The American Horrorplex – Full Review

The American Horrorplex is a Haunted Attraction located in Louisville, KY.

2012 Northwestern Pkwy, Louisville, KY 40203
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Haunt Type(s):

Haunted House


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

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This attraction was reviewed on October 9, 2020 by Team Zombillies.

How Do We Get These Scores?

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Final Score: 8.92

How Did We Get This Score?

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The American Horrorplex has returned for their second season of stirring up scares in Louisville, Kentucky off Northwestern Parkway (NW section of town). In addition, the story of the Bracken-Hart Institute thickens as the battle to maintain their experiments – therein dubbed as ‘flesh lumpkins’ – becomes increasingly problematic…

This crew has a history of being very creative and, with this year being no different, returning customers can continue to expect things that have never before been seen by the public! Most of their sinister scares are created in-house or at least adapted to suit the needs of their ever-changing storyline.

If you like your haunts to have an energetic and interactive cast with plenty of frightening fun to be had, then American Horrorplex should definitely be one of the haunts on your ‘must-see’ list for the 2020 haunt season!

This is also one of the most diligent crews we’ve seen about implementing and enforcing their pandemic policies this year (more on that in ‘Customer Service’ below).

Let’s dig in, shall we?

Cast: 9.18

How Did We Get This Score?

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Beyond anything else, the most noticeable improvement that we witnessed this year was the actors’ energy and interactivity. There were very few times when someone wasn’t trying to get us to take our meds, pull out our teeth, offer us some pre-natal jerky, or make us perform one of their outlandish experiments!

The first nurse that we came across, Nurse Luftblasen (German for ‘bubbles’) assisted Dr. Bracken in introducing us to their not-so-orthodox establishment. We thought their German accents helped increase believability while also remaining in-line with the theme. This continuity was found with a few more characters inside the haunt, but we’d suspect that their experiments (without accents) are likely other locals to Louisville’ and who can keep an accent while playing host to a flesh lumpkin, anyway?

Future encounters, such as with the little girl in the experimental chamber room and Officer Daniels, involved physical interaction where various actions were required of us before we could proceed (ie: activate a button, flip an electrical lever, etc.). Others, like the flesh lumpkin Doctor, the Dentist, the ‘Stabatha’ in the body shop, and the collectors verbally interacted by showing us their creations and asking if they could have our teeth or eat our toes, respectively. When we replied with, ‘Ehh, we haven’t cleaned our feet in a few days,’ they instantly countered with, ‘But we want the flavor!!! SALTINESS!!!’ Kudos for comebacks’ but that’s just eww!!

Not only were they interacting with us, but they were also working very well with each other and their scenes. One stole a recently-harvested flesh lumpkin from the Doctor who was showing it to us (which resulted in an intestine-wielding chase to recover it), another attempted to feed us a placenta, while another schizophrenically writhed around her blood-soaked room (we still don’t know how she hasn’t dislocated a joint)!

We’ll stop there before we give everything away, but we were excited to see this significant up-tick with the Horrorplex’s cast this year. If they can keep this energy up while honing in on different types of scare delivery and execution, then they’ll be even more of a force to be reckoned with in the Louisville area!

Costuming: 9.18

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Since the Institute has been around since WWII, many of the costumes inside are equally era-appropriate. Nurse and patient outfits appeared aged, worn, bloodied and tattered to reflect the violent activities that have taken place over the past 80 years, while the doctors and a few others were sporting some leather articles.

The experiments’ attire varied greatly with their various stages of flesh lumpkin lunacy. While some were on the cleaner / more-normal side of the spectrum, others had mutated significantly! ‘The Collectors’ were debatably the most lumpkin-ridden experiments of the tour, walking around on all fours like something out of your worst nightmare, while the super-tall spider lady near the end had clearly seen better days as well. Near the middle of the mutations were a lady that helped herself to a cesarean section and a plethora of plasma-soaked psycho patients.

Aside from their actual clothing, we saw a good variety of disturbing theatrical and customized PPE masks (which we were told are being worn under all theatrical masks as well). Some of the former had articulating jaws that enhanced their realism, and others seemed to be custom models that we haven’t seen before! One gave us a whole new meaning to being ‘two-faced’ (looking at you, Officer Daniels)! The latter’s details ranged from solid-colored and airbrushed designs to teeth being stuck in a [Dentist’s] face shield, but each seemed to match each character and, surprisingly, their respective personality.

Makeup usage seemed well done this year, given what we could see from the nose up. Eyes were sunken and shadowed, when necessary, with other facial features highlighted by airbrushed designs and details stretching to the tips of the fingers on arms to help round out those characters’ looks. We also saw a few colored contacts, which never fail to give those characters an extra creepy factor, when used. And we can’t forget the hair! Some of the ladies were sporting some amazing, theme-appropriate updos.

