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Halloween Horror Nights 2017 (USH): Reviews & Photos

Discussion in 'Halloween Horror Nights 2017' started by Brian G., Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Chris Galindo

    Chris Galindo Veteran Member

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    Okay, so here's my thoughts.

    09 | 16 | 2017 - HHN Hollywood - A review

    Before I start I want to give a huge thanks to @ush.hacker and @horrornights789 for their respective plans. I was able to knock out everything by 10:30 with early entry.

    So TL; DR if you don't want to read the rest - the event this year was one that left a lot to be desired - that said, it isn't unbearable and worth checking out. If you miss out this year, you won't miss much, save for Shining.

    Now for my overall thoughts - continuing to what was said above, the "horror" atmosphere is definitely missing. Something about the event was lacking in terms of the energy - which is rare. Was it the crowds? The lineup? It felt like an errand you forgot yet keeps coming up from the back of your mind - and HHN this year feels like it never wishes to complete that errand.

    The mazes as a whole are very decent - save for Saw which I find completely useless. The scare zones - better than I was lead to believe with Toxic Tunnel being the exception. However, they weren't terrible to the point I was done with the event. The lack of theme, none the less lack of actual star IP was very very strange.

    Maze ratings:

    Insidious: 9/10 - Scary, fun, and very immersive. The scares completely caught me off guard and scare actors were very much in character which left me extremely impressed considering this was a maze I didn't even want back. It proved me wrong however and I'm glad it did. Its downfall truly came from the weirdly placed black walls and transitions. I loved the transitions in '15 being the red doors, however I only remember coming across one and it felt really sloppy. The boo holes and jail cell scene at the end were also very well executed considering I hate boo holes. Kudos for this.

    Saw: 2/10 - What the hell was this. As someone who never experienced Saw at HHN I was ecstatic to experience it for my first time. What a waste of time. Should've been called the Saw experience. The trap scenes were cool to watch, however nothing left me going "Wow! Never seen that before." And don't even get me started on the lack of scares, not to mention the fact that they were ALL THE SAME CHARACTER. Should've been an "experience", not a maze. Never again.

    American Horror Story: 8.5/10 - Very impressive, beautiful set design, and awesome scares, although heavily reliant on the Pig Man, the characters portraying him are super meta. This maze felt like a soundstage maze, so props to Murdy for being able to do that. Its predictability on scares are a draw back for me though, as well as the ending which kinda ended up being super lame.

    Ash vs Evil Dead: 6.5/10 - This was fun contrary to what I was lead to believe, but damn, the amount of black walls is bad. Furthermore you could tell this was not meant to be Ash vs Evil Dead. The boo holes with Ash fighting the Deadite near the end was funny as heck, whoever was playing Ash had the humor down and broke the fourth wall which was clever to see. The puppet at the end was also pretty cool.

    The Shining: 9/10 - Oh my goodness, I loved this. Murdy didn't hold back on the smallest details nor set design and this maze sets the bar for the type of maze that should be in Mummy's extended queue. It didn't feel cramped nor as if it were a constant left and right room turn that I disliked from Exorcist and TiTE, but it felt open, and explorable. A lot of the scares were spoiled by the group in front of me or triggered too late which kinda bummed me out. Loved this maze.

    Horrors of Blumhouse: 7/10 - This was way better than it should've been which I don't think is a good thing, lol. Purge had an awesome cast and were outstanding. Happy Death Day was forgettable and bad. Sinister's portion was very very impressive and I enjoyed it. The screen/ boo hole scare towards the end was super creative. Big Daddy is out of place and kinda kills it.

    Titans of Terror: 5.5/10 - A disappointment. The first two rooms are like a good prologue to a movie that never happens. Lack of Camp Crystal Lake was unfortunate, but the NoES scenes were really fun and lots of cool special effects. Not to mention the cradle scene with Freddy is super creepy. However, the maze is unbelievably short and the TCM portion felt like a repeat of last year. Murdy's cameo in this is fun to watch.

    Titans of Terror Tram: 0/10 - Why'd my group even bother with this, I don't know. It needs to go. It was unbelievably bad and a waste of time. The disorganization couldn't have been worse. This needs to go ASAP.

    I'll give this year a 6.5/10 overall. Fun, but nothing memorable.
     
  2. ush.hacker

    ush.hacker Veteran Member

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  3. DTH

    DTH Member

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    I started on my huge review and been grading all the mazes. Before I even post it, I won't say I hated this year or even say it's bad. I don't speak in hyperbole often, but I can say this is the worst year in the last decade. The only year I'd put below it is 2007, and that's mostly just due to the lack of variety/quantity. This is how I'd rank it...
    Overall Years:
    *PERFECT* - 16
    AMAZING - 14, 08, 12, 10, 13, 09
    GREAT - 15
    GOOD - 11
    AVERAGE - 17, 07
     
  4. ush.hacker

    ush.hacker Veteran Member

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    mazereviewtemp3 copy.png mazereviewtemp3.png mazereviewtemp2.png

    Though BOH had a better score than The Shining, I liked The Shining sooooo much more
     
  5. Wesker69

    Wesker69 Veteran Member

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    This is my 13th year attending Halloween Horror Nights (4th year attending Hollywood’s event). This year’s event was very mediocre compared to last year, or even the previous 2 years. However, it was opening night, so maybe it was just suffering from performance anxiety. “Early Entry” was handled much better for opening night than it was last year, but it still had a few kinks (and annual passholders with HHN tickets still have to wait at the gate like everyone else). As for the event itself, well...

    MAZES
    The Shining - (1 time)
    I was surprised this maze even happened due to the fact that it is a Stephen King property, but thats another story. I was not really looking forward to it, I find the movie to be incredibly over-rated and rather boring (kinda like Exorcist, although thats actually better). Now last year’s Exorcist maze was actually really amazing and scary, so I had a small shred of hope that this would be a lot better than its source material. For the most part, it was. However, there were a few aspects that fell flat & were very “meh”. I did get some great scares here/there and my favorite scene was probably “The Gold Room”. Some of the effects are cool. The blood-gushing elevator scene was “meh”, which was to be expected. The hedge maze finale turned out fairly decent, but could’ve been a bit longer. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t a complete trainwreck.

    AHS: Roanoke - (1 time)
    Now I still haven’t seen this season of AHS yet (hurry up netflix!), but that shouldn’t matter despite being based on an IP. It should be able to stand on its own like an “original” non-IP maze. Unfortunately, this maze doesn’t even qualify in the realm of “good”. Maybe it’d be better if I had seen this season of AHS. Although, I had seen 2 out of the 3 seasons featured in last year’s maze and that didn’t make it better, only familiar. This maze was full of blood, pig head dudes, and blair witch stick people. It was underwhelming. The scenic detail was kinda great, but felt very repetitive. It reminded me a lot of 2005’s “Blood Ruins” at HHN Orlando, but with more blood & pig head dudes. I didn’t really care for that house then and I certainly didn’t care for this maze now.

    Ash vs Evil Dead - (1 time)
    You’d think you can’t go wrong with the Evil Dead franchise for a maze, but unfortunately, it is possible. This was such a disappointing maze with its awkward execution. It had a good scare here/there, but not enough. There was also too much dead space & black walls of doom complete with hangy poop. There was some good scenic detail here/there, but the experience was severely lacking. Orlando’s “Evil Dead” house in 2013 was a lot better. Verdict? Not so “Groovy”...

    SAW: The Games of Jigsaw - (1 time)
    I was really looking forward to this maze due to the fact that I had seen the “behind the scenes” video of Hollywood’s SAW maze from 2009 on the SAW VI bluray. Plus I was curious to see how this year’s maze compared to Orlando’s 2009 SAW house. Sadly, I was disappointed. It had some interesting elements & detail, but the experience was very underwhelming. I don’t remember if I had even gotten startled or not, it was that forgettable. The scareactor placement was terrible. I expected this to be intense & possibly even scary, instead I was left with a maze of “show scene” traps & not much more.

