Discussion in 'Halloween Horror Nights 2018' started by Brian G., Sep 14, 2018.
This is a very, very fair review on all fronts.
Ooh now I'm curious.. where's the reference/nod to Jack The Clown on Terror Tram?
He appears on the Clownz on a Plane signage
I'll be sure to keep an eye out for this next time I'm on the Terror Tram
The First Purge is not only a mediocre maze, but also an extremely disappointing one. There was so much potential here. The glowing contacts, exploding teddy bears, apartment invasion; it was all fumbled so badly. Even the facade is poorly done and halfhearted. The scares are kinda serviceable, but they could be so much more intense. What doesn’t help are that the rooms are just way too big; it should be much more claustrophobic. The worst sin of all is the ending, or the lack there of. This maze doesn’t end, it just kinda stops with endless black hallways. Absolutely inexcusable. It gave me AvED flashbacks. The only positives that I can think of are an okay mannequin scene and the Twitter password brochures. That’s it. If you had to skip anything, skip this. It had a lot of potential, but it became obvious that they just didn’t care about The First Purge. Hopefully this will be the last we see of this worn out property.
Horrors of Blumhouse: Chapter Two wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t good. It sits right in the middle, like in a limbo. The sets aren’t that impressive, but they’re totally “passable”. The Truth or Dare section was kinda just a bunch of crap piled together, and Unfriended had some normal looking bedroom sets. The scares were also just alright; there were some decent ones in ToD, but Unfriended got too obvious. What really holds this maze back is the last “story”, The Girl. It starts off promising with a cool first room, but then it devolves into you guessed it; black hallways. Repetitive. Boring. Predictable. Hallways. It suffers from the same problem as The Purge, as these hallways serve as the ending too. It sucks. Horrors of Blumhouse could be a cool experience, but the boring execution and last third sink it into mediocrity.
It was obvious that Universal Monsters had to have been good; it was Murdy’s passion project after all. And yes it’s good, FANTASTIC even! It’s neck and neck with Poltergeist for best maze. To start, it’s absolutely beautiful. Everything looks great; from the sets, to the characters, to the facade, and the scare zone. The soundtrack is appropriately restrained. I was worried when Slash was announced to provide the music, but I was happy to find that it was more orchestral than his signature style. Now here’s where I nitpick, but it’s not necessarily a problem. I didn’t find it really scary, but I suppose they were going for more of a theatrical experience. There were a lot of rooms where talent were acting out scenes, like The Phantom and Dr. Frankenstein’s lab. They’re really cool, and it’s different from what HHN usually does. So I would call it a very different type of maze. So in what they were going for, they’re super successful. A lot of love went into Universal Monsters, and it shows. It’s one of the best mazes this year, and probably in HHN history!
[CONTINUED IN PART 5]
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is the gazillionth rendition of a Halloween maze at HHN Hollywood. Can you tell I’m burnt out with Michael Myers? I think Horror Nights is as well, as Halloween 4 just isn’t that great. Don’t get me wrong, it does have a gorgeous, massive facade with some neat projection effects, and there’s one or two scenes that stand out. However the most impressive thing about Halloween 4 is how unremarkable it is. I’m legitimately having trouble remembering what goes on in this maze. And why Halloween 4? It doesn’t help that the source material is weak in content as well. One of the biggest disappointments is the finale. The past Halloween mazes were also kinda repetitive, but they also ended with an awesome, dreamlike finale. This version has a bizarre power plant finale that comes across as disjointed and out of place. Halloween 4 isn’t completely terrible, but it definitely is one of the weaker parts of Horror Nights this year. Check it out, but don’t expect anything special.
The mazes this year are a pretty mixed bag, but I wouldn’t call any of them atrocious. Even Purge isn’t as bad as something like This is the End 3D. And the ones that are good are REALLY good, so I’d call the lineup a success overall. If I HAD to rank them, I think I’d go-
Trick ‘r Treat
Horrors of Blumhouse
The First Purge
TERROR TRAM: HOLLYWOOD HARRY’S DREADTIME STORIES
Hollywood Harry makes his return to the Terror Tram this year, to some surprisingly okay results. Yeah, it’s all reused props, but for what they were going for, I think it works. It seems like the path was also well populated, as I felt that there were no dead spots like years prior. Funny enough, I think the best part of the experience was the video. I wish that creativity was worked into the Tram itself, instead of the comic book covers being randomly plastered on facades. My true wish for the Tram though, is that they pick a theme that actually fits with the environments. Something like a movie mash or an alien invasion would be great. In the end, Hollywood Harry’s Dreadtime Stories was an alright effort for the Tram. Maybe in the future we can see a theme that works even better.
So that’s HHN Hollywood 2018! It’s by no means a perfect year, but it’s still one hell of a good time. Some new ideas are beginning to surface, and if they keep at it, I can see it finally breaking out of its creative turmoil and becoming the Halloween experience it should be. Here’s hope to the future!
Hey guys, I know I’m super late but I just wanted to post my review for HHN Hollywood 2018 before the year ends. This lineup consisted of some great IPs and some meh IPs. We may have finally gotten the classic monsters and little Sam this year, but we had yet another Purge related attraction, a random Halloween sequel that isn’t even canon anymore, and an excuse to sell Blu-Rays of Blumhouse’s two worst films. The actual lineup overall was pretty solid on paper, but after what had happened with 2017 I was also preparing myself for some disappointing mazes. So here we go...
