Review of Terror on the Coast Haunted Attraction

Review of Terror on the Coast Haunted Attraction

Review of Terror on the Coast Haunted Attraction

Terror on the Coast

Terror on the Coast is a Haunted Attraction located in Gulfport, MS.

3420 Giles Road, Gulfport, MS 39501
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Haunt Type(s):

1HauntedHouse

Links:

Terror on the Coast Facebook PageTickets to Terror on the Coast

Contact:

Call Terror on the CoastMessage Terror on the Coast on Facebook Messenger

Features:

Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Handicap Accessible, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Optional Games/Midway, “Hi-Tech” Attraction, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Indoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

Team Second Line Scream reviewed this Haunted Attraction on October 4, 2019.

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Final Score: 9.34

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Summary:

The teams that review for The Scare Factor build a planned, yet flexible, ‘Hit List’ that consists of the Team’s chosen haunted attractions to visit. As I (Team Second Line Scream) was creating our ‘Hit List’ for 2019, I came across a haunted attraction called Terror on the Coast located in Gulfport, MS. Since the drive to Gulfport from New Orleans is very simple and scenic, I decided to dig a little more by visiting their website. The minute I saw Terror on the Coast advertise itself as a ‘Hollywood Style Haunt,’ I instantly added it to our list of haunts. An attraction that is bold enough to call itself a ‘Hollywood Style Haunt?” In my opinion, if a haunt is to refer to itself like that, then it has a lot of expectations, and I am so thrilled to announce that Terror on the Coast not only met those expectations, but blew them out of the water. This review will prove to be one of the most difficult. Why? Because when it comes to some aspects, words cannot describe how incredible this haunt is.

Let me set the scene: 2015, Gulfport, MS. Two long-time buddies, Lawrence Barattini and Kevin Mitchell, own an 87,000 square foot warehouse, where inside is housed giant movie props and set pieces. From American Horror Story to The Magnificent Seven, the building is filled with leftover and reusable pieces that Hollywood South has used over the years. But why let this huge space and amazing sets just sit for no one to see in person? AHA! How about we bring on all our film-making friends, and use this space as an all indoor, fully functioning, hi-tech, haunted attraction… Hollywood Style! Lawrence and Kevin, who refer to themselves as the “Little Rascals” then began mapping out their haunt, which alone is 42,000 square feet and, in 28 working days, created Terror on the Coast.


Cast: 8.93

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The cast for Terror on the Coast is an energetic, enthusiastic and terrifying group. With roughly 100-110 actors per night, there is no getting past these dedicated performers who are determined to make you scream.

I will never forget one particular actress. The scene she occupied looked like a downtown, gritty, just-keep-walking street scene; we all know what I’m talking about. Instead of screaming in our faces, this girl was crying and begging for money because she was “sick.” Not only did that give us, who work in the French Quarter in New Orleans, a huge laugh, but it was also so perfect for the scene. Team Second Line Scream has dubbed that character the “HashHag 2019.”

The actors are very believable and made use of a tactic I have never encountered in a haunt before Terror on the Coast. It is so simple, yet so effective. The performer literally just stands in my way, not allowing me to pass. That’s it? Yes, and when this unsettling and uncomfortable situation goes on for a solid minute or two, I am forced to experience every emotion, from awkwardly laughing to screaming. These actors are not afraid to get in a guest’s face, tease a little, toy with our fears, whether they be claustrophobia or coulrophobia (I don’t want to spoil anything).

I should also note that the actors were so on top of their roles that my teammate, who usually likes to get a good laugh by scaring me himself, did not have the opportunity to scare me… because he was upstaged! So to the cast of Terror on the Coast, I give you a well-earned standing ovation.


Costuming: 9.68

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There are so many impressive aspects about Terror on the Coast, but when I was told this piece of information during our interview with Lawerence and Kevin, my jaw dropped. Ready? NO COSTUMES, PROSTHETICS OR MASKS ARE STORE BOUGHT. (I’ll give you a moment to pick up your jaw.)

