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Halloween Horror Nights 21 Reviews & Photos

Discussion in 'Halloween Horror Nights 21' started by Tbad556, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. The_Bled

    The_Bled Veteran Member

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    Wow, I wouldn't doubt tonight being opened up to FFP. Last night was a ghost town. The In-Between was 10 minutes at about 9:30 at night. Forsaken was a walk-on. Saws N' Steam had nobody in line and neither did H.R Bloodengutz, Nightingales, The Thing, or Winter's Night. The longest we waited last night was 20 minutes for Rockit.
     
  2. zbob1992

    zbob1992 Member

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    Edit
     
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  3. Andy

    Andy aka Hatetofly V.I.P.

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    WTF! Well I guess I better get as much done tomorrow :lol:
     
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  4. April

    April Member

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    It was definitely busier tonight than it was last night, but not by too much. I left early because the wind chill was too much for me and I'll be back Sun/Mon anyway.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
  5. Octobers Fade

    Octobers Fade DEAD inside Premium Member

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    That is just crazy.. HOS had hour + waits all last night.
     
  6. Vyrus

    Vyrus The man with the master plan Premium Member

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    Wow thats crazy.

    Out of curiosity, does anyone know which house and zone has been winning the weeklys?
     
  7. Cwoolboy

    Cwoolboy Veteran Member

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    This year I had the great fortune of being able to buy a frequent fear pass for HHN 21. I got to visit HHN 21 a total of four times, and got to go with different people each time so, instead of recounting one night's trip I will be instead going over each house and scarezone individually, assigning a score to each and rating them from 1 to 8 (for the houses) and from 1 to 6 (for the scarezones). Ready or not, here's my trip report from HHN 21.

    SCAREZONES

    Let's start off with scarezones. The scarezones this year are one of the weaker parts of the overall event. Usually the scarezones are pretty well developed and designed, not so much this year. Apparently, all the money went into another facet of the event that I will get to later. So for now, let's delve into the scarezones to be found at HHN 21

    ACID ASSAULT: We are entering a city that has been under a constant acid rain that has warped the citizens into homicidal freaks that are out to get us. Sounds like an average theme for a scarezone, but Universal stepped it up here. Acid Assault is located in the New York section of the park, and HHN takes full advantage of the setting here. Acid Assault is easily the best looking scarezone to walk through. Universal has a specual projection system set up to give off the illusion that the buildings in this area are crumbling down as we walk through, it's pretty damn neat. The scarectors are pretty cool here. I didn't get many scares but the makeup and costume design are superb. That said, I do have one major complaint: when the event first began there was a neat acid rain effect they had going on, but as the event continued this effect vanished. True, it was only soap suds they had falling down (I think that's what it was), but the effect really helped to cement the theming in this zone and with it gone it detracted a tad bit from the overall experience.

    Rating: 8/10
    Rank: # 4


    CANYON OF DARK SOULS: This zone was pretty fun. There's not much design here, just two black walls that are on opposite sides of each other but close together creating the feel of a long, dark canyon. Despite the lack of theming here, the scareactors here are the hardest working ones I've seen at the event. Their costumes look bad ass (like hulking skeletons with black hoods) and there are ground walkers and stilt walkers creating a good sense of variety here. The whole canyon is filled with thick, all encompassing fog that easily disorients the visitor. Walking through this zone freaked me out because I didn't want to stumble into one of the scareactors. The scareactors would occasionally roam further outside their zone and thus extend the zone by a little bit (so cool to see this). Overall, this was one of my personal favorite zones of the event and it was always a joy to walk through it.

    Rating: 8.5/10
    Rank: #3


    GROWN EVIL: I have always loved the central park area during HHN. Usually this part is filled with fog, darkness and glowing pumpkins. This year, Universal went the extra mile and decided to turn it into its very own scarezone. The Central Park area is beautifully themed to an overgrown park that has been invaded by evil winged creatures (alot of whom are played by females, HAWT females.). While the park is wonderfully realized, there wasn't a whole lot of scare potential to be had here. Sure, it was definitely creepy, but I only got maybe a few scares here and there, even less as the event rolled on. That said, it was always fun to walk through and marvel at the ladies in this zone and the costume design. Truly beautiful. I hope they continue to work on this area and perfect it with each proceeding event.

