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Halloween Horror Nights 2019 (USH): Reviews & Photos

rageofthegods

Veteran Member
Sep 10, 2017
1,826
I haven't gone yet, but I will just say this:

Consensus seems to be that this year had two or three disappointing mazes, depending on who you ask (ST, Pandora, and either HoTC or GB). That leaves 6 mazes that people generally agree are solid to amazing.

Thing is, that's the same number of solid mazes as 2016: 6. So even though it's easy to be disappointed by ST or Pandora, you still get the same number of great experiences as you got in HHN's GOAT year, with the added bonus of completely original Scare Zones. I think that's worth celebrating.
 

Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 21, 2008
20,731
Orlando, FL
Quick Review after a full 2 nights:

1. Frank vs Wolf - Loved the house. Feeling modern but familiar to the classic film.
2. Us - Like Orlando, it goes for creepy vibe - but succeeds here a lot better. Had the best run of any house Friday Night.
3. Holidayz - Creepy, funny, and fun. Melted Peep gag >>
4. Ghostbusters - Captures spirit of film, but black walls kinda plague it a bit and kinda rushes at the end - but very fun and nostalgic.
5. Killer Klowns - Really felt like going through the Klowns circus tent, but after a strong beginning and middle, falls flat at end.
6. House of 1000 Corpses - Grimey and like that it features more Spaulding, but was hit or miss during our few runs.
7. Pandora - I liked it. Good use of blending the actors and clever scares. GREAT first room.
8. Creepshow - Like Corpses, hit or miss. Loved Fluffy/Crate and Father's Day, everything else was OK.
9. Stranger Things - Bad. Empty.

Zones -

1. All Hallows Evil - Really good scares. Loved the atmosphere.
2. Spirit and Demons of East - They went hard, and had some great costumes.
3. Christmas in Hell - Hated there was only 1 way to see it, but was fun and creepy.
4. Toxxxic Tunnel - Empty and boring, but the actors had a lot of energy.
5. Fallen Angelz - They seemed to have blended with the Demons of the East. Felt no presence of them at all.

Jabbawockeez was fantastic. Entertaining and very polished. Would see it over and over.
 

DTH

Member
Nov 7, 2016
832
PROLOGUE
This is my first time getting FFP for the event. Not because I’m super excited about the IPs, just because I figured I may end up going a lot. Plus I’m most likely skipping Knotts this year since there isn’t much new there. On the plus side, with the insane crowds, and the new Jurassic World, and the Throwback Thursdays, I wanted to experience this as much as possible and get the most bang for my buck on this year’s offerings. As a forewarning, I did not get to experience Stranger Things. This is the very… VERY first time… since I’ve been going in 2007… that I did not get to go through all the mazes in a single night. This is not for a lack of trying, but with Early Entry ripping away an hour and then ending tonight at 1 AM instead of 2… and taking away Terror Tram which usually dispersed people decently around the park… let’s just say Universal really screwed us over for what seems like no apparent real good reason. Usually I add a lot of detail on times I did things to help people game plan, but truthfully, unless you’re going on a very sparse Thursday or Sunday, I don’t see how you could conceivably do all the mazes, unfortunately. You’re 90% going to need a FOL pass to see all the mazes this year, especially if you’re considering including Jurassic World and Jabba into your night.

CREEPSHOW
Advertised Wait: 20 minutes
Time In Line: 6:10
Actual Wait: Walk On
In the Maze: 6:20 (was waiting for some friends to catch up)


Going through, I felt something was very off. It was very dark and there were few scare actors. Watching the maze on Youtube, I almost felt like it was an entirely different maze because of how many more scares there were and effects that were on that lit up the maze in different ways. I won’t go too into detail, since I feel I can’t properly rate this maze without seeing a full on live version. Anyway, I liked good amounts of detail and some of the scares were very aggressive. Naturally, as an anthology maze, stories felt disconnected, but that’s on purpose, so the flow and pace seemed inconsistent in a strange way.

Now let’s get into 2 things that EVERY-SINGLE-MAZE has this year. An excessive amount of fabric-picture scares and werewolves. Somehow every dang maze this year has a wolf or four footed creature that they could repurpose wolf puppets for. Even with knowing what this maze is like from watching it, there’s a certain grittiness that I wish this maze had. It’s almost live-action cartoony in a way. While I don’t hate it, I don’t necessarily love it either. My personal experience was fine, but I can see from YouTube that it could’ve been much better. I look forward to this improving in the future. And I’ll fully review it with full on scores when I’ve gone through it again. For now —
‘B’-

GHOSTBUSTERS
Advertised Wait: 75 minutes
Time in Line: 6:25
In the Maze: 6:59
Actual Wait: 34 minutes


