Halloween Horror Nights 2019 (USH): Reviews & Photos

DTH

Member
Nov 7, 2016
764
Finally got to do Stranger Things!
I really enjoyed it! Maybe my expectations were curbed by all the reviews and the video, but I found myself really loving certain parts. There was a certain amount of dread that built from the first half of no scares. And there was a scare in the beginning I was not expecting in that long drawing hallway, because I never saw it in any of the videos, so it really got me. There definitely needs to be 2 or 3 more scares in that beginning half, but the maze is still very good and of HHN quality. The environments and the music made me feel on edge, and it was pretty dark in there. There should be a facade and I don't think the part 3 segment was necessary, but at least it was fun overall. It's about on par with last year's maze, I can't tell which one is necessarily better yet. I give it a solid B+.

I still hate Ghostbusters.
I got to appreciate the sets a bit more this time though. I really just soaked in the environment, but the scares still don't work and there isn't much of a fun factor for me. This is a property better left as a movie to watch then it is to live. Unless it's interactive or something. But meh.

I got to reevaluate Creepshow!
Much better this time. Every scareactor was on and all the elements seemed to be at play. It was a bit more aggressive this time, which I really liked. However, there's something about this maze that just isn't memorable. I like it, a lot, but it's almost skippable compared to the other great mazes this year. I think I'll stick to my grade of around a B.

FMTW has been consistently good.
This run through was a little better than my first one. It was very intense and fun and a great energy throughout. Still wish it was maybe a scene longer though.

On another note, I also got my first ride on Jurassic World.
Really fun detour but man... I prefer the old version by a large margin. The beginning and end are cool (although the Indo Rex wasn't working and T-Rex popped out too soon, but I at least appreciated the new scenery), but everything else was way less or stayed exactly the same. I agree with many reviews about the middle portion. It is so boring and nowhere near as fun or exciting as the original.

Us was fantastic again, as expected.
It really is the tone in this maze that creates such an eerie and dreadful feeling. The maskless performers were great, but I do still prefer the masks. It helps create the illusion these are all the same character. If they could find triplets, or even quadtruplets to fulfill the role of the crowbar and/or the axe scenes too of non-Red, that'd make this pretty amazing... unlikely and won't happen, but amazing nonetheless. One great part though was in the classroom and the girl stared me down all the way until I left the room. And after I left, she backed all the way up to the wall to keep staring at me. I was literally in the OTHER ROOM and she was still attacking me with her eyes! Also, they still haven't replaced the owl? C'mon now, it's the first scare, it's necessary!

Holidayz was absolutely NUTS last night!
Absolute kudos to these guys, this performance was probably the best I've seen in a maze at HHN ever. Every room was going crazy attacking every group, from what I could see. There were some rooms with 3 people popping out at once, really pin balling the scares out of the room. It was such a rush, and the scarezone at the end really worked as well. My rating for this jumps up quite a bit. I think that was my biggest gripe before, is I thought there was some growth needed in the performance department and they really caught a groove that's mindblowing. I wonder if they can keep that energy all season. I'll definitely be back to see if I just had a really good run through or if the maze is just that good now. Definitely an 'A' maze.

House of 1000 Corpses was such a slog to go through this time around.
This really dropped in quality since I last went. Nothing about it sticks out. It's like the performers almost gave up. I figured it'd be on fire after Sid Haig's passing, but nope. Luckily the line was maybe 10 minutes, but this is definitely skippable if they're not going to give this any energy. I think the only room rocking it was the Dr. Satan with the tall guy with the axe and the guy being scalped.

Decided to see what was going on in The Walking Dead.
Other than the photo-op out front, and a new little pre-show on the TV I've never seen before, nothing. A whole lot of nothing is going on here.

Killer Klowns was great still, but...
It's almost as if scareactors were having too much fun. Some of them weren't hitting their marks because they were interacting a bit too much with guests and missing the next scare interval. Great for them, bad for the people who saw the scare from a mile away though.
 

ghostsarejerks

Newcomer
Aug 20, 2019
42
So I went Sunday, September 22, and was really worried that I wouldn't be able to do most of the mazes because my group got to the park at like 7:30. However, it was relatively unbusy and we managed to hit everything but Stranger Things, the line was only 20 minutes when we left around 12:30 but no one really cared to wait for it. So here's my rankings from least favorite to favorite.

8. House of 1000 Corpses- This was only a five minute wait, and I'm pretty happy with that. The Murder Ride section was pretty good, I thought the casting for the face characters was great. I liked the tunnel scenes and Tiny outside the Firefly house. Just a very average Horror Nights maze, nothing great, but not nearly as bad as I heard.

7. The Curse of Pandora's Box- I don't get all the hate for this maze. I thought it was very well-executed and felt very traditionally Halloween with blacklit ghosts and ghoulies. I liked the effect where the lights would just go out for a couple of seconds, made me very uneasy. The Hades scareactor on the throne didn't even have to do anything to scare one of my friends and simply pointed and laughed at her, so I was amused. My only gripe is that this one feels significantly shorter than the rest.

6. Holidayz in Hell- A very fun maze, my favorite room was probably Thanksgiving because the two turkeys in there were just so manic and up in everybody's face. The leprechauns also scared the poop out of me. I wish the Christmas portion of the maze was bigger, but oh well, we already got Krampus, Dark Christmas, and a scarezone extension.

5. Ghostbusters- Firstly, props to the actress playing Janine, she was very into the role and seemed like she was having a lot of fun. I liked the ghost containment unit failure with the ghosts just behind the walls. The Terror Dogs were maybe the best puppets they've done in a while. I wasn't paying attention and the Librarian ghost scared the poop out of me. I thought it was just an overall fun attraction and wish something like this (or Stranger Things) could replace the Walking Dead attraction. I also wish the Stay Puft man was more dynamic, like the Alien queen, with live actors for the Ghostbusters, it just felt like a very flat diorama when it should have placed us in the Ghostbusters' shoes.

4. Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman- I thought this was leagues better than Universal Monsters, which I thought suffered from very awkward design in the Parisian Courtyard and had a lot of tonal mish-mash. By focusing on just two monsters, I liked how streamlined this sequel felt. The Gypsy camp was well done, and I loved seeing my friend as the character fighting off the two monsters in his tent. The double scares are always very fun because you feel a little more trapped. The atmosphere was very well done and the transitions were handled with savvy. I couldn't hear any of the custom soundtrack, but otherwise a very solid maze.

3. Creepshow- I was looking forward to this one the most, even read "Gray Matter" by Stephen King to get ready for this. Creepshow was one of the first horror movies I saw as a child, so this had some bias coming in. I thought most of the sections were extremely well done, loved the facade and the transition into the first story. The costumes in "Father's Day" were very awesome, I liked the beastie in the Crate but wish he had better hiding places, we only need to see its upper half. The actor they cast for Upson Pratt was spot-on and I did not expect him to scare me. My favorite section was actually Gray Matter because I thought the character design was creepy as hell, the festering moldy smell was awesome, and I wanted to get the hell out of there. The Creep appearing in cameos and in the transitions was a nice way to keep us on our toes and even though they abused the "hiding behind a printed screen" tactic, I thought it was most appropriate in this maze where he was literally bursting through the pages of a comic book. The only part I didn't like was the werewolf section, the masks looked hokey and the set was just "meh"

2. Killer Klowns from Outer Space- I may be in the minority, but a lot of the recent mazes in the Mummy queue have been very sub-par and feel small and truncated. I loved how this maze really used every inch of space to present the property with lots of love and care. The costumes were really well constructed and I love how there were lots klowns out in the open, they seemed to be having fun in their roles and weren't scary but definitely very entertaining. Everything about this maze was technically perfect except the black wall ending, I don't know why they couldn't have just done more blacklight spaceship decor.

1. Us- Just wonderful, everything about this maze made me so giddy. I loved the movie and was so excited when it was announced, I've been a fan of Lupita ever since 12 Years a Slave and Get Out was one of the best films in recent years. Hearing the initial positive responses from you all I was so ready and did this as soon as I entered the park. The facade was awesome, and I know even though it isn't considered part of the maze's design, we have those ramp switchbacks to get onto the platform. I loved the sound mixing for this maze, which I normally don't pay attention to, but it was cool to hear an even mix of "I've Got Five on It," the OST, and Red's dialogue from the home invasion scene before we even entered.

What really impressed me about this maze was the pacing though, and the mood and atmosphere it creates. There really aren't any traditional scares in like the first few scenes, and I just kept waiting and waiting until we finally get the diorama of the Tethered Wilsons and Pluto. I was expecting them to all be static figures that Pluto actually got a "holy sh•t!" out of me. The interior of the Wilsons' beach house was well-dressed and both run throughs the actor playing Abraham was very intense and getting good reactions from everyone. By this date, they had switched to face characters for Red and man do I have to say I love, love, love this cast so much. The actresses playing the various versions of Red managed to build so much dread and tension and you could feel how uncomfortable they made people feel marching past her. It's also a great opportunity in that first big scene to have Umbrae in the boo closet and also have the ability to pop out on the exterior side as well. The twins were awesome, the return to the mirror maze was awesome, and the tunnel scene and classroom were actual movie set quality like the event prides itself on.

Us also holds a special place in my heart for a couple of other reasons: I met SoCal Exploring (very enthusiastic blogger) in line, and at the end of the night it was a walk-on, so I got to go through alone and boy was that an amazing experience. Shout out to the Wilson Tethers in the home invasion scene who followed me all the way to the exterior of the Tyler house, the twins who I had to duck past, and the Tethered in the finale. This cast was so good and I hope they get all the recognition they deserve.
 

Rub

Newcomer
Sep 18, 2019
25
So I went Friday October 4 and had a blast! Honestly, the lines were alright for the most part. I went through each house and still did two of them twice, which is pretty solid. I even ate which took about an hour and left at 12:30, even though it closed at 2:00. Therefore I finished all the mazes and still had plenty of time. Let me tell you, I got through six mazes in early entry time. It is essential to finish the night. Also, the only wait that was stunning was Us, as I waited an hour and a half for it. Here is my full ranking and review:

9) Stranger Things 1x: It was definitely a slow maze with not a lot of scares, especially towards the first half. Also, it was very repetitive, with so many Demodogs popping out right after each other. It became predictable and honestly boring. Whilst the story and sets were portrayed, the scares were lackluster and not effective whatsoever. (D)

8) Ghostbusters 1x: This maze was mixed for me. I really liked Janine and that first room. Then, I was kinda lost in the containment room and the numerous black walls ruined the flow of this maze. I absolutely adore the music and the silly tone of the maze, but it was not scary AT ALL! I was shocked that the terror dogs were possibly the scariest part of it. Stay Puft looked phenomenal but I wish that scene was more interactive. Honestly, comedy mazes just don't work for me as much as I would like them to. (C+)

7) House of 1000 Corpses 1x: I really enjoyed the murder ride section of this maze. Captain Spaulding was a little overused and the murder ride was a little too long but it was beautifully crafted. Dr. Satan was insanely good at moving like an actual robot. The second half fell short. Otis and Baby should have been represented more, especially as they are main antagonists. The ending was unexpected and well crafted. Overall, a fun and enjoyable maze with a couple of good scares. (B-)

6) The Curse of Pandora's Box 1x: Let me start by saying that the first room was unbelievably amazing. It was really cool and I think more mazes should have a prologue like this. I thought that the character design was cool and it was very loud in there. The actors were trying their best and I actually enjoyed the bright lights and colors. However, Greek mythology wasn't emphasized too much in this maze and the story never connected. It felt random to walk from one scene to another, trying to figure out what is going on. Also, it did not have the old Greek vibe I was hoping it would have. On the plus side, I really liked how the lights flickered on and off, playing with your senses in a unique way. (B)

