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Halloween Horror Nights 26: Reviews & Photos

Discussion in 'Halloween Horror Nights 26' started by Brian G., Sep 16, 2016.

  1. TheRazorSlash

    TheRazorSlash Newcomer

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    I was there this weekend. Didn't do American Horror Story because clowns are a big "hell no" for me, so I admit I pussied out.

    Favorite was Halloween. Pleasantly surprised with Exorcist. Least favorite was Lunatics 3D, which is unfortunate because I was looking forward to Chance this year.

    I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I actually really didn't like Krampus. Maybe I just had a bad run, but it felt really thrown together at the last minute to me. I suspect I had a bad run, though, as I never even saw the Jack-In-The-Box monster. Was also pretty disappointed with how little Krampus himself actually showed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
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  2. RevFreako

    RevFreako Member

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    I waved at some guy who was wearing a Horrah Club shirt in I think the Walking Dead queue last Thursday, but I dont think they saw me.
     
  3. Jessabelle

    Jessabelle Newcomer

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    I haven't gone since opening weekend (going again soon), but is Krampus even in Krampus? I still haven't seen the movie, but as far as I remember the house was only elves and that jack in the box. I think I maybe saw Krampus once but an elf popped out of it so I'm not sure...Did I just miss him every run through?
     
  4. Brian G.

    Brian G. Staff Member Administrator

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    There are 2 (tech 3 if you count the fakeout)
     
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  5. OLSinFLA

    OLSinFLA Member

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    Wells far I've seen 6 houses .. favorites were AHS, Krampus and Tomb of the Ancients (I dunno how they got all that house for Krampus in there and Tomb was scary and gorgeous). Also did Walking Dead... really long house but I'm not scared by Zombies. Exorcist was OK, an Ghost Town was meh. I thought Bill & ted sucked... again. I remember when this show used to be funny. Now it just seems to try and be as crude as it can get away with.. and it wasn't just me. There was hardly any laughs at all in the crowd. :/
     
  6. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Veteran Member

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    Random thoughts addendum to my review ...
    • Had a second run-thru LP. No line, by myself half the house, the ideal run. I take back previous comments: this house is somehow worse than Penn & Teller, in the conversation at least for worst of all time.
    • It's not just that TCM is repetitive, it's that it's repetitive of Halloween 1. Half the same recognizable sets, same beats. That said, the Leatherfaces I saw really stepped their game up.
    • On the flip side, the worst ops crew at the event is sucking the momentum right out of H2. (Really? You have to stand between the "S" and "T" in "Sister"? Along with the usual treating guests like 4-year-olds.) In addition, the previously on-point Michael Myers seemed staid and stiff. Not sure if a difference between casts or if told to tone it down to help guest flow. Either way, a lesser house than opening weekend.
    • Ghost Town ops have obviously also been told to get their numbers up, but at least they do it with humor, respect for guests. Thought they should get random internet kudos for that.
    • Spent a good chunk of time in Vamp 55--increased my appreciation, really fun cast, probably SZ of the year. Also spent a chunk of time in Survive or Die--still no idea what the storyline is there. Where are we? What time period? Who are these tribes? Why are they fighting? Let me move, here comes a tricked out golf cart.
     
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  7. Frank Drackman

    Frank Drackman Premium Member

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    I agree with what '71 is mentioning above. I'm not sure if my 1st walk through of H2 was during an overlapping cast change or something, but that 1st time, there were tons of Mike's, it was almost comical to have three with you in the same area. Since that first run, it just hasn't felt the same.

    I got to talk with someone who works in Ghost Town. Just an employee we have had interactions with a few times over the years. I guess everyone takes pride in 'their house', but it was cool to get some insights (little things like the picture on the wall of the Story Teller).

    They were super excited about the dead horse. I guess it was not there the 1st weekend, but it looks pretty real to me, like a skinned horse laying there ( on the left when you enter that open western town scene).

