Realm of Terror Haunted House – Full Review

Realm of Terror Haunted House is a Haunted Attraction located in Round Lake Beach, IL.

421 West Rollins Road, Round Lake Beach, IL 60073
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Haunt Type(s):

Haunted HouseHaunted Maze


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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, “Old-School” (Low Tech), “Hi-Tech” Attraction, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Indoor Waiting Line, Covered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 23, 2021 by Team White City Devils.

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Final Score: 9.09

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During the Halloween season, Kristof’s Entertainment Center located in Round Lake Beach, IL transforms a portion of their location into the Realm of Terror (RoT). Due to the pandemic, RoT decided to not open for the 2020 show as to not risk the safety of the actors and customers.

With their 2021 show back in action, RoT is ready to scare you like never before. The team at RoT seem to have been busy at work with adding new scenes to the fa������ade and the cast seems to have been impatiently waiting for victims to return for fun!

Cast: 8.77

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On the night we visited, we encountered about 50 cast members. Though a smaller number compared to other years, it still felt like an adequate number of actors considering how well they covered the space. Walking through all the rooms we felt a human presence mixed in with the great number of props and animatronics.

In the first half of the haunt, we waited in a queue line before getting to the first scene while an actor in costume gave us a warm welcome and asked if we had good running shoes. A few customers had previously walked in with some inappropriate shoes and they wanted to make sure we were on the same page. Upon entering the first scene, an actor gave a small introduction that alluded to what we were about to experience. This is about the most intimate dialogue interaction we got before doing the full walkthrough. A lot of the actors were either growling, screaming, placed in positions to interact with, or activate a prop, and popping out from around the corners. Since the rooms are a little snug, the actors do not have the full ability to follow us around. We would only interact with them by passing by them but it gave the full group interaction. This also gave them the advantage to pick off everyone and no one is safe.

In the second half of the haunt, we entered a completely dark maze. Most of the time the way we were able to see was by either passing up an animatronic that lit up or an actor in a designated room activating some sort of light. We would sometimes pass around an actor that operated different drop panels and created a sense of more than one actor being in that area. This area actually benefits from having long parts of dead space, resulting in us letting our guard down. Once getting to a more lit part of the maze, the heavy fog used aided in hiding the actors in the distance coming up. A few times we did get to see actors in drop panels along with animatronics as well. Shout out to the bunny that helped me get back on track without breaking character.

Overall, the actors did a great job at staying in character and being interactive with the whole group. Just watch for the ones that hang around because they might just be above you too!

Costuming: 9.03

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The makeup and costume department at RoT has plenty of great stand-out characters throughout. One of the first interactions we came across was a giant crow character. From head to toe, I was able to check out this costume and it was feathered and also had crow’s feet on the bottom to help finish the costume as a whole. It was a great-looking character, to say the least. Another good stand-out we ran into during the queue had to be the candy corn person. I have no other way to describe them, unfortunately, as I failed to get a character name, but the costume had a sort of lacey dress with a wild wig but all details of candy corn such as the teeth and nose with a touch of a bloody mouth.

Inside the attraction, we mostly saw a variety of hospital-style clothing that fits well with the asylum-looking rooms and autopsy tables and such throughout. Everyone inside seems to have portions of blood throughout as well which makes sense given how grossly bloody everything is. Costumes seemed fun in many ways but also appropriate inside when it came to matching scenes.

Customer Service: 9.71

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RoT has all information on tickets and location available on their website as well as social media posts. As we mentioned before, RoT is located at the Kristof’s Entertainment Center so punching that into the GPS would lead you right to the haunt. This also offers quite a bit more entertainment to take place before or after your haunt visit. The Staff at RoT are around to answer any questions as well. RoT does take safety seriously as well for their staff as well as guests.

Atmosphere: 9.02

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When pulling up to the Kristof’s Entertainment Center one can’t help noticing the giant banner on the side of a cargo container. RoT takes up the back lot of the Entertainment Center so from there we are greeted by monsters roaming around and a bit of chaos throughout.

The fa������ade is a classic creaky two-floor house next to a gorgeous hearse, 50’s era(?). Tickets all have a number on them, so a crowd no longer has to wait in the queue until a certain frame of tickets is called on. This leaves more opportunities to interact with the cast such as the Crow person, who I helped build a nest with using my beard hair. RoT also converted the batting cages that are normally active into photo ops that have some very good-looking props inside. They also have a midway game on site that helps provide extra entertainment options while waiting for your number to be called.

Special Effects: 9.16

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The special effects RoT provides are hard-hitting carnage that does not give breaks during a walk-through. The first scene we happen to walk through shows a gruesome dinner that we want no part of. What is fun about this is the floors sort of sink in, making it more difficult to pass through. We are then led into another great scene that looks like the inside of the fa������ade. It has an interesting way to enter the next room, so something great to look out for.

One of my particularly favorite scenes would have to be the Halloween-themed room. They took all sorts of graphic material and covered them with friendly more party d������cor Halloween-themed gags and such. It was sort of the best of both worlds, so to speak. RoT uses a lot of tight spaces that can be difficult to maneuver through at times but also leave one open to scares pretty easily. Some areas we have to squeeze through provide viewing windows that show some sort of operation on the other side. Another great effect is some simpler ones such as a dark maze with bursts of light when we find actors or creatures around. This can strike nerves because it’s not the dark that’s scary but what’s in the scary dark, and here we have no idea until it’s too late. Similarly, there is a great portion of the walkthrough that is brightly well-lit with tons of fog throughout, so much so, we could hardly see our hands inches away from our face. Here is the same idea as the darker area with actors throughout who somehow find us before we can find them. It baffles the mind how the cast can stay in there for so long and know their way. Simple yet super effective for both the dark and light spectrum.

Theme: N/A

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RoT seemed to have no noticeable theme this season. We decided to leave this category blank as their website also has no particular theme included.

Scare Factor: 9.03

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In terms of scary, RoT does a great job at providing plenty of different types of scares throughout. Again, this haunt is rather tight in areas on purpose, so claustrophobia can be triggered fairly easily. Of course, none of the cast helps the situation with such an actor-driven show. Actors tend to pop out of nowhere and everywhere at the same time to give most of the scares. This doesn’t take away from some of the most brutal scenes we have seen. Actors do a great job of waiting for the right moment and target everyone in the group as well.

The corpse room is a difficult scene to get through both on viewing as well as maneuvering; there are a ton of heavy body bagged corpses hanging from the ceiling that seem to have some sort of life still in them. These things tend to push back as they do not stop moving at all. It is a rather scary scene, to say the least. I understand the reason why the age recommendation here is higher than most other haunts in comparison.

Entertainment & Value: 9.05

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Our walk-through time for RoT was 20 minutes. With a $20 GA, this brings our Minute Per Dollar value at 1. This is a great value considering RoT is nothing short of intense. They provide some of the goriest scenes around and have a cast that is meant to make your stay very unpleasant. The team at RoT has been busy creating the past year to provide additional rooms and scares.

It also doesn’t hurt that it is located at the Kristof’s Entertainment Center because we surely found our way to the pinball room right after our visit. It is a great experience they have provided once again and is a show that should be on everyone’s list to see.

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