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Best Horror Nights Year Ever

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
20,860
Orlando
To each their own, but I disagree with most of this outside of AoV/B&T. I'd rather have consistency.

We had that kinda house line-up with 23 & 24 and those years were rough.

Again, you may not be a fan of Poltergeist, but it does appear it is favored very strongly by a lot of people as an all-timer. I think Scarecrow gets an extra bump because it was the first original "original" in a long time that knocked it out of the park.

You got a winner when a majority of people's reviews are saying their 9th ranked house is still fine.
I didn’t say I’m not a fan of Poltergeist - it’s my favorite house. But it also is one of the weaker houses I’d say is HOTY of late.
 
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OhHaiInternet95

Veteran Member
Aug 18, 2017
3,010
I figured I'd rank the houses from 16 and 28, which are about on par IMO.

Houses:

#1—Psycho Scareapy: Maximum Madness (16)
#2—Scream House: Resurrection (16)
#3-5—Poltergeist, Dead Exposure: Patient Zero and Seeds of Extinction (all from 28)
#6—All Nite D I E In: Take 2 (16)
#7-11—Stranger Things, Slaughter Sinema, Carnival Graveyard: Rust in Pieces, Scary Tales: Deadly Ever After, Trick ‘r Treat (all from 28)
#12-14—Dungeon of Terror: Retold, Run: Hostile Territory, Psycho Path: Return of Norman Bates (all from 16)
#15—Halloween 4: Return of Michael Myers (28)
#16—People Under the Stairs: Under Construction (16)

In terms of houses, 28 wins on average, with the asterisk that I didn't go through Blumhouse--though even putting it last place, 28 still has a higher average.

Scare-zones:

#1--Deadtropolis: Zombie Siege (16)
#2--Revenge of Chucky (28)
#3--Horror Comes Home (16)
#4--Twisted Tradition (28)
#5--Killer Klowns From Outer Space (28)
#6--Harvest of the Souls (16)
#7--Blood Masquerade (16)
#8--The Harvest (28)
#9--Vamp '85 (28)

Obviously, 16 has a higher average ranking for scare-zones.

And shows...didn't even bother with AoV, 16's shows were incredible.

As far as marketing, as much as I love the icons, the website countdown that year was the drawers for each year, not really specific for each house. I really enjoyed the individual house videos this year. So roughly a tie.

I give the edge to 28 as my second favorite year by the tiniest of hairs.
 
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coastercritic99

Newcomer
Mar 28, 2019
18
After this year's event, I thought I would bump this thread as I'm curious to hear how year 29 stacks up with some of the other better years. I've only been to 28 and 29 so I don't have a ton of experience but I personally thought this year was just about on par with last year. I thought 28 definitely had better scare-zones overall, and a great Halloween feel, but I thought 29 had a *slightly* stronger house line-up (28 also had a very strong line-up), much improved shows, and a true 80s feel. So I think they sort of balance out, but if I had to give the edge to one, probably a very slight edge to 29. Thoughts?
 

shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
10,700
Florida
After this year's event, I thought I would bump this thread as I'm curious to hear how year 29 stacks up with some of the other better years. I've only been to 28 and 29 so I don't have a ton of experience but I personally thought this year was just about on par with last year. I thought 28 definitely had better scare-zones overall, and a great Halloween feel, but I thought 29 had a *slightly* stronger house line-up (28 also had a very strong line-up), much improved shows, and a true 80s feel. So I think they sort of balance out, but if I had to give the edge to one, probably a very slight edge to 29. Thoughts?
29 was heavy on the comedy...It won't be remembered, but it wasn't awful.

I will say again that HHN peaked with HHN 17-19
 
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JunoSynth

Rookie
Sep 26, 2013
498
Morrison, CO
After this year's event, I thought I would bump this thread as I'm curious to hear how year 29 stacks up with some of the other better years. I've only been to 28 and 29 so I don't have a ton of experience but I personally thought this year was just about on par with last year. I thought 28 definitely had better scare-zones overall, and a great Halloween feel, but I thought 29 had a *slightly* stronger house line-up (28 also had a very strong line-up), much improved shows, and a true 80s feel. So I think they sort of balance out, but if I had to give the edge to one, probably a very slight edge to 29. Thoughts?

It's all subjective. I've been going since 14 but I can say 18, 28 and 29 are my favorite overall years out of all of them. Those 3 years just had to most content I enjoyed.
 
