11901 S. Cicero AVenue, Alsip, IL
Located at Fun Time Square, a family fun center in Alsip, D.E.A.D. Rising was the latest incarnation of a long running haunted house, this time with a zombie theme.
The main premise of the haunt was a house and neighborhood taken over by zombies that visitors had to make their way through. This was explained in an opening video, supposedly shot by one of the people trapped in the house. Once visitors viewed the video, they made their way into the house itself.
The haunt consisted of two main sections. The first was the standard haunted house portion, which had a number of interesting and detailed sets, including the first set - a kitchen filled with zombies. There was even a zombie peering into the kitchen window, leaving bloody handprints in her wake. Other scenes included a family room with a zombie jumping out from the fireplace and a tool room with a zombie mechanic in it.
The haunt had a lot of actors in it, and they did mange to vary their performances, even given the limitations of playing zombies. Some jumped out and moved quickly while others simply shuffled along, and still more just stared off into space. One of our favorites was the zombie mechanic in the last room. He was just standing there doing his zombie thing until he sensed movement from visitors, then he slowly turned and started shuffling after us. Good characterization!
The second portion of the haunt is where it unfortunately falls down. It mainly consists of a dark maze of corridors with nothing it (at least on the night we were there). There were no actors, no scenes, so props - just a dark maze that we walked through. It took up almost as much time as the entire first portion of the haunt, and really added nothing to the haunt but time.
While we realize that there is only so much space at the location where the haunt is, having that much dark space really detracts from the overall experience. Add to that the fact that the aunt costs $12 and is only 8 minutes long, you're really paying for about 5 minutes of haunt when the dark maze and the opening video are taken into account.
We did enjoy the parts we saw, and we felt the actors did a good job with the parts they were given, but we'd really like to see more done with the second half of the haunt, if only to provide some more bang for the buck.