We didn’t plan on hitting Sinister Suites this year because of our past experiences, but after our scheduled haunt closed due to the threat of rain, we added them to our route. And we are glad we did!! They've improved considerably!
They are located in a huge, old hotel that was built in 1910. This is one of the best locations because the building is so creepy and intimidating! From the outside, this place looks like it is going to be MASSIVE, but they haven't utilized all of the space they have with many doors and hallways blocked off. In their previous seasons, the blockades were not very clear making it incredibly hard to navigate. In fact, each group was assigned a guide who pretty much ruined the entire experience! "Turn left. Go right. Stop there." Geez, dude!!! While it is still a little hard to get around and the guide still exists, we were thrilled that he now walks behind the group. This time he only spoke up when we headed in the wrong direction. This works soooo much better!
While the guide was definitely our number one issue in the past, we also were never impressed by the actors. Make-up, costuming, and character development were all lacking, but they have really stepped their game up this year! Initially, when we saw the characters on their website we weren’t excited, but everything actually looked good in person. They tend to take on original characters and that works really well here! Our number one scene still is the girl on the swing!
We also noticed a lot changes in their sets. They've incorporated one of our favorites - an area of complete darkness. Whatever our imaginations can conjure up is probably 10 times scarier than anything most haunts could execute. They captured that feeling really well! The creepy hotel rooms and long dark corridors are great architectural features that provide some seriously eerie backdrops. Another thing we noticed is that they left some areas without actors... and it totally worked! In a building like this that already has a genuinely frightening ambiance, sometimes less is more!
It seems like Sinister Suites' creative team took a lot of the feedback they received to heart and came out swinging this year. We think they are still playing it very safe, but the changes and improvements are definitely moving them in the right direction. We really wish they would take more risks. They have some ideas that are soooo close to greatness plus the coolest venue with a ton of potential! If you've liked them in the past then you will love them this year, if you were less than impressed now is a good time to give them another look!