Oy. Where do I begin? I had reservations for this maze and I really wanted to be surprised. This is everything I feared it’d be and worse. The beginning is so goofy, it’s childish. The scares did not hit at all. My friend said, “this is a maze for pre-teens who don’t want to be scared.” I can’t even say I liked the sets all that much. I was even disappointed with Stay Puft. I get it, he’s huge and there’s only so much you can do. But one scene with him and that’s it? No sense of him coming, or rumbling, or anything? I didn’t even like how Slimer looked, I think I would’ve preferred pepperghost. Comedy houses are just not - my - thing. We went through this maze so stone faced and came out very disappointed. I do no foresee this maze getting any better for me, personally. I understand if other people boogie to it, but man, even with my FFP, I don’t want to waste my time with this one again. I just feel like this is the exact opposite of what I come to HHN for. That’s not to say it wasn’t well crafted. When I say I’m not impressed with the sets, I’m just being a hater. Because technically the effects, costumes, and everything is well done. But tonally, I just can not fathom waiting 2 hours for this and getting THAT as the result. I’d run my head into a brick wall. Honestly, I don’t even want to break this down with scores for how I came to my grading. With that said, this is not even my least favorite of the event, but that’s for later.
‘F’

FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN
Advertised Wait: 35 minutes
Time in Line: 7:07
In the Maze: 7:26
Actual Wait: 19 minutes


Finally, a GREAT maze this evening! And something I want to fully dive into review-wise. I wasn’t the biggest fan of UCM, so I was apprehensive about this maze a bit. However, this is everything I wanted that maze to have been. It was much more gothic and gritty, the music more horror-y, with the scares coming in closer proximity. That was my biggest issue with UCM is the monsters were always so far away with their pop outs. This fixed that BIG time, sometimes with two popping out RIGHT NEXT to you at once (another huge staple this year, next to the fabric scares and random wolves everywhere).

Walking in, I loved the smell. The storytelling of knowing Talbot’s story was great before it takes us to the point of where the UCM maze left off. The crypt had great environment and reminded of the graveyard scene in La Lorona. Seeing Fritz at the top of the building was a nice touch. This is where you finally get to see Franky and Wolfie start to be in the same scene with each other and these encounters were great. Both monsters on the table and having to walk between them was SUCH. A. GREAT. MOMENT. I was genuinely scared to go through. And finally getting The Bride close enough to see was great too. I think the only section that fell flat for me was the icy ending and the projector room. But at least the projector room was at the end this time instead of in the middle of the maze, making more sense with a narrative of whether I’m just watching these films or living them.

Before, I think I compared UCM to House of Horrors and liking the HOH more. I think this was a worthy followup to the HOH and a much better followup to UCM. I’m hoping they will continue this series so we can see what happens next. I’d love to see Creature from the Black Lagoon (missing from UCM) or Dracula next. While this is a very great maze, it oddly somehow falls somewhere in the middle this year because the top two mazes are so good. This is another I think will only improve with time and they’re already rocking it in this maze.

FACADE — 8. Really brings you into where you’ll be in the first scene, I’d like another wagon or so though. The full moon looks cheap, IMO, so I’m docking another point.
SET DESIGN - 10. Absolutely beautiful sets in here.
SOUND DESIGN - 10. The sound really sold the story, which is another section later on.
SCAREACTOR DESIGN - 9. Docking for a few funky looking Frankies.
CAST PERFORMANCE - 8. For a first weekend, they’re already pretty much on fire, but I think that tad extra bit of aggression will make this maze that much better.
ATMOSPHERE/TONE/IMMERSION - 10. I was really sold into this world moreso than any other maze at this event.
LENGTH - 9. I wanted maybe ONE more scene.
SCARES - 9. Some of the scares didn’t hit as hard as I wanted them to. But again, maybe later when things are ironed out.
STORY - 10. This was beautifully told and crafted. I always knew where I was in the story by the sound design and things pushed along nicely, just like a movie.
PERSONAL BIAS POINTS - 10. For coming back so strong, I gotta give this maze props. It made me a firm believer in the UCM getting a solid maze at HHN. While UCM felt unfocused to me, this gave a solid story that was worth following and environment worthy of scares for modern audiences.

93 out of 100. ‘A’

ALL HALLOW’S EVIL
This felt like a Knotts maze, it was very strangely streamlined, even with a roof at some points. I enjoyed it but it was understaffed. And honestly, I just feel like you can see the same props/themes so many times before getting used to them.
‘B’-

TOXXXIC TUNNEL
No. Stop.
‘F’
 

DTH

Member
Nov 7, 2016
832
KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE
Advertised Wait: 40 minutes
Time in Line: 7:50
In the Maze at: 9:27
Actual Wait: 97 minutes


{A very unfortunate side note, operations and line management was absolutely awful once the crowds started pouring in. This said 15 minutes when I walked up to it then jumped up to 40. Then I waited twice as long for it. The line barely moved and it’s because of the amount of VIP/FOL they’re letting in. STOP THIS, Universal. CAP IT.}

The facade-pre-show felt underwhelming. Such a long scene just for that. While I should’ve known, seeing the movie and all, I just thought more would happen haha. Also, why is the show on the OTHER side from where MOST guests can’t see it?

