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Halloween Horror Nights 27 (UO): Reviews & Photos

Discussion in 'Halloween Horror Nights 27' started by Brian G., Sep 15, 2017.

  1. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Veteran Member

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    IMO yes. Much more aggressive, better about hiding and appearing at just the right moment.

    Unrelated but a couple conversations and a second pass have convinced me Saw is a generational thing. Gen Z (think 22 and younger) seems to love that house. Had half a dozen high schoolers in front or behind me yesterday who lost their damn minds even at the opening monologue, and seemed legit terrified throughout the house.
     
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  2. UniversalRBLX

    UniversalRBLX Veteran Member

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    I think Uni has learned from AvED that they can't do show scene type houses. Reset times are long, and if you were to walk in halfway, you wont understand. Not too mention the lack of scares. Scenic wise it was a great house. But scare wise it just didn't work.
     
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  3. OhHaiInternet95

    OhHaiInternet95 Veteran Member

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    ^^Slightly OT, but it really gets on my nerves when people call today’s college students “millennials.”

    It’s not a house in which I have any desire to go again but the room full of pig mask guys did actually scare me. So it was better than I thought it would be.
     
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  4. ThemeParks4Life

    ThemeParks4Life Veteran Member

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    To those who have experienced both casts at houses: which one is better for each house? Brian's comment about The Shining's Cast B being bad has me worried for that house, but I'm curious if any of the other houses have a significantly worse cast than the other.
     
  5. Rideguy70

    Rideguy70 Member

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    I just visited for my first time after years of attending Hollywood's. It was interesting to compare.

    I do like your themes better. It's so great to see original houses. And some of the production value is incredible, especially Dead Waters and AHS. I like that you have a variety of scares and moods. It's nice that your mazes are all relatively close together, unlike Hollywood where you have to walk great, long distances between mazes.

    What I didn't like: the lack of a compelling facade as you enter the maze/building. Maybe I'm a bit spoiled in Southern California, but nearly every maze (in a variety of parks: Universal, Knott's, and even Magic Mountain) all have major facades right as you enter. I was truly surprised to be entering just a plain office door with often a plain empty room before getting to the main facade. Is that typical? The only exceptions were Blumhouse and Scarecrow. It really threw me off. I guess that's the equivalent of the "black hallways" we often complain about in Hollywood.

    I also think our scareactors are a little more on point. Definitely more aggressive. That may be a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view, but I prefer them aggressive. For that reason, I also generally found the scare zones a bit disappointing from an experience point of view (though visually, they were cool).

    As for Bill and Ted... I enjoyed it, but as an outsider, it never really caught on with me. I did see all the Bill & Ted show in Hollywood when they had their short run, and it never really jibbed there. Our crowd never really participated, as we didn't have that long history behind it. That said, the energy from the locals does add a tremendous value, even when the writing isn't really that great. (For that matter, I've also always thought The Hanging, the long running satire show at Knott's that is also quite hyped by the locals, is not as loved by me and never has been.) And as a gay man, I wished there had been a bit more man candy, haha. But I also figure this year had to be especially tough, as it had to keep to it's true nature as well as have a certain sentimentality as a farewell show. Not an easy balance to hit.
     
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  6. OhHaiInternet95

    OhHaiInternet95 Veteran Member

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    ^With the sound stages, yes it is typical. But once you actually get in the sound stages the facades are definitely there.
     
  7. ChaseTuff

    ChaseTuff Veteran Member

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    That's just how it rolls. The initial entrance to a SoundStage dosent count as a facade. It's just the entrance to the maze.
     
  8. OhHaiInternet95

    OhHaiInternet95 Veteran Member

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    ^See, to me it works better like that, with some exceptions (Scarecrow).
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
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  9. JunoSynth

    JunoSynth Rookie

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    Yeah I've seen some pretty amazing facades in the soundstages.
    (A Nightmare on Elm Street Dreamwalkers is one that instantly comes to mind)

    I don't even consider the little door you enter part of the maze. Its just part of the line that leads to the facade as far as I'm concerned.
     