Customer Service: 9.73

How Did We Get This Score?

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This season, things looked a lot different at the complex! Getting there was the same, as we followed our trusty GPS app to their location. Once we got close, we were directed where to park by a wanded staff member next to a (classy) Monopoly ‘Free Parking’ sign.

Navigating the attraction was rather simple as one of their hearses, a large sign, and a bright white light was flashing at us from just down the street from the parking area. We followed the light and found the blue tent where COVID screening was taking place.

We were greeted there by a friendly staff member sitting at a table that informed us we needed to fill out some information and have our temp. checked before proceeding. We were also told that all customers must also wear masks properly, as all staff members would be as well (which they did). We even witnessed some of the staff members going around and wiping down common touchpoints while we waited (handrails, barrels, etc.). They also have their waiting line marked every six feet and sanitizer on-site.

We came across quite a few staff members and they were all also very friendly and helpful. Inside the attraction, we didn’t come across anything that would be a potential trip hazard and the nurse with the ‘pearly whites’ helped guide us through the only place where we noticed a floor level difference (in the elevator).

Atmosphere: 9

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The Horrorplex resides within an older brick building inside an industrial complex near the river in the Portland area of Louisville. When the sun sets, this building gets rather creepy on its own. Now add a hearse, menacing maunderers, the growls of a gas-guzzling chainsaw, and some spooky decor, and it provides a quite hauntingly-anticipant atmosphere.

The queue area for the haunt is well-lit and, although it doesn’t necessarily increase uneasiness, it does provide safety for customers. It also makes it easier to see the creepily-lit decor and picture area that they’ve got set up. Aside from that, the haunt showcases a skillfully-crafted ‘Bracken-Hart’ Institute sign above the two wooden and stained-glass entrance doors.

Watching and interacting with the queue cast members is what really helped prepare us to enter… if it’s even possible to prepare for what awaits ahead! They certainly whet our fear-seeking palettes as they reminded us we were at a haunted attraction, and that we wouldn’t likely stand a chance against the creatures inside if they were anything like those outside. At least, before we entered, we felt we had more of a chance to get away from them!

Special Effects: 8.61

How Did We Get This Score?

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We experienced nearly an entire point increase in the special effects department this year! When we say they added a lot of goodies since our last visit, we mean a LOT. Some of them you may have to slow down and look for, but none of us will be able to catch everything with a single trip through.

The changes were immediately noticed in the front room when they showed us what they do with ‘Karens’ and then escorted us onto the hospital’s elevator. We see a lot of elevators, but this one was unique. Not only did it feel like we were actually moving in between different floors of a building, but a voice was talking through the speakers telling us what floor we were on in addition to the creepy-yet-appropriate music that was playing. After a quick switch in directions, the stewardess’ voice turned from polite and professional to an uneasy and concerned male voice. We can’t give all the details away but we’re sure you’ll enjoy this ride.

The Bracken-Hart Institute and its accompanying quarters feature many different effects. They’ve even added some mechanical props to their old-school style this time around. Many of the props seemed to be created in-house along with authentic pieces such as human teeth! If you’re afraid of heights, there’s one spot where you’re not going to want to look down…

In general, many of the scenes and walls were grungy and grimy. Some were splattered and splotched with blood and who-knows-what-else. We noticed a large medical light, gurneys, experimental specimens, an ambulance IN the building, lots of foliage and shrubbery, a nasty spider infestation, a dragon-like creature, some industrial lighting near the end, a large furnace, a boiler, multiple electrical shock apparati, and so much more that we’d be here for days listing items off. Oh, and spiders’ can’t forget the spiders!

Some of the sounds were more noticeable this season and they all consisted of things we are pretty sure we’ve never heard anywhere else. A chimpanzee was shrieking, we could hear spiders making some God-awful sounds (we’re pretty sure they turned some humans into their succulent snacks), the patients themselves were making all kinds of racket, and the music intensified as we neared the exit.

Theme: 9.05

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We were confronted by a nurse and Dr. Bracken at the front door of the Institute for the Criminally Insane. They theatrically welcomed us to the show by jointly giving us the spiel on what was taking place inside.

This year, Drs. Bracken and Hart have been very bad practitioners. You see, they came up with a marvelous plan’ a plan that would result in super – no, SUPERIOR soldiers! That doesn’t sound too bad, right!? Well’ that’s not all.