That’s right, because Terror on the Coast is owned and operated by film industry professionals, their costuming and makeup is top notch. Headed by Lead Makeup Artist Sara Lavolpicella, who has years of film industry makeup under her belt, the makeup or mask not only fits the scene, but it fits the ACTOR perfectly, allowing them to embrace their characters even more.

Whether the scene is set in the 1800’s or outer space, the makeup and costuming is detailed, convincing and appropriate for that world, however brief a room size is. I could gush more about their costuming/makeup department, but we would be here all day, and there is so much more to this haunt.


Customer Service: 9.58

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Terror on the Coast checks all of my boxes when it comes to customer service, and I can be a stickler when it comes to customer service and safety. The haunt is located right off the main interstate and has more than one huge sign stating where to turn, etc. Team Second Line Scream left New Orleans in the middle of Friday rush hour traffic, and still managed to get there in a reasonable amount of time; we were even early!

In terms of safety outside and inside the haunt, there is at least one marked car with lights flashing as guests approach the haunt. I personally prefer the security to be front and center and, with their police officers, Terror on the Coast also has an off-duty fireman and an entire team of security personnel with walkie talkies roaming the warehouse at all times. The warehouse is also equipped with an overhead sprinkler system, should it be needed, and every actor and staff member is trained in a safety course before allowed to work in the haunt. Each room also has a minimum of a 4 feet wide pathway, making the entire experience ADA accessible.

Also, before we are allowed to enter the haunt itself, a staff member goes over every rule (no touching actors, no touching set pieces, no phones, etc.) and then asks if there are any questions about the rules.


Atmosphere: 10

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This was the section of the review I could not wait to write out! The Purge television series is filmed in the area, and Terror on the Coast sure has made good use of their set pieces. (Again, I do not want to spoil too much). The entire front section of the train used in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is on display and offers a great photo op. The saloon from Magnificent Seven is set up for anyone to go and sit. Want to grab a drink at their full-service bar? Sure, it’s the section that looks like a bar found in the streets of Columbia, complete with laundry hanging out the windows to dry. American Horror Story set pieces galore! And those are only the ones I had time to write down as we were given a tour before the haunt opened. Since I am a fan of all things movies, just the atmosphere alone was entertaining and prepared me for the level of haunt I was about to experience. There is a DJ playing remixes to horror movie themes, and an array of characters walking the space.

One thing that I wish Terror on the Coast had for its 2019 season were little signs next to the large set pieces located in the waiting area and bar… the ones that state what projects that particular set piece had appeared in. It just helps guests to appreciate the hard work so much more. “Honey, it says this restaurant booth appeared in a movie with Robert De Niro! We have to take a picture!” That picture then goes onto social media, and bam!, you have free marketing! When I mentioned this to the owners, they informed me they are working on an app that guests can scan at each large set piece, and info will then appear on any smart phone!


Special Effects: 9.18

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Terror on the Coast uses a sound technique that, when described does not seem like a scare, but it certainly stopped me in my tracks. Because the ground is cement and sound bounces all over the place, the section that had people dropping pipes (or what sounded like pipes) in the dark was truly jarring. It is a completely controlled scare, but the sound produces a sense of non-safety. My teammate admitted that effect scared him good, and he has a reputation of being difficult to scare.

FINALLY, AN OUTER SPACE SCENE! Other haunts need to take a page out of Terror on the Coast’s book for scene construction. They’re scenes covered any fear or phobia one might have. A tunnel that gets smaller and smaller, a blackout room, hall of mirrors, just to name a few. When I entered the room set up like a torture chamber, I immediately recognized the wooden cages used in American Horror Story: Coven, as Madame LaLaurie’s (Kathy Bates’) torture chamber. Even at the American Horror Story-themed haunted house at Universal Studios Orlando, there was a “LaLaurie torture room,” but what makes Terror on the Coast so special is that the cages were the actual ones used in the series, whereas Universal’s were recreations. (I confirmed this with the owner.)

The team also appreciated the non-use of cheap animatronics. I understand every haunt has its own budget, and can only do so much within that budget, but there are scares that can be produced without the need for animatronics. We can usually see it coming while the machine waits for us to pass the trigger, so why spend the money? The special effects are successful at Terror on the Coast because they are unexpected, no matter how simple.