5) Holidayz in Hell 1x: This maze was really fun and was well done. I loved the transitions and the fun holiday feel. However, my main gripe is that the holidays towards the end present one room each. I would prefer to have less holidays, with each one being represented more thoroughly. My favorite room was 4th of July as Uncle Sam scared the hell outta me. However, I was cheerful all the way through. The scarezone at the end was not my absolute favorite, but it was a fun one nonetheless. (B+)

4) Creepshow 2x: This maze was pretty darn scary. The poster scares were tight and they came right in your face. Father's Day and They're Creeping Up On You were my favorite moments from this maze. The Crate felt short and was not as memorable as I would have liked it to be. The scenes from the Shudder series were adequate. They were bloody and gritty, especially Bad Wolf Down. It was simultaneously fun and scary, with claustrophobic walkways being bestowed. Very enjoyable and fearsome. (A-)

The top 3 are so close that I really had to delve deep and look at all of their pros and cons very cautiously to decide which one was superior. My run throughs and the amount of scares I received were the main determining factors.

3) Us 1x: This maze was eerie from the beginning and never let go. I felt uneasy and vulnerable every moment. The facade and the sound design was great. It really felt like I was in the movie, feeling immersed in the environments presented upon me. The mirrors were creepy and unnerving. The whole cast were interactive and skillful. They would stare you down even if you were in the next room. I wish it was maybe two scenes longer, and just a tad bit scarier, but what a fantastic maze! (A)

2) Killer Klowns From Outer Space 1x: This maze looked like it ripped scenes from the movie and put it inside itself. The clowns were terrifying and were on their "A-game". The baby clowns were also unexpectedly in your face and scary. However, the award goes to Officer Mooney. WOW!!! The way he embodied his character and stared at you was remarkably flawless. The sound design was excellent and the cocoon room was gorgeously designed. I could practically live in this maze. I also liked the water effects in this. A great top-class maze. (A+)

1) Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman 2x: This maze was PERFECT. My run through both times could not have been better. I was in the front alone with nobody (since the line was empty). It was terrifying to go in the midst of Frankie and Wolfie while they are trapping you in between them. I loved the setups to each character's environment. The Wolfman had his transformation scene and Frankenstein had the previous failed creations before him. The hunter had a prominent scene, trying to fight off the Wolfman. I admired the icy ending and the final projection scare. It was exquisitely constructed and the sound design was top notch. I loved seeing the Wolfman transforming and the Bride disheveled in pieces. I was speechless exiting this maze! This is a must-do. (A+++)

For the scare zones, All Hallows Evil packed a strong punch and was long, which is a major benefit (A+). Toxxxic Tunnel was essentially the same as its predecessors (F). Fallen Angelz had minimal scare actors, but they were quick in speed and had clever hiding spots (B+). Spirits and Demons was enjoyable and the costumes were well designed (A-). Finally, Christmas in Hell was short and sweet, but was nowhere near the level of Holidayz scare zone last year. I absolutely am no fan of the zone layout, being in an unorthodox manner, which does not allow you to freely appreciate and take your time in this zone (C). Overall, I give this year a solid B.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Fallow

Guygas

Rookie
Jul 11, 2018
186
Finally got to go last night, and let me tell you this year definitely rivals 2016 as best year for me. Some of the lows of this year are pretty bad, but the highs MAN they’re high.

9.Stranger things 2 (1 time): Now I only did this maze once, but wow was it awful. I didn’t think they could do worse than last years maze but man they really are 0/2 on this series. The first scenes are okay, but the middle section of this maze DRAGS on and is super uninteresting. The season 3 portion was okay as well, but they should’ve just not had it in here. Also there’s 0 scare actors for the first 2 minutes of the maze, why are they so scared to make this property scary? I just don’t know how they thought this was okay and I would rather some other property take the soundstage next year. 2/10

8. Pandora’s Box (2 times): I really want to like this one more than I do, but I just can’t. The first room with the door opening is super cool, but the rest of the maze feels thrown together to fill a spot. I don’t absolutely hate it, but the scares and scenes just don’t leave an impression on me, I feel like they could’ve done a better job. 5/10

7. House of 1000 Corpses (1 time): While I hate the movie, the maze wasn’t that bad actually. I thought it was going to be a lot better, but I got a few good scares and the sets were pretty decent. Overall it’s a middle of the road maze, kinda feels like a maze from 2017. 6/10

6. Holidayz in Hell (1 time): This maze was a lot of fun, the sets are really detailed and cool to look at, I surprisingly liked the soundtrack and I loved how the jumpscare effects would go with the music, super creative and the cast was having a blast. 7/10

5. Creepshow (2 times): This maze is really conflicting for me, it was my most anticipated maze of the season and as far as sets go, it’s really really cool. I love how this maze captures the movies style and I love the scenes they decided to do from the movie. Both of my run throughs of this maze were really bad, I barely got a scare, however the group I was with that was in front of me hit every single one so I know this maze is solid, I just can’t say it was super scary personally. Overall I know the potential is there, if I got a good run it’d most likely be higher for me, but for now it’s at #5. 7/10

4. Us (2 times): I wasn’t the most excited for this maze to come to the event, but I was surprised by how well done it was. The sets in here are gorgeous and the actors are AMAZING. The way they Keep eye contact with you throughout is really creepy. I didn’t think this was the scariest maze out there, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t one of the prettiest. 8/10

3. Ghostbusters (2 times): I was fairly skeptical about this maze at first, but after going through it I really had no reason to be. The effects in this house are SO good and it’s fairly scary as well, I got 2 great run throughs on this one. Sure there’s some black walls, but I didn’t really mind since the sets that are there are really really good. The stay puft scene is one of the coolest things I’ve seen at HHN so far. 8/10

2. Killer Klownz From Outter Space (1 time): Okay this was the maze I was most skeptical about going in. WOW was this amazing, the colors in here are super vibrant and the scares are really creative. I didn’t think that the klown costumes would work in a maze, but they actually work super well and are intimidating since they’re so big. I only got to go through once, but I got a lot of scares and the double klown scare made me drop to the floor. Arguably the best mummy que maze I’ve ever been in. 9/10

1. Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (2 times): This might be the best maze I’ve ever been through at HHN no joke, last years monsters was really pretty but I thought it was kind of overhyped. THIS MAZE worked wayyy better for me. The score is sick, the tone of this maze is dark as hell and super dreadful. The sets are really detailed and hauntingly beautiful (side note the first scene with Talbot transforming is so well done and the make up is so cool I just have to mention it here.) The SCARES in this maze while not entirely original got me good both times. This might be the scariest maze I’ve been through at the event as well, the last scene with the movie posters made me drop to the floor for a few seconds until I could come to my senses and run out of the maze. I love everything about this maze and I haven’t been obsessed with a maze like this in a long time. 10/10

This year BLOWS 2018 out of the water and is MILLIONS of miles from 2017. I am so happy that this year was amazing, sure there was a bad maze and some mediocre ones but the highs of this year are so high it doesn’t even matter. Other things to note here, All Hallows’ Evil is an amazing scarezone, the best in that spot so far. The other scarezones are just okay.
I really love the new maze locations and I hope terror tram doesn’t come back. Having this year being this good makes me hopeful for the future of HHN.
 

Rub

Newcomer
Sep 18, 2019
25
Finally got to go last night, and let me tell you this year definitely rivals 2016 as best year for me. Some of the lows of this year are pretty bad, but the highs MAN they’re high.

9.Stranger things 2 (1 time): Now I only did this maze once, but wow was it awful. I didn’t think they could do worse than last years maze but man they really are 0/2 on this series. The first scenes are okay, but the middle section of this maze DRAGS on and is super uninteresting. The season 3 portion was okay as well, but they should’ve just not had it in here. Also there’s 0 scare actors for the first 2 minutes of the maze, why are they so scared to make this property scary? I just don’t know how they thought this was okay and I would rather some other property take the soundstage next year. 2/10

8. Pandora’s Box (2 times): I really want to like this one more than I do, but I just can’t. The first room with the door opening is super cool, but the rest of the maze feels thrown together to fill a spot. I don’t absolutely hate it, but the scares and scenes just don’t leave an impression on me, I feel like they could’ve done a better job. 5/10

7. House of 1000 Corpses (1 time): While I hate the movie, the maze wasn’t that bad actually. I thought it was going to be a lot better, but I got a few good scares and the sets were pretty decent. Overall it’s a middle of the road maze, kinda feels like a maze from 2017. 6/10

6. Holidayz in Hell (1 time): This maze was a lot of fun, the sets are really detailed and cool to look at, I surprisingly liked the soundtrack and I loved how the jumpscare effects would go with the music, super creative and the cast was having a blast. 7/10

5. Creepshow (2 times): This maze is really conflicting for me, it was my most anticipated maze of the season and as far as sets go, it’s really really cool. I love how this maze captures the movies style and I love the scenes they decided to do from the movie. Both of my run throughs of this maze were really bad, I barely got a scare, however the group I was with that was in front of me hit every single one so I know this maze is solid, I just can’t say it was super scary personally. Overall I know the potential is there, if I got a good run it’d most likely be higher for me, but for now it’s at #5. 7/10

4. Us (2 times): I wasn’t the most excited for this maze to come to the event, but I was surprised by how well done it was. The sets in here are gorgeous and the actors are AMAZING. The way they Keep eye contact with you throughout is really creepy. I didn’t think this was the scariest maze out there, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t one of the prettiest. 8/10

3. Ghostbusters (2 times): I was fairly skeptical about this maze at first, but after going through it I really had no reason to be. The effects in this house are SO good and it’s fairly scary as well, I got 2 great run throughs on this one. Sure there’s some black walls, but I didn’t really mind since the sets that are there are really really good. The stay puft scene is one of the coolest things I’ve seen at HHN so far. 8/10

2. Killer Klownz From Outter Space (1 time): Okay this was the maze I was most skeptical about going in. WOW was this amazing, the colors in here are super vibrant and the scares are really creative. I didn’t think that the klown costumes would work in a maze, but they actually work super well and are intimidating since they’re so big. I only got to go through once, but I got a lot of scares and the double klown scare made me drop to the floor. Arguably the best mummy que maze I’ve ever been in. 9/10

1. Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (2 times): This might be the best maze I’ve ever been through at HHN no joke, last years monsters was really pretty but I thought it was kind of overhyped. THIS MAZE worked wayyy better for me. The score is sick, the tone of this maze is dark as hell and super dreadful. The sets are really detailed and hauntingly beautiful (side note the first scene with Talbot transforming is so well done and the make up is so cool I just have to mention it here.) The SCARES in this maze while not entirely original got me good both times. This might be the scariest maze I’ve been through at the event as well, the last scene with the movie posters made me drop to the floor for a few seconds until I could come to my senses and run out of the maze. I love everything about this maze and I haven’t been obsessed with a maze like this in a long time. 10/10

This year BLOWS 2018 out of the water and is MILLIONS of miles from 2017. I am so happy that this year was amazing, sure there was a bad maze and some mediocre ones but the highs of this year are so high it doesn’t even matter. Other things to note here, All Hallows’ Evil is an amazing scarezone, the best in that spot so far. The other scarezones are just okay.
I really love the new maze locations and I hope terror tram doesn’t come back. Having this year being this good makes me hopeful for the future of HHN.
I agree as I mentioned. FMTW is by far a great competitor for the best maze to come to HHN. My runs were insanely amazing and so scary and fun. It’s by far a 10/10. Or maybe since we both went last night they were popping last night more than ever. Who knows? But props to Murdy and the team alongside Slash.
 

malice

Newcomer
Aug 2, 2014
51
Any review of the Throwback Thursday 80s event with Beetlejuice?

*edit*
Oops, I saw the front page had a brief write up.
 