I loved this maze instantly when walking in. I know I just blasted Ghostbusters for attempting comedy in a maze but this had a great balance of horror mixed in. The spaceship and cotton candy sections were great. I feel like this really came alive once the clowns got to the streets. The finger show was ridiculous in such a great way. I loved seeing the clowns trying to hide behind things but they’re literally too big. The water squirting was excessive but these were great scenes and gags. The police station part was PERFECT. The guy who did it was so great. He stared me down even AFTER I left the room and just stayed glued on me. It’s impressive how this maze utilized its space as well, as it never felt like there was a weak spot or blank area.

The energy in this maze is peak HHN. This was taking a well earned risk on a cult classic that was both scary and goofy just enough that it could work as a maze, one of my favorite in HHN history. Also, the fans for this maze came out in droves. I’ve never seen so many Killer Klowns shirts in my life. I felt like every 10 people in line had one. And the popularity shows because the line stayed long all night. Or maybe because people kept stopping in the maze to see the gags. Or maybe because line management sucks. I don’t know. Anyway, great maze.

FACADE — 9. I’m docking a point for that pointless pre-show. Save some money and give me another hour of early entry instead, how-bou-dat?
SET DESIGN - 10. Fantastic, they made such great use of the small area and made it work.
SOUND DESIGN - 10. I felt like I was in the movie with how it strung me along from scene to scene just with audio.
SCAREACTOR DESIGN - 10. The clowns looked so great come to life. I laughed and they scared me.
CAST PERFORMANCE - 10. And that’s because the cast was so on point. They knew how to draw you in with something goofy then strike and be menacing. These guys were doing great with such huge suits on.
ATMOSPHERE/TONE/IMMERSION - 8. I was really sold on where I was but I did feel reminded a bit on the fact that I was in a maze a bit, and that’s because the gags were very obvious. I suppose in most mazes, the gags are hidden a bit better, but since the gags are literal gags from the clowns, it just felt like back-to-back set up for the next punch-line/scare.
LENGTH - 10. It ended just at the right time.
SCARES - 9. It could’ve been scarier, but it made up for any scares with pure entertainment or at least a tone. This is where Ghostbusters fails and KKFOS succeeds in spades.
STORY - 10. This was so nice and easy to follow.
PERSONAL BIAS POINTS - 10. Great cult classic has come to HHN and I couldn’t be more proud or happy. And they did the movie pure JUSTICE by going above and beyond. You can tell they genuinely cared to make this one good.

96 out of 100. ‘A’+

SPIRITS & DEMONS OF THE EAST
These guys were pretty intense, I dug ‘em. I think the overall tone didn’t work in this area though and would’ve been much more beneficial in an enclosed space. This and All Hallow’s Evil should’ve swapped.
‘B’-

HOLIDAYZ IN HELL/CHRISTMAS IN HELL
Advertised Wait: 35 minutes
Time in Line: 10:37
In the Maze: 11:04
Actual Wait: 27 minutes


I feel like my cartoony comment about Creepshow applies to this maze as well. There’s a certain grittiness missing. HOWEVER, I enjoyed this more. Each holiday had a great little moment in it. To see this progress from scare zone to maze is a delight. I remember really wishing each section in that zone had it’s own full on room and here we have it. And it completely works. I think my biggest scares in the maze were in the leprechaun section. Guy just kept coming out of nowhere. And the Easter section was surprisingly more demonic than I anticipated, it was so fun. I think the one section that could’ve been a bit better was the 4th of July. The set up and scare here just felt anti-climactic. Halloween was very intense because of the proximity of the pumpkinheads and how many of them there were. The Thanksgiving part was so delightfully disturbing that I’m curious about a whole maze on it. I was surprised to see Christmas considering there was a zone and since the zone is such an obvious continuation, I’ll count it to be apart of the maze. A great surprise in here was Elsa—errr… a snow queen. Funny enough, they throw in another New Year part.

FACADE — 6. I like the smoke bubbles, but that’s about it. I’m not a fan of flat facades. At least Creepshow has some angles.
SET DESIGN - 7. Again, I wish there was a bit more realism added at points to make this scarier.
SOUND DESIGN - 10. Much like the zone, this used all the things we recognize from those holidays to really put you in the environment.
SCAREACTOR DESIGN - 10. Things I never thought were scary have become scary now, let’s just say that.
CAST PERFORMANCE - 7. I think this is the maze where I feel like there can be the most room for growth. They hit their marks very well, but I think there can be a bit more aggression each time.
ATMOSPHERE/TONE/IMMERSION - 7. I think going through everything so quickly, like an anthology maze, gives you almost a reset with every room. In a way, I wish they only stuck to maybe 3 holidays to really expand on some ideas.
LENGTH - 8. As I said just above, I feel like to really sell it, this needs to be longer so we can fully enjoy certain holidays instead of getting single rooms on things.
SCARES - 9. I got some of my best scares of the night in here, but they could hit harder.
STORY - 9. It’s very self explanatory and easy to follow. I think maybe if there was a device though, like seeing it through a child’s lens like in Titans of Terror, this could’ve gelled together in a much more cohesive way other than “here’s some holidays.” Which works fine, but I mean, room for improvement and all.
PERSONAL BIAS POINTS - 10. I liked it a lot and love the idea quite a bit. It works as a maze in so many ways and I know this will just get even better with time. It’s something that could come back every year and be completely different.

