Hush Haunted Attraction
34043 Ford Road, Westland, MI 48185View All Details
Free Parking, Food/Concessions, You will NOT be touched, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction
Team Scary Potter and the Hauntwarts Express reviewed this attraction on October 14, 2016.
Final Score: 8.81
Hush Falls was a festive city, filled with colorful residents of all stripes and backgrounds, akin to the flambuoyant personas of New Orleans. Unfortunately, when a high-security corporate facility surrounded the town and began experimenting on the populace, the zealous, friendly, cajun folks were transformed into zombified, fiendly, craven freaks. Find yourself in Westland, Michigan this haunted season, and you may count yourself amongst their hideous number at Hush Haunted Attraction.
Hush’s frighteners number around 40-strong, which seemed to be just about the right size for its length to avoid any actorless dead-spaces or scare-overload. The greatest takeaway that stuck with us about this lot was the intensity exhibited by every actor. We encountered a handful of benevolent faces in the scare-crowd, a train driver and a bartender for instance, and found that their extended, interactive segments were some of our favorites; each actor was believable and capable of maintaining in-character ad-lib conversations better than at most attractions.
Of the not-so-benevolent variety of Hush denizen, well, they were just as potent, refusing to relinquish scare opportunities until they had sucked the last drop of fear-nectar from the hive. Hush’s horrors were a varied sort, but each were acted very well with a high percentage of performers absolutely nailing their role.
Hush has a really fantastic cast this season.
Hush used very few masks; most facial transformations were applied through make-up, and well done at that. Visual designs for characters were largely unique and varied, with costumes that enhanced the aesthetic (un)appeal of each. It is a common trend at haunted attractions to focus most costuming work on a small percentage of intended stand-out roles and to slouch on the rest of the cast, but every actor at Hush got the full-treatment. Even the various zombies terrorize the city were appropriately believable.
Of the assortment of colorful creations, the mermaid, “TV Head”, and… oh, boy, Total Recall, were the most unique and memorable. Of the latter, file that into the “memorable in that: gives you nightmares” sort of way.
Customer Service: 9.1
Hush was easy to find on the strip in Westland, with a vertical spotlight welcoming every eager haunt-goer to its (un)loving arms. There were multiple parking spotters who directed us into a free parking lot at a school next door. Tickets are purchased at the auto repair shop next to the attraction.
Hush features a variety of concession options (including some wonderful churros), and public port-a-potties should your wait in line prove too overwhelming to your bladder.
Several line actors patrolled the waiting area, keeping queued patrons entertained. Aptly chosen ‘Nawlins gentleman, Beauregard was a treat, as was the gruesomely-attired Justin Monster.
The staff were easy to find, friendly, and very helpful, quick to answer all of our questions and help us in any way they were able. Special thank you to Justin for all of his help in bringing us out this year!
*Note that the attraction requires a good bit of ducking, so make sure to stretch out those lower vertebrae before heading out!*
The exterior of the attraction is made up to look like the ruined entrance to a dilapidated city – a portal into the chaos of an infected urban sprawl, Hush-by-way-of-Orleans-style. The lobby/waiting area’s design is reminiscent of a miniature carnival.
We noted an absence of any sort of music in this area, something that seems commonplace amongst attractions these days (sometimes to their benefit, sometimes not), but Hush’s facade does an apt-enough job of setting the tone for the forthcoming attraction.
Unfortunately, with Hush being located, essentially, in a strip mall area, the atmosphere does suffer, but Hush’s overbearing, and well-constructed veneer do lessen that to a degree.
Hush will be changing locations in a couple of years, and we can’t wait to see what they’re able to accomplish in a more isolated setting.
Special Effects: 9.34
A large part of what makes Hush work so well is the construction of their mini-city. As we progressed through the attraction, we found ourselves slinking through back alleys, grocery stores, swanky bars, and even into subterranean sewers, and something about the design of each applied an unexpected authenticity to the experience. This is one attraction where, it seems, having a limited amount of available real estate worked to the benefit of the attraction designers. There was no wasted space – every element at play was essential, compressed – no long, dark, empty hallways to pad walkthrough duration. This created the feeling of a claustrophobic city-scape, teeming with activity which was perfect for the theme of the attraction. We were supposed to be moving through a city filled with zombies and that’s exactly how it felt.
As for individual elements of the attraction, the cave segment, and the sewers in general, were very well done. Within the city-proper, the bar was well-constructed, as was the bank vault. Both felt natural and realistic, and I was nearly persuaded to take a load off at the former and have a drink with the chatty, charismatic barkeep.
Lighting and sound usage were minimal but effective in adding to the ambience of the environments.
Most of the effects at play seemed to be homemade. This, again, added to a further sense of realistic immersion. The best example, by far, involved a gentleman meeting a very juicy end. Overall, the props and effects blended into their scenes well.
Zombies. So many zombies. Fortunately, Hush takes that now-commonplace antagonist and fills an entire city with them – and a NOLA-inspired one at that. It was a nice touch to provide the haunt with it’s own flair of originality. As mentioned in FX, the city structure was put together well, and felt realistic and vivid, and included an assortment of characters who shared these attributes.
While at times, scenes didn’t seem to break too far away from the standard “oh, no, a scary zombie!” trope, the environments were varied, the monsters dynamic, and the interactive characters over-the-top and distinct enough for Hush to carve out its own unique vision of the motif. Nothing appeared out of place contextually.
Fright Effect: 9.29
Excluding a few early environmental scares, Hush’s frights were entirely actor-driven. Their adept cast were certainly capable of shouldering that burden, though. Their abrupt startles were particularly effective, as most paired each “boo” with a loud auditory jarring of some sort, doubling the impact of each attempt. Additionally, nearly every startle attempt was then transferred into a prolonged “creep-fright”, as the actor continued his in-character charade. This was especially important because most scare attempts felt front-loaded, being directed primarily at the first or second member of a group, leaving the back half of patron parties with an extended fright aftershock.
One particular actor who exemplified this came to be known as “hot music video zombie” – an undead diva in a bed who reanimated suddenly as we passed by, continuing to noisily writhe slowly in a tortured, visceral fashion until we had fled from sight. Visit Hush and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about – he’s impossible to miss… or forget.
Our other favorite scare attempt was administered by a certain underground menace who caught us while we were distracted by a particular mythical she-creature…
Our journey through Hush lasted about 12 minutes; general admission is $18, while a VIP ticket is $30 (there is also an ULTIMATE VIP for $45 that includes a t-shirt).
Obviously Hush is on the short side when compared to other haunted attractions, and though it’s general admission charge still falls within the overall average cost. There was A LOT packed into Hush. As I mention in the review, they’ve kept their experience lean and mean, cutting out a lot of the fat fluff that other attractions use to pad their lengths. Still, though, $18 is a bit rough for such a short haunt. We’d probably like to have seen that cost hovering a little closer to the $12 range. At that price point, Hush would be an absolute must-visit.
When we finished Hush, we were disappointed – but not in a “that’s it?” manner. No, we wanted more! Despite the length, Hush’s quality is incredibly consistent throughout; we were never bored or uninterested. It was easily one of the best 12 minutes that we’ve spent this season. In the future, they are changing locations to a much larger facility, and we are already drooling in anticipation of the same quality hauntsmanship applied to a longer experience.
As it stands currently, though, Hush is certainly worth a look for discerning haunt-goers this year. It is a cleverly made, professional-quality attraction with a wonderful cast of actors and staff and, though, brief, is incredibly entertaining.
*Hush has $3 off coupons available via flyers and they print ads all over town, including in the Fear Finder.