    Insidious: Beyond The Further - (1 time)
    I’ve never seen any of the movies, never really had any interest, so its almost like an original non-IP maze for me. I did get to experience the Insidious maze in 2015, so its not completely unfamiliar to me. The scares were hit or miss that year. This year’s maze however, while it does feature monsters from the first three films, it is mostly based around the new upcoming film that was pushed back to January. I was personally hoping this maze would be scrapped for something else, but obviously that didn’t happen. I found the maze to be kinda “meh” for the most part, but it did have some really good scares here/there. And that finale was really great as far as scares go. I still feel like Insidious could’ve easily been part of “Horrors of Blumhouse” instead of being its own maze.

    Titans of Terror - (2 times)
    I was actually really excited for this maze due to it basically being an “original” concept very similar to Orlando’s 2003 “All Nite Die-In” house (only minus Michael Myers and an event Icon). However, while this had a cool concept, I felt the execution of it was poorly handled. Hell, the first scene is a really large room, which was a bit excessive for not having any scares in it. The transition scenes were similar to last year’s “Freddy vs Jason” maze, which I have no issue with, but the only downside is, they didn’t feel as fluid as last year. Once again, Freddy has some pretty epic scares, however, Jason not so much. And ugh, the Leatherface section was just recycled crap from last year’s TCM maze. It was terrible (especially when they replicated the same crap for the TCM Terror Tram finale section). Having each character split into their own section felt a little awkward for this concept and then the finale featured all 3 slashers for a triple scare. While I liked the triple scare finale, it was very awkward and abrupt.

    Horrors of Blumhouse - (2 times)
    This was not a maze I was really all that excited for and after having gone through it, I was definitely more underwhelmed than expected. The concept for this maze was good, but like Titans of Terror, it was poorly executed. The Purge section was done pretty well, but not perfect. Happy Death Day was very lazy and “meh”. Sinister was also just as awkward. Now this maze did actually have some good scares, but overall it didn’t work.

    TWD Attraction - (2 times)
    It is already known how awful this haunted house attraction is, not to mention very generic and lacking in the scare department. The somewhat surprising and disappointing part is that this year they did NOT double the size of the cast for HHN like they did last year. It was literally the exact same experience as it is during the day. Even without the 8-10 extra zombies, they’re still counting this as one of the mazes for this year instead of one of the rides/attractions open during the event.

    Titans of Terror Tram: Hosted By Chucky - (2 times)
    I was pretty excited for the Terror Tram this year because it was such an easy, recyled theme that has been done before in 2007, 2008, & 2010. However, it is also the Terror Tram, so I knew to keep my expectations pretty low. For the most part, I wasn’t totally disappointed, but I still felt like the effort wasn’t made due to the easy hype brought by Chucky, Freddy, Jason, & Leatherface. For one, Chucky was highly underused for being the “host” of this year’s Terror Tram. His giant sized “Good Guy Doll” chainsaw brigade minions looked ridiculous. It was very poorly executed. Now I was already expecting the “Bates Motel” set to be used for Jason/F13, so I liked that they had a banner saying “Crystal Lake Motel”. Unfortunately, this section of the Terror Tram falls flat too. It makes no sense and has unnecessary “show scene” deaths that are more “gross out factor” & boring than they are fear-inducing. There are aslo a bunch of random bloody “Crystal Lake Campers” running around in “fear”. You really don’t feel immersed into the realm of F13. Then you’ve got the entrance into the War of the Worlds set dressed up with a TCM theme. It is fairly decent & features the whole Sawyer clan (yay recycled costumes/characters from last year’s TCM maze). Unfortunately, they have like 3 Leatherface’s within arms reach of each other. Again, another section that was very lazily handled. The War of the Worlds set itself was home to Freddy Krueger. Now with this character, it is acceptable to have multiples of him, especially when they’re all in different outfits for the most part. Sadly, I did not see an “Elm Street” sign. The Freddy scareactors are quite good, but the casting was terrible. They should all be the same somewhat short height, unforunately, they failed in this department. And despite there being multiple Freddys, the character was definitely underused. Lastly, the finale is TCM themed because sure why not. Once again, recycle city for TCM and just really damn lazy. There isn’t even a chainsaw brigade to pass through to get to the trams. I didn’t hate the Terror Tram, but it was just so underwhelmingly lazy.

    ....standby for Part 2 (...stupid 10,000 character limit :saw:)
     
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  6. Wesker69

    Wesker69 Veteran Member

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    Here is the rest of my opening night review.... ( stupid 10,000 character limit.. its haunt review season)...


    SCAREZONES
    Hell-O-Ween
    An entrance scarezone needs to set the mood of the event and get guests hyped up for what they’re about to experience that night. This scarezone does the exact opposite. Its practically non-existant. There are 2 go-go dancers at the park entrance, but none further back into the park. The cast of scareactors is too small for the area, but then again, the street itself is too small for a park entrance. The lack of themeing for this scarezone is very disappointing. Their excuse? The construction of A.S.S. (Animation Studio Store) & Shrek 4D’s conversion into “Dreamworks Animation Theatre”. This excuse is also the reason their is no flame tower this year either. Its surprising how “meh” the area is without it, especially when it has been an iconic feature for the entrance scarezone since 2009’s “Welcome to Hell”. The ONLY themeing that is found in this scarezone are 6 slightly “gory” dioramas (that have to get wheeled out into the scarezone every night), a “Happy Halloween” billboard, a projection lighting logo that says “Hell-O-Ween” and some randomly placed fog machines. This scarezone is a very big disappointment in every way between the scareactor costumes and lack of themeing. Its trying to emulate the essence of the “Trick R Treat” film, but also be an original scarezone. It fails. Epically.

    Toxic Tunnel
    The only scenic this “scarezone” had was a banner above the entrance leading to the Metro Sets Backlot. There wasn’t even one on the entrance on your way back to the Lower Lot. Inside the tunnel itself was just randomized strobing LED lighting. Unfortunately, this is exactly how the “Purge Tunnel” was last year. I never made it back through here later on when the scareactors were out, but I doubt they would’ve improved the experience.

    Urban Inferno
    This scarezone was given an unnecessary longer layout than the normal straight path as years past. It also had a lot more scenic detail. It looked great, but felt like a huge cluster-farfanoogin conga line as far as the layout goes. I saw it before the scareactors were in it, so I can only imagine how much more of a headache it will be with scareactors & crowds of people. Its honestly, less of a scarezone as it is more of a “themed detour” to get to the 3 mazes located on the backlot. There are a lot of props from past events and they actually work well with eachother. It didn’t feel lazy. I almost feel like they should’ve just made this an outdoor maze like last year’s “The Purge: Gauntlet of Fear”.

    JABBAWOCKWEEZ
    Unlike last year, where they claimed the show was “ALL NEW” but wasn’t, they surprisingly created a new show for the event this year. Unfortunately it wasn’t “horror” themed in any capacity & it did recycle two songs/routines from the past 2 years. However, this year’s show was a sci-fi space theme & it was actually very enjoyable. They could probably amp it up a bit & tweak a few things here/there. Sure it still isn’t “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure” or “Academy of Villains”, but it is actually worth watching this year. I was pleasantly surprised.

    FINAL THOUGHTS
    While I found this year’s event to be completely underwhelming and lazy. The annoying part is, a lot of the issues with the mazes (and Terror Tram) are actually very simple fixes that could’ve and should’ve been addressed before construction began. The design execution felt very phoned in. I know this event can do better, it has done better. Even the scarezone issues are easy fixes. Its sad that parks with less budget/resources put more visible effort into their events than a movie studio theme park’s event. I feel that the event needs a new creative team that isn’t afraid to push the limits, raise the budget, and not just rely on “fan favorites” or whats “popular”. Of course the higher-ups also need to grow a pair so we can have entertainment like “Bill & Ted”, “Slaughterworld”, & “Chucky’s Insult Emporium” again. As far as opening night’s first impression goes, I was left with “something to be desired”.
     
