TERROR ROULETTE – Full Review
TERROR ROULETTE is a Haunted Attraction located in South Barrington, IL.
100 W Higgins Rd, J-40, South Barrington, IL 60010View All Details
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This attraction was reviewed on October 22, 2023 by Team White City Devils.
About Our Reviews and Rating System
Final Score: 9.38
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Earlier in the season, we had taken an invitation to visit Terror Roulette during their media night. After our visit, we received many messages asking many questions, including force-feeding and eating bugs. Unfortunately, we left media night with an isolated experience and still had many questions of our own, even after speaking to the producer of the show.
We decided to revisit during the season and seek these answers for ourselves. We left with a unique experience from a very impressive first-season haunt. This location is super interactive compared to anything else in our area and may not be for everyone. There is a safe word, and it is commonly used by guests who feel the experience is too much for them. “Rabbit.”
Cast Score: 9.38
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The actors at TR are very interactive. Guests will be touched, maneuvered, and placed in scenarios throughout the walkthrough. The actors here are fantastic in their dialogue and run their rooms entirely.
A great example of this would be in the clown makeup room. The clown in question placed us into chairs and, handed us Q-tip swabs covered in blood, and helped us apply the blood on our faces as makeup. They work the room to help everyone finish their work. Eventually, we are forced out of the room and on to the next one.
Another great actor would be the mama character. The way they owned their scene with the room full of dolls and a baseball bat was both frightening as well as fun. They started their scene by giving birth to a doll and then continued to swing and play with their baseball bat.
Overall, the actors here have a moment to shine with their scenes as the haunt is designed to visit each room for a certain amount of time. This leaves plenty of time for memorable moments and leaves them as a highlighted part of the visit.
Costuming Score: 9.06
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The costume designs at TR are plenty and make sense for their respective scenes. Beverly, for example, is a regular patron of the Fox and the Hare. She has on her best dress but has smeared makeup from her constant binging. Another regular named Andrew had some great makeup applications. They had a sort of permanent smile on their face and, with a slightly touchy approach, made the visit interesting.
Inside the attraction, there are some other great designs around. The clown in the makeup room had some common clown paint on their face. They were shirtless, which can turn guests off (works for this haunt, of course), but had the crazy clown hair and suspenders. It almost felt like they were forcing us to get ready with them as they weren’t fully dressed. Inside the electrocution room, the executioner wore a gimp mask which is something brilliantly placed. it is an interesting fashion choice, to say the least. Mama wore a sort of 50s diner waitress-style dress but seemed to be wearing another face on top of theirs. Armed with a baseball bat, we didn’t want to get too close to check as they were swinging for our skulls. The costume choices were overall fitting and featured some surprising fashion choices (again, the gimp mask was fun!).
Customer Service Score: 9.73
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Customer Service Review:
Terror Roulette has a ton of information on its website, including some FAQs explaining what type of experience guests can expect during a walkthrough. As far as tickets go, there is no ticket booth, tickets must be purchased online, and spots are reserved for a time slot of your choosing.
Parking is plentiful as the haunt is located in the Arboretum, which houses several businesses. There is a security checkpoint before entering; they are pretty strict about what is allowed and what is not, so if you are unsure, leave it in the car.
There is plenty of security around that even takes on a bouncer-type look, so it also blends into the fun theme. Staff is plentiful and split up into parts in case any issues occur, and the team behind the scenes can address anything that may occur, most commonly “rabbits.”
Immersion Score: 9.35
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The facade of the haunt isn’t too much as it is located in the Arboretum of South Barrington, and I believe they put restrictions on what might be suitable outside (there is great décor nearby that the Arboretum sponsors). Once inside the building, we are welcomed into the Fox and the Hare, where a tired bartender offers shots gathered from a wet rag. We drank these shots (non-alcoholic), and I couldn’t describe what the taste was other than ambient in feel and a bit of a stale linger on the pallet. The queue actors are all meant to be casino lingerer types and add an unpleasant vibe while waiting for our turn at the dealer’s table.
The Dealer’s Table is a high-end game by invite only, where we are dealt a card that decides our fate. This card is to be held throughout the attraction and determines what pathway is taken. We find out that each room is dedicated to a killer, and we must succumb to their ways of escape. This is the basic premise of the haunt, and it works well as we are challenged from scene to scene in different scenarios. The storyline works well here regarding the Fox and the Hare, The Dealers Table, and the video packages that proceed to further the storyline. The rooms are all differently themed, and some are very new and refreshing to see play out. This haunted attraction is a welcomed addition to the Chicago area. It provides something that’s not for everyone but needs to be walked through to understand what it offers.