    Rating: 8/10
    Rank: #5


    7: Now THIS...was a neat scarezone. Truly original and innovative. I love the theme of the seven deadly sins taking on human form and slowly degrading on throughout the night. I only got to visit this like, once, but it definitely made a lasting impression. While it would appear the sins would be the stars here (each portrayed by a beautiful female), in reality it's the numerous minions that steal the show. The sins themselves are confined to a small stage and have to strike poses throughout the night. they aren't much scary, but they are fun to watch. The minions however, are given free reign to roam around the zone. Each sin has her own special batch of demons (themed to the sin they serve), and each are pretty scary looking. I got a LOT of scares in here, and I loved it. This is also one of the only scarezones that had chainsaws inside it.

    Rating: 9/10
    Rank: #2


    NIGHTMAZE: This area has pretty much NO theming to it. Inside it is pitch dark and there are a bunch of black moveable walls and scareactors clad all in black that easily blend into the darkness and the walls. WHAT A GREAT SET UP! True, I never had many scares in here, but the atmosphere created inside is super tense. Every corner you turn there could be a scareactor waiting to meet you or a wall that slams shut in front of you or moves to take you on a different path. The scarezone changes and re-arranges itself (with help from the scareactors) as you walk through it, which is pretty neat. It's very different from what your typical scarezone is at HHN. Most I talked to really didn't care for this one, BUT I LOVED IT!!!! I like how different and ambitious it is and it is definitely my favorite scarezone of this year ( and one of my all time favs in the history of HHN).

    Rating: 9/10
    Rank: #1


    YOUR LUCK JUST RUN OUT: More like this SCAREZONE'S luck just ran out. This has got to be one of the worst scarezones I have ever seen in HHN. Sting Alley is a great, small, claustrophobic area that is full of great scare potential but HHN squandered that potential by putting in scattered theming, they never put any great scare opportunities in here. This is the Icon zone, and the Icon this year was Lady Luck (by far the worst Icon I think we've had thus far, but I'll get into that later). In here there are 3 characters you WILL run into: Sexy Luck, Monster Luck, and Luck's Minion's. The Sexy Lucks are mainly up on the catwalks and can't really do much from there except beckon to us and look pretty damn sexy. They wear a long green dress, and that's pretty much it. The Monster Lucks wear a badly designed mask that is neither frightening nor scary. They have scare cues (a loud pre-recorded roar/scream) that they jump out on, but that's about it. The scariest and best part of the zone are the Minions: they are dressed in black suit-like outfits and carry axes and chainsaws, I really liked them and they got me quite a few times in here. I was seriously disappointed in this scarezone, It's always sad when such a rich area like Sting Alley isn't used to it's full terrifying potential (like it was last year in Saws n Steam). I don't blame the scareactors here, I know they tried to do the best they could with what they were given to work with.

    Rating: 4/10
    Rank: #6


    HOUSES

    I said before that most of the money in HHN 21 seemed to be diverted into a specific area of the event...this area was the houses. HHN 21 played host to some of the best, most well-designed and well themed houses I have seen in HHN history. Without any further ado I present: the houses of HHN 21.