  10. shiekra38

    shiekra38 Veteran Member

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    This brings up a great point..I don't think they mean for the house to "start" until you actually see the facade..Sometimes they have to hang black curtains/take you through a different entrance/turn you around, to get to the start of the maze

    I will say the curtains in Dead Water and Horror Story were definitely a missed opportunity in terms of scares...Although some of the audio in the queue line startled people
     
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  11. Joe

    Joe aka TestTrack321 Staff Member Moderator

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    Depends. The soundstage houses the facade of the house is inside the soundstage. For houses in tends the facades are outside of the tent. The parade building jumps between the two. Hive this year was the only house to not really have a facade.
     
  12. Rideguy70

    Rideguy70 Member

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    I guess that's just the SoCal spoil in me... out here, the moment you pass through the entry door, you have seen the facade and are in the maze. To enter a undecorated soundstage first, and then see the facade, was very odd to me.

    That said, I guess I can understand why... there's not a lot of space in front of those doors. But at the same time, I feel if this were in Hollywood, they would have built an additional hallway outside the soundstage until they had the space for a proper facade outside. (which has happened the few times we had mazes in soundstages). I suppose it's just a characteristic/expectation of the west coast haunts.
     
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  13. s8film40

    s8film40 Veteran Member

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    The weather is probably a factor in this. They’ve done a few outdoor facades over the years, but they usually don’t get too elaborate especially if it’s out in the open.
     
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  14. JMalez

    JMalez Rookie

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    @Rideguy70 the sprung tent that houses Hive this year usually has a pretty great outdoor facade (minus the fact that you enter through the side). Unfortunately, that was lacking this year.
     
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  15. Frank Drackman

    Frank Drackman Premium Member

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  16. ThemeParks4Life

    ThemeParks4Life Veteran Member

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    I FINALLY got to the event last night and had a good time. I'll start off by saying the scarezones sucked this year. Trick r' Treat was the only decent zone. The Purge had none of the energy 2014 had, and Festival of the Dead was kind of there. Shoutout to the Bagul in Altars of Horror that went after me twice; otherwise, that was a meh zone. Invasion was an absolute joke and had no variety in characters; hell, it didn't even have many actors. Universal needs to get their act together on the zones next year.

    Now, THE HOUSES:

    9. Saw: The Games of Jigsaw: I started off my night here because many consider it to be the weakest house, and.... they're right. This isn't an awful house, but like many of this year's houses, it's very timing dependent. However, the torture on display isn't really interesting, and the scares by Jigsaw himself aren't that good. The lack of a facade sours me even more. However, I wouldn't put this anywhere near the worst of the past four years. It's just a house that exists to eat up crowds. 6/10

    8. The Horrors of Blumhouse:
    Sigh. I really wanted to love this one, but I had a poorly timed run. The line had to be pulsed during a cast change (I think that's what it was). I *almost* had a great gap from the people in front of me, but they eventually caught up to the people who were pulsed before we were let in. The Sinister section was ok, and I got a decent scare from the one boy (I haven't seen Sinister so forgive me :lol: ). I was surprised just how short that section was, but The Purge's length left me in utter shock. You enter the Ouija living room, make a right turn to the kitchen, turn right one more time into a hallway, and then you're into Insidious. I got hit with a couple of scares towards the end of the maze, yet I didn't jump as they were just humans. The Key Demon looks cool, at least. If I had a better run, this might have been in the upper half. 7/10

    7. The Fallen:
    This is a very beautiful house that's straggled by some poor scare placements. I got hit with a few scares in here that made me jump, so I think the cast is trying. What knocks this house down on my list is the last few scares. I was stuck at the flyer for at least 5 seconds and stared at him waiting all the way back, yet I never heard him come as I was leaving or entering the room. Similarly, I could see the bungee jumpers but never saw them go (my dad said he saw one fly across). Big scares like this are nice, but the last third of the house should NOT have revolved around them. 7.5/10

    6. Dead Waters:
    This is a BEAUTIFUL house with amazing sets. The hallway after the slanted walkway provides a cool mental trick, and I was always looking up for the details. This is another house where I had some poor timing, but the scares I did hit were pretty good. Ultimately, the length is a gigantic issue with this house. It's been said plenty of times before, but the house ends in the second act. It really doesn't feel like it's over, and I didn't expect the final actor to appear so close to the end; I expected him to be closer to the soundstage exit. If this was longer or I hit more scares, this might have been higher on the list (maybe even fourth). Overall, it's a good house. 8/10