Last edited:
Apr 26, 2019
280
Pulled the trigger and went Saturday night, and I’m glad we did. The air quality was fine and I got to spend two nights at HHN, hit all the mazes and did my favs at least a couple times. So, worst to best with some thoughts. I’ll give letter grades after the season is over. (Gonna go at least one more time, most likely twice.)

Stranger Things: Woof. That’s all I’m gonna say.

Ghostbusters: I’m sorry, but I just don’t see the point of this maze. It feels like a glorified version of those “Instagram Museums” that are so popular. My instincts were right: It mishandled both the tone of the film and the tone of HHN, in general. Some creative designs, but overall it’s a huge misstep for the event. I hope it’s an anomaly.

Pandora’s Box: I admire the effort, but I will go to my grave saying the Hollywood version of HHN should keep original ideas to scare zones. It’s just not not Murdy’s forte. Couldn’t make heads or tails of the narrative and despite a couple good runs in terms of pace/scare actor interaction, never once felt any dread or anxiety.

Holidayz: Some great scare actors in here, and it’s leaps and bounds better than Pandora, but there’s very little repeat value. Went through once and loved it, went through again later in the night and it was diminished returns, despite better pace and scare actor attention.

HOTC: Ended up liking this a lot more than I thought I would. Whoever is playing the “robot” Dr. Satan needs an Oscar lol. Really solid atmosphere and I felt a twinge of bittersweetness with Captain Spaulding. Would have loved for this to be a combo of Devil’s Rejects and Three from Hell, but so it goes. My biggest surprise of the year.

Creepshow/Killer Klownz: These are neck and neck for me, and I think their strengths are very similar. They’re fun without being cute or tame (unlike GB) and absolutely nail the tone of their IPs. Klownz might get the slight nod for being a more ambitious overall, but the scares and scenery and atmosphere are all aces. Both are so so good.

FMWM: Amazing!!!! Really felt the narrative aspects and having both characters play an equal part added some really great symmetry. The scene with them both strapped to the hospital beds was incredible. The snow stuff was great. Loved seeing the Bride. God, just a stellar maze with so much detail and atmosphere. Better than last year’s iteration, which already so strong.

Us: I had a ton of faith in this one, both as an IP in general and a maze that HHN could execute. They had some help, admittedly, but in any case, the maze more than delivers. Top three all time, for me. That’s really all I need to say!

Overall, it’s a solid lineup and I really can’t wait to go back, specifically for the top 4 of Us, FMWM, Creepshow and Klownz. Those houses feature some of the very best work this creative team has ever delivered. Honorable mentions to Holidayz and HOTC.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chris Galindo

Ryan

Staff member
Moderator
May 23, 2013
4,386
Initially I was quite down on this year, and frankly it was a bit unfair looking back. It didn't help that I did the worst mazes upfront, that being Stranger Things, Ghostbusters and Creepshow. I also did Frankenstein/Wolfman in early entry.

I'll be upfront where Universal went wrong in many areas and helped sour my opinion: first off, the Metro sets has GOT to be changed transportation-wise. I made the mistake of doing the hike twice because I was starving and wasn't a fan of the food options offered there. Giving you three mazes, a food tent, restrooms and an additional gauntlet maze indeed does help compensate you plus I know the event isn't meant to be marathonned. (go at the right time without Express and you could be there the entire night) But god I hate the walk and I wish they'd bring back the trams. You are on your feet the entire event and god forbid anything helps relieve the pain, but nah you have to do a half-mile to and fro the lower lot. That and I abhor Toxic Tunnel, hate hate HATE that "scare zone's" guts. Strobes + SAs intentionally making you flinch by pretending to bash your head in with tools and pipes is not scary, it's downright irritating. Not to mention that I was actually hit on the shoulder by one of the fake tools at one point. Going through it twice was enough to make me a big ol sourpuss for the rest of the event.

Ghostbusters was the biggest wasted potential ever, well it would be if it weren't for.... another maze. The entire thing had tons of broken effects and a lot of missed opportunities. There's a reason why Orlando went for Pepper's Ghost effects: they look good and work more often than not. Here it just felt cheap. When the best part of your maze is the first two scenes (the facade and the interior firehouse with Louis/Jeanine/Egon) with almost zero scares that is.... not good.

Creepshow was just too many of the poster scares and lots of black walls. Some good scenes here and there, but a few that repeat far too often, such as the first Crate scene.

Stranger Things. I just, I can't. This one was an absolute joke. Netflix should've shut this one down upon first sight, it is so embarrassing. The best thing about it was walking thru the new TF extended queue and seeing Nintendo up close. I just can't with this one.

The other mazes range from good to great, but every now and then there are issues with black walls, I just have to say that this is a problem in EVERY maze. I know, I need to learn to accept it but man this is supposed to be a premiere event. Act like it!

Anyways: Killer Klownz was really well done, if a bit hefty on the water effects (I got actually quite soaked), it did need a few more moving props here and there but whatever. I loved the clown pop-up heads, that was a really well done scare. Klownzilla would've been nice, but I appreciated how many more scenes were covered here.

Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman has some iffy issues here and there, made up by some great dual scares. I really love the ending portions, especially with the cut-up Bride of Frankenstein and movie poster/screen one. A worthy follow-up to Universal Monsters even if it's not as strong.

House of 1000 Corpses was solid. Good scenic, good scares. Weirdly enough I don't have much else to say, it's the only maze I felt mostly settled upon and not raving about.

Curse of Pandora's Box is like... sigh. They let only a few people really see the prologue (I did not), and the rest of it is a blacklight maze much like Alice Cooper and such in the past (man remember 3D mazes?), but not quite as well done. Some solid effects here and there but I felt like there was more potential there to be grasped. I really love the idea of it, however.

Us was fantastic. It felt like the movie, the maze was identical to the one in there and the actors were excellent. This felt like a classic HHN IP maze. Easily the IP highlight of the event.

