Twisted Crypt Productions – Full Review

Twisted Crypt Productions is a Haunted Attraction located in Rockford, IL.

5420 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61108
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This attraction was reviewed on October 1, 2023 by Team White City Devils.

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Final Score: 9.03

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We started our season off this year at a ‘new to us’ haunted house. Just 90 minutes northwest of Chicago lies the quaint town of Rockford, Illinois. Rockford has been home to Twisted Crypt for the past ten seasons.

Twisted Crypt is an ever-evolving production piece full of sudden scares, creepy scenes, and a family that sticks together closer than the Sawyer family from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Much like the Sawyers’ hospitable nature, we were invited into the blood-spattered home of the family, and we did not expect the experience we received.

Cast Score: 9.12

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Cast Review:

One of the most stand-out pieces of this haunt was the cast, and what made them so unique was the fact that they were super interactive. This differs from other haunts as Twisted Crypt’s experience is more of a theatrical piece than a traditional walk-through. In each scene, we were greeted by another twisted family member whom we were invited to stay and watch a moment play out, or we ran into a victim and were asked to help them or given warnings to hide our shinies (more on what those are later).

As mentioned, most rooms were interactive, and we spent a lot of time in certain ones. One of the first scenes we interacted in was the kitchen scene with Smitty, the cook, and Boil. The duo worked well together in grossing out guests as they played with their food. Smitty cooked-up, bloody organs, of course! Smitty became crazed after the accusation of a toenail in Boil’s food. The whole interaction reminded me of a classic scene in the movie The Lighthouse where Robert Pattinson’s character doesn’t like Willem Dafoe’s character cooking. It is worth looking up to know how fun the performance was. There was a great appreciation for the chemistry these two had together. Upon leaving, Boil asked us to tell the Doctor that Smitty was going insane, leaving us wanting to find the doctor ahead at some point during our visit.

The next interactive room also had some hilarious dialogue between the two characters. They had a playful banter towards us and were arguing about why they were stuck in their position. As guests, one of the more interactive moments was the callbacks to previous rooms. In this scene, we were asked about Smitty’s cooking, suggesting everyone knows one another as characters, a constant variable we find walking through each room. Pumpkin, in the next scene, gave the warning to hide our shinies, as the Mistress ahead would want to keep them. We found this information helpful once we figured out what they meant by the word “shinies.” It turns out us common folk refer to shinies as tattoos. The Mistress ahead apparently tries to keep them for their collection. Thankfully, we both had long sleeves on.

When we reached the Mistress, they acted like a kooky older folk. “Crazy time” was a big thing they advocated for, as well as mirrors to show how pretty they were. The constant cackle after about every sentence Mistress mustered up led to plenty of fun interactions and included taking looks into their mirrors.

There was still a handful of characters we could go through, but they are better saved as examples for the rest of the review. I feel the point has been made about how much of a treat the actors throughout the haunt are. Everyone was so interactive and unique to their own accord. They brought the scenes to life and, at moments, caused us to wonder if what we were seeing was an actual situation or a true suspension of disbelief.

Costuming Score: 8.95

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Costuming Review:

The general ambiance we were grasping was a family inside a house consumed by something evil. The costumes and makeup gave actors a hillbilly look with a sinner twist. Most costumes were regular street clothing with added tears and paint to complete their respective roles. The makeup was airbrush quality, which helps contour faces and bodies and create believable injuries. Since this was an interactive haunt, mouths were not covered, which made speech heard.

A memorable duo we first encountered was Boil and Smitty. Boil’s name comes from the fact that they are covered in disgusting boils around their face. They also wore a boilersuit (ha!) with their hump exposed through a tear on their back. Smitty, who was cooking at the time, looked worn out from Boil’s abuse. We found his outfit quite amusing as they used an oven mitt as a sock puppet to dish out insults back and forth with Boil. Needless to say, we lost our appetite with how realistic everything looked.