    I think I need to spend some time in Vamp, I've only past through a couple of times, but the cast does seem really into it. One time I caught a few of the guys lip syncing to one of the songs playing in the area, one had a mic, another was pretending to play guitar with something...stuff like that, plus we have had interesting talks with some of the homecoming queens, the Principal, and the Ice Cream vendor is way over the top! It does seem like a cool zone to spend more time in!
     
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  8. Mr. EPCOT

    Mr. EPCOT Veteran Member

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    I gotta say, I'm having a real tough time deciding if Tomb of the Ancients or Ghost Town is my favorite this year.
     
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  9. s8film40

    s8film40 Veteran Member

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    Now that I've had a chance for most of my opinions to settle I thought I would add a review.


    Houses:


    1. Tomb of the Ancients: 10/10

    This is my favorite this year! They really managed to pull off making you feel as though you're exploring an ancient tomb. It kind of feels like Legends of the Hidden Temple to me. I know the hanging stuff gets some complaints but I think it's perfect and helps create the illusion that the place you're visiting is unexplored. The split path and the guest triggers are a nice addition and put this one over the top.


    2. Ghost Town: 9/10

    The sets are outstanding. I love that they really made use of the height of the sound stages for this one. I think this house has just enough comedy thrown in, with some great lines of dialogue. The rain is a little annoying but helps create the outdoor illusion. The large open town area and the reflected caverns below were some of my favorite elements.


    3. Krampus: 9/10

    This is the only IP I had a chance to watch before the event and that helped. I love comedy houses and this one has some great funny moments. The smells are really nice and make you just want to stay there. The attic scene is one of the best areas of the house between the bear puppet and the clown creature.


    4. AHS: 8/10

    I haven't seen the series but I get the impression they were very faithful to recreating the show. The length of this house is really nice, it doesn't feel like any season got shorted and none of the larger the normal space felt wasted. Also the music in here was good.


    5. Exorcist: 8/10

    It's not a favorite movie of mine, but they did a good job with this one. I feel like continuously going back to the bedroom scene was a little repetitive, but I can't fault them for this as that's the challenge of this IP and they handled it probably the absolute best they could. The hallway with the scrim effect is my favorite part, it's one of my favorite haunt effects and one of the best utilizations of it I've seen! I would have liked to see them use lights that could transition better rather than the little LED's that just flick on, but it still works just fine.


    6. TWD: 7/10

    This is a really good "best of" house. It moves from scene to scene really well and you don't feel like any one scene dragged on too much. Overall it's a very good candidate for what the permanent attraction should be when/if it ever happens. My only real issue is that so much of this house was exact scenes and props that have been seen in previous Walking Dead houses in past years. In a way it's like a "best of" TWD at HHN.


    7. Halloween II: 6/10

    Very nice sets just like the previous house. Michael Myers to me always comes off a little cheesy in the haunt scenario, he typically just appears and stares at you holding a knife. It's definitely the right way to use the character, I'm just not a big fan of it. The hospital facade is well done and the blood splatter effect on the window is a nice touch.


    8. Lunatics Playground: 3/10

    Not the best 3D house at all and it’s a shame to see Chance so poorly represented. Alice last year had a much better “fun house” feel, this seems like they were trying to go the other way but ended up stuck in the middle. The vortex tunnel saves this house from being a total failure. Being the first house they’ve done in a tent I’m sure they faced some challenges they aren’t used too and I can give them a little benefit of the doubt there. Hopefully this was a nice learning experience for that venue and future houses there will be better, much like Krampus this year.


    9. TCM: 2/10

    This is another IP I’m not a fan of. I think being a fan of the movie this house would be very enjoyable. For me it was fairly bland rooms with the same Leatherface character over and over. They did an outstanding job on the exit and it’s nice to see them pay attention to that rather than just having one scareactor outside with no real theming.


