Review of The Scream Machine Haunted Attraction

Review of The Scream Machine Haunted Attraction

Review of The Scream Machine Haunted Attraction

The Scream Machine

The Scream Machine is a Haunted Attraction located in Taylor, MI.

23131 Ecorse Road, Taylor, MI 48180
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Haunt Type(s):

1EscapeRoom1HauntedHouse

Links:

The Scream Machine Facebook PageThe Scream Machine Website

Contact:

Call The Scream MachineEmail The Scream MachineMessage The Scream Machine on Facebook Messenger

Features:

Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Handicap Accessible, Food/Concessions, “Hi-Tech” Attraction, You will NOT be touched, Indoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction


Team Body Bag reviewed this attraction on October 28, 2017.

Final Score: 8.78

Summary:

Located in Taylor, Michigan is a haunt that has been terrorizing the greater Detroit area for the past 17 years with its creative frights, detailed scenes, and a great cast of creepy characters. The Scream Machine has kept haunt goers coming back for nearly 2 decades offering new tricks up its sleeve each season.


Cast: 9.04

The owners informed us that TSM has a cast of about 24 actors on staff each night. That number surprised us as we would have guessed that there were more than that the night we visited based on the number of different scenes that had actors in them. The cast here obviously does a great job at covering multiple rooms as we didn’t really notice any dead spaces. The majority of the actors portrayed their roles with confidence and the startle actors, for the most part, displayed great timing with their pop scares. We especially enjoyed the actors in the more prolonged scenes. These characters used interesting voices, spoke creative dialogue, and interacted with us, adlibbing well when we spoke to them. There was one character who didn’t speak at all but still managed to be one of our favorite characters with their creepy movements and impeccable timing. The majority of our encounters with the cast, however, were fairly brief. A quick startle or a short line of dialogue were the norms. We would love to see a larger number of interactive roles for the cast members in the future because the few we experienced were among our most favorite moments during our entire tour.


Costuming: 8.92

The costuming and makeup work was well done with several characters’ costumes being top notch. We noticed at least adequate cosmetic attention to all the characters and everything looked professionally done. Most of the costumes looked complete, believable, and they all seemed appropriate for their character’s role. We noticed colored contacts, applications, professional quality masks, and attire that appeared to be custom made for the character.


Customer Service: 9.5

TSM is located in a spacious strip mall which was super easy to find with GPS, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it. There is a large Scream Machine banner above the entrance with colorful lighting surrounding it letting you know you arrived at the haunt. Free parking was very convenient with the large mall-sized parking only feet away from the entrance. Waiting is completely indoors which is a welcome relief on rainy or cold nights. There is a gift shop and public restrooms as well as two fun 5-minute escape games on-site.


Atmosphere: 7.83

Having a strip mall location doesn’t do TSM any favors atmosphere-wise to the exterior of the attraction but with the ticket booth and queue line being located entirely indoors, it’s what’s inside that really counts. Once inside we were treated to an impressively detailed gothic castle facade and excellent lighting that really helped in setting the mood. A couple of roaming actors kept those waiting in line entertained and provided frights to some customers who were just arriving.


Special Effects: 9

The owners seem to have a real passion for their attraction and it really shows in the creativity of the effects and in the attention to detail of the sets. They have also been doing this for many years so they have accumulated quite a collection of cool effects and props. We were taken aback by the level of detail in several scenes as we weren’t expecting it to be at such a high level. One example of this would be the crypt scene, which honestly looked as good as many of the larger budget haunts that we have been to, from the excellent lighting to the authentic set pieces. The 3D artwork was very well done, especially the demons and monstrous creatures. We have to give a special shout-out to the Hellevator, while we’ve seen this effect many times at different haunts over the years, TSM is one of our favorites due to the excellent timing of the actor and clever lighting effect that gave us numerous creepy scares throughout our ride.


Theme: N/A

TSM didn’t appear to follow a single theme.


Fright Effect: 8.88

We enjoyed a wide variety of frights during our journey, many of which were quite unpredictable. There seemed to be a good mix of actor-based scares and animatronic startles, some of which you might only expect to see in a larger budget haunt. Creatures lunged at us, something loud and bright came racing towards us, things grabbed at us, and loud noises startled us. The best frights of the night came from the cast who got us with a mixture of pop, distraction, and creepy follow scares. One of our group members’ favorite actor scares was based on the idea that there’s something scary hiding under the bed. We really enjoyed the timing of several actors who seemed to hit us at just the right moment when we would least expect it. Being that TSM has a strong cast we would like to see more interactive scare attempts in the future, it would help extend the tour time and really add more to the overall fright effect.