It’s worth noting that there are 23 rooms, of which guests will see about 17 per visit. The way this haunt is designed is guests are led from room to room and have to stay and interact for a certain amount of time. Guests are led through multiple pathways, which are the product of two brilliant outcomes: 1. The group you are in never crosses paths with another group. And 2. There is no dead space as far as having to cross down and out of rooms or scenes; you wouldn’t even notice this going through unless you are told. This fact is a huge benefit that makes the flow of the haunt seamless.
Special FX Score: 9.39
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Special FX Review:
The special effects at Terror Roulette are well thought out, puzzling in the sense of how did they come up with this, and gorgeous. I guess the first place to start would be the rooms themselves. The TR team uses a super clever trick to immerse guests fully without realizing it. The rooms all have very tall walls designed to feel full at a standard eye level. This works wonders as a regular guest isn’t looking straight up to the ceiling, so it casually feels as though each scene is potentially enclosed.
One of the more impressive tricks/ scenes to me would be the guessing game room. Each group is assigned to a buzzer with a red and green light. Our view from the others buzzers are blocked, and we must all pick the same color without talking or cheating, or else there are potential consequences, such as being stabbed to death by the giant knife wall behind us. The back wall reveals a great amount of swords and knives that are pointed right at us. What’s unique here is the fact that the wall moves inward, similar to the garbage disposal scene in Star Wars.
We can also speak about the boiler room. There are two actors here, one victim and the other a crazed captor. The crazed person instructs us to grab a valve and turn it on the count of 3, which then releases a fog shower (steam), and the victim no longer screams for mercy but is replaced with a boiled-up corpse. We can’t help but feel some sort of guilt for creating such a horrific scene.
Some effects can be a tad painful to guests. There is an electric chair room where we all must decide whether to electrocute a man standing trial, our one of our group members. They are made to sit in another chair with an effect that doesn’t look too pleasing. Meanwhile, we are all hands deep on pads to help us decide that they are loaded with mild shocks all around.
I would love to go in and on. However, I do feel this all needs to be experienced to gain a great appreciation for what is taking place here.
Scare Factor Score: 9.39
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Scare Factor Review:
This attraction is different from others in our area as we usually hear some quotable words every season: “The actors will not touch you”. There is none of that here. Upon signing the waiver to enter, you are asked what is your biggest fear to better gauge what scares you, and what your answer is taken into consideration to create a better experience.
Actors here will physically move guests to spots they want them to be in and can/will get up close to them as well. One of our review teams visiting this area was forced into a medical exam table, and the actor did use a bit of force to keep them on it.
You will be told to eat stuff. There is a scene with a victim on a table in a butcher-like area. The butcher is waving a cleaver around while talking and cutting off a piece of the victim. I was handed a piece of meat and told to eat it. It had a pretty awful taste to it, but I know for sure it wasn’t rotten or anything like that.
As mentioned, this is an interactive experience and, therefore, forces us out of our comfort zone. For those wanting to end the walkthrough, there is a safe word provided that will have them escorted off immediately. “Rabbit rabbit rabbit” is the phrase and the most common reason a scene comes to a pause. We do know for sure there was at least one “Rabbit” used on the night we visited, but no one from our group, but it’s still wild to think how often these situations come up due to panic and fear.
Entertainment & Value Score: 9.34
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Our walkthrough time for TR was just at the 25-minute mark from the moment we were allowed to head to the dealer’s table, not including some interaction inside the Fox and the Hare. The standard terror pass (GA) is $35. This brings our MPD value to .71. Given the experience we had this is a great price. It’s also worth taking note that there is a strict group of eight to go in at one time. So, if you think you’re going in for a date night, you’ll hang out with six strangers for a bit. There are ticket deals for groups of four or groups of eight purchases.
Another awesome value is both the Psycho pass as well as the Masochist season pass. Psycho adds a bit of merch and a movie voucher to the local cinema and the Masochist adds more merch but also (get this…) a season pass! This allows you unlimited visits to TR throughout their 2023 season. Given the idea that there are multiple routes and rooms to see, it sounds like great value. I cannot give enough kudos to this attraction and it will be very interesting to see any additions next season as this is already over the top.
Remember how we mentioned that there are groups of eight to go in at one time? Well, it is worth mentioning an extra bit of info, something we will let you experience instead of going into full detail, assuming you are not a Rabbit… eight people enter, but not all eight walk out together. Make of it what you will…
Pics We Took From Our Visit:
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