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GA-MBIT

Rookie
Jun 16, 2017
410
Haines City, FL
I think 29 had an overall better house lineup than 28. 28 had some great all-time gems imo that I would place above most of 29.

I'd say even my least favorite 29 house (1000 Corpses) was better than the bottom three 28 houses (Blumhouse 2, Carnival, Halloween 4). However, besides Graveyard, Monsters, and Nightingales towards the end, nothing lived up to houses like Slaughter Sinema, Poltergeist, Seeds.

Chucky, Twisted Traditions, and Klowns alone make 28 better than 29 scarezone wise. Vamp 85 wasn't great but Zombieland didn't improve much either. 29 did have a much better AoV show and the addition of the great water show. I think Stranger Things was used much better in 28 than 29.

Overall, I think they're very equal years in quality, just in very different ways. It's easy to list both of their faults and achievements comparatively but really giving a proper answer to "which is better" pretty much just amounts to taste imo.
 
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Bort

Newcomer
Sep 7, 2015
55
I thought both were good events, but both had their faults. 29 seemed to try to fix the issues from 28, but in the process exposed themselves to new issues.

Issues that I found within HHN28 were a weaker AoV show, the San Francisco area felt like it was missing out on the action, marketing felt halfway committed to the 80's theme, and the Men In Black tent (Blumhouse) seemed to be an afterthought.

HHN29 improved with Altered States, AoV's best show. They also had one of the most fun scare zones of the year in Hellbilly Deluxe. There was a clear commitment by all parties involved that this was an 80's inspired event, from the houses, music, lagoon show, merchandise, overall color palette, etc. HO1C seems broke the curse of that tent.

However, in the process of fixing these issues, they created new problems, such as an incredibly weak IP house (Stranger Things 2), as well as 2 more hit-or-miss IPs in Ghostbusters and Us. My viewpoint is that those two houses were very generational in their enjoyment. Guests who grew up watching those Ghostbusters movies had a great time with the house, and those who saw and enjoyed Us in theaters this year had a good time in that house. If you didn't have an attachment to those properties, you might've thought those fell flat, which is a shame because IPs such as Halloween have shown that older movies can click with audiences no matter what age they are or how much of an attachment they have to the character.

That being said, at HHN28 I flat out refused to walk back through Dead Exposure because it was such a scary run for me. 29 did not have one of those, and for that I'll give 28 the slight advantage.
 
Aug 13, 2016
679
For me, 17's top-6 houses made for the best combined lineup of any HHN event. That's 75% of the houses that I rank above average or better.
  • Dead Silence
  • F13th: Camp Blood
  • ANoES: Dreamwalkers
  • Home for the Holidays
  • TCM: Flesh Wounds
  • The Thing: Assimilation

To try to keep the discussion relevant to this year's event, I wonder if 7+ out of the 10 houses will become consensus fan-favorites.
 

OhHaiInternet95

Veteran Member
Aug 18, 2017
3,010
For me, 17's top-6 houses made for the best combined lineup of any HHN event. That's 75% of the houses that I rank above average or better.
  • Dead Silence
  • F13th: Camp Blood
  • ANoES: Dreamwalkers
  • Home for the Holidays
  • TCM: Flesh Wounds
  • The Thing: Assimilation

To try to keep the discussion relevant to this year's event, I wonder if 7+ out of the 10 houses will become consensus fan-favorites.
P2_czr.gif
 

randomguesser

Rookie
Jan 20, 2020
188
For me, 17's top-6 houses made for the best combined lineup of any HHN event. That's 75% of the houses that I rank above average or better.
  • Dead Silence
  • F13th: Camp Blood
  • ANoES: Dreamwalkers
  • Home for the Holidays
  • TCM: Flesh Wounds
  • The Thing: Assimilation

To try to keep the discussion relevant to this year's event, I wonder if 7+ out of the 10 houses will become consensus fan-favorites.
This lineup >>>. I don’t know if we’ll ever get anything even close to this aside from the leaked Blue Sky lineup in 28.

Tbh I think 17, 19, 21, & 28 had the best lineups. Aside from 1/2 houses that weren’t up to par the rest DELIVERED.
 

shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
10,700
Florida
The first question I would ask someone who was telling me their favorite HHN year is "What was your first HHN year attended?"

That often paints a clear picture of their choice

I've been going since 2001, which is probably why I say HHN peaked 17-19

Those years felt like a culmination of everything that had been tried and learned up until that point. Yet, they still felt fresh and new.