83 out of 100. ‘B’

HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES
Advertised Wait: 45 minutes
Time in Line: 10:37
In the Maze: 11:04
Actual Wait: 27 minutes


Filler.

Okay, maybe I’ll say more. Honestly, I liked this visually more than the 2009-2010 version. It’s more truthful to the scenic of the movie. However, that version had more space to tell a much scarier story that the more you went in, the more depraved it got. This felt like a cliff notes version of that maze. With five times more Spaulding. Okay, I get it, Spaulding is recognizable, but he was used WAY. TOO. MUCH. WTF, WHY? He’s literally half the maze and it ruined it for me.

That first room was exactly the same as the prior version. Some scenes were just poorer versions of what they were before. It’s like… why bother bringing it back unless you can improve on it? And why add so much Spaulding and his laugh over and over again? He can only pop out from a random curtain so many dang times. The Murder Ride felt endless and pointless. Like, where’s Baby, Tiny, and Otis? They felt like cameos in comparison to Spaulding. Final scene just seems like they ran out of ideas. While I can’t hate everything about it, I got some decent scares. But it feels so… cheap to do this again for no viable reason. I don’t think it can improve much over the season, it’s flawed by design. Annoying even. But at least it’s the only other maze with a consistently scary tone. Everything else is slightly goofy. It’s like a decent HHN maze from 2011 or 2013. Would’ve been good for the time if the other maze never came out, and disappointing that they haven’t thought of any new tricks. I’m not going to break this one down, it is what it is.
‘C’
 
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DTH

Member
Nov 7, 2016
832
THE CURSE OF PANDORA’S BOX
Advertised Wait: 70 minutes
Time in Line: 11:22
Time in Maze: 12:25
Actual Wait: 63 minutes


The line for this was ridiculous and just did not move. It looked smaller than 70 minutes so we figured to chance it, plus the last few lines were shorter than advertised. Nope, just line management at it’s finest, folks. Letting in 60 FOL/RIP people and only letting 5-7 people from the regular line. Without exaggeration, I counted them do that at least 3 times. Anyway, this has no effect on my score for the maze. Not like it matters, because it’s a freakin’ 0.

WHAT. WAS. THIS? And WHY? The moment I heard UV lit maze, I held my breath. And going through, in the first 10 seconds after that cool moment in the first scene, I knew it wasn’t going to go well. It was all down hill from there. I’ve hated on a lot of mazes in the past, but this was such a jumble of old stuff, it was almost insulting. Before I hate too much, let me get some positives out of the way. I liked the sound design. It was super intense and the maze felt like all action. Now, back to the negatives. There was ZERO tension because it was ALL action. Just scene after scenes of pure attack. Okay, another positive. Every scare actor was super aggressive. Back to my negatives. Every scareactor was so aggressive that none of it landed because it was a constant barrage of insanity. I wasn’t able to focus on anything. What happened in this maze? Who even knows. I just had flashback after flashback of mazes of old and their sets. You know how people complained about a prop or two returning in a maze like in 2014 or 2015? Prepare for entire scenes. If it wasn’t bad enough already, the Medusa puppet head was literally hitting the wall when I went through. Just embarrassing. Was there a climax even? And Pandora herself and the design? This maze just screams laziness around every turn. It’s such a shame such great actors are working it. I’m sure for that reason alone, this maze will have its fans. It sure is intense. But to me, it’s also nonsense. I feel like all skill, tact, and storytelling was thrown out the window for this one. This goes down in history next to TITE, Clowns 3D and First Purge as one of the worst and most headache inducing mazes I’ve ever encountered at HHN.
‘F’

US
Advertised Wait: 120 minutes
Time in Line: 1232
In the Maze: 1:02
Actual Wait: 30 minutes


Like Creepshow, I felt like there was a lot of stuff missing when I went through and when I watched this after on Youtube, I was assured that was true. However, I feel more apt to judge this one because a lot of the scenes worked how they were intended anyway. This was my most anticipated and it didn’t disappoint. It improved upon the movie in some very fun ways. Getting to live through it was much more scary.

The overall tone was perfect. The fear level built in every scene. If there wasn’t a scare, it just made the next scene build in dread because now I knew a scare was coming. The soundtrack was phenomenal. I do think the mirror portion in the beginning could be a bit better, but it definitely felt unsettling. Once the family arrives, all hell breaks loose, and in an a way that’s comprehensible. Those playing the leader of the Tethered was fantastic. Those movements were so spot on. The family jumping out in their specific spots to scare were so on point not only for the maze, but it didn’t even stray that far from the movie. I think it’s fantastic they somehow found the perfect way to adapt this without even having to take too many liberties like I thought they would.