Mistress was quite a character. They were dressed in a very adorable and shiny 1920s flapper dress that complimented their slender figure. They were covered in beautiful jewelry that I can only assume was either gifted by patrons or stolen from them since the other previous family members had given us fair warning to hide all our shinies. Their makeup was different from the rest of the family members. A pink blush was carefully placed to define their cheekbones, and the blue eyeshadow and thin eyebrows took me back to the 90s.

Another notable character we encountered was Dr. Burns. Standing 6 feet tall, Dr. Burns could have been a more friendly doctor. Their eyes looked sunken with black all around the upper and lower eyelids. Blood covered what once was a respectful white lab coat, and the outfit was complete with thick black surgical gloves. I recommend choosing another doctor for your next appointment.

Overall, everyone’s costumes and makeup matched well to complete the respective role.

Customer Service Score: 9.75

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Customer Service Review:

Since we were not from the area, using our GPS was the only way we got around. Directions were clear and easy to navigate around. Parking was also easy since it is part of a large shopping center with a large parking lot. Be careful, as the actors do not seem to understand boundaries and will approach your vehicle.

The website states ticket prices, and all forms of payment are accepted. Once you are finished with your visit to the ticket booth, you will be directed to The Box. The box was a safe space where customers lined up to enter, but more importantly, to escape the monsters. Shoutout to the security for providing some killer dance moves!

At the beginning of the walkthrough, we were reminded of the darkness and to abstain from running inside. While it was pretty dark, the route was easy to navigate with how spacious the rooms were, and the actors controlled the entrances to the rooms as part of their interaction. There was only one set of well-lit stairs, making the rest of the haunt ADA-compliant.

Overall, safety and attentiveness are top-notch here. Security is present from when you arrive, and rules are placed out before entering, making safety a clear priority.

Immersion Score: 9.27

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Immersion Review:

Queue actors at Twisted Crypt happened to carry their emotions on their sleeves. What I meant by this was there happened to be a designated area referred to as “the box” (also mentioned in the Customer Service category) where no actor is allowed to go in, only guests with a ticket, sort of a safe zone. Mama became so irate about the box that they would go on a wild tangent and carry on how they weren’t allowed in, and it’s just flat-out bulls—t. Mama happens to be a crowd favorite, and it’s clear in their work. They gave us a recipe for an old-fashioned bologna salad spread that truthfully sounds like I’d like it, but I’m just unsure if getting a recipe at a haunt is the part that’s a turnoff for me.

The queue for Twisted Crypt is a namesake in a way. The feel here was a crypt-like area with some spooky areas, such as a doll room with a life-size mannequin and a younger actor with a third eye. They don’t say anything but appear from time to time in some unusual areas. Down the line, we were led to a cabin with my new “Beard Brother,” who lays down the family’s rules. They were very entertaining, to say the least, and had nothing to do with our special breaded bond. The Façade of the attraction was a great-looking home complete with lighted windows and plenty of details such as a big moon, dilapidation in certain areas, and a thunderous ring to transform the area into feeling as outside as possible.

As far as storylines are concerned, Twisted Crypt did a great job telling a story without really promoting one. After looking at the website, there is no story or lore to follow. However, all the actors were so in sync that a story was created within the family’s context. There happened to be a flow throughout each interactive room, and the conversations provided references to the previous rooms we visited as well as context as to what was ahead.

Early on, we were told of the Doctor many times. Whether it be someone saying hi or even warnings of them, the same can be said of the Mistress as we are warned early on of our shinies and how we need to hide them. There were times when we were asked about Smitty’s cooking after we left the kitchen. All this to say, the haunt isn’t just randomly thrown together but has a flow of characters who know one another. This makes for an experience where one would want to keep track of names and characters to participate in the experience and further engage in upcoming scenes. Though it takes nothing away from a stellar performance, I could see people being interested in the background stories of individual characters and the family as a whole.