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  7. Brian G.

    Brian G. Staff Member Administrator

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  8. Brian G.

    Brian G. Staff Member Administrator

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  9. Brian G.

    Brian G. Staff Member Administrator

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  10. DTH

    DTH Member

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    Universal Studios Hollywood presents
    in association with Halloween Horror Nights
    DTH's Trip Review
    Something About Titans, Horrors, Games, the Further, a Shining and Ash. - 9/16 Trip Review
    September 16th, 2017.
    5 PM - 2 AM

    As always, this is a very detailed review. By it's nature, spoilers are abound. This is for people who have already gone and want a refresher, for people who will never be able to go and want perspective outside of just watching walkthroughs, and for people who don't mind spoilers and want to just get more excited.

    [ARRIVAL/EARLY ENTRY]
    Arrived in the ET parking lot around 3:30 PM only to find parking has been raised to 25 whole smackaroos! This is a major inflation increase from the usual $20, or even the $15 it was merely 2-3 years ago. Anyway, met up with friends in front of the movie theater. Went to the Souvenir Store and around 4:40, we went to go line up for Early Entry. At 5 on the dot, they started letting us in, but with the line, it took a bit. At around 5:10, got wrist banded and made our way into the park. There actually wasn’t anyone checking wristbands at this time. Saw some employees later stationed around 6:30 by the Shining, but that’s it. I wonder how many people snuck in that night. On the Stairway, I noticed the line was huge for Insidious already, most of the patio full and down the initial stairs you first walk up which is about a 2 hour+ wait. Decided to stick with my game plan by doing Saw first and headed straight to the Metro sets. None of the scare zones were going (I guess those open right at 7, which is a shame, because I easily could’ve missed them unless I made a point to go back).

    [SAW: THE GAMES OF JIGSAW]
    Lined Up: 5:28 PM
    Advertised Wait: 10
    Actual Wait: 13
    Time In: 5:41 PM


    They didn’t open the maze until 5:40, which was annoying, because if I would’ve known, I would’ve headed to American Horror Story first, which was open at 5:30. But I can’t complain too much, things worked out exactly as they needed to. We were one of the first in line for this, so immediately we were let in. As for the maze itself, walking in, things were much different from the first Saw mazes in ’09/’10… but also exactly the same. Just less. I read somewhere else that this maze is like walking through a museum with a scare every once and awhile and I agree with that 100%. What the hell happened to the idea of scaring while coming up with the idea for this maze?! I encountered I think maybe 3 scares the entire thing. Watched a video to make sure I didn’t miss anything and it’s basically the same. This is such a huge step down from the original mazes, it’s a joke, and I feel sorry for anyone who missed them. A few examples: the barbed wire trap actor just stood there while in the original he thrashed around in agony, the people in traps here just were stuck in the traps while the original they would lunge their hands out to interact with guests, the original bathroom was actually freakin’ huge with live actors in there. Another thing that was great back than, the plants in the crowd that would get kidnapped right in front of you. This maze wasn’t entirely bad though, as there was one REALLY great part: the saws on the walls, until you turn a corner and one comes directly at you. Got me pretty good.

    Facade - 7. It’s not bad. But it doesn’t stick out. Doesn’t seem like they thought a lot about this one.
    Set Design - 6. I keep comparing to the original mazes because I feel like I have to. It was way more cohesive, while this had awkward transitions that didn’t make sense.
    Sound Design - 6. Again, the original felt like constant action. Something was missing here.
    Scareactor Design - 10. Here’s one area they improved. The traps looked more real and the gore effects were more top notch. For example, the rack trap in ’10 was pathetic, this one was pretty gnarly looking.
    Cast Performance - 7. I can’t fault the actors for not being directed to do more than they did, but I felt like they were doing their best with what they had.
    Atmosphere/Tone - 6. It was missing the scares and the action. It got a bit stale and boring half way through when I realized nothing was happening.
    Length - 7. Considering how much dead space they used when they could’ve been cramming in more traps, this ended when I wanted it to. I was done with this maze by the end, in a negative way.
    Scare Level - 5. Non-existent, almost. I got 3 scares. THREE. I think there’s an intentional 5 designed into the maze and that’s it. There’s that many scares in the finale of Insidious this year, so WTF?
    Story Comprehension - 5. So we go into Jigsaw’s lair and then uhhhh… I won’t dock it too badly, the original mazes didn’t make much more sense either, but at least that maze had a flow.
    Personal Bias Points - 5. I missed Saw at Horror Nights, but they totally messed this up. My original score immediately after getting out of the maze was a ‘C’, but now thinking about it more critically, it’s sadly one of the lowest scores I’ve ever given for a maze that I was actually anticipating…

    64 out of 100. ‘D’

    [AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ROANOKE]
    Lined Up: 5:49 PM
    Advertised Wait: 25
    Actual Wait: WALK ON
    Time In: 5:49 PM


    I didn’t like last year’s AHS maze, and I hated this last season of the show, so this was at the bottom of my anticipation list. Luckily, this is much better than last year’s maze and the actual season of the show. We were very lucky to walk into the maze while it had no wait and did it with nobody in front or behind us. We got every intended scare without them being ruined and there were many parts in the maze that were so dark, I didn’t know where we were going. I went the wrong way at one point, towards a boo hole, and got scared pretty dang good and was like “well okay than, apparently that is not the right direction!” The finale was also my favorite part, with a giant stick man coming after us. I’m used to this trick being done often at Knotts, but wasn’t expecting it at HHN. This was the scariest maze of the night (not my favorite though), but I can say that’s because we got the intended experience of doing this while alone. If you can find a way to see this maze like that, I highly recommend, but I can’t promise you’ll enjoy this maze as much as I did. With that said, there are some faults, and they’re mostly design-wise. The cast was fantastic and on fire, but it doesn’t compare to my favorites.

    Facade - 3. Whack. Last year’s was an anthology, so I graded on each section’s facades. This year was no freakin’ excuse.
    Set Design - 7. It was a bit TOO dark at points, but overall it looked pretty standard. Nothing stand out, but nothing bad.
    Sound Design - 8. There was the right amount of dread built in, but it could’ve been more immersive.
    Scareactor Design - 7. A bit too heavily dependent on the pig guys.
    Cast Performance - 10. They were ferocious as I’ve ever seen a cast at Horror Nights. The first nurse lady in the MURDER room scared the hell out of me without a trigger scare. Major kudos to her.
    Atmosphere/Tone - 10. It oddly didn’t feel like the show… it was actually scarier, there was more dread, and it more nerve wracking.
    Length - 10. I felt like this maze was never going to end and it made it more terrifying.
    Scare Level - 10. I got the best scares of the night in here, and some of the best ever at the event.
    Story Comprehension - 7. If I had never seen the show, I would have no idea what the hell was going on. It makes no sense, but it looked simple, and was laid out in a easy to digest fashion. However, it could’ve conveyed the events of the maze a bit better.
    Personal Bias Points - 10. For being one of the scarier mazes and from making a great come back and improving on the show, I hold this maze in high regard.