Value: 8.13

General admission is priced at $18 and a VIP Fastpass is available for $25. It took our review group 11 minutes to complete our tour from start to finish which gives us a MPD (minute per dollar) score of .62. While this may be a relatively short attraction, we didn’t experience any wasted space or downtime. Every minute was pretty action-packed making it very much worth the price of admission. There are also 2 Escape Rooms available on-site for an additional $5 each. Overall we walked away quite impressed with The Scream Machine and are looking forward to future visits!


Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 0 out of 10

Sarah – 10/10
Challenge Accepted was awesome! Me and my boyfriend were looking for escape rooms in our area, and …show more as poor college students, price was a big factor. Despite being only two small locations in the mall, they have multiple rooms, at 20, 40, and 60 minutes long, with the 20-minute rooms being only $10 each! We’ve been back multiple times, and loved every one! Staff is very helpful and enthusiastic about their job, and is thrilled to explain all the little secrets after you escape. Will be back every time they make a new room!

Norma – 4/10
We visited this attraction on the last night of their 2018 season I believe. We did show up late …show more (about 20 minutes before they closed) and it was dead in the waiting line. Regardless, every group that was in the haunt somehow ended catching up to one another. We walked as slow as we could knowing there wasn’t anyone behind us but we still couldn’t stay away from the group in front of us. They had one teenage female that was petrified of everything so all the monsters kept taking advantage of it, cornering her every chance they got. They also followed her through multiple scenes that weren’t theirs while our group tried to stay behind some and there were no entertainers around because they were all following her. When they would stop and turn around to go back to their base spots (if they even have them there), some of them just walked passed us without any effort towards scaring us. It was a disaster. This chic’s name was Lauren and by the time we got to the exit of this thing, we were relieved that we didn’t have to hear her name called out over and over and over anymore. She had to of been extremely annoyed by it herself. It took all of the fun out of it. Actors even stopped us in some of the maze portions so the other monsters could entertain their group for quite some time and they would just be staring off into outer space. The only way we knew they could talk is because they said Lauren’s name already. Besides that, costuming was mostly store-bought quality. Nothing different to look at here. Scenes were the same. Some looked as if they had been built out there in the woods for years and they’ve sat through the seasons and no one’s ever gone back to touch them up. Parts of the maze where there’s a lot of plastic and wood seem to possibly be a danger. We didn’t see any actors for quite some time in them bc they were following Lauren and if someone ignited one of these things, I’m afraid it would have taken us a long time to find the exit. Some spaces were very tight for us, if those were to fill with smoke where there are roofs, I don’t think that would be good at all. At one point, we didn’t know where to go at all so we weaved through these pipe-like things and found a hole and we started walking on this really dark path into the woods. There were props and things out there but 0 lights. Come to find out, it looked like a previously closed portion of the trail because when we got to the end of it, there was no way to get back into the maze. We had to crawl under caution tape to get back in. That right there tells you that no actors were paying any attention to our group. We paid full price for our tickets that night and we honestly should have just passed this place up. We’ve been here before too and it wasn’t that bad. The highlights of the trip were the gentleman that introduced us to the park and gave us the rules before we went in. There was also one clown (Pickles, maybe
?) that actually put effort into scaring us but he was mostly one of the only ones. In one of the mazes there was a chainsaw assailant behind a door and we could hear the saw and see him through the crack of the door but we couldn’t get in. When that door finally opened, holy shit! That was the best scare in there for sure! Also, there are places where you will need to duck down, tight corridors as mentioned above, uneven terrain, and a lot of walking (especially if you’re bad at mazes) so be prepared for that.

Norma – 6/10
Maybe we just went on a bad night but we weren’t very impressed with this haunt. We had heard many …show more good things about it and we ended up with a free Saturday night so we gave it a shot. We showed up at probably 9:30 at night. Waited in line maybe 15-20 minutes so that wasn’t bad. We really didn’t have problems with spacing inside the haunt except for a few times but we were able to slow down and it helped when there wasn’t anyone behind us. I will say, there were a lot of unique things in the haunt portion. One interactive set was very different and unnerving. Some of the characters were really into their roles while others were bland. One was sitting on top of a washing machine and he jumped down and we were thinking, “Oh shit” but he didn’t do anything, he just jumped at us a little and said, “What?” In the outdoor portion of the haunt it was a bit too dark to see the characters, especially the Creeper. Our favorite part was the alligator! They know how to utilize this now, commonly-seen prop to the fullest for sure! If you are likely to pee your pants, you just might lose it on that one! I would give the house itself a 7 out of 10. Now we were under the impression that the corn field was haunted too. Although it was a good maze, there were three scareactors in it and they were terrible. No lights, sounds, sets, nothing but mud and corn and the dark. At first it was creepy but after we walked and walked and nothing happened, we were aggravated and ready to find our cars. The last actor that we came across could have hidden well since they were in all black but they didn’t, they stood in the middle of the trail acting like they couldn’t see, whispering to us as we walked asking us if we were customers. Wow. Don’t upgrade to the corn if you’re expecting a fright in there, it won’t happen.

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