The girl by the mirror cutting her face was the one of the best parts of the night. The way you have to walk around her and towards the guy in the doorway was just so unsettling. This maze has so many moments where you’re being set up for something else and it just worked in so many unnerving ways. The return to the mirror maze was fun, and the underground tunnels were a great creepy touch with tiny little bunnies everywhere. I loved the classroom bit, but from YouTube, I didn’t see the full version. I just got a creepy girl staring at me while moving to the music in a very specific and creepy way, which worked just like that. Another favorite is the final scare, that I won’t even spoil in this spoiler review. It’s the most freaky moment of the entire event and I’m overjoyed this maze got some major TLC to make certain moments work.

FACADE — 10. You get this facade twice!
SET DESIGN - 10. There was so much detail, even in something as simple as a living room.
SOUND DESIGN - 10. The “I Got 5 On It” plays in the whole maze and it’s awesome.
SCAREACTOR DESIGN - 10. The cast was so perfectly put together, is mostly what I’m thinking of. And the masks were so lifelike, it’s insane. The bulging eyes just made it that much scarier.
CAST PERFORMANCE - 10. Every one seemed to be on the same page and working towards a unified goal to scare the crap out of us.
ATMOSPHERE/TONE/IMMERSION - 9. Little moments like the car gag remind me, “oh yeah, I’m in a maze.” However, the tone was top notch and the most scared I felt the entire event. Just dread and feeling creeped out.
LENGTH - 10. This maze (and Pandora) felt so epically long.
SCARES - 10. Best scares of the night are here.
STORY - 10. The story points are brought up in the audio, really making sure the confusing stuff at least is conveyed. Seeing the movie definitely helps though.
PERSONAL BIAS POINTS - 10. As my most anticipated, I’m glad this worked out so beautifully, as it easily could’ve been a dud. Major props to this team.

99 out of 100. ‘A’+

OVERALL
I can’t give my final thoughts until I see Stranger Things. Or Creepshow when it’s fully on. I even would like to see Jabba. With my FFP, I will luckily get to fully absorb this event this year. As far as how good the overall year is, so far, it’s pretty just okay. I wasn’t blown away but I didn’t hate it. It falls down right in the middle for me. While I loved Us and Killer Klownz, all the other mazes are spread pretty decently across the spectrum. And there’s also two mazes I absolutely loathe. While there’s a lot of quantity, I do think quality suffered a bit. Not so much in a "budget is spread thin, look at all the black wallz, OMGGG" kind of way. Just creativity and focus. BTW, I'm not a black wall hater by any means, although 2017 was excessive and some mazes in 2018, but I don't remember too many this year. So be happy about that.

And having no Terror Tram really stole the heart and soul from what Hollywood represents. It was the one unique thing HHNH had and they should’ve held onto it as long as they could’ve. Getting rid of it, so far in my eyes, has been a horrible experiment so far. Lines are way longer, it feels like there’s less to do, and adding two more mazes just feels pointless when there’s two crap mazes (maybe even three, if ST is as bad as I hear). While I did heavily enjoy certain mazes, they definitely aren’t created equal. Oddly, my list of most anticipated is almost exact to how it panned out, which usually doesn’t happen for me as things at least swap, but this year it was pretty exact to my expectations of what I would and wouldn’t like.

While some of these mazes are going to be great by the end of the run, right now it’s pretty even across the board, which makes this above average, in general, but nothing stand out. Better than 2016? Not by a long shot. Better than 2018? For me, personally, I don’t even know if I could say that yet. I really loved the things people didn’t care for much last year, like TrT, Halloween, Stranger Things (later in the event), and HOB: Vol 2. For me, those were all solid ‘A’s. UCM was good, but not great. With Poltergeist being the only “meh” one of the bunch and First Purge just being trash. For me, Ghostbusters and Pandora are very, very, very strong Fs and are what bring the event down a bit, in my eyes. The odd-numbered year curse hasn’t been broken, at least not for me.
B+

RANKINGS —

MAZES:
AMAZING - Us, Killer Klownz from Outer Space
GREAT - Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman
GOOD - Holidayz in Hell
AVERAGE - Creepshow
OKAY - House of 1000 Corpses
BAD - N/A
WTF - Ghostbusters, The Curse of Pandora’s Box

SCAREZONES:
Christmas in Hell
All Hallow’s Evil
Spirits and Demons
Fallen Angels (I don’t think I even SAW this zone??? Was it front entry?)

OVERALL YEARS:
*PERFECT* - 16
AMAZING - 14, 08, 12, 10
GREAT - 13, 09, 18
GOOD - 19, 15, 11
AVERAGE - 07
OKAY - 17
BAD - N/A
WTF - N/A
 
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Squallheart

Newcomer
Nov 29, 2017
3
I am not going to go in depth went last night. The mazes we all enjoyed were Us, pandora box , creepshow and Frankenstein. We ran out of time to see house of 1000 corpses, holiday and killer clowns mainly because of stranger things. Oh God did that maze suck. Average wait time was 120 but we were there for more than 2 hours not kidding we stayed in one spot for 30 min because they kept letting in other people. But that maze was really disappointing and if they do it again i will ignore it. Interestingly we missed alot of the upper scare zones because we were in the lower lot longer. Ghostbusters was mostly fan service.
 