Ironically, after 20, it felt very much second fiddle to what came before. Yet it was lauded as a "new era of darkness"

I respect people's opinions when they say 25 or 28 - those were stellar.

But, as people say when they're telling a situational story, you just had to be there.
 

Tbad556

Veteran Member
Aug 17, 2009
6,051
Orlando, FL
The first question I would ask someone who was telling me their favorite HHN year is "What was your first HHN year attended?"

That often paints a clear picture of their choice

I've been going since 2001, which is probably why I say HHN peaked 17-19

Those years felt like a culmination of everything that had been tried and learned up until that point. Yet, they still felt fresh and new.

Ironically, after 20, it felt very much second fiddle to what came before. Yet it was lauded as a "new era of darkness"

I respect people's opinions when they say 25 or 28 - those were stellar.

But, as people say when they're telling a situational story, you just had to be there.
I'm not sure how I'd rank it personally, but while I get the hype for 17-18's lineups, I think 19 is where the argument gets iffy for me. I love love love the Usher as an icon, loved the park entrance, loved the theme, loved the commercial, etc. However, while the event itself was great, the actual lineup isn't untouchable.

The Spawning and SAW were rough at best. I know Cleaver is beloved by many and my timing may have screwed things up for me, but I only got to experience opening night that year and it was incredibly underwhelming after loving the backstory, teases, queue video, etc. Chucky was fun, but not a masterpiece by any means. The trio and Silver Screams really held the lineup together.

The zones were a mixed bag too. Cirque du Freak was awful and you'd be pressed to find anyone who actually saw the movie at this point lol. Apocalypse was atrocious. Containment was incredibly short.

And that's a year that holds a special place for me seeing as it was my first year. I just think it may be held on a special pedestal for more general reasons than the actual lineup :shrug:
 

Legacy

Veteran Member
Jul 27, 2015
6,594
I'm not sure how I'd rank it personally, but while I get the hype for 17-18's lineups, I think 19 is where the argument gets iffy for me. I love love love the Usher as an icon, loved the park entrance, loved the theme, loved the commercial, etc. However, while the event itself was great, the actual lineup isn't untouchable.

The Spawning and SAW were rough at best. I know Cleaver is beloved by many and my timing may have screwed things up for me, but I only got to experience opening night that year and it was incredibly underwhelming after loving the backstory, teases, queue video, etc. Chucky was fun, but not a masterpiece by any means. The trio and Silver Screams really held the lineup together.

The zones were a mixed bag too. Cirque du Freak was awful and you'd be pressed to find anyone who actually saw the movie at this point lol. Apocalypse was atrocious. Containment was incredibly short.

And that's a year that holds a special place for me seeing as it was my first year. I just think it may be held on a special pedestal for more general reasons than the actual lineup :shrug:
2019 was over the hump. The core of A&D at that time (Roddy, Kim, Mike, et all) had been together for almost a decade in 2007 & 2008. They were past the “experiment“ phase of icons and story-based houses and events, and knew exactly what worked and what didn’t, and still had absolute freedom. They were starting to sprint, then Roddy got himself let go. They still had momentum in 2009, but the new ownership brought new eyes to process. The core left A&D, or Universal all together (except for Mike), and new people came in who needed to relearn what worked and what their limits were. That team was together for 7-10 years, and things started clicking and they were sprinting again.
 
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shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
10,700
Florida
I'm not sure how I'd rank it personally, but while I get the hype for 17-18's lineups, I think 19 is where the argument gets iffy for me. I love love love the Usher as an icon, loved the park entrance, loved the theme, loved the commercial, etc. However, while the event itself was great, the actual lineup isn't untouchable.

The Spawning and SAW were rough at best. I know Cleaver is beloved by many and my timing may have screwed things up for me, but I only got to experience opening night that year and it was incredibly underwhelming after loving the backstory, teases, queue video, etc. Chucky was fun, but not a masterpiece by any means. The trio and Silver Screams really held the lineup together.

The zones were a mixed bag too. Cirque du Freak was awful and you'd be pressed to find anyone who actually saw the movie at this point lol. Apocalypse was atrocious. Containment was incredibly short.

And that's a year that holds a special place for me seeing as it was my first year. I just think it may be held on a special pedestal for more general reasons than the actual lineup :shrug:
Very valid