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Team Zombillies reviewed this attraction on October 24, 2013.
Final Score: 7.92
Team Zombillies’ and The Scare Factor’s first review of The Stitch Factory summarizes this haunt’s 2nd season in operation. Located in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, the owner got ‘the bug’ when he was a kid living in Chicago, scaring people out of his garage at home. Now, with one of the newest attractions in the Louisville area, The Stitch Factory is manufacturing fear in ways that you won’t find at other attractions around here!
Normally, there are 25-30 volunteer actors in The Stitch Factory, but we visited on a Thursday evening and there were only about 15. Most of these actors were able to work multiple scenes, which greatly reduced the amount of dead space. The cast is a mix of veteran actors that have returned or joined from other venues, or newbies that are just getting their feet wet as haunted house characters. The veterans in the bunch do work with the new actors in their scenes so they know what is expected of them before each night begins. The fact that your group is (partially) guided throughout the haunt is worthy of mention, as this character had some of the best dialogue in the attraction. Some of the other more-memorable characters include Doctor Driller, Michael Myers, Captain Spaulding, the old man in the living room, the Vampire, the gas chamber victim and, of course, The Stitcher (because of their believable performances and interactive dialogue)! However, there were many other characters with average dialogue and performances, which are the main reasons for the lower score in this category. Most of the characters made sense with the haunts theme, but others like Michael Myers and Captain Spaulding lost points in this area as well.
Costuming consists primarily of re-purposed clothing collected from thrift stores and similar retailers or pre-made costumes. 2 full-head masks were used well and noticed by our review group as we made our way through The Stitch Factory. While some characters, like Michael Myers and Captain Spaulding, had genuine-looking costumes, other characters, like the guy in the neon area and one of the masked characters, had visibly cheaper costumes that didn’t make sense with their theme or their surroundings, which lowers the score for this category. More detail and variety in this department would help raise the score. However, we did notice that several of the actors had similar makeup on, which included cuts and stitches and ties them to the theme quite well. Despite this common trait among a few of the characters, the makeup in The Stitch Factory could also use more attention to detail and variety to help increase this score.
Customer Service: 8.4
The Stitch Factory is located behind the local police department building and parking was plentiful, paved, lit and free! Portable restrooms are available around the opposite side of the building as the parking lot. Some larger banners and signs would help draw attention to the building, as well as make it easier for customers to find out where to park and enter the attraction. We did notice a roaming actor or two once we made it inside to the ticket booth area and a projector was ready to play movies on one of the walls for queue line entertainment. Lots of emergency exits were found throughout the attraction and the haunt is up to all applicable fire and safety codes. We did come across a slightly dim set of stairs and we received a ‘scare on stairs’ as we exited the attraction, so be careful when you come across these areas. Most of your tour of The Stitch Factory is guided and they help direct you through the various scenes… while they’re with you! We did, however, notice arrows on the walls that helped us get back to safety while we were on our own. No concessions or souvenirs were found while we were at The Stitch Factory.
As soon as we got out of our vehicle, we could hear the faint sounds of music emanating from within The Stitch Factory and the two lit banners on either side of the building let us know we had arrived at the right place! Inside the ticket booth/queue line area, we found lots of classic, family-friendly Halloween decorations similar to what you would find while trick or treating. But some of the decorations were more elaborate, such as the skeleton in the coffin in this area and the projector in this area also served to break the silence with some industry-related music. We were told that the building has to be returned to normal at the end of the season, which made us understand why some of the areas in the haunt weren’t as elaborate as others (set-up and teardown time restraints). Once we made it inside the Factory, the atmosphere intensified tenfold! Several generas of music were heard throughout the haunt and it served well by increasing the energy level of many of the scenes. There were areas where the music matched the scenes as well, such as with playing ‘House of 1000 corpses’ near the Captain Spaulding scene. However, some of the other selections of music and sounds seemed odd or out-of-place with their locations.
Special Effects: 7.75
The Stitch Factory calls themselves a ‘low-budget’ attraction, so be aware of this if you’re looking for huge, fancy animatronics, because there aren’t any here. Instead, these guys go with a more ‘old-school’ approach by utilizing their actors and scene designs to provide scares. The special effects here are mostly made in-house or collected and re-purposed as the various props you’ll see during your tour! Some of the more-memorable props and effects include an antique hand-drill, intense strobe lights, a speeding semi-truck, a fire barrel, some mind-bending lasers, a super-sized chainsaw, a used guillotine, and a gas chamber. Most of these effects were very original in the ways they were used, but not very many of them really seemed to help reiterate the theme.
The theme at The Stitch Factory revolves around ‘The Stitcher,’ the building’s janitor who used to collect people before the factory closed many years ago and the haunt portrays the horrible things that he has done and is doing to this day! This theme is a very original one and it has the potential to provide some great scares, but several of the scenes (like the movie characters, the various house scenes, etc.) didn’t seem to be in context with it and the transitions seemed to be pretty random. Perhaps if the guide(s) were to explain these different aspects, it might provide a more dramatic experience for the haunt’s customers. However, we did notice that several of the characters had ‘stitches’ on their faces, which did help build suspense before we actually got to meet The Stitcher himself!
Fright Effect: 7.8
We messed up right off the bat by introducing ourselves to the owner, who promptly relayed the information to his monsters, who then called us out (by name) occasionally throughout the haunt. Some good hiding spots were noted in different areas and a few of the characters were fairly intimidating. Scare levels ranged from banging props, cannibalism and threatening dialogue to chainsaw and power tool attacks! Some of the hiding spots could’ve been better used with the aid of distractions to get customers’ attention away from where the scares come from.
Ticket prices are $13 and our review group spent about 20 minutes touring The Stitch Factory, providing about 1.5 minutes of entertainment per dollar spent. Thursdays were deemed the haunt’s $10 night, which takes the entertainment up to 2 minutes per dollar, which is competitive with some of the higher value scores in our review area! On nights other than the $10 night, you can bring in canned foods for $1-off for every can donated up to 3 cans for a final cost of, you guessed it, $10! All foods gathered benefit ‘Feeding America.’ Cans are still welcome for the cause on Thursdays, but because the price is already reduced, tickets will still be sold for $10. The score in this category is reduced because the scores in the other categories are also reduced, so we look for these scores to rise as the haunt gains experience at this location.