Holidayz in Hell. Oh Holidayz in Hell.... you are too good for this world. The facade is awesome, the scenes filled with brilliant ideas and scares. Thanksgiving in particular was a favorite. This felt like a 10/10 maze, and then it reached Christmas and they ran out of room so they dump you back onto French Street and the rest is tableaus recycling from past HHNs. It's a 9/10, but man that ending was just like.... so close!! Maybe if they fully decked out the street it would've taken the crown but IDK.

Do want to quickly comment on Hallow's Eve, which was a very solid gauntlet maze. Love the camoflauge scares and ending projection screens.

Did not see the show, do not care for the Jabbawockeez at all. Removing Terror Tram is a brilliant idea, even if the current Tram Garage area setup is not very ideal for maze flow. (so weird walking up a ramp to Us, felt like I was in Florida)

Scarezones were mostly non-existent to me. I always felt like they barely have an identity in Hollywood anymore, and this year is no exception sadly enough.

While I recognize I was being more of a grouch than I should've been, this is the second year in a row I've walked away from Hollywood disappointed, which has never happened in Florida and looking at their mazes, definitely wouldn't have happened this year. Maybe it's just quickly not being my exact cup of tea, I dunno. I wish the organizers and management could finally get their s--- together and bring home a cohesive whammy of an event. And y'know, recognize putting their all into the star brands.
 
Aug 1, 2018
717
Los Angeles
It changes from week to week but I think I have had enough runs to figure out my 1 - 10.

1 - Ghostbusters - This is pure nostalgia. Like Poltergeist from last year the house is done well, not that scary but a fun house.

2 - Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman - I had a bad first run on this maze, but since then it is a really great maze. Not as good as Monsters last year but really good.

3 - Killer Klownz - This is the unicorn maze for this year. It seems it always has a long wait from opening and the fact it is not part of early opening makes it hard to plan for this one. Overall a fun maze that is done really well. I got soaked my last run but it was good.

4 - House of 1000 corpses - This was my least anticipated maze. But I was impressed with what it delivered.

5 - Creepshow - Another solid Maze - These middle mazes are hard to place because they are all solid.

6 - Pandora's Box - I had this as #2 my first run but since then it has dropped. I know people think this is a cheap and lazy maze but they have some good scares and the " pre-show " is unique.

7 - Holidayz in Hell - This could easily be 4 or 5 but I had some bad runs. Conga lines every time. It feels short and really the scare zone was really good last year this is not much better.

8 - US - I liked the movie and was hoping this was a better maze. It is good but it feels like a lot of sets with not much going on. The design is great and the creep factor is there, just a bit lacking.

99 - Stranger Things - I will not wait for this maze much. I usually wait 20 min at opening and that is too long. A real disappointment.

Walking dead should die. It is terrible.
 

Jaden

Member
Jan 12, 2018
608
Finally did it! Suprisingly got all mazes down even though I came at 6:30, which I thought I was only gonna get 8/9 done. Here are the grades for each maze and scarezone.

Mazes
Ghostbusters: B+
FMTWM: A
Creepshow: A
Killer Klowns: A+
Pandoras Box: B
Us: A-
Holidayz In Hell: A
House Of 1000 Corpses: B
Stranger Things: ...... D- (My god... this maze really was that bad.)

Didn't even bother doing TWD, it really has to go if they're not gonna make any changes to it.

Scarezones
All Hallows Eve: A
Toxxxic Tunnel: C-
Christmas In Hell: B
Fallen Angelz and Spirts: B

Didn't do jabbowackez

Its not 2016, but this was a solid year. Still need to fix those black walls though. If they even plan on doing Stranger Things again next year, then it better not end up like this one. Wait times were RIDICULOUS. Still managed to get all of them but holy cow the line ST was so long I waited to that last.
 

DTH

Member
Nov 7, 2016
764
Got my third run through of the event, and I have some thoughts:

Man, oh man, for a Sunday, it was INSANELY crowded for NO reason. I haven't seen it that packed in a long-long time. I saw Zombieland at 7 then entered around 10 PM just to do a few mazes and rides. Around midnight, the mazes went to about 45 minutes, but yeesh, before that, just nuts.

Finally saw Jabbawockeez. As a huge dance fan, I was so let down by this show, more than usual. Honestly, it just gets worse and worse. The dancing was so tame compared to year one and two. I haven't been thoroughly entertained by it since than. Years prior, they attempted a story -- this year, there is absolutely nothing threading these dance sequences together. They just turn on music and go. The girl Jabbawockee from last year makes a come back, oddly showing some type of continuity in these sequels, but she's only in one scene that doesn't utilize her well. Also, the laser sequence returns in a much more fascinating way times three, but then it sadly ends too fast. The best part about it, is the show is shorter than usual at 25 minutes.

I had an amazing run through of Creepshow. They've only imrpoved throughout the season with their aggression and that's certainly impressive.

I had a tame run through of FMTW, but I think that's because midway, we got stopped for about one minute, which means there was a cast change -- so I'm assuming everyone was getting back into their roles.

Went into All Hallow's Evil completely ALONE. Man that was great! Some scareactors were talking to each other, KSF style, but once they saw us, they went nuts.

Did Jurassic World and the Indo Rex was there, which he wasn't the last time I went.

Had a run through of Stranger Things, which I still appreciate quite a bit. I prefer it much more than Ghostbusters, Pandora's Box and House of 1000 Corpses. However, I did expect them to fix the first 1/3 of the maze by now with more scares, but oh well.

Also, The Mummy had a HUGE line all night long. The longest I've ever seen in it, including during the day time -- fully utilizing that extended queue of switchbacks outside and then some. Waited to do it last and it still took about 45 minutes.
 

horrornights789

Veteran Member
Jul 8, 2017
3,125
Went all the back in late September and recently again about maybe 2? weeks ago with a group of some friends. We went in the same order both times though and it worked perfectly with express.