    92 out of 100. ‘A’-

    PART TWO:

    [ASH VS. EVIL DEAD]
    Lined Up: 5:54 PM/1:01 AM
    Advertised Wait: 15 minutes/10 minutes
    Actual Wait: 13 minutes/Walk On
    Time In: 6:07 PM/1:01 AM


    Got to do this maze twice. The first time was in a huge conga line and I saw a lot of the same scares over and over again, or I missed them completely. However, my second time, there was nobody in front or behind me, and I got the intended experience, so I’ll judge it on that second time. I’m a huge fan of the franchise and I enjoy the show, but I wasn’t too excited about it coming to Horror Nights. We want the original movie represented already!!! But I took what I could get and figured this would at least be fun. For the most part it is, and I don’t mind half of the black walls they used for transitions, but I do agree the other half of them were either too long or unnecessary/awkward. Without that in mind, what was represented, was pretty good. The actors were into their goofy roles, which could easily go south very quick with people not committing to it. None of this experience was necessarily scary, but it does give some good jumps and startles. Looking at the experience as a whole though, it doesn’t feel like a fan made this maze. It seems like someone watched it once, wrote down some things they knew they could pull off, and was done with it. It’s missing so many iconic moments from the show. (I watched the Orlando version and that had quite a lot more represented). Even the bit where we go back to the old cabin from the original series didn’t seem all that inspired. The cellar door is off to the back left corner, going unnoticed with no attention to it, when it’s such an iconic staple of the entire franchise even in the remake. The room was also way too small and just felt like, “well they go there in the show, so we have to at least mention it.” Regardless of all the negatives, the fun is on the heavy side for a lot of it, that’s mostly due to the cast, some great make up, puppets, and a few good set design moments.

    Facade - 7. Well, it does it’s job.
    Set Design - 6. Some of the black walls that people are complaining about aren’t that bad, and a lot of the maze has some great designs, but there is a lacking as a whole in inspiration or love for the show.
    Sound Design - 10. I think this really excels, as this helps a lot in understanding what the hell is going on in this maze, and giving the right tone of fun and scary, but not too over the top.
    Scareactor Design - 10. I think Ash looked great, along with Cheryl, and pretty much everybody ripped right out of the show that they do represent.
    Cast Performance - 10. They were all sold on conveying their silly characters, so props to them.
    Atmosphere/Tone - 8. It was a bit funky, which I think was the point, but the transitions having no atmosphere or tone does hold it back from making it a more cohesive experience.
    Length - 8. It was the right length, I just don’t think it was the right size. With a bit more room or utilizing a lot of the black wall areas for more scenes, this would’ve been a lot better.
    Scare Level - 8. The second time I went through, a lot of the scares hit a lot harder. I think the cast found their timing and groove better as the night went on.
    Story Comprehension - 8. Due to the sound design, a lot of this maze makes sense, but some tidbits don’t. However, this maze makes a lot of sense considering a lot of it could easily go off the rails in comparison to something like AHS, where the entire essence and why of the show was missing, as where this maze, it’s easier to follow.
    Personal Bias Points - 9. This was a much more solid maze than it should be considering a lot of its downfalls. I had fun, it had some good scares, and I just love the franchise, but I know more TLC could’ve gone into it.

    84 out of 100. ‘B’

    [THE SHINING]
    Lined Up: 6:26 PM/12:28 AM
    Advertised Wait: 50 minutes/30 minutes
    Actual Wait: 29 minutes/17 minutes
    Time In: 6:55 PM/12:45 AM


    Another maze I got to do twice, but the first experience was a bit better. Like the Exorcist last year, this was something I wasn’t sure how they were going to pull off, and this actually did better than my expectations of what they could do with the property. While in line, I feel like there’s a bit of a spoiler you can see of the last scene. Over and over again you hear “but you’ve always been the caretaker” and can see a snow mound. I wish they’d keep this more out of sight or move the line. Entering, it felt epic. I wish they would’ve did the typewriter stuff a bit differently, as something about it feels a bit off. The scare in that scene also isn’t that well hidden but it doesn’t help that the scare actor kept their door open a lot of the time instead of pulling it open to reveal themselves. This happened both times I went at completely different times and ruins the illusion. The twins not being actual people is a bit of a letdown, as I wanted a scare to come from them, but I think the pepper ghost effect is pretty cool in this spot. Another thing I hear a lot of negative feedback on, but doesn’t bug me much, is the elevator scene. Understandably, this is an insanely hard scene to pull off and although the projection is slightly warped instead of completely meshed into the environment, I think the illusion is done well enough. My only gripe is the image flashes to show other images like the movie. Further into the maze, the better it gets though, as now we encounter some of the long halls and creepy inhabitants within the maze. There’s a guy behind a scrim holding up a glass who I can’t imagine doing that job and saying the same thing over and over every 10 seconds, in the same exact manner. It’s a wonder how they decide on what some things can be mannequins, screens or what will be live actors, and my thinking is since he’s never utilized much for a scare, it’s like - what’s the point? He’s doing a great job, I just question the design elements that include him. The second time I went through, I asked the Jack that axes the body on the ground, “what did you kill him for?!” and he gave me a pretty funny shrug, which was a great moment. The scene I got the best scare from is the woman in the bathtub, plus that smell was so foul — it works on such an eerie, creepy level. The “here’s Johnny” scene is easily my favorite, hitting every point of good acting, design, innovation, show-scene, and a follow up scare. The end hedge maze is fun, but it’s at this point where I started to notice every maze trying to do the same thing with the scare actors up in a box and popping out of the darkness. This worked very effectively last year in the Exorcist, and has worked seldom in other mazes in the past, but now it’s at least 5 times in EVERY - SINGLE - MAZE this year (except for Saw, which has no scares). This and Insidious are the only mazes I forgive for doing it. This, because there’s less to work with, and Insidious, because it’s concept is mostly about the darkness. However, for Titans of Terror, Blumhouse, AHS and Ash, this is overkill and the definition of shooting a dead horse.

    Facade - 9. The hedge itself is okay, but I bump it up an extra point for the detailed map that’s also out front.
    Set Design - 9. I think this was designed beautifully, with a few weak spots and a few things I disagree with, but this may be the only maze this year that gave me the Horror Nights experience I was looking for in terms of set design. Considering that grade is only a 9, when grades in the past have been 10s, even for bad mazes, this is a major indicator in drop in quality. I just wish they put this maze in a bigger space to show more of the grandeur of the property.
    Sound Design - 10. REDRUM! REDRUM!
    Scareactor Design - 9. The Jack masks are only goofy if you look at them for too long, but considering they pop in and out very fast, it’s pretty effective. Everyone else looks straight out of the movie.
    Cast Performance - 10. Everyone here was doing their best work and seemed really into their roles.
    Atmosphere/Tone - 10. A lot of the times, I felt like I was in the movie itself and I felt creeped out by being there.
    Length - 10. I think there’s a scene or maybe a character or two that could’ve been added in, but by the end, I got exactly what I wanted out of the experience.
    Scare Level - 9. With all the elements combined, this makes for some great scares in this maze with a few that hit pretty hard. However, the dark room, pop out of a box high up tactic was getting old, although felt a bit necessary.
    Story Comprehension - 8. It’s not exactly clear what’s going on, I think the only thing that’s sure is Jack is going crazy and there’s ghosts. But missing is the family element, I felt like that’s not fully acknowledged. I know, it’s hard, but I have to take it into account.
    Personal Bias Points - 9. Could’ve been better, but also considering it could’ve been a lot worse, I was fairly happy with the result and getting to see a classic favorite come to life in a well respected form.

    93 out of 100 ‘A’-

    [THE MUMMY]
    We were an hour ahead of schedule, so I decided to give my group one ride we can hit and we chose this. I was disgusted they put an advertisement for the new film at the end of the ride instead of keeping the classic mummy statues.