    5. Ash vs Evil Dead:
    I went into this expecting the worst house of the event (this was after Saw too :lol: ). However, once I heard Renegade playing outside, I couldn't help but get excited. I had a VERY strong run through this house during a cast change no less! The only scenes I missed were the bathroom scene (too far behind) and Ash in front of the cabin (cast change going on then). The house has such a fun, kinetic vibe to it, and the actors playing Ash are fantastic. The scares from the Deadites are solid too and made me jump quite often. I haven't seen a single episode of the show, but that didn't hinder my enjoyment at all. Before writing this, I was torn between giving this and Dead Waters #5, but this is pretty comfortably in its ranking now. This is a really underrated house. 8.5/10

    4. The Shining:
    This gives Dead Waters a run for its money for the best sets this year. Though it isn't pitch perfect, the sets capture a lot of the film and made me smile. Unfortunately for me, this was a very poorly timed run as I got hit with NO scares. I even left a gap between the people in front of me and never got any scares. I was always seeing the aftermath of the scares, which isn't as bad as no scares, I guess. Even if I had gotten the scares, I don't know if this would be in my top 3. I don't think the slow build nature of The Shining lends itself to a house full of jumpscares, but it does lend itself to a very good walkthrough. 8.5/10

    3. American Horror Story: Volume 2:
    First off, those four switchbacks can GO TO HELL. Now that I've taken care of that, this is a GREAT house. I got almost every scare in Asylum and Roanoke yet none in Coven. The cast in this house is very energetic and makes it a very fun walkthrough. Additionally, the references in here are great (Cricket!). The sets are what's holding me back from placing this higher. I looooooved all of Asylum's sets and felt it recreated the show perfectly. Coven and Roanoke didn't have a whole lot of variety to their sets, though. Roanoke's sets especially disappointed me because the house in the show has so much detail and scale to it. Had that season been its own house, I probably wouldn't have this complaint. Aside from some personal gripes with the sets, this is excellent and blows last year's AHS out of the water. 9/10

    2. Hive:
    This was a great house. The sets impressed me quite a bit here, and I couldn't sense any of The Conjuring in it. The vampires' design is awesome, especially the glowing eyes. The makeup on the actors amplified the creepiness of the scares. The actors here made me jump quite a bit, and had the sets accommodated for some more personal scares, this may have been my HOTY. As is, it's a very good runner up. 9/10

    1. Scarecrow: The Reaping:
    YES! YES! YES! This is everything I want a HHN house to be! 70% of the house was getting scared by actors I had no idea were even around. I could be looking in another direction, and out of nowhere a Scarecrow arm is in my face! Every single scare I got in this house made me scream. SCREAM. The sets and costume design only make this house go up for me, and the house's layout allows the scares to be far and away the best of the year. It had perfect pacing too, yet I didn't want this to end. Scarecrow: The Reaping is a visceral experience that should be the gold standard of the event. This is EASILY in my personal top 3 of all time and might even be my favorite. Just incredible. 10/10

    Overall, this was a solid year. It's not quite as good as 25, but it's much better than 24. I don't know if I'd place it above 26 because of how timing dependent so many of these houses are. A poorly timed run can greatly affect your perception of a house, and when half of these rely on good timing, it can lead to a poor night if you miss everything in all the houses. Next year, the houses need to be less dependent on timing; having multiple scareactors in a room helps offset this issue IMO.
     
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  17. Brian G.

    Brian G. Staff Member Administrator

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    Last night was a bad night for zones. It seemed like most of the zones were affected by not having enough staff. Invasion being one that was noticeably very understaffed (as well as some of the lighting not working). Not excusing it, just saying that what you experienced is not the norm.
     
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  18. ThemeParks4Life

    ThemeParks4Life Veteran Member

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    That's good (and bad) to know. I found it super strange that I only saw a total of four actors in Invasion when I went through.
     
  19. Nick

    Nick Staff Member Moderator

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    Staffing issues are event wide. A lot of people are getting super sick.
     
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  20. OhHaiInternet95

    OhHaiInternet95 Veteran Member

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    Dang. I was planning on going Sunday. Hope everyone feels better and the houses are fully staffed again by then.
     

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