Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare – Villa Park, IL. (Review)
- The Lords of Salem in Total Blackout
- The Haunted World of El Superbeasto 3D
- The Haunt of 1000 Corpses
Visited on Friday, September 26, 2014 (Sold out with 4000 tickets purchased)
Special thanks to Lisa Malloy, Alicia, and staff for being so gracious and having me out.
Location: Odeum Expo Center, 1033 N Villa Avenue, Villa Park, IL.
(Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare is an indoor environment. Most wait lines are inside, but overflow lines will be outside, so in case of inclement weather, you might want to bring an umbrella.)
Hours: Thursdays & Sundays 7PM-10PM / Fridays & Saturdays 7PM-12AM
Admission price: General admission $30 / VIP 1 $45 (Includes a commemorative t-shirt and quicker access to the haunted attraction than general admission) / VIP 2 $60 (Includes a commemorative t-shirt, immediate access to the haunted attractions (very limited))
Length: All three combined haunted houses about 40 minutes total
Fright factor: Moderate/High
Review: Before entering into the venue, guests are greeted by an apocalyptic street scene of crashed and mangled vehicles with freak show performers including fire eaters, sword swallowers and other interesting sideshow freaks milling about. Also there were drum core performers adding a thunderous soundtrack to the twisted festivities outside the venue.
Once inside the building, guests have the opportunity to purchase various Rob Zombie and Great American Nightmare attire at a huge vendor table.
First up is The Lords of Salem in Total Black Out based on Rob Zombie’s 2012 film of the same name. Guests enter into an impressive façade of the apartment building from the film. Inside, guests must traverse an impossibly difficult maze of serpentine twists and turns in total darkness. It’s a disorienting and creepy trip through the bowels of the apartment building not knowing what lurks in the darkness ahead. This house is worth the price of admission alone.
Next, guests are ushered into The Haunted World of El Superbeasto in 3D. This haunted house is a good change of pace after the harrowing experience of The Lords of Salem. Guests are supplied 3D glasses as they enter the house. This house is based on Zombie’s adult themed animated film of the same name. While not as frightening as the previous house, this one is more raunchy and irreverent with some mind blowing 3D effects. There are some frights to be had here as actors in day glow paint blend in with the 3D effects and assault your senses when you least expect it. The 3D effects here are a sight to behold and are very well done.
Last, but not least is Haunt of 1000 Corpses, again based on Zombie’s film of the same name. The façade for this house is one of the best I’ve ever seen for a haunted house. This house takes a page out of the “Museum of Monsters & Madmen” and an expanded Murder Ride from the film. Here, guests are confronted by some of the most infamous serial killers throughout history. Guests walk through recreations of murder scenes from Ed Gein, Ted Bundy, Jack the Ripper, H.H. Holmes, Charles Manson and more. The recreations are extremely graphic and disturbing. The attention to detail in this house in incredible and there are more than a few surprises in store for guests going through this house, let’s just say, you won’t be disappointed.
Although, I was impressed with the level of detail in Haunt of 1000 Corpses, I feel I was a little let down with the level of frights in this house. My expectations may have been a little too high for a haunt designed by Rob Zombie. The frights were great, but I was looking for a little more.
Overall, all three haunted houses were incredibly well-done. The actors were very skilled and on top of their game with the scares. Just a note, out of the 120 actors here, no actors under the age of 18 was hired for this haunt. That means, there will be no immature actor errors or goofs here, only highly skilled and professional haunt workers, making for a top-notch scare experience.
Rob Zombie’s GAN is truly an immersive experience for guests. The houses run the gamut of having your senses assaulted in Lords of Salem Total Black Out, to a feast for your eyes in The Haunted World of El Superbeasto in 3D, ending with a creepy trek down serial killer lane in Haunt of 1000 Corpses. The producer told us press that his hopes were that the guests will leave the building wanting to run home and shower off the filth and nastiness they have just witnessed and I think they accomplished that.
Overall, GAN is the entire package from the midway “Bloody Boulevard” before you even enter the building, to Halloween themed food and drink, to huge vendor tables, and the haunted houses themselves are well worth the price of admission. For Rob Zombie fans, GAN is a must-see haunted attraction! It’s well worth a little extra driving time to experience the terror here.
4 ½ out of 5 Pentagrams!
Opening night of GAN also offered a live concert by Rob Zombie himself! This one hour and twenty minute mini concert was an added bonus for opening night only guests.
Zombie ripped through all of his most famous tracks including ‘Superbeast’, ‘Living Dead Girl’, ‘Meet the Creeper’, ‘Dragula’, and many others. Zombie’s onstage exuberance was infectious and he really revved up the sold out crowd.
I have to really give kudos to Zombie for his awesomely cool classic horror inspired stage setup. Huge posters of The Wolf Man, Mr. Hyde, Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, and King Kong adorned the backdrop for this Halloween hootenanny experience perfect for a haunted attraction.
It was a total Halloween experience that one must see to be believed. Make sure, you hit Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare up at all costs this Halloween season!