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The Last Survivors - The Haunted Hotel (KY)

The Last Survivors @ The Haunted Hotel - Kentucky 3000 S. 4th St. Louisville, KY 40208 http://www.hauntedhotelky.com


Date of Visit: 5/27/23 Reviewer: Lindsay


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Seeking shelter inside that old hotel on the corner seemed like a good idea at the time. (It was definitely better than joining whatever the hell those things were on the street!) Boarding its elevator to retreat deeper into the building, however, has proven to be a different story... as I'm sure both myself, and the gun-toting human who's joined me, are thinking at this point. Before we know it, the lights can't seem to stay on, the car shakes and shudders - and, with a loud groan, the rickety elevator suddenly plummets, coming to a crashing halt on the ground floor. Thankfully, the drop was short and we are left unharmed.


Taking up position in front of the door, he warns me to stay put. And for good reason - the moment it slides open, he's immediately seized by a creature who might've been human before, but is now covered in unsightly fungal growths. As they grapple with each other, he frantically shouts for me to run. Already on it, buddy. Steeling myself, I scamper past them into the foggy darkness... while hoping I don't encounter more lurking dangers along the way.


With the recent surge in popularity of "The Last of Us"- a TV series based on a 2013 video game- it was only a matter of time before haunts capitalized on the brand's success. No stranger to hosting zombie-themed shows, The Haunted Hotel- located in Louisville, Kentucky- created "The Last Survivors" as both a nod to the popular franchise, and their chosen event for Spring 2023. As it goes with all of their special events, admission prices remained the same as with their regular haunt, starting at $25 for General Admission and going up to $60 for straight to the door, Front of the Line access! Wondering where to park? You may be able to find a free spot in an unoccupied lot or nearby street, or you can hand over a bit of cash to park in a pay lot (watch for signs).


IMPORTANT: before you choose to enter The Haunted Hotel, you need to know this is a FULL CONTACT haunted house. The level of touch can range from lighter stuff- fingers in your hair, a hand on your arm- to crazier things, like being fully grabbed or buzzed with a chainsaw. There's also a decent chance you could leave wet or dirty. Dress appropriately, and be prepared for anything!


As I began to approach the hotel, I could immediately tell I was headed into the danger zone. Sirens blared clear down the street, along with distorted warnings over a speaker, both of which drew curious onlookers. I swore I heard a hoarse wail of "Lindsayyy..." as I passed, but a brief scan of the line didn't reveal anything out of the ordinary. Unfortunately for us, that wouldn't last long... following a short delay, a ragtag group of characters carrying guns, axes, and other weapons suddenly marched out of the building and hurried past into the waiting crowd. Many bewildered groups soon found themselves being thoroughly searched for weapons - and possible signs of infection. Ah, but any hint of safety we might've felt from their presence was quickly snuffed out when we heard the snarls, screeches, and harsh banging on the hotel's front door... it eventually gave way, and a swarm of zombies- all in various stages of spore infection- came spilling out and charged straight into the line! A hard battle ensued, one that ended with the survivors managing to save most of the crowd, though some of us weren't quite as fortunate... the moment I went to put my phone away, two snarling male infected immediately lurched at me, pinned me to the fence, and subjected me to a nasty mauling. The job hazards of being a haunt reviewer, folks.


A few of the survivors lingered to keep stray zombies at bay, but they weren't always nice... one of them, sporting a giant bird skull on her head (I believe the character's name is "Sonder"), seemed a touch amused by my cries for help as I struggled to free myself. Thankfully, she had a little mercy on me and finally gunned both infected down.


So I gotta admit, I went into this haunt with zero knowledge of The Last of Us beyond "fungus is turning people into zombies" - but that basic understanding was really all you needed to enjoy this show. And what a show it was! Action packed from beginning to end, with the odd quieter, creepy moment included for variety. (Example: I entered a room, and was warned to move quietly because a Clicker was lurking.) I'm not sure if it was intentional or just a result of coming in from the lingering daylight, but the house also seemed darker in some spots, enhancing the experience. Keeping in mind my limited knowledge of the theme, I didn't see a lot of decorating beyond bodies in hazmat suits strung up at various points; however, I definitely noticed the soundtrack and what sounded like zombie noises being played throughout. These additions, along with the actors' excellent costumes, created a strong sense of immersion... while I was going through, I felt my mind sinking into the environment completely. This wasn't a simple walk through a haunted house anymore: it was a fight to survive.


Speaking of surviving, the hotel had become a safehouse for a motley crew of fellow survivors, most of whom were armed - and, while a bit suspicious of me, did their best to help... some at the cost of their own safety. I felt for the poor soul tasked with guarding the door and allowing us all in; despite their best efforts, the infected were hell bent on getting inside, and some managed to slip through! The young man running the elevator was interactive, responding to my dumb comments and involving me in the scene... but rest assured, being a survivor doesn't mean he didn't get a scare! Other characters were very believable, nervously ushering me through areas of the house or stopping to check me for bites. (Most Disturbing Characters Award goes to the pair of cultists holed up in the hotel chapel. They were on me like white on rice as soon as I came in, and refused to release me from their clutches until I was "cleansed" in the name of "SoTan". You just had to see these two. I wasn't sure whether to find them creepy or hilarious.)


Of course, I can't leave out the other stars of the show - the zombies! As fun as they were scary, a few of them survived the siege outside, and messed heavily with the crowd while we waited. Hats were stolen off heads, a bunch of us got chewed on, I had two gang up on me to untie my shoelaces, and even caught a bite (!) to my bare arm before entering. It only got worse when I entered the house... other patrons' experiences will vary, but the cast here knows I love rough-housing, and they delivered. I was wrestled with, grabbed, gnawed, had my hair pulled (ow), and basically got ran over in there. By the time I stumbled out, I was a disheveled mess, and had varying amounts of actor sweat and saliva drying on my skin. If that bite outside didn't infect me, all the spores I was probably covered in were surely enough to do the job.


Despite not knowing much about the brand it was based on, I thoroughly enjoyed The Last Survivors. The Haunted Hotel team did an awesome job of crafting an experience that felt very real, while still being entertaining at the same time. There were plenty of actors working, and everyone really seemed to be into it, always a plus with these seasonal shows. And let's face it... zombies are just plain fun! Didn't get an opportunity to face the infected yourself? Watch the haunt's Facebook page for more information on future events.



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