Again, because it is all film props/set pieces, the haunt has a strict rule on not touching the props during the haunt. (Of course accidents happen.) My teammate usually has a tendency to want to touch some of the decor on the walls, and I had to repeatedly remind him to stop touching the scenery, while still leading our group and screaming my lungs out. So if you are a “scenery handsy” kind of person, please have respect for this clearly posted rule; the lasting power of these scenes is paramount… movie pun shamelessly intended.


Theme: 8.9

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I will be upfront about this: I do not mind if the haunt does not have a theme, but if you do have a theme, 99% of the rooms/costumes need to reflect that theme. The owners of Terror on the Coast stick to the fact that they do NOT have a theme, and I am perfectly ok with that. We go through so many different scenes, different time periods, that it is almost a “movie back lot” theme if any. So, with that being said, we then look at each section. There was a clear distinction between each scene. Once we left outer space, we left it. It did not spill into the “back woods” hillbilly scene, and same with the next scene. There are no particular movies or movie characters that are used, except for one, and a haunt without this particular movie character is lacking (at least for 2019). Let’s just say, he is the “King” of horror villains in pop culture right now. Bonus points if you can figure out who… or what I’m talking about.


Scare Factor: 9.28

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Moment of truth: was it actually scary? Well, do you consider cowering in a corner with another adult couple, actors closing in on you, all the while screaming in the pitch dark, to be scary? YES, IT WAS SCARY! Terror on the Coast scared me in ways I did not know I could be scared. Disorienting, dialogue, sound effects, all of these things were utilized in very inventive ways. In terms of the ending, do not expect to get chased out by a chainsaw; that is too predictable for Terror on the Coast. But do not worry, you will be chased by a chainsaw, just in a previous, more appropriately themed room.


Entertainment & Value: 9.2

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When my teammate and I were in line there was a group of kids a generation younger than us in front, and a group of adults a generation older behind us. We saw the same enthusiasm, excitement and fun both groups had, and if a haunt can appeal to any age group, I call it a success. The ticket prices were more than reasonable, $20 general admission, $30 for VIP (front of line). The owners also intend to add three 5 minute escape rooms, and one escape room that lasts an hour, to be in use next season.

What I want to see out of Terror on the Coast is more use of the space throughout the year. How about a night once a month where they screen an old horror film, charging $20 for a ticket that includes one free drink? I know so many people that would love to go. But, of course, these are all suggestions.

We feel this haunt needs to invest in some serious marketing. It is too unique of an experience, and more people need to know about it. This review will only get so much word out, and I’m honored to aid in putting Terror on the Coast on the “must do” haunted attraction list, but at the end of the day, the haunt needs to invest more time and/or money into marketing. It will do nothing but benefit the attraction and the space. This review was truly difficult to write because I can only praise so much, and there are only a certain amount of words to describe “awesome.” But, Terror on the Coast, you should feel so proud of what you have accomplished in the few years of operation; anyone would think the haunt had been around for decades. Team Second Line Scream is honored to be the first team from Scare Factor reviewing the haunt, and we cannot wait to see what tricks the “Little Rascals” have up their sleeves in the years to come.


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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 4 out of 10

David – 10/10 – October 5, 2019
I loved it I went last year also and it was better this year than it was last year. I will …show more definitely be coming back