    PART THREE:

    [INSIDIOUS: BEYOND THE FURTHER]
    Lined Up: 7:28 PM/11:55 PM
    Advertised Wait: 75 minutes/60 minutes
    Actual Wait: 36 minutes/24 minutes
    Time In: 8:04 PM/12:19 AM


    My game plan was to come back to the lower lot mazes at the end of the night, but we were an entire hour ahead of schedule, so I figured why not. And then when I did go back at the end of the night to ride Jurassic Park, I noticed the line for Insidious was extremely short even though it had a high wait time, so that’s when we did it again. However, the best time we did the maze was the first time, so I’ll judge it by that. I was pretty excited for this one, mainly because Insidious was easily one of the best mazes the two years it’s been at the event. This year was no exception, however, it doesn’t quite steal away maze of the year, and it doesn’t beat the other two mazes. The first version, the maze seemed more focused, and the second maze, it was just all around scarier. This one has some odd design flaws, where the transitions between movies doesn’t quite make sense and it seems they would’ve been better off just sticking to one movie this time around. For example, I think it starts with Chapter 4, has 2 rooms on the first film, one room on chapter 2, literally one HALLWAY on chapter 3, and then it goes back to Chapter 4 and goes into the finale. WHAT THE? Despite the odd storytelling, the elements come into play quite nicely and give the usual spookiness that Horror Nights needs. There’s a creepy little kid in the maze that constantly pops up and I dig it, as he’s right at the top of the stairs in the beginning. Both times I went through the maze, I would miss the first scare in the room however. In one room, I was greatly distracted by the little kid pulling on a curtain, looking at him for the longest time, until the scare came right in front of him. One of the weakest parts in the maze is the man choking the woman in bed, neither time did he lunge out after guests. The lady about to stab the baby basket was pretty creepy though. Going back into the first movie, I couldn’t help but think, “this was done so much better the first two times.” Even the Red Demon’s lair was just so short and lacking in atmosphere. To sum up, the first half based on Chapter 4 is great, and the second half on the other three movies were done much better the first few times that it’s hard to enjoy it as much. Why even bother with chapter 3 if there’s only going to be ONE HALLWAY on it? The Man Who Can’t Breathe is my favorite character from the series and he’s totally wasted in this maze. The one thing I did want recreated from the other mazes and I was looking forward to, was a scene in the Further with ghosts on both sides, but not this time?! Anyway, the maze ends by a FIVE TIME scare that had us running out of the maze, so I can’t even be all that mad at this maze. It did just an okay job, and most of my friends seemed to rank it number 1 on their list, so definitely don’t miss it, but don’t expect it to be the best it’s ever been.

    Facade - 9. I like how real and practical the facade looks, but it doesn’t make me scared to go in. And the main reason I’m docking a point is that STUPID CARDBOARD CUT OUT GIRL in the front window, it looks so bad!!
    Set Design - 10. Horror Nights always knocks it out of the park with the Insidious mazes. Yes, it could’ve been constructed differently to make more sense, but that’ll be an issue to take up with story, as what was designed looks phenomenal.
    Sound Design - 10. Again, the eerie music makes this a very chilling maze to go through and it totally sets the mood.
    Scareactor Design - 10. I think one of the best things about the Insidious mazes is how well casted they are, as they’re completely spot on with their look.
    Cast Performance - 8. I’m docking a point for the boring choking man and the first room scare that I never got. Like c’mon, I went through twice and missed it both times?!
    Atmosphere/Tone - 10. This is Horror Nights at it’s best and immersing their guests into a very scary environment. The second you enter, it’s SCARY.
    Length - 7. After everything, I felt like I just wanted more. I wanted more of Chapter 4, I wanted more of the other movies they barely acknowledged. This would’ve been better as a super-maze.
    Scare Level - 10. The scares hit hard in here, with some that are really well hidden and some good distractions.
    Story Comprehension - 5. Okay, WHAT? I get the first half pretty well, but after that, this maze goes completely down hill and doesn’t even try to have a continuity.
    Personal Bias Points - 8. I’m glad they could pull off such a great creepy maze, but I wish they would’ve put more effort into it making more sense. These Insidious mazes would get higher scores with that in mind.

    87 out of 100. ‘B’+

    [TITANS OF TERROR… TRAM]
    Lined Up: 8:30 PM
    Advertised Wait: 20 minutes
    Actual Wait: 9 minutes
    Time In: 8:39 PM


    I’m just not exactly sure what the intended purpose of the Titans of Terror was supposed to be this year. Assuming the maze being last second is true, that would mean this would have been the only representation of the Titans at Horror Nights. Thank God it’s not, because the maze is much better (albeit, not that classic of a maze to begin with). Let’s start with the opening video. At what point is this supposed to make sense? It talks about the killing sprees of each killer, but doesn’t set up why they’re here. It only sets up Chucky being there, but he’s only there right when you get off the tram and the rest has nothing to do with him. It’s a decent section, but that’s it? He was made such a big deal of in marketing and most of his starring moments are in the video? Reminds me of SCREAM 4 YOUR LIFE in a bad way. I enjoy the Jason section, but how does a bed being folded in half outside of the room make sense? The TCM section is just the usual stuff we’ve seen before — they give no creative liberty to this franchise and I’m not sure why. With Jason and Freddy, they will veer off a bit, but TCM always has to stick to the book with stuff we’ve only seen in the movies before. Even in the “1.5” maze of Blood Brothers, it was ALL STUFF we saw in the FIRST movie, and in “Saw Is the Law!!!” The Freddy section was cool, but pales in comparison to what they did with Freddy in the WOTW area in 2008. It felt more like we were in Springfield back than, with the Freddy projections in the windows of the houses. This just threw a bunch of Freddys in the area and called it a day. AND WHY OH WHY do we go back to more TCM stuff, especially when it’s just a scene we’ll see again in the maze?! The ending video gives a slight chuckle, but it felt more pathetic than anything. Now, I can’t be too harsh. I had a lot of fun in this. The cast was rocking and I feel like I saw more scare actors running around this year than ever before. There were tons of villains and victims and I felt like there was a whole lot going on around me. I do miss the dark hill though. With that said, I’ve always defended the Terror Tram. This isn’t the worst (2010 and 2011), but it certainly is nowhere near the best (2007-2009). But it’s become quite clear they’ve gotten lazy with this attraction and have no desire to put life into it. I thought last year’s tram of new set pieces and a story were the start of something new, but clearly I was wrong. This was just okay and a decent time waster.

    73 out of 100. ‘C’-

    PART FOUR:

    [BLUMHOUSE OF HORRORS]
    Lined Up: 10:00 PM
    Advertised Wait: 35 minutes
    Actual Wait: 24 minutes
    Time In: 10:24 PM


    Whoever changed the name to “The Horrors of Blumhouse” is an idiot and it has no ring to it, I’ve seen the early drawings and it has the original name, so that’s what we’re sticking with and that’s what we’re calling it! Anyway, not like it matters, because even though none of the other mazes so far were stand out classics, we do have an absolute DUD among them now, ala Clowns 3D, This is The End, or Black Sabbath. Only difference, this isn’t a 3D maze, it’s just a poorly made one in so many ways. First of all, The Purge section is just a new version of the gauntlet we got last year, so who cares and what gives? It’s nothing different and there’s no scares or suspense whatsoever. Happy Death Day is an absolute joke and I am OFFENDED they’ll represent that stupid masked killer in a maze but not SCREAM?! Funny moment though, a baby popped out and stabbed downward into my cup, making me drop my cup with like 2 ice cubes in it. Sinister is the best part of the maze and it’s not even actually good, but it at least has some environment and a scary looking villain. The scare from the projector screen is brilliant, but that’s the only good thing I can say about it really. And the finale with the Purge, WHY?! I’m mad this maze exists, and I can’t even critically go into my exact reasons why, as I can tell this all reads like a RAGE-QUIT written review. It sucked.