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Herny15

Newcomer
Mar 1, 2017
68
OPENING WEEKEND THOUGHTS:

I attended opening night (9/13) and did all but two mazes (Us & Pandora’s Box) because it was super packed. I went again on Sunday (9/15) and did everything that time. I’m planning on going more times so my opinions on certain mazes might drastically change.

Stranger Things: WOW this maze was a gigantic letdown. It was so light on scares and the scenes went on for so long with no action going on. A ton of missed opportunities and it is obvious that no love or care was put into this.

Ghostbusters: A ton of cool effects in this one, not the scariest maze but it’s a lotta fun. Yea the Black Walls are an issue in this particular maze but some of them are actually justified.

Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman: This might be my favorite maze this year! So much scarier than Universal Monsters last year and I absolutely love the world building and storytelling.

Creepshow: Really really good. The transitions weren’t as harsh as I was expecting which was nice and the scares and sets are pretty good. This had the potential to be mind blowing but overall I’m still very satisfied.

Killer Klowns From Outer Space: One of the best mazes of the year! It managed to be so much fun and have a lot of good scares at the same time. The gags and set pieces were recreated beautifully and I couldn’t be so much happier.

Holidayz in Hell: I love this maze purely for the creativity alone. It’s not terrifying but that’s what makes it stand out from the rest of the lineup, it relies on its sick twisted sense of humor.

House of 1000 Corpses: Pretty solid, could’ve been gorier and more intense and there are a few too many Black Walls but it has some cool scares.

Us: I was not prepared for how good this maze really was! It is very intense and it’s very faithful to the source material.

The Curse of Pandora’s Box: This is a very divisive maze. If you go to Horror Nights for the sets and the immersive experiences you will hate this maze with a passion. But if you go to HHN for the scares and intense adrenaline rushes you’ll really enjoy it. For me it’s right in the middle.

Terror Tram: Oh wait...nvm

The scare zones don’t really do much for me but I guess there is some fun to be had with them.

Again, my opinions might drastically change throughout the season but overall I think it’s an improvement over last year. It’s actually tied with 2014 for my second favorite year.
 

foodstampsFTW

Member
Dec 6, 2015
964
San Diego
After 3 nights of HHN I was finally able to hit all the houses so here’s my rankings as of now
1. Killer Klowns from Outer Space
2. Us
3. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man
4. House of 1000 Corpses
5. Ghostbusters
6. Creepshow
7. Pandora’s Box
8. Holidayz in Hell
9. Stranger Things
 

Jerroddragon

V.I.P.
Jun 27, 2017
898
After 4 Nights.....I have done all then Mazes

The Best
1) Ghost Busters (just the most energy and maybe best effects of any mazes I've seen at HHN in Hollywood) Also the only Maze with a Full Q (yeah yeah but the NY sets are always there...don't care its by FAR the best Q they have ever done) Anyway Love this maze, not the scariest but it's energy and design more than make up for that.
2) Holidays in Hell - I just like the Idea of the maze, enjoyed it as a mini maze last year. Only thing I wish was Halloween and Thanks Giving had more sets but overal I love this maze. Kinda wish they used Projections to give the Q area more life.
3) Us, it has a cool front to the building. It's got a lot of different sets and really think they did a great job with this maze.....would have been cool if they could have had like a BIG outside set near a "lake" but still really well done.
4) Creep Show - Never heard of this before...but dam its cool. I really liked this maze and would love to have the sequel be used for the set up next year or maybe the new TV. I really liked the Idea of all the different scenarios.
5) Pandora's Box - When this was announced I had no interest...but man it won me over. Loved the Spider Parts and just how dark some sections got.
6) Killer Clowns - Its a Fun Maze, love the colors and think the clowns costumes were many times unsettling. Too bad it opens at 7 meaning it will always have a line unless you have an express pass
7) The Hallows (Scare Maze) Honestly...I kinda want this up higher on the list but its a mini maze but honestly I'd love 1-2 More of these kinda mazes. They have almost no line and have awesome costumes. Honestly I would do this twice in a row whenever I could because its sooo much fun.