    NIGHTINGALES: BLOOD PREY- This house was amazing on every damned level. As soon as you step inside you are face to face with a WW1 trench, a battle tank perched on top, the sounds of machine gun fire, and strobes. When I first saw all this I took a step back so I could better take it in. Right from second one, it feel like you have just stepped into the middle of battle. It would appear that you would find safety in the trenches as the war rages on above and around you...no such luck because the trenches are where the fatal creatures of the house's title lurk. By day they look like normal hospital nurses, by night they transform into hidious beings that slowly suck the life force out of the weak and injured. The theming is superb, and the backstory is haunting and exceptionally well-done. The Nightingales are terrifying and tend to jump out when the machine gun fire climaxes in an explosion of light and sound (an effect that always sent me running). Definitely one of the scariest houses I have seen at HHN. I love how, as we travel on through the house, the Nightingales grow more monstrous and violent. It's a superb house that I'm sure will never leave my memory.

    Rating: 9/10
    Rank: #4


    H.R. BLOODENGUTZ PRESENTS HOLIDAYS OF HORROR: In this house, a washed up actor has found work playing a late night B horror film host. When the manager of the television station he works at fires him right before one of his shows, The actor snaps and kidnaps the manager and slowly tortures him (eventually murdering him) during what will be the actor's last broadcast. Probably the best part of this house is the queue video in which we get to watch the actor's (his tv show name is H.R. Bloodengutz) last show as he tortures the manager. In the house, we get to walk through the horror films he is hosting, which are all holiday themed. It's pretty well-themed but it's never laugh out loud funny or run away screaming scary. It's an enjoyable house nontheless and is worth a wait just to watch the superbly well-done queue vid and to get to meet HR in person (in the opening room of the house).

    Rating: 7/10
    Rank: #8


    SAWS N' STEAM: INTO THE MACHINE- If you visited HHN 20 last year then you should remember the scarezone that took full advantage of Sting Alley, Saws N Steam. In this scarezone, the small seaside town of New Yorkshire fell victim to steam vents that opened up around the town and drained the area of all water. It didn't take long for citizens to panic and begin to mutilate each other and visitors, extracting the water from bodies so they could survive. The house Into The Machine is a continuation of that story. In New Yorkshire a new cultish company named Horizions Extraction Company (I'll give you one guess what they are extracting, tee hee) has opened up promising citizens of New Yorkshire a better life if they join the company. We are playing citizens of the town that have decided to join the company, and of course the Horizon's promise of a better life is all bull. As we travel further into the bowels of the company it is revealed that the Horizon is killing citizens who join and sucking the water out of their bodies. This house was soooooo cool. It's got a very steampunk vibe with neat machines and saw buzzing and whirring and crazed Horizon workers chasing after us all the way through. yes, this house does have a fair amount of chainsaws, so that was a plus. I got many, many scares in here and even got to travel through all by myself during one visit (a true highlight for me, since all scareactor's full attention was on me, I LOVED IT). If ever there was a house to break the curse of the Jaws Queue, this one is it. The house feels fairly lengthy and manages (amazingly) to tell one complete story. It's also got a lot of great water effects (probably the wettest house I've been through, definitely refreshing on a hot night). Of course we do see people getting tortured here, but for most of the house the scareactor's attention is fully on us. Most of the scareactors here are on their A game, and there are some pretty cool SFX to be sampled here as well (like the room where the walls are turning saws that close in on us, the room where water seems to shoot up from the floor, the scuba scareactor that jumps out from a curtain of water scaring us and getting us wet...the whole house is truly superb in every single flippin way). All in All, this is one of the top houses of the night. If you missed Into The Machine then you missed much (It's also one of my favorite houses in HHN history).

    Rating: 10/10
    Rank: #2


    THE THING: While the 2011 film was bad, this house was fantastic. Much like the HHN 19's The Wolfman, this house succeeds at making visitors feel like they have stepped into the 2011 film and the Thing universe. There are little details here and there that won't mean much unless you have seen the film. The atmosphere is great, and getting to see the "pure" form of the Thing was a thrill. Wonderfully themed, and thoroughly freaky The Thing makes for a fun house that is fun to re-visit.