    Facade - 3. Why start with the lame wall and The Purge when that beautiful theatre set piece could’ve been your facade and have the Purge at the end?
    Set Design - 7. As said just previously, there’s a beautiful theatre smack dab 1/3 into the maze. Everything else was top notch, even Happy Death Day, but I’m docking points for not actually enclosing the Purge area to be an actual maze.
    Sound Design - 9. Each section of the maze sounded distinctly different, so I give it that.
    Scareactor Design - 5. Something about the Purgers seemed cheaper than usual. The baby isn’t scary, but does look like the one in the movie. And something seemed very off about the Sinister villain’s mask that just made him look like a Party City costume instead of professionally made.
    Cast Performance - 7. I can’t deny these guys were working hard, but they could be more aggressive though.
    Atmosphere/Tone - 3. The Purge fails to do anything with tone, Happy Death Day felt like a basic slasher that didn’t need to become a maze, and Sinister had the best tone, but it felt like the wrong scenes being represented for the franchise to create the optimal amount of spookiness.
    Length - 8. Considering it’s the “largest maze ever,” it felt very short and I’m glad it was over when it was over, because I was done being disappointed.
    Scare Level - 6. Nothing in the Purge was scary. I got maybe half a jolt in Happy Death Day. Sinister was decent at best and I got at least one OH WOW jump from it.
    Story Comprehension - 4. I’ll be fair knowing this is an anthology maze. Saw is a mashup maze and Insidious is all one story in the movie universe and could easily be coherent but it chooses not to, which makes that frustrating. Here, however, each piece should be judged individually… and it still fails. The Purge section doesn’t even try to tell a story. Happy Death Day actually makes the most sense going from scene to scene as the Groundhog Day-esque thing is easy to see. Sinister is just represented and some of the scenes are shown, but it makes no effort to explain anything or to the why of what’s happening. And the overall idea of the maze — are we park guests going through a maze based on Blumhouse movies or are we survivors of the Purge who go into a theater for shelter but then randomly start jumping into other movies, only to escape and be mowed down by Big Daddy’s machine gun? If it’s the second one, and I don’t know how else to interpret it, that’s literally the worst plot I’ve ever heard of — but at least there’s a plot.
    Personal Bias Points - 8. What a completely crap-tastic maze. I’m only giving this 8 points here because I feel an ‘F’ would be too harsh, and I enjoyed the maze while I went through it and only hated it the more I thought about it, so I’m using this area to bump it up to a solid…

    60 out of 100. ‘D’-

    [HELL-O-WEEN]
    Never realized how much this area needed those fire cannons, but ya know what, it did just fine without them. The actors were all high energy, I loved the masks, and the wheel out set pieces seemed amateur, but with everything going against this area, it could’ve been much worse. The zone in 07 and 08 were far worse and had no excuse to be that boring and bad. I give this zone props, as it was pretty fun, and it seemed like the actors were pretty relentless. Plus I gotta love the fact that finally something HALLOWEEN oriented is being put into the parks for once.

    'B'+

    [TITANS OF TERROR]
    Lined Up: 10:35 PM
    Advertised Wait: 20 minutes
    Actual Wait: 10 minutes
    Time In: 10:45 PM


    I was shocked I was about to be finished with all the mazes by 10:30 on opening weekend. That’s with taking an hour dinner and doing The Mummy. Walking up to the facade of this maze had me giddy, and entering that first room, it has so much detail that I’ll need to go through a few more times to fully capture it all. Starting with Freddy made sense, the kid is supposed to be having a nightmare after all, right? I loved a lot of this section, it seemed very old school Freddy but new school scariness of the remake maze. The Jason section took the remake section completely, as you dive into his lair and even get victims from that film. I thought that was an interesting approach to take, considering I thought we’d be getting classic franchise stuff. As for what I wished they would’ve used the remake for is TCM, since that maze was the best of all time. But nope, back to the mill for the old and tired stuff we’ve seen in a TCM maze what seems like too many times now. I felt like they tried a little something new or harkened back to older mazes with the Freddy and Jason sections, but TCM’s section while not bad, just felt the most familiar and therefore, a bit of a letdown. The room with all the human skins was a nice touch. The finale is where the maze derails, losing the story it set up in the beginning, and failing to give us one room where all the killers are present. Couldn’t we get the kid waking up in bed, realizing it’s a nightmare, only to find out all three killers are now actually barging into the room? Would’ve been terrifying! That’s the maze ending I think everyone wanted, and instead we got something basic that worked better in the Insidious maze. Overall, I really enjoyed it though, for what it’s worth!

    Facade - 10. I love it. This is brilliant. Too bad the idea isn’t followed up on.
    Set Design - 8. Look, everything is beautiful in this maze but I have a major bone to pick with that very first room in the maze, enough to dock it down 2 points. You walk in the front door but end up in someone’s bed room. The TV is awfully far away from the bed (and small, I might add) and the bed nor the kid is even facing the direction of the TV. I love the spirit of the room, but this space physically DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.
    Sound Design - 10. Each section is very well defined with all the iconic sounds.
    Scareactor Design - 10. Every Jason, Freddy, and Leatherface look straight out of the movie!
    Cast Performance - 7. They could be more aggressive.
    Atmosphere/Tone - 10. Each section sets up their respective franchises pretty well.
    Length - 7. I just wish it was longer so it could fully go into the story of what this maze was supposed to do.
    Scare Level - 6. The best scare I got in the maze was walking by a Freddy victim’s body and his claw popped out of his chest near my head. This was something done in the NOES maze in 2010, but this was in much closer proximity! Everything else was standard and would help from a much more aggressive cast.
    Story Comprehension - 7. It completely drops the story after the first scene. Each franchise is set up well though and they all make sense. I just wish there was a finale at least that went back to the home haunt aspect. And couldn’t we get a scene with all three in some way?! I mean, c’mon, that’s what I was anticipating this maze for!
    Personal Bias Points - 10. I’m a huge fanboy for Freddy and Jason and they could be at the event every year for the rest of time and I probably wouldn’t care as long as they try to do something new each time. I loved the passion that seemed to be in that first room, and unlike the Terror Tram, this seemed interested in representing each killer to make them shine.

    85 out of 100. ‘B’

    PART FIVE:

    [THE WALKING DEAD]
    Decided to walk through since I had the time and I realized it was pointless. There weren’t more zombies like last year, this seemed to be the standard. They didn’t even try to up the ante for this in any way shape or form. Don’t waste your time unless you’ve never done it or you have hoooours to kill.

    [JURASSIC PARK IN THE DARK]
    No surprise here, nothing is new. In fact, the ride is in desperate need of repair. The first dinosaur is missing, making that epic opening of the gates meaningless if all you see are bushes. The truck still isn’t following. And the raptors weren’t coming down for that final lift. Why don’t they try just a bit harder for Horror Nights for this attraction, I’ll never understand. It could be so great.

    [URBAN NIGHTMARE]
    Missed this zone earlier in the day and went out of my way to go see it, and I’m glad I did. Choked with fog, hellish imagery and fired up scare actors, this zone is everything the metro sets have been needing to be for awhile. There was a scare every 5 steps, better than some of the mazes and the Terror Tram this year, that’s for sure. It was heavily populated with props and set pieces, I couldn’t help but be a fan. Also, a scare actor swung their weapon towards my nuts, in what was the scariest thing I’ve ever encountered at a Haunt, so kudos to him for being so… ballsy.

