Our scoring system and range has changed for the 2021 season. We no longer score individual categories (unless requested to by the haunt) We've noticed over the past few season that a lot of review groups out there are quick to just throw out high 9's to any and every haunt they can in hopes the haunt will share it out or put their logo on their website.
SF feels that every bit of those mid to high 9's should be earned. We have made our criteria a little more strict and made it harder to reach those type scores. Yes, we know scores that haunts received in the past could potentially get lower scores going forward, but that does NOT mean you are worse than you were. This makes it more balanced and helps prevent "fluffed" reviews. Also we review multiple times throughout the season with different reviewers. So, not only are we fair, we keep ourselves in check. Below is the new scale and scoring system. Haunts will receive either an A, B, C, D or F on their reviews and extra scores. Actual numbers will be released once the season is complete.
9.5 - 10
8.8 - 9.4
8 - 8.7
7.5 - 7.9
7.4 - 7
6.9 - 6
Anything 5.9 and below
Anything 8.8 or above earns the official 2021 MUST SEE HAUNT BADGE
Are they believable? Do they stay in character? How is their timing? Do they work the entire group? Do they single one person out and neglect the other patrons? Are they ready once we enter the scene? Do they depend on the “stare scare”? (It’s okay if you have a few that uses this technique. But, if you have more than a handful of actors trying to pull it off. That’s lack of creativity and definitely points off.) How well they interact with patrons, props, within the scenes, the other actors? Do they touch? Are they high energy?
The biggest thing that counts points off for big budget and mid level haunts is movie masks. Unless there is a scene that calls for it, they should not be walking around in Jason masks for example. If there is an actor walking around in a Myers, Jason, Freddy mask. Their costume better be spot on.
We should never see an actor breaking character unless it’s an emergency situation. Never see them on break in "boo holes" (Certain spots an actor can go to be hidden from patrons). Never see them on break in the public eye. Hitting on female patrons in the group. It’s a VERY common thing. It’s very unprofessional and I’m sure the paying customer does not appreciate that. Especially, the boyfriend or husband.
How well they work the performance. There is one fact in haunt acting. You’re NOT going to scare everyone. How you react to the ones who are a tough scare is a huge test to an actor. We watch for that. Do they tuck tail and run off to their "boo holes"? Or do they continue to stay in character and entertain the patrons?
Actors are the absolute most important piece of the puzzle to a successful haunt. Actors WILL make or break you. They are the life blood and heartbeat to every haunt. Patrons should respect them and haunt owners and managers should be grateful for them!
How was the experience? What did you experience? This is where we will review the experience prior to the haunt. Is it a free form waiting style? Card/color/number/other type system? Is it que-lined? What activities do they offer? Games, movies, shows, etc? Do they have actors present? How interactive or entertaining are they? How does the midway look? Does it compliment the haunt? Is it a party style vibe? Concert style vibe? etc.. How long was our wait time? Were they able to keep patrons entertained while they waited or did the wait time feel like forever due to lack of midway entertainment?
Here is where we will talk about ALL visuals. We will touch on makeup, costumes, SFX, smells, animatronics, props etc. Combining this category will shorten reviews while still giving insight to the readers who value these things. We will be detailed on what we experienced. We will point out certain things that stuck out, whether it be a great costume, makeup job, scene setup etc also we point out things that could be improved, i.e, exposed extension cords that could easily be hidden, exposed fog machines, animatronics that didn't work or are in poor condition, items in plain sight that hinders the illusion of the experience, i.e. water coolers, drink bottles, trash, backpacks, etc.. … If movie Icons are used, we will check if the haunt did the Icons justice or were they poorly or lazily done? This is where we will shine a light on things or give constructive criticism.
Here is where we will review the actual walkthrough.
This will combine “Is it scary”, “Bang for your buck” and “trail experience” from past reviews.
We will touch on flow and transitions between scenes/rooms/areas. Were they smooth? Did they make sense? How is the flow from scene to scene? Did they do a good job with keeping the flow of traffic moving so you don’t bunch up with other groups? Did we feel that we were entertained throughout the experience? Did we notice dead spots?
We'll touch on whether or not we noticed quality jump scares within our group.
Most of us will not get scared, so we can’t really judge off our personal experience on this. We have to think outside the box on this one. We pay attention to how everything is set up and each scene's tactic on getting startles. We pay close attention to patrons in our group and their reactions. If we feel that the haunt does a good job and that it will scare the average haunt goer, that's how we determine “is it scary?”
We time our walk through experience.
We take that time and compare it to the price of admission and then ask ourselves. Were we fully entertained throughout the experience? Then we compare it to the price of admission. SF was one of the only review groups doing this when we first started. Now, you see multiple groups attempting a "bang for your buck" category.
This is where we get to shine a light on how creative and original the haunt is. Whether it be with their characters, theming, backstory, scenes, etc.. If a haunt offers a backstory, we take the time to read it or learn about it. It definitely could help the experience. Even if it’s only a scene or two or a character or two. Creativity and originality deserves a shout out.
Will either be, A, B, C, D or F
This is where we will give the final summary of whether or not we recommend this attraction to patrons. Our grade will determine whether or not if Scurryface officially deems the attraction a 2021 MUST SEE HAUNT.
9.5 - 10
To get in this range, the haunt truly has to earn it. They must be Spot on in each category to achieve an A for overall.
8 - 9.4
7 - 7.9
5 - 6.9
Anything below a 5
-REVIEWERS PERSONAL NOTES-
This is a new section that we’re going to try out this season. In our official review, we will leave out ALL personal preferences and opinions. We're judging and reviewing strictly off professional criteria.
This category at the end of each review is where we get to express our personal preference and opinions on the experience.
This is where the terms “I think” or “I believe” or “I felt” are acceptable when describing things during the experience. It will be noted that this is the opinion of the reviewer on the website for this section. This is also a great section to give constructive criticism on certain things that we may have noticed.