    Rating: 8/10
    Rank: #6


    WINTER'S NIGHT: THE HAUNTING OF HAWTHORN CEMETERY- This was my personal favorite house of the night (it's not the top house though). The house feels like you're classic haunted cemetery, but at the same time it's so much more than that. The facade is beautifully serene as snow falls around us and a biting chill nips at your neck. This house has got the most elaborate backstory I've seen to a house in HHN. Pretty much a rich newly wed couple (Elizabeth and Johnathan Hawthorn) are looking for an area of land on which to build their home/mansion. Given 2 choices, they make the wrong choice and soon Elizabeth falls ill. Johnathan calls upon a slew of doctors but none can fix her, so he eventually calls upon Trumbull, a shady alchemist to cure his wife. Even Trumbull's attempts fail and eventually Elizabeth dies, after her death Trumbull uses a strange concoction as a substitute to formaldehyde. Johnathan turns the land into a sprawling cemetery in memory of his late beloved wife, and it is discovered that Elizabeth's ghost (apparently unable to rest due to the strange concoction placed in her body) and all the other dead rise to walk the grounds once every year. We happen to visiting on that night. With Johnathan long dead, one of Trumbull's descendants is now in care of the cemetery and has created a liquid which he uses to light the area, which creates a blue light that keeps the spirits in the cemetery. The whole area is beautifully themed, the cold helping to cement the illusion that we are up north. It really does feel like we are traveling through an actual cemetery, and there are some pretty neat effects sampled within. All scareactors are on their A game here, and wear really cool looking costumes. This is definitely another one of my favorite houses in the history of HHN and I made sure to visit it every time I attended this year's event.

    Rating: 9/10
    Rank: #3


    THE FORSAKEN: This house is loosely based on John Carpenter's The Fog. To get into this house, you have to walk through a screen of fog, and once you do you find yourself in the dungeons of the Spanish fort. This house was really cool, but was never really scary. The reason I continually traveled through this house was to marvel at the theming inside and at the movie quality sets inside. Throughout the house we are walking in the middle of a hurricane and there are gusts of wind and water that really help to add to that illusion and were probably my favorite part of this house. We start out navigating through the Spanish fort, then travel outside into the courtyard and eventually wind up on the Forsaken's ship. The costume design for The Forsaken were some of my favorites with their glowing green eyes and watery sailor garb they were truly a sight to remember (It was also fun to get to interact with them, I had a staring contest with one). This was another memorable house and another one of my personal faves of recent years. We don't ever get to see the Forsaken and the fort's resident's fighting (we do hear sword fighting though), we mainly see the after effects that mainly include mutilated soldiers. Overall, this was a really neat house that I thoroughly enjoyed walking through.

    Rating: 9/10
    Rank: #5



    NEVERMORE: THE MADNESS OF POE- I really dug this house. I have been a fan of Edgar for a while now and it was a true treat to be able to enter his stories. Probably the best part of the house though was whenever Poe showed up, whether it be in his home (first scene of Nevermore) or in one of his stories. There are several Poe's in here, and somehow they all felt like the same guy...a real treat. Yeah, Poe does try to be scary but I just couldn't be scared by him. Every time he showed up I wanted to hug him and on my last trip through the house I would call out to some of the Poe's, saying I loved them. In this house we get to travel though Several of Poe's famous stories, including but not limited to The Raven, Masque of The Red Death, The Tell-Tale Heart, Pit and The Pendulum, and The Black Cat. For me what was the best aspect of the house was when Poe would appear in his stories, acting almost as a twisted tour guide to us. the last room was also fantastic with a completely crazed Edgar dancing around. This yet ANOTHER of my favorites in HHN history, it was truly a dream/nightmare come to life and I loved every second of it. That's why this nabs the top house title of the event for me.