    ‘A’

    [TOXIC TUNNEL]
    This is the standard tunnel scare zone and I don’t expect much from it. I liked the masks/make up the dudes had on, that was cool. The music and lights are annoying, but I come to figure that’ll happen. It’s such a high traffic area, we’re lucky we get anything here at all. It’d be nice to get some fog or something, but that doesn’t seem likely. What does boggle my mind is how they think this can be a scare zone but not the lower lot. It is truly missing a lot of energy right now, and even when it was bad with just some chainsaw dudes, that would still be better than nothing. Anyway…

    ‘C’

    [JABBAWOCKEEZ]
    I was very happy I had enough time to catch this show since I had so much extra time, as I didn’t even include it in my game plan. However, I had to run all the way from Ash vs. Evil Dead back to the lower lot, up the stairs and grabbed an Icee with just a minute to spare before the show started. I was glad to see the show was much different from the previous year, but it didn’t seem as fun as before. Also, the dancers weren’t hitting their moves as hard, granted it was the last show of the night and the crowd didn’t seem to be all that into it, so maybe they cared less. The best part is the new female member of the group, but everything else is pretty forgettable. If they used more current music, this would hype up the crowd, as the biggest pops was when the jams from this year came on, but I can only recall 2. That “California Love” segment I know just recognize as a cheap pop to get out of the crowd, and this year, it didn’t even work. Nobody cheered, nobody seemed excited, and nobody danced. They all just sat there stone faced, as did I, because this was the third time they’ve used this song in their act. If you’re not interested or don’t think you can squeeze it into your game plan, you won’t be missing out on much. And plan carefully, because the show is a solid 30 minutes. I thought I’d get one more repeat maze in (ToT would’ve been great) if the show was 20 minutes, but we were let out at like 1:59 AM, and there was traffic leaving, so that didn’t work out as I hoped (Blumhouse was still letting in people but I had no desire to see that again).

    ‘C’

    [OVERALL]
    Without hyperbole, this was the worst year HHN has done in the last decade. And when I say worst, I mean it’s just an average event instead of a GOOD one like they usually are. I’ve been going since 2007 and have never seen such a string of average-to-bad mazes in a row done by them. 2011 and 2013 I remember being pretty bad on my first visit, but those weren’t conceptually flawed from the get go, they just needed their casts to get better. This year, even if the casts get better, the mazes are still designed poorly like somebody didn’t care or if the budget was taken away. Usually there’s at least one or two A+ mazes thrown in there to save the event and push it up in ranking, but never before have I looked forward to going to Knotts to see if they could do better.

    I really have to say the biggest things pushing this event down this year are:
    Saw’s zero scares
    Ash vs. Evil Dead’s lack of passion
    Insidious being incoherent in story
    Blumhouse’s very existence, and not utilizing their hottest properties (Get Out, Split, Paranormal Activity)
    Titans of Terror’s lack of follow up to it’s opening scene
    the Terror Tram taking a huge step back
    The Walking Dead not getting extra actors this year
    still having no scare zone between the entrance of the park all the way to the backlot
    and an average Jabba show

    I know the casts will get it together by the end of the season, but conceptually, I have my doubts a lot of these mazes will be fixed, as it’ll require some heavy budget increases and rebuilding within a week that’ll just be impossible.

    From me, with some minor cast changes, this year can be a B- which still isn’t great compared to past HHNs, but as of now, I’ll give it a…

    ‘C’+
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2017
    ush.hacker and Freak like this.
  11. HHNManics

    HHNManics Veteran Member

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  12. Freak

    Freak Veteran Member

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    Great review DTH! Although I didn't like the Shining or Ash as much as you did, everything else seems pretty on-par with what I think.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who agrees that this year is so awful and pathetic I'm baffled as to how the folks running it would find this bull remotely acceptable. The actors did great for what they had to work with. It's too bad what they had to work with was crap.

    Yeah, great review! Hopefully they can get their act together next year.
     
  13. foodstampsFTW

    foodstampsFTW Member

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    Since I'm going for the second time tonight I'd figure I finally give my quick thoughts on opening night.

    Mazes:

    7. Ash vs Evil Dead(4.5/10)
    6. Horrors of Blumhouse(5/10)
    5. Saw(7/10)
    4. AHS Roanoke(7.25/10)
    3. The Shining(7.5/10)
    2. Insidious(8/10)
    1. Titans of Terror(8.5/10)

    Titans of Terror Tram(1/10)

    I won't even talk about scarezones as I didn't see 2/3 of them and barely walked through the other one
     
  14. horrornights789

    horrornights789 Veteran Member

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    So 2017 was my first time to ever go to HHN in Hollywood, and I was very nervous considering how badly the reviews were at first. I’ve been following this year since the leaked list and I loved this lineup, even after my most anticipated(The Conjuring) was cut. After experiencing the event I was pleasantly surprised with the results; it was better than I expected. So with that, here’s my review:



    Mazes(in order of how I did them):



    The Shining: After The Conjuring was scrapped, this moved up to my most anticipated maze. I had my doubts of how they would scale the hotel but this maze exceeded my expectations in every aspect; including scares. Walking up to the facade, we realized we were the first to go in since they had JUST opened the maze, and damn. The facade had sooo much dread and Murdy’s narration and the music helped build my nerves as we entered into the Overlook Maze. This maze did a great job of giving off the atmosphere of the movie, and I was nervous the whole way through. The only fault I can name about this maze was the Blood Elevator, everyone in my group agreed it looked awful. But besides that, the lack of black walls in this maze in relation to the other mazes was pretty good and I enjoyed The Shining. A+



    Insidious: Beyond the Further: The Insidious movies have consistently scared me, and after hearing how good the first two mazes were I was excited to finally experience an Insidious maze. The facade looked amazing, but the cardboard cutouts were a little lame. The Insidious Chp 4 sections were the only parts of the maze that actually did anything for me, with the exception of the Bride in Black in the Chp 1 Section. Her strobe wasn’t working and I didn’t notice her until I saw a hand in front of me, she got me good. The ending of this maze had me running out and I thought this was the scariest maze of the night. I think Universal should’ve just made this an Insidious: The Last Key maze because the transitions from movie to movie was kinda clunky and there were soooo many black walls and red doors in this maze(only maze that I’ll give a black wall pass on though). A-



    Ash vs Evil Dead: Before I went to the event, I watched a ton of clips from the show to get caught up. When me and my group got to the maze I was the only one who actually knew what AvED was. This maze was fun, but man they missed everything about this show. Ash’s trailer through Ash’s House was nice, but until the cabin it was just black walls. This maze felt like they forgot a lot of stuff from the show, and it lacked passion. My favorite scene from the show, “Hello Pussies”, only said “Hello” in the maze. I think this maze was too censored, didn’t use enough from the show, and just lacked. It was still a fun maze though, just wish they did more with it(I wish I could go to Orlando since it seems like they NAILED their AvED maze). C-



    Saw: The Games of Jigsaw: This was in the same boat as Insidious for me, in that I could finally experience a highly praised maze that was returning to HHN. This maze had more to look at than to be scared by, but the cast in here that was scaring was AGGRESSIVE. Jigsaw’s Minions were in your face, followed you, and weren’t afraid to nearly touch you they were so close. Seeing the traps in real life was pretty cool, but I still couldn’t get over the aggressiveness of the pig heads. Even the ops jumped out. Had it not been for the scareactors and the smells, I could understand how this felt like a museum more than a maze; I guess I just got a lucky walkthrough. B



    American Horror Story: Roanoke: To me, this was the second scariest season of AHS after Asylum so I was excited to see Roanoke get it’s own maze. This maze was amazing to look at, but it didn’t really give off the dangerous and terrifying vibe of the Blood Moon. The “woods” scenes were very short and I wish they longer, but they were cool to look at. All the actors playing the Butcher and Pig Man were great, but I felt like they were everywhere. For a maze dedicated to one season, I wish they could’ve utilized more characters from the season. Matt, Shelby, Dominic, and Scathach weren’t even in the maze; and Scathach was the character who caused everything so I was definitely expecting her there. The ending was ok, definitely overhyped though. This maze was pretty good, but it relied too heavily on the Pig Man and could’ve used a few more characters and maybe some less light in the tunnel scene. Since I’m a big fan of the show this ended up being my favorite of the night, but if they do Asylum or Coven next year I’m expecting a lot more. A



    After AHS my group and I did rides and ate dinner as a cool down. Jurassic Park in the Dark was fun and those Simpsons doughnuts are amazing.



