SANCTUM OF HORROR

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I have been to Sanctum of Horror and The Breech before and it was okay, but this year they have really stepped it up and it was very good. I was even impressed by the improvements they have made. These two haunted attractions were worth the money paid and the very long drive it took to get to them.

CATEGORIES

Midway/Que-Line Experience

These two haunts are side by side in a mall parking lot. It is very dark outside the haunts. It is hard to make out where to go when you first enter the attraction due to the darkness and the lack of signage telling you where you can get tickets or if you have them already where to go to begin. I happened to know the merchandise salesperson and I went to her after I saw her to ask her where we should go since we had pre-purchased our tickets. She gladly told us we could just go to the ticket booth. They then gave us our tickets to enter the haunts.

 

There were two different vendors present with their own booths. One selling horror art and trinkets and the other selling various types of beverages and the only seating I saw for patrons was one chair at the beverage booth. There could have been a few benches or seats placed around the midway for those needing to sit down due to handicaps or just to rest while they were waiting between the haunts. I had a friend who uses a cane and she needed to sit and the only place was the one chair at the one vendor who happened to have a chair at her booth. She gladly let my friend rest there. There were four or five porta potties on the far east side of the lot.

 

Each haunted attraction had its own front line and its own façade with barricades and they each had a general ticket line and a VIP line. Both facades were very well done for each haunted attraction and highly detailed even including aging. The music that they played in the midway outside the haunted attractions was tremendous and complimented the entire midway and was highly enjoyable to listen to while waiting and you could hear it from the parking lot. I was sad that there was no place set up for photo ops other than being able to take a picture of the front of the haunts as your backdrop if you are taking selfies.

 

There were two actors in the midway. One was a female as a scary clown and the other was male as a bald, pointed ear, disfigured janitor monster. The female was pretty good and she was a slider, but we never saw her slide. She had some good scares and did scare some people, but she could have scared many more. The janitor looked scary cool, but he did not take advantage of any of the present opportunities given for easy scares of patrons and for all patrons waiting in line. There were many opportunities that went by that could have been memorable for those being scared, as well as, those in line waiting to enjoy the scares of others. The actors were present, but they could have been much more interactive and entertaining.

We waited about ten to fifteen minutes before the first haunt and around five minutes for the second haunt, but this was only the second night of them being open for this season. So there were not that many people yet, but a slow constant arrival of customers coming while we were there. The wait times will become longer as the season progresses.

Eye Candy/Visuals

All the rooms from beginning to end were done up very professionally. The stories, lighting, scenes, fog use, actors, costumes, makeup, props, animatronics, everything used was in good working order and did whatever it was designed to do. These attractions are ceiling-less and there are some dark areas in both of them.

Walk Through Experience

In Sanctum, the kitchen scene was a very gruesome and gross and disgusting cannibal kitchen. The doll room was very detailed and creepy with a lot to observe in the details. The graveyard was also very good with some tombstones present and it felt eerie just to be there. The asylum was okay, but moving doors would have been great. The final scene had tremendous lighting that made it very unique.

 

In the Breech, early on, there is an area you enter to be disinfected or decontaminated by descending fog from the ceiling area above. There was a room with bunks and actors as patients. There was an area with hanging cocoons/egg sacs that wiggled

around. There is a scene with a large military type rifle that shot air and went off at us as we passed by it. We then entered an operating room with a dummy on the table with an actor, a large scary doctor and he would say his script which he adlibs per group. As you approach the end, you come upon a large puppet and that was simply fantastic.

 

Both attractions had drop panel scares, there were actors who did jump scares, there were more than five animatronics and they all worked. The stories were both great and the transitions flowed together well as you traveled through each attraction. Each was entertaining and maintained your attention to follow the story. There were a few dead spots in each attraction and some of them were okay but some of them could do with an actor or something just to minimize the dead spots. Both haunts were scary but good scary! It took us about 15 minutes to go through each haunt that night, it may take longer as the season goes on and crowds get larger. It is worth the money for the talent and the time that makes it scary and fun.

Actors

Each attraction had a character when you first entered and they went over the rules of each haunt. In Sanctum, there are three witches that perform a chant in the graveyard and that was very appropriate and well done. There were a couple of other characters that had some story lines to help you know what was going on and why and they were very good as well. There was a guard that also stood out giving some more detail to the area we were in and a few others that were also supportive in their areas to the overall story.

 

In The Breech, there was also an actor that went over that haunt’s rules and sent us on our way. There were some victims/patients that were really good either making noises or having some speaking parts pertaining to being a victim or patient. This is also where the doctor mentioned above is ad-libbing about his credentials and such to the patrons. There were also other actors, but I just do not remember them all.

There was one actor I do remember close to the end of The Breech and I remember her well, not because of her character but because she either yelled or screeched right in

my left ear and I remarked to her, “That was not necessary.” My ear did hurt and it continued to hurt until after I got home which was sometime after an hour or more.

 

Both attractions had speaking and silent actors that fit the parts they played and all stayed in character. There was no use of forbidden phrases; it was very professional and fit well with the stories being played out.

Originality/Creativity

HIGHLIGHTED CATEGORY

All visuals used helped to make the two attractions well worth the money you will spend to see the fine artistry of the creators and the actors as everything comes to life during your visit with them to their form of horror make-believe. The stories and themes are original, their characters are all original, the scenes are all original and each complements the characters, the stories and themes of each attraction. Both Sanctum and The Breech are very, very good this year. Kudos to the creators and everyone that worked on these haunts and the actors as well.

Overall Grade

8.7

These Two Haunt Attractions - Sanctum of Horror and The Breech are both very scary and entertaining as well as worth the price even without the discount applied. One of the Best in the greater Phoenix area for sure!

Reviewers Personal Notes

I do not like dark areas, yet they are great for these two attractions, because you cannot see where you are going or what is coming up and we walked through them with each person holding onto the shoulder of the person in front of them, so we could make it through the dark without anyone getting injured or lost.

The doctor is a good friend of mine and his wife is the merchandise lady I mentioned earlier. They are great people and they love Horror. Eddie is terrific and his ad lib is on point (that is just Eddie for you or the Doctor as he prefers there in The Breech). I just love Eddie, he is great in everything he does, especially if it is HORROR. His wife, Georgia, is also Great!

 

My friend and I clapped as we saw the puppet at the end of The Breech, because that was just the BOMB, it was plant-looking but some monstrous thing, too cool for words. Yeah for the Puppet!

 

My criticisms would be that the midway is too dark and there is no signage telling patrons where things are or how to find them. There are no areas for sitting for customers that might need a place to sit while waiting or for resting to move on. Some people, even if they have canes, might need to sit before moving on. The midway line entertainment needs to step it up because they missed several opportunities to scare patrons. The sad part is that some of the patrons were anxious and watching the actors to see if they were going to come to scare them, but they did not and the patrons let their guard down. Then they talked smack about the midway actors not even trying to scare them or that they were scarier than the actors and that is why they stayed away from the patrons. Other patrons also noticed this and wished the actors would have scared those wanting to be scared so that they could enjoy the folly and the screams of fright in the lines while little was occurring. Scare actors attending, like to see others get scared when they all wait and they hate seeing obvious scares go by and get missed. Fun For All is very Important!

SYDONEY A.A. BANKS

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