    Rating: 10/10
    Rank: #1


    THE IN-BETWEEN: This house was my first ever 3D house, and DAMN was it cool. As soon as you walk inside you find yourself traveling down a college dorm hallway and right into a dorm room adorned with posters, in the middle of the room is a pulsing red Ouija like board that emits bursts of smoke occasionally. It's a great opening that immediately throws you right into this house's world. The story here is that a college student steals a professors cool looking game board, unaware that it is actually a portal into a terrifying dimension known as the In-Between. In this house we are sucked into the In-Between and get to explore this new and mesmerizing realm. The whole house plays like an acid trip gone very very bad. The highlights were the spinning tunnel (in 3D, i felt like I was about to fall over on myself and vomit. It was especially bad when the line was slow and it took forever to get through this part...I wanted to curl up in a ball and sob to myself), the spinning head room, the lazer room, a room FULL of multi-colored yarn, and a never-ending hallway effect that was particularly effective. The scareactors here were on their A game, taking every opportunity to scare guests when they were off guard or dizzy, their costumes were absolutely demonic. The 3D made them seem closer to you than they actually were (I think?) and their red eyes seemed to float out of their heads (a very neat creepy effect). Every time I got out of this house it would take me a while to catch my bearings and I loved that. This house thrilled me, chilled me and fulfilled me (like the unneeded Rocky Horror Reference here?).

    Rating: 8/10
    Rank: #7


    Let me just say that every house this year was absolutely FANTASTIC and blew me away like other years never could have imagined. The only house i felt was lacking was Bloodengutz , and even that was entertaining. Pretty much every house that came in at 1- 7 ranking were tops and some of the best I have seen.


    SHOWS

    BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE: I'm a huge fan of Bill and Ted, so I always make a point to attempt to see their show every year. That said, this was one of the weaker shows I've seen but it was still mounds better than last year's show. The plot this year is that a green alien (strongly resembling The Great Gazoo for whatever reason) lands on Earth with a mission to destroy it due to the terrible pop culture found here and he's going to start with Bill and Ted (because they celebrate mediocrity or something like that). It's up to Bill and Ted to get a group of pop culture and entertainment icons together from last year and prove this alien wrong. As I said before, the show was one of the weaker ones I've seen but I do enjoy it for what it is. I think of this year's BnT show as good, campy fun which is why I was able to have a blast with it despite it's shortcomings.

    Rating: 7/10



    ICON: LADY LUCK

    I had to take time out to talk about the weakest part of the event for myself. The Icon for this year: Lady Luck. It felt as if the designers had the event planned out and threw her in last second because the public loves Icons. Well HHN, may I be Frank? Please don't throw in an Icon if you can't find a use for her. They had her tie into each house in a way that felt forced and unecessary ( she doesn't appear in the houses though. In In-Between's backstory I guess she was the professor, in Bloodengutz's backstory she was the girl who offered HR the job at the TV studio, in Forsaken's backstory she was Queen Isabella, In Nevermore's backstory she was the girl who sold Edgar the ticket to Baltimore, in Winter's Night's backstory she was the one who offered The Hawthorn's the two plots of land, I don't even know who she was in Nightingales and Saws N Steam!). From now on if uni. can't come up with a good Icon they should just stick to an overall theme. This year I felt she failed to tie together the event like she should have and only dragged it down. So, those are my thoughts on that.


    OVERALL EVENT

    Despite the scarezones and the lackluster Icon I feel that this is the best HHN since 2008's. This year's event plays host to some of the best, most well-themed, elaborate, and strongest houses I've seen in my 4 years of attending HHN. I'm almost depressed that this year's event has to end, because I'm having a hard time imaginging how they could possibly top these houses next year. I guess I just have to have faith in the designers and co-ordinators of HHN, I'm sure they'll find some way to surprise me.