I’ve been wanting to see this property as a maze ever since I saw the first season. I was very excited that we were getting a soundstage as a maze location again and I hope they reuse it in 2019. After finally walking through it multiple times, I thought it was good. This maze has one of the best sound designs in 2018. The sets were amazing, I can see why people say that it didn’t feel like a soundstage maze but what they had was still impressive. The Demogorgon costumes could’ve been way better and the scares were pretty weak as well. I actually think the Upside Down wasn’t all that bad. Sure it could’ve been better but it was still okay. As an HHN maze this wasn’t all that great but as a Stranger Things experience it was fantastic.
Trick R Treat:
When I first walked through TrT I was disappointed. But after multiple revisits I started to appreciate it more and more. The facade was quite excellent. The amount of Black Walls were insane and it definitely drove me crazy. But when there were actual sets they were pretty cool. The scares were kinda cool as well and some of the actors were awesome. Each section had their fair share of ups and downs but if I had to pick a favorite it would probably be the Meet Sam portion. I don’t think Murdy planned to include the Black Walls when he first designed this maze, his original vision was probably totally different than what we got. But aside from the flaws, this was still enjoyable.
I was curious to see how they would pull this maze off, and oh boy did it deliver. Poltergeist surprised the hell outta me and ended up being one of my favorites this year. The scares were incredible in this one, I especially loved the terrifying coffin scene. The sets were fairly basic, but what do you expect when the setting of the film is a house in the suburbs. There was a long hallway of nothing but Black Walls that lasted about 30 seconds, not as long as the ones in AVED but still long. The huge puppets were quite terrific. So aside from that one awkward transition, the rest of Poltergeist was really well made.
The First Purge:
This was my least favorite of 2018. It started off strong with some solid scares, but on the halfway point it just fell flat. The facade was kind of cheap and small. The sets were alright but the amount of Black Walls was insane. There was a long section of them and it was so dark, I didn’t know where I was going. A maze host had to show me the way to go with their light wand. The maze ended prematurely with a bunch railings with scare actors wearing fake looking Skeletor masks. First Purge was totally bland and brought nothing new or game-changing to the table.
Blumhouse of Horrors 2 (I’m naming this maze the way it should be named):
I was DEFINITELY NOT looking forward to this one. I just wanted to get this over with but the end result wasn’t that bad. The Truth or Dare segment was actually alright. It had neat sets and I especially like the room with the axe-wielding nun and severed limbs everywhere. But other than that everything else just wasn’t all that memorable. The Unfriended part was pretty decent. I liked how the scenes were recreated but the masks for the victims and Laura Barns looked so ridiculous. The Girl was my most anticipated section and I was disappointed. I was confused with the story and the majority of it was just Black Walls and a devil guy coming out of a boo-hole.
So this was a thing...again...this time with two X’s. It was better than 2017 but that’s not saying much.
I would say Dreadtime Storiez is about as good as Klowntasm. Sure there were a ton of reused props and gags but it still had fun vibes. The actors were having a crazy good time acting like their characters. Nothing totally extraordinary in this Tram but at least it’s light years better than 2017.
John Murdy has been a hardcore fan of the Classic Universal Monster movies. So it would be impossible for him to screw this up. I LOVED UNIVERSAL MONSTERS!!! Is it the best HHN maze ever created? Not really, but it is one of the best. The character designs for the revamped monsters were outstanding. The soundtrack composed by Slash was phenomenal and the set design was incredible. But I hate how I’m getting immersed into a beautiful and scary scene only to have it interrupted by Black Walls. And the monsters didn’t have equal maze presence, it mostly focused on Frankenstein’s monster. But aside from the small nitpicks this maze is easily on my top 5 of all time.
This was an awesome unofficial ending to an awesome maze. The decor could’ve been better but the music and scare actors were great.
Trick R Treat (scare zone):
It was very atmospheric but they could’ve done so much more. The actors in here were cool but they never scared me. I’m just glad the fire towers returned.
The chainsaw performers were great like always. I loved how each doll had their own name. The Bonesy Brothers was a welcoming new addition and I hope to see them again in 2019.
I know there are people who are tired of seeing Michael Myers in the event, but every time he’s at HHN it’s pure magic and this maze was no exception. This was probably the weakest Halloween maze that they made but it is by no means terrible. The Diner/Gas Station facade was quite large and realistic looking. The maze had solid scares and some pretty decent sets. I was disappointed with the lack of an ending but the maze overall managed to pack a great punch.
The Walking Dead Attraction:
Only thing that startled me was a maze host lady casually walking by...
Didn’t see them, don’t care!
Holidayz in Hell:
Now this is how a scare zone should be like! It’s a perfect balance of fun and terror. There were a lot of reused props but they felt like they were there for a purpose. The scare actors were on fire every time I went through. Awesome job to everyone who was involved in this zone.
And that concludes my review of HHN Hollywood 2018! I’ve been going to Horror Nights for 5 years now and I would rank this year right in the middle. If there are any HNN Forum members reading this I posted a longer, more detailed review over there where I rank the mazes from worst to best and talk about other random thoughts I had about 2018. Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a happy new year!
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