Scariest Haunts Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood
7 Haunted Mazes you’ll find in 2017 at Universal Studios
Back for another year of terror, the Scariest Haunts Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood are open. Universal Studios Hollywood taps into the past for thrills and scares with 6 houses for this years line up plus the Walking Dead attraction. Fans of Halloween Horror Nights are immersed in fear nightly at one of the largest Halloween events in the country. This year the scares come from all directions with haunts like Insidious, The Shining, Titans of Terror (Jason, Freddy, Leatherface), Blumhouse, American Horror Story, Saw and Ash vs. Evil Dead!
In addition to the specific haunts Horror Nights also has scare zone, shows and a ride around the back lot on the Terror Tram!
We attended media night and enjoyed a lot of the horror to be had. Here are our thoughts on the attractions we saw, which ones you must see and the ones you can skip. Here’s our Quick Review of each attraction for 2017:
Ash vs. Evil Dead: Who doesn’t love Ash and the Evil Dead, it’s campy humor, intense evil creatures and Ash’s never ending epic battle. This haunt was well done, it was a bit darker than the others but the sets and characters were top notch. I personally really like the scary factor of these monsters and the serpent like creature was spectacular! One of the fun design elements of this attraction was how we go from indoor to outdoor and back indoors again. We start in Ash’s trailer and end up outside only to enter the “House” where evil lurks. This house was one of my favorite elements of the night, the detail put into this set popped out and brought us into the story. The ratio of jump out scare-actors was just right making for a well balance between story, atmosphere and scares. Don’t miss Ash vs. Evil Dead.
The Shining: Wow this is where the budget went this year! Clearly the premier house, fans are treated to immense detail from this classic horror film. While recreating the grand lobby sets of the Overlook hotel really isn’t possible, the design team nailed it as best they could. For those who don’t know, renowned film producer Stanley Kubrick built the entire interior of the fictitious “Overlook Hotel” inside sound stages in England; the largest indoor sets in film history. When you watch the film it’s hard to believe that all those rooms are built out in such detail for the film from scratch. By doing so Kubrick was able to control room size, colors and most interestingly geometric carpet patterns that created tone to the scenes. It’s said the sets in the film where just as large a character as the cast. John Murdy and Chris Williams, producers at Universal, said they were most proud of the carpet featured in their Shining house. They say it was custom woven for them at great expense. Not just the main halls and lobby but also the carpet in the ominous room 237, where the nude beautiful woman turns into a disgusting old hag. This is a house you’ll want to do twice if you can! Definitely one of the Scariest Haunts Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood has done for 2017.
Blumhouse: Lo-fi. This seemed rushed and pure filler. Simply a chance to milk the last ounce out of the Purge franchise. Included in this tri-fecta was Sinister. Sinister in it own right certainly deserves a decent budget and its own house, however that didn’t happen. They did a layout where you went through the Purge again, then nothing, then Happy Death Day and Sinister. Don’t waste your time, sadly Blumhouse is a stinker. But wait, all is not lost for Blumhouse this year; also behind Insidious, the Blumhouse Insidious house is the absolute scariest house for 2017.
Insidious: We’ve seen Insidious before at Halloween Horror Nights and it’s always the absolute scariest house. This house could be added to the lineup every year and we would love it over and over. Why? It is scary as hell. Just the layout, the effects, and the characters all work perfectly. I like that this house, while based on a horror story, is very enjoyable as a stand alone. If you don’t know the movie you don’t need to. This house sucks you in and brings you into it’s horrifying reality. Don’t miss it, go there first because the line gets outrageously long.
American Horror Story: Having taken up an American Horror Story habit on Netflix, I was excited for this house. Last year, Horror Nights gave us a tri-season house blending 3 seasons. This year they focused on just one, Roanoke. This house simply lacked depth. Not in artistic visual detail but more in the whole package or scare factor as some call it. Unlike Insidious that just scares the hell out of you without any reference to the story, AHS Roanoke doesn’t translate its fear without knowing the show. Even knowing the show, this one sadly fell flat. Jump after jump scare. While way better than the Blumhouse, it wasn’t in the league of the others.
Saw: This was by far the goriest house Universal has done since Hostel. Saw hit the mark with gruesome puzzles from the film that make you cringe inside! To pull off these scenes required nothing less that brilliant special effects. Wow, the bodies sawed in half in front of you looked as real as it can get. The razor sharp blades that filled a medieval cage upon a victim’s head was as stunning as the actor wearing it while crying for help and in distress! Loved it and really the biggest question is “would you like to play a game!?”
Titans of Terror: I’ll be honest, I’m a Texas Chainsaw fan, Freddy not so much and Nightmare was groundbreakingly scary in the first film. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of seeing “grandpa” with his hammer trying to crack open a skull! Last year we were treated to a whole Chainsaw house. This year was like the trailer to each of the Titans of Terror. Classics are Classics, no breath taking effects like last years Freddy vs. Jason.
Walking Dead Attraction
This “year round” zombie fest is the best version of the seasonal house renditions in years past. It’s hard to compare this with it’s massive budget to the Horror Night houses but nonetheless if you haven’t seen it before will likely be the most impressive. With the house perpetually on fire and a zombie running out in flames every 20 seconds, to the walkers shaking around on meat hooks in the cold storage freezer, I don’t think any Walking Dead fan wouldn’t love the experience. This is probably the closest thing to a modern day Disney Haunted Mansion (don’t hate me for saying that Disney fans but I think it’s true)
Universal Halloween Horror Nights runs into November and a slightly different version is presented in Orlando and the Tokyo park. See Orlando review here. Scariest Haunts Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood is something everyone should see at least once!
Multiple ticket options are available in Hollywood but the best option which has not been offered for many years is back as the RIP tour. When you go RIP you get the best experience possible, valet parking, complimentary dining buffet and drink in a private lounge, front of line pass and a very exclusive backlot VIP tour. If you are a Horror Halloween fan this is where you save up and splurge! Seriously.
For Previous Year’s Review of Halloween Horror Nights Check Here
To read a review on Halloween Horror Nights 27 in Orlando Read Here