    OVERVIEW

    SCAREZONES

    1. NIGHTMAZE 9/10
    2. 7 9/10
    3. CANYON OF DARK SOULS 8.5/10
    4. ACID ASSAULT 8/10
    5. GROWN EVIL 8/10
    6. YOUR LUCK JUST RAN OUT 4/10

    HOUSES

    1. NEVERMORE: THE MADNESS OF POE 10/10
    2. SAW N STEAM: INTO THE MACHINE 10/10
    3. WINTER'S NIGHT: THE HAUNTING OF HAWTHORN CEMETERY 9/10
    4. NIGHTINGALES: BLOOD PREY 9/10
    5. THE FORSAKEN 9/10
    6. THE THING 8/10
    7. THE IN-BETWEEN 8/10
    8. H. R. BLOODENGUTZ PRESENTS HOLIDAYS OF HORROR 7/10
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
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  8. Matpez

    Matpez Rookie

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    It's very difficult to do, but here are my personal, summarized thoughts on the eight Halloween Horror Nights 21 houses. Ranked in order (1 is best, 8 worst) based on MANY walkthroughs-

    8. The Thing - This house bored me every single time. The easiest part of listing them was knowing this one would definitely be last.

    7. Nightingales: Blood Prey - First couple of weekends this was amazing, then the Nightingales forgot how to move. Also, Rip Away was an awesome effect that almost no one ever got to actually see happen... "Keep moving, keep moving"

    6. Nevermore: The Madness of Poe - I wanted to like this house so much more, but there were so many better ones.

    5. HR Bloodengutz presents Holidays of Horror - Chatting with HR himself was always a highlight, the rest of the house was hit or miss except the Indian girl who was always spot on.

    4. Saws-N-Steam: Into the Machine - The more times I went through it, the higher it got on my list. Loved the fish tanks.

    3. Winters Night: The Haunting of Hawthorn Cemetery - The most beautiful sets with good scares on a cold Winters Night.

    2. The In-Between - So different, so trippy and Winged Electric Demons! This was by far the average guests favorite house 95% of the time.

    1. The Forsaken - Started out slow, picked up quickly. Great scareactors who really got into their roles, amazing set design.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  9. Drew

    Drew Staff Member Editor

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    My rankings/reviews

    Scarezones

    1. Nightmaze - Definitely the scariest zone I've ever been through. Such a simple idea that turned out to be completely terrifying. Everyone has a different opinion on this one but it was easily my favorite. This could make a crazy scary house.

    2. 7 - The music makes the zone. Perfect. The first phase is whatever... but after that the zone is fun as all hell.

    3. Canyon of Dark Souls - Simple. Effective. Cool costumes. Not much else to say.

    4. Grown Evil - Too small. No one even tried to scare us.

    5. Acid Assault - Building projections and guy in the wheelchair aside, nothing special here.

    6. Your Luck Has Run Out - BLLLLLLAWWWWWW

    Houses

    1. Nightingales - Terrifiying. Well done. Awesome effects. Great new characters that could be franchised. Excellent all around.

    2. The In-Between - Scared the crap out of me. 3D was incredible. THIS is how it's done. I hope we can get another house similar to this one day.

    3. H.R. Bloodengutz Holidays of Horror - Just plain old fun. Loved the character of H.R. and some of the scenes were hilarious.

    4. Winter's Night - AMAZING scenery. Incredible facade. Scares were at a minimal... but sometimes houses like this don't really need it to be enjoyable. I felt totally immersed.

    5. Nevermore - From someone who doesn't know any of Poe's stories, minus the Raven, I was scared. The Raven scene was hilarious... they got Ralphoutloud pretty damn good. Another really nice house. Could've done without the finale though.

    6. The Forsaken - Amazing sets. Scares were so-so. It was a lot of fun though. Loved the tilted walkway even though I almost fell the first time. Expected more from the courtyard honestly.

    7. The Thing - Didn't live up to 07's, was more of a cool house. Not scary. A little repetitive. I liked the scene with the alien in the roof. Other then that it kind of ran together in my mind. For ranking it this low, I still loved it though.

    8. Saws N Steam - Still a great house. LOVED the dude behind the waterfall. Those creepy ass announcements too.

    In summary, EASILY the best year for houses in the 5 years I've gone. Not one stinker. Zones were hit and miss. Bill & Ted was MISERABLE. But overall, HHN21 was fantastic. Can't wait til next year.
     

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