Date of Visit: 4/7/23 Reviewer: Lindsay
"Think you can keep it safe?" the bespectacled bunny before me hisses, leaning menacingly close. "Yes sir," I manage to murmur beyond the cane pressing into my throat. "The whole way through?" He pushes it harder against my neck, but I still confirm. The "it" he's referring to is a palm-sized golden egg, still slimy from the congealed guts I had to dig through to retrieve it, and now safely tucked inside my hoodie. Our exchange is watched over by a skull-faced bird lady lurking right next to my head, which only makes it even more uncomfortable.
Easter's something of a bright and happy holiday, what with its pastel colors, fluffy bunnies, and painted eggs. But some people aren't quite feeling the holiday cheer... like the residents of the infamous Haunted Hotel, one of the longest standing haunted houses in Louisville, Kentucky. You see, evil Peter ROTTENtail has returned to take over this hotel of horrors - and this rabid rabbit and his minions want nothing more than to feast on the flesh of those foolish enough to check in!
Now in its second year, Rottentail's Revenge is the Haunted Hotel's annual Easter themed event, following suit with several other haunts under the Sindicate Haunt Group umbrella. As it goes with all of their seasonal events, ticket prices remain the same as haunt season: $25 for General Admission, $40 for Fast Pass, and $60 for literal Front of the Line access! Parking is free if you can find a spot on a nearby street, or you can park in one of the lots surrounding the Hotel (there may be a charge to use these - bring cash).
IMPORTANT: before you choose to experience the Haunted Hotel, you should know that it is billed as an extreme, FULL CONTACT haunted house. You absolutely will be touched during your stay, and might also get wet or dirty to boot... so don't wear your EASTER Sunday best.
From the moment I stepped out of my car, a cheerful refrain of "Bunny bunny bunny, you're so funny..." could be heard clear down the street - a contrast to the terror waiting beyond the walls of that looming old house. But I was swiftly reminded of exactly where I was when I turned the corner, and was greeted by the screams of a terrified patron hiding in the port-a-potty from a fuzzy faced chainsaw maniac. Pausing for a photo with the cutest little bunny, I headed back out front to take my place in line. This was one of the event's few opportunities for improvement; there wasn't much going on by way of Easter scenery or action, though Friday nights tend to be less busy. But I was happy to see the return of Zizzle, their infamous slider - I gave him a wave, and he might've caught me with an unexpected scare as I waited to enter. (Speaking of which, I have learned where the peephole is for the actors in the first room, and didn't miss the eyes watching me from the door... nor the waggling tongue. This is the greeting you get when you're a regular here, folks.)
My attempt at ascending the steps on my own was thwarted by a young lady with a bird skull for a head, who came down to collect me herself. A rabbit with glasses gestured for me to "get my ass against that wall" and introduced himself as "Marty". I regret that I can't remember a lot of his speech, but neither he nor his avian companion were at all shy about getting in my bubble and letting me know I probably made a big mistake choosing to visit that night. Of course, it ain't the Haunted Hotel without some messy fun - I had to rifle through icky red goop to earn my Easter egg, and promise to protect it for my entire journey, before I was abruptly thrust into a pitch black elevator. From that point on, I was left to the not so tender mercies of the hotel's residents.
While I didn't spot much by way of holiday scenery outside, there was no doubt that Mr. Rottentail was in charge once you entered the house! In addition to the live bunnies hunting you in there, the Hotel team painted and put up a number of static ones, many with savage, snarling faces. There's nothing cute and cuddly about these rabbits; Rottentail's minions will devour you alive! Eggs in all forms were scattered everywhere, from the plastic kind you see in stores, to colorful string lights strewn up in various spots. I'm sure there are more Easter touches I'm forgetting at this point, but I was very impressed by how much they decorated for the show.
(Oh, another thing. Did the bunny song drive you nuts outside? I hate to break it to you, but they play it IN the haunt too. It did make for a hilarious backdrop to all the carnage though.)
A strong cast of rabid rabbits overran the whole property, and I never had to wait too long to encounter an actor. The theme was faithfully weaved into the actors' costumes, masks, and makeup, with looks ranging from cute to twisted. (Shout out to the actor using a red-smeared Squishmallow container as a prop "egg". Nice!) I did notice a minor snafu with costuming in that the two actors I encountered wearing full rabbit suits seemed to have difficulty seeing out of them. Other than that, they were all on it from start to finish. The actors working the opening scene were awesome, I also remembered the elevator actor from the Ultimate Haunt Tour in March and he remains amazing. I caught a whack to the head with some eggs by the lady lurking in the laundry room, and the maniac working the spark table ordered me to bunny hop through his scene! Heading downstairs, I found myself persistently stalked by a cute bunny girl alllll the way to the end. And while the chainsaw crew were not quite so cute, they were frightfully fun - while maintaining the savage reputation they're known for at the Haunted Hotel.
Funny bit I can't leave out: I was making my way among some killer plants and paused to put space between myself and the group ahead. I happened to glance back and heard a voice shout "Don't you f**king look at me!" in response. Gave me a good laugh.
The fun wasn't quite over once I was literally dragged out of the exit. I met up with our partners at The Scare Factor and after the house had also chewed and spit them all out, we enjoyed some tasty treats from the SUGAR RUSH & SUM food truck. 100% recommended if they're at the Hotel whenever you visit.
Easter haunts are fun to begin with, but I thought the 2023 edition of Rottentail's Revenge was outstanding, and a good cut above last year's event. The house was well decorated, they did a terrific job of dressing everyone up for the holiday, and the show provided a good balance of laughs and screams. Should they do it again in the near future, I absolutely recommend checking it out. Miss your chance to tangle with the rotten rabbit this year? Watch the Haunted Hotel's page for the latest info on their new blackout event, "The Last Survivors", coming in late May.