    Titans of Terror Tram: This was my first time ever doing the Terror Tram, so I didn’t dislike it as much as everyone else seems to. The Leatherface actors were all aggressive, and I had a ton of fun on the Terror Tram. Hopefully next year isn’t the Purge and they do something original. B



    The Walking Dead: Jesus Christ I’m glad I never experienced any of the prior mazes. I know they aren’t the same, but this maze was abysmal and so boring compared to the rest that night. Beautiful sets and actors giving it their all though, that’s about all the compliments I have. D



    The Horrors of Blumhouse: I was actually excited for this maze. Purge Section was fun, but not scary to me. I hope they give that franchise a break and just let it rest for a few years. Happy Death Day was ok, we missed a lot of the scares but the actors we did see were pretty scary. I watched Sinister earlier this month with a group of friends and we all agreed it was pretty scary, so I was SO excited for the Sinister section, and it was amazing. I wish Sinister 2 did well in theaters so a full on Sinister maze could’ve happened at one point or another; I just loved the creepiness and scariness of the Sinister section and I felt it proved its potential. The conga lines and the finale in this maze were terrible, what was Murdy thinking ending this maze with Big Daddy!? Had Sinister not been in the maze, I would’ve given it something in the D+ through C range but I had a blast here so I’ll give it something better. B-



    Titans of Terror: This maze was pretty fun. I expected TCM to be the scariest Section since I’m terrified of Leatherface but Freddy and Jason wowed me. I was surprised by how much they could fit into the Waterworld Queue, so I applaud the design team on that. Fun maze with fun scares. A



    Final Thoughts:



    Only got to see Hell-O-Ween due to Early Entry, so not gonna review the scarezones. Overall, I thought this year was fun, but the amount of black walls was bad. I’m expecting 2018 to be amazing with the potential of AHS Asylum, Conjuring, Halloween, and maybe The Strangers all happening in the same year.



    A- Overall





    Side Note On Conjuring: After experiencing the event I’m glad Conjuring was scrapped. The property deserves better than hallways of black walls and I’m hoping that when it comes eventually they do it justice; this year definitely wasn’t its year.
     
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  15. JonsMovies

    JonsMovies Newcomer

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    It's been 15 years since I was last at USH so needless to say I was very excited to return there for my first horror nights in Hollywood today! We were on the fence about getting front of the line vs the day/night pass. For those of you wanting to see the studio tour and Potter, get the day/night combo. We had an amazing time today arriving just before 2pm and heading straight to the studio tour. Between the 30+ min wait and length of the tour, we found ourselves heading towards Hogsmeade around 3:30pm where FJ had a 45 min wait. By using single rider lines, we managed to ride Forbidden Journey, Mummy and Jurassic Park with time to spare before heading down to the Metro Lot around 5:15.

    We knocked out the 3 metro mazes with AHS, Saw and AvED then immediately headed to The Shining which only had a 10 minute wait. We then went over to Insidious but the wait was already 50 mins so we decided to skip it and head up to the upper lot. Got over to Titans a few minutes after 7pm so the wait was up to 30 mins, but we only waited 20-25. We then beelined it over to Blumhouse and amazingly the wait was only 15 minutes! Next we hit TWD which was practically a walk on. Finally, we headed to Terror Tram which was no wait. By 9pm we had knocked out 8 of the 9 mazes plus had time to stop for drinks, snacks, etc throughout the day.

    All in all, we had a fantastic time and as a veteran of HHN Orlando, I have to say I enjoyed everything about this HHN experience. The crowds were just nothing like the madness that I'm used to in Orlando and with the day/night combo and metro>lower>upper gameplan, it really made it possible to do everything without a front of the line pass. My favorites for the night were The Shining, ToT and Roanoke. Can't speak to the quality vs past years but this was certainly a successful HHN in my book!
     
  16. Chris Galindo

    Chris Galindo Veteran Member

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    ^ Nice try Murdy.

    In all seriousness glad to hear you had a great time. I too consider Shining to be a spectacular house. Don't get the hate for it this year,
     
  17. Goldblum

    Goldblum Newcomer

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    I went today aswell. My group got there at 5:30 and finished everything by 9:50. We ate dinner at Bubba Gump's, and stopped for 15 minutes for water and doughnuts.

    Jurassic Park & Mummy
    Just like normal, nothing new. Jurassic Park was more lackluster than I remember.

    AHS
    Pretty decent. Horrornights789 pretty much summed up my thoughts. Too much Pigman, but there were some good scares. Grade: B

    Saw
    This was a walk-on, and it stayed like that for a good 15 minutes after we left the maze. I was really excited for Saw since I am a big fan of the movies, and it was kind of cool to see all the traps, but the scares were lacking. They did a disgustingly good job with the smells. Grade: B

    AvED

    One of my least favorite mazes of the night. Scares were not there and the cast seemed really unenthusiastic. The masks for Ash were horrible. Really boring. Grade: C

    The Shining
    EASILY the best maze I did. I got scared so much and the sets were really awesome. The masks kind of stunk, but other costumes, like the teddy bear, were awesome. Grade: A

    Insidious

    Really good. Only waited 30 minutes even though the sign said 50. The sets were really cool and the costumes were awesome. The atmosphere (as previously stated by others) was legitimately scary. There was one scareactor who played a priest (I'm not entirely sure) who was super lame as he tried to force choke me, and the finale was kind of predictable, but I was scared the entire time. Grade: A-

    Terror Tram

    Walked on to this one. I had read the poor reviews but I always enjoyed the Terror Tram in the past, so I came in with high hopes. I was devastated by the end, however. The story makes NO SENSE whatsoever and the whole thing seemed so poorly done I was amazed on how low effort it was. The only good part of it was the Freddy Krueger section because the Scareactors made it fun. Other than that, abysmal. Grade: D

    ToT

    I thought this was really cool. I really enjoyed the facade and all the sets, and I liked the transitions. Got scared a lot of times. Grade: B+

    BoH and WDA

    Skipped these due to bad reviews. My desire to go to the Blumhouse of Horrors died after hearing they weren't doing Get Out or Split. From the point that I read that they weren't coming, I already decided I wasn't doing it.

    Scarezones
    I didn't catch the Inferno and TT, but Hell-o-Ween kind of sucked. The scareactors made it all that it was.

    Overall
    Everyone in my group (most of us were seasoned vets) admitted it was a weak year. Overall Grade: B-
     
  18. HHNManics

    HHNManics Veteran Member

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    I thought that my new Video would be something all of you would love.
     
  19. Victor.C

    Victor.C Newcomer

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    I dont know if this is appropriate, however this was bothering me all night yesterday and I woke up this morning with the biggest regret. I attended HHN October 28th, 2017 with my friend and we decided to ride Jurassic park yesterday at around 730ish and 830. In front of the entrance was a beautiful women. Now mind you, Im 23 and I havent really found the courage as of recent to approach a beautiful woman. However, I was planning to make the exception, which I know probably would of been unprofessional on my part since she was working. But what can you do...when you know...you know. Anyways, I smiled at her...and she smiled back...and that smile really melted my heart. I told myself and my best friend that when I get off the ride, I would approach her....the problem was...when I returned...a new employee had taken her place (a man) and I never saw her return. My biggest regret was not stopping when we smiled at each other and expressing. If you are out there, and you see this, I just want you to know that smiling at one another was a highlight of my night...and my biggest regret was not seizing the opportunity. I really hope our paths cross again, but if it does, I promise I wont make that mistake again.

    P.S HHN was amazing...my favorite maze was the bum-house....really scared me to pieces...I haven't been to universal in years...harry potter world was so intricate in its design and execution. Unfortunately, I didn't get to take the tram tour as i would have since the rides closed early for HHN....but being back at Universal for the first time in year was great. I last attended HHN in 2011 I believe, It was great to be back.
     
  20. MacMillian Crew

    MacMillian Crew Veteran Member

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    Props for using catchy songs, rather than going for the "Curb your Enthusiasm" theme the entire video like most do nowadays.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
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