Maze Reviews(In Order of How We Did Them):

1. Jordan Peele’s Us
- We loved this maze as both fans of the movie and as fans of how scary it was in general during every one of our 6 run throughs. Our first run through was so good it scared 2 people in our group out of doing any of the other mazes because of how intense they thought the event was gonna be. 1 person hadn’t seen the movie but generally thought the maze was good. As a big Jordan Peele fan I thought this house was amazing and nailed the movie perfectly, easily my new favorite of all time. Big shoutout to the Red’s as they scared me by just staring; the whole cast in general blew me away by how good they were. GOAT *for me*

2. The Curse of Pandora’s Box
- Pretty ok maze. Sets were meh and heavily reused from prior 3D mazes but this was easily the scariest maze. Not sure where to rank it since it’s by far the scariest to me but also has by far the weakest set designs and storyline. B

3. Ghostbusters
- Another weird one. Not scary at all but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have fun. The facade, office room, Stay Puft scene, and Containment Unit segments were all great scenes but I felt like the rest of the maze just wasn’t that good and was just kind of meh in general. Thought the Terror Dogs were scarier in Hollywood’s adaption on the plus side. D+/C-

4. Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman
- I wasn’t really excited at all for this one since I thought Universal Monsters last year was too Frankenstein heavy but I was blown away by this maze. I’d be perfectly fine with a UM maze every year based off how good this one was and how I felt like it improved on UCM ‘18. A

5. Creepshow
- This one was pretty scary and I loved the comic book lighting style since it reminded me of Suspiria and that style of neon lighting. Thought some segments(Father’s Day, Grey Matter, The Crate) were great while one was ok(Bad Wolf Down) and one just… wasn’t for me(Coackroach one). Overall I really enjoyed this maze and I hope it comes back for a Volume 2 with that scarecrow segment from the show. B+

6. Killer Klowns From Outer Space
- Loved it and thought it was just fun. That’s all there really is to it aside from being spot on to the film. 2nd favorite of the event. A+

7. Stranger Things 2
- Thought it was better than last year’s. Tunnels dragged on but the Hawkins Lab scene was intense and saved the maze IMO. ST3 was useless in here since they chose a scene that, while scary, wasn’t really memorable. Overall I think the problem is that they completely left out the possession scenes from ST2 which were genuinely scary and translated well, and the junkyard was missing too. C-

8. Holidayz in Hell
- Loved this maze and always had a blast. Scary, fun, memorable and hopefully will bring more original mazes to Hollywood. A

9. House of 1000 Corpses
- As a big fan of the film I thought this maze was good but could of been better. Murder Ride segment was spot on and perfect length but it caused the Firefly House to be very short. The maze was missing a couple scenes from the original maze that looked really scary(Scarecrow Attack, Otis’ Room, Baby’s Room, Bridge to Dr. Satan) but I understood why they weren’t included since Waterworld isn’t that big of a venue. Overall pretty scary and fun even if flawed, just like the film. B

Final Maze Rankings:
*I really really enjoyed mazes 1-4 and all were close calls for #1, 5-7 were all good but I felt like there were a couple of issues with those mazes; however they could’ve easily been #1 in 2017, 2015, or any year like those. 8/9 were okay but didn’t live up to expectations and potential in my opinion.

1. Jordan Peele’s Us
2. Killer Klowns from Outer Space
3. Holidayz in Hell
4. Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman
5. Creepshow
6. House of 1000 Corpses
7. The Curse of Pandora’s Box
8. Stranger Things 2
9. Ghostbusters
10. The Walking Dead

The zones were pretty standard as always and Jabowockeez was pretty good this year. The merch and the overall event theming were amazing this year. Overall I’d give 2019 an A for exceeding expectations, finding creative ways to hide black walls, and just for being so damn fun.
 
Apr 26, 2019
280
Alright, now that everything is said and done, wanted to give a final summation. Some mazes definitely moved around for me, but my overall favs were consistently my favs.

Ghostbusters I don’t want or need to get into all of it; suffice to say that I consider this maze a massive misstep, both in terms of IP choice and overall execution. I hope we never see this kind of stuff again. F

Curse of Pandora’s Box
This one started out on a more positive note for me, but each subsequent visit got worse. Started to see the patchwork, I guess. So much recycled content here, and the UV lights started to seem more and more cheap and “county fair” level. No idea what people see in this one. D

Stranger Things
This was the first maze I did each time I visited, and it honestly started to get better each time. I do think there are faults, but I feel like I started to get a better understanding of what they were trying to do in the face of two things: budget and scope. It’s sad to say, but I do think this is the best version of this maze we could have gotten. Still, it’s weak overall and I think this IP has run its course at HHN. C

Holidayz in Hell
This one is pure “middle of the road” for me. I got the idea in last year’s scare zone and nothing about this maze seemed to justify further exploration. That said, it was at least consistently fun and it had some of the better scare actors roaming around. I just find the idea so one-note and ultimately dull. C+

House of a Thousand Corpses
This is the maze that won me over the most. I know there’s a lot of recycled content here too, and a lot of my criticism of Pandora/Holidayz could easily apply here too. But this had maybe the single-best scare of the whole event for me, and idk if I was just feeling nostalgic for Sid Haig, but I loved to presence of Captain Spaulding. The stretch where you enter the firefly house up until you see Dr Satan was consistently intense. Still think it’s a weak IP but it worked as a maze. B

Creepshow
This one started to fall for me a little as the season went on. I started to find it fairly repetitive, and it had one of the weaker finales of the whole event. The strongpoints were there, though, and if captured the feeling of the film well. The “Creeping” segment was a huge standout, got me every time. B+

FMWM
I would almost consider this one an original concept even though technically it’s an IP. There’s just so much invention and uniqueness here. A huge creative accomplishment. I love every second of this maze. A

Killer Klownz
Another huge creative accomplishment, but from the perspective of IP execution. I really felt like I was walking through the movie. The way they used the back walls to their advantage here was particularly inspiring, because so much of that film happens with black backdrops. The costumes were incredible and so detailed. I love that’s it’s a more obscure/nerdy IP to go along with the more popular/mainstream stuff. These are the mazes that keep me coming back to HHN. A