Bernard L Dawson – 1/10 – September 26, 2020
I am an older individual who travels to haunted attractions throughout the south and other locations …show more every year for the past 25+ years. I love haunted attractions. When I saw that a prop company had their own haunted attraction, I thought it would be a great one. I arrived at 8PM on September 26, 2020. To get right to the point, this place is a dumpster fire which should be visited by no one. I wish I could make a dark attraction joke here but the only joke is this haunted attraction. Signs: This was my first time at this haunted attraction so I was looking for the signs to know what line to get in or where to go. I had to ask one of the t-shirt security personnel to understand the madness. Once inside, I required one of the workers to escort us to where I were supposed to enter the attraction. Directions for the event were substandard if non-existent. COVID-19: There are no COVID-19 precautions here. Wear your own mask. Social distancing is non-existent. No hand sanitizer for anyone. This is a super spreader event. If Mississippi has any COVID-19 restrictions in place, they are not being followed here. Hopefully, Gulfport hospital has some empty ICU beds. Lines: There are two lines to enter this haunted attraction. There is a line to enter the building and a line to get into the haunted attraction. The line to enter the building is to monitor building capacity and all guests have to wait in this line whether tickets are in hand or not. They claim that they have a capacity limit to monitor which is why there isn’t a separate line. However, a handful of people every so often doesn’t seem that hard to account for. The line to enter the building may take up to two hours. This line is not monitored nor enforced. There were large groups of 20+ that would walk up to the front of the line and then just join the line. This line cutting behavior plus drugs and alcohol contributed to many very tense confrontations as you waited in line to include fist brawling on two occasions that I witnessed during my wait. Toilet: Better hold it. There was only one port-a-potty outside for a line of an est 3000+ people and two port-a-potties inside the attraction for the est 1000+ that made it into the building. Security: Security was teens or mid-twenties male/female in t-shirts with a stun gun in a few cases. They were quickly overwhelmed if they were present. There was no law enforcement or any badged authority seen onsite during my three hours I was there. Upon exiting the attraction, there was another fist brawl / scream fight between the actors and guests in the carnival area. Teenagers in t-shirts responded, but again, no badged authority anywhere to be found. It was not diffused by them at all as I quickly left this attraction. Online tickets: There is no reason to get online tickets. I had an online ticket with VIP. Once you wait in the line to get in the building, you are allowed to enter the will call. The online tickets will save you 30 minutes if you have VIP in hand. If you are buying at the attraction, just get the general admission. It is another 30 or so minutes to add to the 2 hours you just waited so save the $10 per person upcharge. There was an actor in the way of the will call entrance when we entered the building so it is assumed that there was so few using it that the actor didn’t seem to be in the way. VIP: It may have saved 30 minutes in the general admission line. Once through will call, I required an escort to find the entrance to the VIP line. Unfortunately, I was turned away at first until I argued with the attendant who was not paying attention to anyone nor appeared to have any organizational skills. She required a t-shirt security individual to help handle the regular line and the VIP line. General admission was a long line but VIP was just my friend and I. Actors: There was barely any actors in the actual attraction. It took 20 minutes to walk through the attraction. During those 20 minutes, I saw est 10 actors of which only 2 were in character. Most just stood there as you passed and stared at you. Scenes: This is a prop company so the scenes were pretty good. There were some lighting issues in some areas where props were hidden by the darkness. If you are going to put time into making a prop, you should make sure it can be seen. Overall: I drove two hours to wait for two hours to enter an unmanaged hostile ticket line to take a substandard 20 minute haunted attraction tour for $35. This is the worst haunted attraction experience I have had in the 25+ years that I have been going to haunted attractions. The awards they supposedly won had to have been given to themselves. This was not a fun experience in any way. An absolute waste of money and time. Parents: Do not let your children go here. They may get in a fight, find drugs, get COVID, or just plain disappear in a bad way. This attraction does not care about the safety of their guests.

Bonnie K Kidd – 1/10 – October 11, 2019
The venue was extraordinary–wonderful tableaux and effective actors, but the music played by the CJ …show more was absolutely DEAFENING and the warehouse itself is not air-conditioned, so it was very hot inside. I was sweating profusely during the entire experience, including waiting in line during the deafening music. I wished I had brought earplugs. The warehouse is not lighted sufficiently for us seniors who have trouble seeing in the dark, so the walk-through is dangerous in places, especially in the completely dark space near the end of the tour. The people who are putting this event on need to use some floor lighting to show the waym, so people won’t get lost or injured in the total darkness. I tried to get the security guy to heklp me and he just laughed at me, even when I told him I was 74 years old and couldn’t see at all and wanted to find the exit–I just wanted to get out of there before I got hurt. This idiot laughed at me and didn’t take me seriously and refused to show me the way out. I was furious as well as frightened. I will never go back here. And I don’t recommend this event at all to senior citizens.

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