    The Repository: 8/10

    This was a really great experience! The thing that really stands out is the actors. These aren’t typical scareactors, these are very talented actors good with improv and seemed to have their characters down perfectly even when handling something unexpected. The physical interaction was perfect, the guards push and shove you and move you from scene to scene. The sets are very nicely detailed and since you don’t just walk past them, you get a chance to really look around and take in all the detail. Even with that extended time they don’t become old or boring. The VR aspect of this was disappointing, they don’t have you move through halls with the VR which I think is a huge missed opportunity. Although it was explained well in the story you’re basically just standing in one room looking around. One thing to note here I wear glasses, they made me remove them and so I basically couldn’t see any of the VR stuff other than just swirling blobs of color. I’m also not a fan of the escape room aspect I would prefer to just be led through this house watching the story unfold with the earlier type of interactions. Worth the money, not worth doing a second time and I will definitely do it again if they do one next year.


    Scare Zones


    1. Vamp ’55: 9/10

    I love the feel of this zone, the 50’s aspect is really nice and fits the street perfectly. The floats are perfect and now that they added the bus back in it really completes the high school homecoming feel. The actors in this zone seem to be taking on the role perfectly and adding just the right touch of humor. It’s the type of zone you really want to hang out in a little.


    2. Survive or Die: 7/10

    It’s nice to have the projection mapping back. The story and actors implementation behind this one comes off a little cheesy to me. It makes good use of the space and is nicely spread out. If the dirt bike thing comes to this it will definitely help.


    3. Chance: 5/10

    It’s fun to stop for a few minutes and watch Chance tell jokes. Everything else in the zone is mostly unnecessary. It’s a bad location so there’s not much of an expectation and this zone for the most part meets those expectations.


    4. Dead Mans Wharf: 4/10

    This zone is very cramped and unnecessarily so. They put too much stuff in the center area and didn’t really spread this out down the street. I think something could have been done to highlight the large boat prop better. The lightning is really great. The actors are mostly just walking slowly around almost kind of like zombies, it works for the theme but is not very interesting for the zone.


    5. Lair of the Banshee: 3/10

    This is what you expect for this location. Basically same as past years, fog, lights and actors trying to pop out at you.


    Shows


    Bill and Ted: 10/10


    This show is the reason I go to the event and this year was really great! I enjoy the show almost equally every year. I found this one to be slightly better than the last two years, but still not topping 2013 for me. I would have liked if they had added a singing sequence like they have the past two years, but I don’t know that anything would have really fit. Rylo Ken steals the show, he’s one of my favorite actors and this character gave him the perfect opportunity to really shine! Getting used to new Ted is tough, but I didn’t think it was fair to judge the show on that. They did a perfect job of balancing the political aspect and that is a really tough task. The jokes this year weren’t as good but that really has more to do with the year in pop culture than anything else, and the overall tone of the show more than made up for it.


    Academy of Villains: 1/10

    This is obviously just not my thing. This is one of the worst shows I’ve ever seen at Universal. Given a choice I would easily decide to see something like the food truck show or Fear Factor over this. I can appreciate the talent put into this, but I didn’t personally enjoy it. I was hopeful that it would be better in person than the videos of their past shows, I actually found the opposite to be true. It does however have some great music and with the fire effect adds nice atmosphere to the area when walking by.
     
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  10. Brian G.

    Brian G. Staff Member Administrator

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    Re: #2 - I find it really interesting they haven't added Sally to the dinner scene.

    Re: #3 - Apparently some people are taking the liberty to stop and take pics there; but yes... most of their ops have been bad since Night 1.
     
  11. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Veteran Member

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    Then that's definitely on guests, as well.

    Overall I've been impressed with in-house ops this year, so when you get a bad crew, even more noticeable. Sadly I only see it getting worse--crowds will only increase, house capacity is not going to increase with them.
     
  12. Frank Drackman

    Frank Drackman Premium Member

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    Comic sans inns' tan option anymore..sarcasm coming.

    They can just make all the exit queues as long as AHS, that shouldveat up some guest time to help with capacity in some sort of odd fashion.
     