They informed us that ‘Dr. Hart was practicing cryptobiology and mixing teratoma cells to create creatures that they ‘affectionately refer to as flesh lumpkins.’ When these are introduced to a healthy host organism, they become a brand-new creature. Unfortunately, these creatures begin life uncontrollable, unpredictable, violent, and psychotic.’

I’m sure you’re wondering the same thing we were’ what the hell is a ‘flesh lumpkin,’ and will I get to see one!? If you visit the Horrorplex this season, the answer is an astounding yes!… if that Doctor ever gets his back. We’re still yet to figure out exactly what one is, but we can tell you that we saw a lot of operating going on, and it wasn’t just on humans, they had a chimpanzee under the knife, too!

As we dodged the crazies and made our way through the Institute, we scuddled through obvious portions of a hospital, a dental ward, a cafeteria, a crematory, a bedroom, a bathroom, and eventually into an outdoor area and a very sketchy back alley outside the complex.

Scare Factor: 8.18

How Did We Get This Score?

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We felt that the scares were more diverse and abundant during this year’s examination. Fright attempts targeted both of our group members, sometimes revealing themselves to the front of the group only to linger around and stalk the back before we could escape!

Some of the scares were also hard to pick off, especially when they’re using two walls to stand above your head. This actress gave us one of the best scares of the night when she suddenly sprung to life and landed on the floor in front of us! Additional startles and scares resulted from a few distractions, witnessing victimization, close encounters with weapons, some common phobias, threatening dialogue, and random corpses and bludgeoned bodies hurling themselves towards us.

Most of the experimental creatures had good timing, especially the bush! That dag’ ‘gon bush gets us every time we visit, and we know he’s in there… watching and waiting for us! He’s got a shovel, too, so just when you think, ‘Oh, a big green bush is coming after me, ‘Kershink!’ across the floor, right at your feet! And if you get the privilege of being unlucky like us, you may get it more than once, but ‘maybe’ in a different spot…

For the most part, the actual scares came at us from eye level and were delivered by the cast members themselves. We’d say that some may be less predictable if they were to come at us from even more angles.

Entertainment & Value: 8.79

How Did We Get This Score?

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Ticket prices remain the same this season at $25.00 per person for general admission and $35.00 for VIP. The VIP ticket option gives you access to a shorter wait in line and a souvenir photo! Including the longer introduction given by Dr. Bracken this year, our exploration through the Bracken-Hart Institute took us a total of 18 minutes. At their current ticket price, this brings their minutes per dollar spent to 0.72. Although this is below the average we’ve seen most often, the show was energized from beginning to end, so we felt as if they were torturing us for longer than that. If you don’t stick around and interact with the cast members, your visit could be significantly shorter.

We’ve already been to over 10 haunts this season and we must say that the line entertainers at American Horrorplex were the best we’ve seen yet! We had a blast watching them interacting with guests and amongst themselves before we entered. There were also quite a few of them and they were all doing something different, so we’re sure they help pass the time in line for others as well.

Be sure to check out your photos as soon as you exit the haunt. They also have tons of merchandise for sale along with an arrangement of haunt swag. They can take cards or cash. They also have food and drinks. Make sure you try some of the smoked gouda mac ‘n cheese from the Mike ‘N’ Cheese booth before you leave; it’s the best! There’s also a merch trailer right behind the ticket booth with some Halloween goodies.

We noticed a lot of improvements from our previous visit in 2019. We are impressed, to say the least, over what they were able to accomplish in the short amount of time that they’ve inhabited this particular building.

If you’re looking for a frightfully fun night out with friends, then The American Horrorplex should be near the top of your list of ‘go-to’ haunts to see in the Louisville area this year! Tell ’em Team Zombillies sent ya!!

How Did We Get These Scores

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 9.29 out of 10

Talli – 10/10October 28, 2023
The actors were very engaging, allowing for an extremely immersive experience. I could tell that a …show more lot of thought and practice went into the execution of every detail. The storyline was both disturbing and humorous!

Jacob Dinh – 10/10October 31, 2020
Amazing attraction, the cast was very interactive with me and my friends I went with. Made the …show more experience even more enjoyable

Kathryn Bishop – 10/10October 31, 2020
American Horrorplex was such an amazing experience. They took extreme care to maintain social …show more distancing due to the global pandemic and the actors were amazing. Their all original characters and storyline really sucks you in and the environment makes you forget they’re actors. 5 stars. I really enjoyed it.

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Past Awards

2022 Awards

Most Unique Costumes (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Highest Rated Customer Service (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Highest Rated Entertainment & Value (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Quinn - Emily Rain Moss (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Electroshock - Wendy Brinson (Given by: Team Zombillies)

2019 Awards

Grossest Scene (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Most Unique Costumes (Given by: Team Zombillies)

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