Midnight Terror Haunted House 2018
Oak Lawn, IL
Reviewed on: Sunday, October 7, 2018
Nestled in the south side of Chicago lies Midnight Terror Haunted House. While almost all haunted attractions have a backstory of how they came to be, this story is one that definitely stands out from others. The owner and creator behind the terror, Justin Cerniuk, is a former Marine who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and has a love for horror and Halloween and wanted to make his dream come true. Starting out as just a home haunt, Cerniuk thought about the bigger picture and where he wanted to be one day.
Fast forward to 2018.
After finding their permanent home in an old fabrics factory that makes up 26,000 square feet of space, Cerniuk and his creative team set out to make their nightmares a reality. Yielding two traditional haunted houses and an outdoor chainsaw maze during the month of October, this team has managed to grow even more in the off season! Boasting an indoor tactical laser tag arena and room escapes, they have definitely been able to incorporate all things Halloween year-round!
One thing that Midnight Terror does well is that they know how to take you out of your comfort level. Not only are they dark, messy and gritty, their scenes are intense and raw. As you make your way through, they use a combination of old school tactics, with a balance of new age technology. Mix in a strong set of actors and this attraction packs the perfect one-two punch.
Entering the first attraction, “Factory of Malum”, we were enthralled by the opening scene. After our encounter with Malum himself, we were thrust into the depths of the factory and left to fend for ourselves. With many twists and turns, the scenery throughout is astonishing. From floor to ceiling, the detail engulfs you and makes you feel like you are going in deeper and the possession is taking over you.
As we make our way out of the factory, we are completely thrown into the next attraction, the town of “Black Oak Grove”. Here, we are in search of Willow, as she leaves her mark for all to find. Weaving through many scenes including the hospital, bar and even escaping through a secret spot behind the TV, the mark of willow is there for all to see.
Some of our favorite scenes throughout include the dark maze which causes you to get out of your comfort level in many ways, the church housing the worshippers of Willow, Willow’s hiding room and the swamp area. Every detail put into these is spot on and makes you feel as if you truly are in another world. Not only is the detail perfect, but the actors within are relentless and their attacks are perfect. With witty banter back and forth, these actors and actresses have definitely stepped up their game.
Just when you think it’s over, “Chainsaw Alley” creeps up on you. With the smell of gasoline lingering in the air, patrons aren’t sure exactly what’s to come. This year, themed as a carnival, the chainsaw boys are back at it, yielding their saws, ready to strike at a moment’s notice. From the buzzing and whirring coming at us from all directions, you never know when it’s going to end, or if you’re going to make it out alive!
The team behind Midnight Terror always sets out to make the best show possible for their patrons. This year was no different. Including a new entrance and new path throughout, the masterminds once again left us speechless as we left.
Monsters of note: One-shot Dotty, Gator, Orphan, and of course, the gorgeously gruesome 2017 Jim Warfield acting award recipient, Daisy.
The Bottom Line: Midnight Terror has certainly matured over these past years. They have taken every review and patron comments, and combined with an always evolving cache of ideas to create the constantly improving machine that we see today. They are dedicated to the show they produce each and every night and it is clear to see. If you haven’t made it out to see their show, this year is definitely the one to add to your must-see list during this Halloween season!
– Official Haunted House Chicago Review Team Review