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  13. UNIrd

    UNIrd Premium Member

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    Wow. What a great year for houses, one of the best in a while. Here's how they ranked for me last night:

    Ghost Town
    Tomb of the Ancients
    The Exorcist
    Krampus
    American Horror Story
    The Walking Dead
    Halloween II
    Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    Lunatics Playground
     
  14. RogueAntilles

    RogueAntilles Rookie

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    The real question you have to ask yourself. Does any of it matter? The second quesion, have you ever seen Mad Max?
     
  15. ThemeParks4Life

    ThemeParks4Life Veteran Member

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    I went last night. My rankings:

    9. Lunatics Playground 3D: You Won't Stand a Chance - 6/10. This wasn't the total disaster I was expecting but it was still pretty mediocre. Maybe if half the actors weren't standing in the open this would have been a better house. There are so many bland sets for a colorful house.

    8. The Walking Dead - 7/10. Well, it was better than last year. I was one behind on the scares but even then I'm not sure I would have been too scared just because this series has been done to death at the event.

    7. The Exorcist - 7.5/10. The recreation of the bedroom scenes were great, but I didn't really get any scares. The only things even close to scares were Father Karras and the last Reagan reaching out to me. The vomit room wasn't as bad as people made it out to be; I could barely smell it :lol:

    6. Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch - 8/10. I had a great run through this house and caught most of the actors. Notice that I didn't say scares; that's because this house isn't scary AT ALL. The sets are gorgeous and there's a fun atmosphere at least. I was surprised at how short the house was, though maybe it's because I was able to walk through it fast.

    5. American Horror Story - 8/10. Good house. I caught a few scares in the Hotel stretch of the house, but I was one behind for the majority of the house. The sets were pretty faithfully, but I'm disappointed in how much of Freakshow got left out of the house. Definitely looking forward to next year's house.

    4. Texas Chain Saw Massacre - 8.5/10. Oooooooooooooh boy are those Leatherfaces terrifying! Faithful recreation of the movie. The house was a bit short, but they crammed a lot of material into it.

    3. Tomb of the Ancients - 8.5/10. I didn't directly catch any scares, but that didn't stop me from being scared in this house. Amazing sets and great costume design. If I caught some scares this might have been HOTY for me. Oh, and Crocolion looks great.

    2. Krampus - 9.5/10. I was surprised how great this house was. I caught every scare except the attic scares in the house. People have been complaining about how the elves take up most of the scares, but that wasn't an issue for me; they made the house terrifying. Kudos to the cast. The gingerbread scene smelled delicious!

    1. Halloween: Hell Comes to Haddonfield - 10/10. This is easily my HOTY and it surpasses the original house. Even with visible boo holes, the Michaels scared the hell out me! The cast brought their A-game to this house. Great job to everyone involved in this house.

    The zones were meh, you could rank them any way. Overall, the event was solid. Not as good as 25 but it might be better than 24.
     
  16. RogueAntilles

    RogueAntilles Rookie

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    I've gone 3 nights. Taken around 10 different people through Ghost Town and they all say the exact same thing. "Looked amazing but short and campy."

    If someone says it's HOTY I chuckle to myself. I did hear someone say it's this years Body Collectors and I chuckled all over again.
     
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  17. ThemeParks4Life

    ThemeParks4Life Veteran Member

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    I don't see how it's even a comparison to Body Collectors outside of set design. Body Collectors had tons of scares; it's still my favorite HHN house out of the three years I've attended.
     
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  18. RogueAntilles

    RogueAntilles Rookie

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    I didn't either. I forgot if it was YouTube, a podcast or someone in person. "Ghost Town is just like BC last year, great sets and low on scares/interactions." Set design for sure but BC is leaps and bounds scarier.
     
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  19. acquaz

    acquaz Newcomer

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    Some of my best scares last year were in Body Collectors. I do have to say, I actually got scared for the first time ever in Ghost Town last night. But still, nowhere near the level of scares as Body Collectors.
     
  20. Frank Drackman

    Frank Drackman Premium Member

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    bedazzled chainsaws?!?

    [​IMG]

    ice cream anyone?

    [​IMG]
     
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