Us
It’s top five all time and I will indulge no other opinions on the matter, lol. In all seriousness, this is hands down Maze of the Year and I can’t wait to see how Jordan can further influence this event. So glad it was good as I was expecting and hoping. The best cast, the best design, the best atmosphere, and the perfect summation of what makes Hollywood HHN great. Go Us. A+

Feelings overall: It was a really strong year but I am getting sick of the crowds. Not sure if it’s literally the crowds or the way Universal is handling things, but between all the conga lines and consistently long wait times even on nights that were traditionally slower, I found parts of the event to be much more of a chore than usual. I even skipped a night when a bunch of my friends went (a Thursday) because I just didn’t wanna deal, and that’s NEVER happened for me. So idk. Either bring back the tram or open up Wizarding World or whatever, I just hope they get more proactive with stuff. Also, ditch the Toxic Tunnel. It’s become so annoying and it adds nothing. I understand you’re limited by the space in there but there’s gotta be some creative adjustments you can make. Add some light scenery or introduce a new theme. Aspects of the event are getting stale and arduous, and this is a prime example.
 

AlexanderMBush

Legendary Member
Nov 23, 2013
16,604
Arizona
Before I go in speaking of the event, a few thanks are in order.

This was my first night back, and I got to see the event with @HHNManics, @Freak, and a few other notable individuals. Thank you for putting with my crap, as I loved being with y'all.

And to speak..wow the events something. And I've thought for a little bit of my general thoughts on the event and it's lineup.

To do the easy, I have a list of my most anticipated..

1: Ghostbusters
2: Universal Monsters: Frankie meets Wolfie
3: Us
4: Pandora's Box
5: Killer Klowns
6: Creepshow
7: Holidayz
8: House of 1,000 Corpses
9: TWDA (first time for me)
10: Stranger Things

It's a list. And I had this feeling up until I opened the gates, to then drop all expectations at the door.

And what was my lineup? The answer may shock you. And this list, is in no order excluding the top 5.

TWDA
- while this is an enjoyable and somewhat fun experience (the actors for really close), it's definitely..lacking in actors. I don't know if it's due to the event needing more actors, but Im not entirely thrilled from it.
GRADE (as a first time): C-

Stranger Things
- this isn't as bad as everyone says. Does it lack? Oh yes, and it boggles my mind that they didn't do more with Season 3. I'm a fan of the IP, and love the story. But I wish they did more, as the parts of the maze that I loved were great.
GRADE: D+

House of 1,000 Corpses
- I experienced the original in 2010, and if there is one thing I wish was back from it..it's the 3D. Corpses feels nicely paced, as I love how they handled the murder ride. But that said, I wish they did more with the Firefly House.
GRADE: C

Ghostbusters
- To preface: this is an extremely fun maze. And the library apparition got me more ways than I thought. That said, I am disappointed more in that of how they handled the black walls and transitions. It's fun, but its held back by the way they handled moving from setpiece to setpiece.
GRADE: C-

Universal Monsters: Frankenstein meets The Wolfman
- this..might be a controversial take. But it's one I'll say: When it can be, it can be as haunting as it is scary. And it has some of the best scenic work of the entire lineup. But I got multiple bad runs. To the point of where it'd bog down low in the list. I wish I could've experienced last year's, if only to see how they handled the Monsters on full stereo.
GRADE : C-

5: Holidayz in Hell
- This had a great package. It's the most creative out of any of the mazes, and I love a lot of how they handled certain holidays like Easter and Thanksgiving. It's not scary, but I had a lot of fun with it and it's scarezone.
GRADE: C+

4: Killer Klowns from Outer Space
- The amount of love for these aliens shines for this maze. Even with the water effects, I loved the way they incorporated so much from the film (with my favorite being Poohbear).
GRADE: C+

3: Creepshow
- Creepshow, is a fantastic house. There is a distinct care and love for how they give these stories some shine (with my favorite of them being The Crate). The actors also had a lot of fun, as I got legitimately scared by Bad Wolf Rising). If this comes back next year with more, I'm on board.
GRADE: B+

2: Pandora's Box
This was the most..intense of the mazes. We got to go through twice (with the second actually incorporating the Preshow). Manics can attest that this one got to me on a scare level, as it's simplicity allows the actors to go full on in the terrifying department. Super happy for this, and I love every moment of it.
GRADE: A

...and now.. a count of my runthroughs..

ST: 1
Klowns: 1
Corpses: 1
Holidayz: 1
TWDA: 1
Ghostbusters: 3
Monsters: 3
Creepshow: 4
Pandora's: 2
Us: 6

Us
- Us is my favorite maze of the year. And for the three years I've been to..it's my favorite maze period. There is an unmistakable and massive amount of love and care. It felt like this wasn't even Hollywood to me, but with the scale of an 3spe maze. Us scared the crap out of me, in most of my time with this maze. They did something special with this maze, and I would adore if this is the direction going forward with the event for the shere level of quality.
- I had consistently gotten the best runthroughs with this maze. Especially as the last one we were in, had all the actors in the maze. If you want a trip, that's something to behold.
GRADE: A+

As far as scarezones, Toxic Tunnel and Spirits and Demons felt the most fun, as I loathed All Hallows Evil. And I already mentioned Christmas in Hell with Holidayz, but the actor interactions were fun.

Overall: I'm glad I returned to HHN. Especially as it's fitting that I see the beginning of the decade and now the end. Us and Pandora's Box should be the examples of what to do going forward, as I cannot wait to see what Murdy cooks up for 2020.
 

Freak

Veteran Member
Jan 10, 2013
3,792
No man's land: SoCal
The post-HHN/haunt season depression is starting to kick in. This is the first time since 2016 where I feel bummed that the event is over. So many great houses this year. After all of the run through a I got, this is my final verdict on rankings:

1. Creepshow
2. Us
3. Holidayz
4. Klowns
5. Frankenstein
6. Ghostbusters
7. Pandora’s Box
8. Stranger Things
9. HoTC

I’m gonna miss my top 5 houses. :(