The Meh to Bad
8) Wolfman Maze - I like the idea and many of the sets. The cast does it best to scare you but maybe its just because of how old school they are I just am never really that scared of these characters. But its not a bad maze...just not in my top favorites or worth a wait over 30 mins.
9) House of 1,000 Corpses - It feels like it has some reused parts from the maze that was there last year.....its....its fine. It had a 5 min line on a few of the nights I went and is easily worth that but if its over 30 mins SKIP. I like the first version back in the T2 Q much more.
10) Stranger things -t it had some fun monster Scare at the end....but overal meh....just meh. The Q is boring, its always a long line....the sets are fine but nothing you need to see...and the fact the Florida maze had such a COOL monster just makes this maze even more lame. I'd skip it...go on Ghost Busters instead
11) The Walking Dead...I swear to god a week before HHN, I went on this with friends and they were trying some new scares but then I went on it and it was not that filled with monsters and all the normal spots. They need to do a Cross over maze or something next yet......make it Resident Evil...especially since most if not all days its closed during the day anyway
DO something new next year....something anything



This year is a solid year....BUT it has many things that hold it back. The bad Crowd Control, not enough open paths to walk, they need more attractions/shows open they also just need to let you in and ALL mazes are open when the first people get there, this lining people up and only SOME mazes are open sucks it just makes it where early people don't really save much time. I heard people complain about the Terror Tram, I only want it back if they TRY if its just the same layout then I don't want it back.
If i could snap my fingers and be in charge next year would be 9-10 mazes. Walking Dead with either a Cross over or Resident Evil themed. Have Two Mini Mazes. Have the Dream Works Theater Showing something either Shrek Scary Stories or something they cut together maybe something to both Advertise the new Saw film but also reap the other films and use the in house effects to try and scare you or Maybe a Chucky Show with a Live Actor (in some way Bring Chucky on all days, he's great)
More Photo Ops things people MUST take pictures with and get lines to once again spread out crowds, this costs almost nothing.
The Simpsons Characters dressed up for Halloween and you take pictures with and maybe project some things onto the Springfield stores like a mini show with creepy things from the Tree House of Horrors. Bring Back Bill and Ted, a new films out and no one really cares about the new show you have now, who talks about it EVER?
Have Potter Land Over and even if the rides can't be open let people walk through it and meet death eaters (along with another path for quests to walk in) I'd Love the Dark Arts Show....but doubt they will do it.
Have SLOPS and Despicable me open....they will have lines the Simpsons do so will these.

That's it, with Oggies Party being soo amazing at DCA I hope this puts a fire under Universal Ass to do more next year and stop being just ok with being ok at everything else besides the mazes. YES the mazes were great but with so many issues who care's without a VIP pass you cab;t do everything without staying until like 2 AM and waiting in so many lines it becomes just no fun.

PS: Sorry this is so long but I'm passionate about this event I've been going for about ten years and honestly this might be my last...I just hate how for over ten years they have let this get bigger and bigger yet in no way try to solve any issues.
 

Jerroddragon

V.I.P.
Jun 27, 2017
898
The audience Oogie Boogie cater to and the audience HHN caters to is completely different, they’re not competing with one another.
Yes, Most people who Go to Disneyland never go to Universal.

The Difference is Disney has rides opens and went all out, Universal is half stepping it right now. The Mazes Great Everything else...needs work.

If that's all they want then cool but I see the event as something that could be sold out every night BUT crowds still be manageable, with a little thing I like to call adding Entertainment besides mazes.
 

Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 21, 2008
20,731
Orlando, FL
Yes, Most people who Go to Disneyland never go to Universal.

The Difference is Disney has rides opens and went all out, Universal is half stepping it right now. The Mazes Great Everything else...needs work.

If that's all they want then cool but I see the event as something that could be sold out every night BUT crowds still be manageable, with a little thing I like to call adding Entertainment besides mazes.
They are not competiting with Disney's Halloween event. Completely different demographics. They are competing with Knott's, Dark Harbor, Fright Fest, and to a certain extent, Orlando's event. Either way, this is a Review thread. If you wish to continue the discussion, take it to the General thread.
 
Alright, second night I’ve gone to the event, and I went with a friend that had never been to either universal or horror nights. We got express unlimited so we could do the mazes a few times and also did early entry. He had only seen Ghostbusters, Stranger things, and of course Frankenstein/Wolfman, so I felt he had completely fresh eyes to judge the event. His thoughts:

He felt Us was by far the best, even without seeing the film. He really liked how realistic sets like kitty’s house were, and felt the overall vibe was really cool. Stranger things, which we all kinda hated, was also a favorite. He felt it was really immersive and it reminded me that most people who come for ST have never done Horror Nights before, so black walls of lackluster layout doesn’t matter, they just want to see the hits. He felt Holidayz and Frankenstein were the “scariest”, and while I thought he’d freak out in every maze (he’s definitely not a horror movie person), he never screamed and kinda developed the demeanor that we have (mainly that everything’s fake and no one can touch you).

We actually did Jabbawockeez, and he loved it. I wasn’t really into it until they started playing Lil B and the rest of our night we were talking about being based.

