Realm of Terror Haunted House 2018
Round Lake Beach, IL
Reviewed on: Saturday, October 13, 2018
For 16 years, Realm of Terror Haunted House has been scaring patrons in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. Over this time, not only has the attraction grown, but so has its owner, Steve Kristof. Since their first year of existence, they have been a constant on our Haunted House Chicago “Top 13” list, and a previous Haunted Attraction of the Year Award-winner. Realm of Terror owns that style of taking their show close to the edge of your comfort zone, dancing on the line, and then sometimes leaping right over it. Don’t like tight spaces? Blood? The Dark? Realm of Terror takes all of this (and more) and throws you into the cusp of it all.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit Realm of Terror in your October adventures, then let us inform you that the show begins as soon as you get out of your car. From the fire booming, to loud music playing in the background, with numerous actors roaming about and torturing patrons, “RoT” makes you forget all your troubles and engulfs you into their nightmare.
Now, another known fact about RoT? This attraction is intended for a mature audience. With more gore than anyone can imagine, Realm of Terror likes to take a step over the boundaries and play on different experiences. Need some liquid courage? They have added a bar in the waiting line so guests can have a shot… or two… to help calm their nerves and take the edge off.
Beginning our journey, we entered a small chamber with a large video screen that informed us that we would be entering a whole new portal and world with some very bad things. As the portal opened, we were whisked away into the unknown, not knowing what was in store for us, and hoping we would make it out alive! Once inside, we began our journey. Here, the surge of evil was everywhere and the depths of the darkness consumed the actors within. Every room that we came to was filled with gore and actors that were bouncing off the walls filled with the possession of evil!
Remember we mentioned earlier about capitalizing on your fears? Well, if blood and gore don’t get to you, maybe the claustrophobic and tight spaces will! One thing that RoT does extremely well is making patrons contort themselves through the rooms. There are a plethora of tight corners, slim passages, and low hanging props to ensure you are never just casually strolling through the haunt. This excellence in construction keeps you on your toes and guessing what might be around every nook and cranny.
We continued our travels deeper into the portal and encountered many different rooms and actors within. These actors were hungry, relentless, and eager to feed. They executed perfect pop scares and a variety of precise attacks to every part of our group. They attacked with dedication and never once let our group feel safe.
Just when we thought we escaped the portal back to our reality, we were thrown into the second half of the attraction. Re-designed for 2018, patrons are thrown into a section filled with white hallways, thick fog, techno music, and a slow strobe. Add in a dash of playful actors who were trained in this special art, and the labyrinth presented an assault on your senses leaving you to feel like a rat in a maze. While this sounds frustrating, let us tell you that it is! We spent nearly 20 minutes trying to find the exit and loved every minute of it!
Monsters of Note: Our “tour guide” as we entered the portal was amazing! Also, a special shout out to the “baby” at the end of the maze! Although we didn’t get a chance to experience her that evening, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for “Face-Off” Vet, Stevie Calabrese. (And a past HHC Jim Warfield Acting Award recipient!)
The Bottom Line: Year after year, Realm of Terror mesmerizes patrons with a re-themed attraction with a fun and well-thought plot. They work tirelessly in the off-season to make sure that they come up with the best show for their patrons and never cease to amaze us in their creativity with their set detail. This is definitely an attraction you don’t want to miss, so make sure that you add it to your “must-see” list this year!
– Official Haunted House Chicago Review Team Review