trying to feel your way out while actors are grabbing at your legs. At times the haunt is disorienting because there are so many actors coming at you that you don't know which way to go.
HMr.: It would have been nice if it was really dark or perhaps if the "actors" cut their fingernails. Hey buddy, you owe me a sock by the way. Your unkempt fingernail destroyed the elastic.
HMiss: Because the haunt is actor-driven, it's great that they let you through in your own group and that they don't try to put big groups of people through at one time. It makes for a longer wait to get in the haunt, but a better experience once you're inside.
HMr.: Yes, it was very nice to be allowed in, in our own small group. However, unless you control the other groups' progress it doesn't matter. The little girls behind us weren't interested in getting scared. They just wanted to see how fast they could get through, only pausing occasionally to give a "What up?" to their fellow classmates who stopped acting to chat. Wow, scary stuff.
HMiss: Almost all the actors we saw were teenagers, and in room-type settings, this can work. But when you have one 5'2" kid in a costume coming at you and you're a lot bigger than he/she is, it's not that scary. But things in mass are always scary, so it would have worked better with a pack of kids coming at us.
HMr.: 5'2"? Who are you kidding? Maybe the tallest was 5'2". But yes, it could work if the kids are given proper instruction on how to scare. Fifty kids just yelling at you isn't scary though, it's annoying.
HMiss: If you're looking for special effects, this isn't the haunt for you. As I've said, for the most part it is actor driven, and there was little in the way of props or effects.
HMr.: While there were some interesting scenes. The butcher/autopsy room, the dungeon with the kids behind bars, the people chained to the wall (all those people did a great job by the way) for the most part I felt rushed, abused, and unscared. Top this off with the long line (everyone was out back taking a break?) and this haunt would have to be a pass for me.
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