It is worth noting that the flow of the haunt was a special part that is like no other haunt we have seen yet. They respectfully bring guests in and manage to have a very personal moment with each one. The amount of time spent in each scene had an anti-conga line effect, sort of trading spaces with the ahead and behind yours, so it feels like your group is the only group inside! This was super helpful with immersion, as there were no real distractions.

Special FX Score: 8.88

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Special FX Review:

Since this was our first visit, we were unsure what to expect in the special effects department. After ten seasons running, it was noticeably clear that this haunt is well maintained, and improvements have been made. This is not a high-tech haunted house, but they make up for it by showing how creative they can get using props and décor. Early on, we entered the haunt from the queue, and the doors to the elevator automatically opened without any real direction. It’s almost as if the attraction was personally welcoming in a new victim.

As stated before, this is a highly interactive haunt that relies on the dialogue from the actors. Thankfully, the ambiance music was low enough to be able to listen and keep a conversation with the actors. In between scenes, there were a few loud scares from either the actors themselves or their props. Nevertheless, the scenes did not feel empty since there was an abundance of actors interacting with us.

Certain rooms had hanging clothes, like the laundry room, and bloody fabric and plastic in the transition scene. Depending on the scenes, the walls were appropriately decorated, and the room was filled with the needed props and furniture to complete the scene. One notable room was a transition scene. The walls were stretchy fabric that the actors used to quickly reach out and pull back. It takes you by surprise as you are left in disbelief.

What haunted house does not have a swamp? Using a green laser and some fog creates the illusion of a swamp and not being able to see what lurks below chest level.

Without spoiling anything, a lot of the scenes are not meant to be walked through without the actors allowing you through to the next room. Even if you tried, the exits were hidden. Apart from the fact that this helps keep the customers in place to take in the room’s ambiance, it also allowed the groups to not conga line.

Overall, the elaborate scenes and props brought the haunted house to life, and the family ran rampant.

Scare Factor Score: 8.49

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Scare Factor Review:

The Scare Factor is an interesting category for Twisted Crypt. We stood outside and watched groups too frightened to even step into the box from the parking lot due to the cast outside roaming and frightening them away. Some of these monsters roaming around have gone through tremendous feats for scares. During our visit, one actor crawled under the ticket booth while it was raining and wet to scare a group… talk about dedication!

Inside the attraction, it’s slightly tricky to gauge. Due to how well the lines moved and our group being the only group we came into contact with, we failed to see other groups’ reactions to what was happening. Don’t get me wrong. If it came down to bumping into different groups or entering a haunt and leaving without seeing another guest, I’d take the latter at any haunt. It is safe to say more seasoned haunt seekers will find this attraction mid-level scary. However, the overall experience was generously entertaining.

The scarier portions of the haunt were the rooms that flow through with a more traditional haunted house feel. These rooms were not as interactive as some main rooms, but they transitioned nicely and provided plenty of actor-driven scares and even more jump scares. These particular rooms helped balance out the other sections of the haunt to give something to everyone who walks through. The Scare Factor for Twisted Crypt may not be the highest, but it took nothing away from the overall experience and entertainment throughout the visit.

Entertainment & Value Score: 9.19

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E&V Review:

As mentioned earlier, the entertainment provides a wild MPD for this attraction. We walked through leisurely, thanks to how well the actors performed. Our walkthrough time was 21 minutes. With tickets starting at 15, it’s hard to believe how affordable this haunt is. The MPD (minutes of entertainment received per dollar spent) value is an unheard-of 1.4. We would be hard-pressed to find such a high MPD value in our area.

Overall, this attraction is well worth the visit to Rockford, and we feel ashamed of ourselves for their 10th season being our first visit. We cannot stress how much fun this attraction is!

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 10 out of 10

Anonymous – 10/10September 18, 2021
First room really got me the pig boy And first haunt I went to that metal wanded me

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