He felt that the event wasn’t worth doing without some type of express, an opinion many have. I have to agree, since if you can only go on weekends, most mazes are between 30-120. The rest of the mazes we did were enjoyable, and he thought they were all pretty equal.
 

rageofthegods

Veteran Member
Sep 10, 2017
1,826
Alright, second night I’ve gone to the event, and I went with a friend that had never been to either universal or horror nights. We got express unlimited so we could do the mazes a few times and also did early entry. He had only seen Ghostbusters, Stranger things, and of course Frankenstein/Wolfman, so I felt he had completely fresh eyes to judge the event. His thoughts:

He felt Us was by far the best, even without seeing the film. He really liked how realistic sets like kitty’s house were, and felt the overall vibe was really cool. Stranger things, which we all kinda hated, was also a favorite. He felt it was really immersive and it reminded me that most people who come for ST have never done Horror Nights before, so black walls of lackluster layout doesn’t matter, they just want to see the hits. He felt Holidayz and Frankenstein were the “scariest”, and while I thought he’d freak out in every maze (he’s definitely not a horror movie person), he never screamed and kinda developed the demeanor that we have (mainly that everything’s fake and no one can touch you).

We actually did Jabbawockeez, and he loved it. I wasn’t really into it until they started playing Lil B and the rest of our night we were talking about being based.

He felt that the event wasn’t worth doing without some type of express, an opinion many have. I have to agree, since if you can only go on weekends, most mazes are between 30-120. The rest of the mazes we did were enjoyable, and he thought they were all pretty equal.
Thats something Ive always wondered about. The big complaint about ST 2 this year are the lack of scares; is that gonna matter to people that just wanna see demodogs and the Mind Flayer?

It's not the best, but if it satisfies regular, non-HHN going fans, then...
 
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MacMillian Crew

Veteran Member
Jul 16, 2016
1,149
Thats something Ive always wondered about. The big complaint about ST 2 this year are the lack of scares; is that gonna matter to people that just wanna see demodogs and the Mind Flayer?

It's not the best, but if it satisfies regular, non-HHN going fans, then...
I think people were mainly disappointed with not getting the Starcourt Mall or seeing any of the other characters in the maze. Some people in line ahead of us almost tried going backwards after the final room because they thought they accidentally went through an emergency exit and assumed there would be more S3 scenes. But overall they executed the demodogs and Mind Flyer exactly how I pictured they would and I have to say they did a great job with Will's underground map drawings displayed all over the hallway.
 

Jerroddragon

V.I.P.
Jun 27, 2017
898
I think people were mainly disappointed with not getting the Starcourt Mall or seeing any of the other characters in the maze. Some people in line ahead of us almost tried going backwards after the final room because they thought they accidentally went through an emergency exit and assumed there would be more S3 scenes. But overall they executed the demodogs and Mind Flyer exactly how I pictured they would and I have to say they did a great job with Will's underground map drawings displayed all over the hallway.
They did....but it felt underwhelming for Sure....for the maze with one if not the biggest line....it in NO way is trying harder than something like Ghost Busters or Us, those feel like passion was put into every set and area.
 

Chris Galindo

Veteran Member
Feb 22, 2015
2,312
LA
Went last night and crowds were light, and was able to notice subtle changes as well as scares that I didn't on EPN. Least to say, this year is really good and neck and neck with '16 after last night. Here's my rankings of the houses.

TOP TIER:
- Creepshow
- Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman
- Killer Klowns from Outer Space
- Us

MID TIER:
- Holidays in Hell
- Ghostbusters

LOW TIER:
- House of a Thousand Corpses
- Stranger Things
- Pandora's Box

Killer Klowns jumped up real high as I was able to get every scare timed perfectly well with my group and it was awesome. Actors were on their A game and everything was working well. My group loved it. Went through Frankenstein for the first time and holy crap, what a maze. From its set design to scares it felt so alive and well crafted. You can tell this maze had a lot of love in it. Creepshow was great as it would be and Us - wow, just simply well done. House of the year potentially.

Holidays went down just a little bit because actors seemed to be more... limited and scared to be aggressive. Felt like something happened. Lots was changed that really set back the potential this maze had. As for Ghostbusters, I was conga lined through it but the human actors are actually really into it which is unfortunately the only high energy I get from this maze. The scares didn't land (except ironically only through the boo holes at the end) and while aesthetically beautiful, I hate to say it, this maze isn't really the type of content I want to see at HHN again. It's "cute".

House of a Thousand corpses felt very lackluster this time, especially in its set design which was weird as my first run through was a bit funner and campy but actors feel like theyre trying too hard. Furthermore its atmosphere just doesn't match the movie as it predecessors which is unfortunate since this maze has the opportunity to go HARD. Alas, it feels like an identity crisis of its former self. Stranger Things, you know the drill. Pandora's Box, I feel I had a better run through this time around. I will say its character designs are freaky. The ghouls at the start are seriously creepy and it has some really good scares, but its overall aesthetic brings this down. Line management seemed way better this time around though.

Overall, I give this year a solid B. Black walls felt very less noticeable this visit, but in terms of living up to expectations, it does them well while 2016 exceeded them (which is why it's the gold standard for HHN Hollywood for me going forward). This year tests a lot of waters in obscure properties and original mazes which I hope has feedback that will improve the event's quality and not just cater to making a quick buck.