Discussion in 'Halloween Horror Nights 27' started by Brian G., Sep 15, 2017.
Fallen in particular felt even less populated than usual last night.
So, Scarecrow is still a great one. Went last night with my aunt and uncle and my aunt got pretty much EVERY scare. I love how audible it is from outside to get you hyped. Oh and pretty much busts the myth that HHN doesn’t do creative house backstories anymore. Nothing will be able to top that first run I had through it, though.
I didn’t have very good timing in Hive and Shining. In Hive, no wall crawl, also I can’t find the scare where the small vamp comes out of stilt vamp’s legs. In Shining, I was pleased to see cold effects in the opening scene. But I wish there were cold effects in the final scene.
Really good run through Dead Waters, final voodoo doll scared the crap out of me.
TRT is a great zone. Got a great pic with Sam. I actually like Festival—call me a typical man.
It reminded me of videos I saw of Marvel in 2005. Invasion and Purge should have swapped locations. As for Altars...Brian’s emoji review if it opening night is quite accurate.
A bit overdue, but we had a great trip to UOR October 4-12 and were lucky enough to hit HHN 5 nights while we were there.
Here is my review:
From a house/maze perspective, I thought this was one of, if not the best lineups since I've been going (2006 was my first year). The lack of an icon / theme was a bit of a letdown - but didn't affect the event too much.
9 - Ash vs. Evil Dead: Not being a fan of the show, this house was really lacking in terms of scares or relevancy - I realize that IPs are made to relate to those that have seen the source material, but I also have to think that most people that go through AHS, Shining, etc. still enjoy the houses even if they have not seen the show/movie.
8 - Saw: This was still a pretty good house - much better than the previous iteration and had some pretty good scares throughout.
7 - Fallen: I thought this house was done well - even though I missed a lot of scares on each walk-through (I'm sure I experienced them all with my combined visits). When the scares were timed right, they were some of the best.
6 - Dead Waters: Beautiful house - and hands-down the best facade that I've experienced. Really appreciated this more after the Behind-the-Screams tour.
5 - Blumhouse: Yes - the Sinister and Purge sections were awful, but the Insidious part made up for it IMO. Scares around every corner that got me every single time.
4 - Hive: I don't think I had a bad walk-through of this house. It was a bit generic for my tastes, but the costumes/make-up were top-notch and scares were plenty.
3 - American Horror Story: I thought this was a bit of a step-down from last year's mega-house, but still enjoyed it immensely. The theming and characters they represented were really well done.
2 - Shining: DANNY.... DANNY BOY is still stuck in my head weeks later! Loved the scene-by-scene route they took with this house - the theming was spectacular and they were able to get a lot of good scares worked in as well.
1 -Scarecrow - Might be my favorite house ever - easily the one with the most scares. Hard to describe the feeling I had coming out EVERY time (went through at least 12 times during our visit) other than just pure joy.
Again - the house lineup this year was simply amazing. I think it will had for the creative team to top this year, but I'm excited as to what HHN28 will bring.
Side note - we stayed at Sapphire Falls during our stay - the hotel staff was simply amazing while we were there - and the room/hotel/pool were top-notch. We've stayed at Royal Pacific in the past, but I felt Sapphire Falls was a bit nicer (and around half the price as RPR). We don't really need Express during the day, so not a difficult choice for us between the two. The water taxi was really convenient - only bummer was having to take a bus to Volcano Bay.
Got to do The Fallen alone last night. What an experience. No one in front, no one behind. Ops people yelling that we were coming throughout the house. Got every single possible scare. Jumped up a bit on my list now. Blumhouse is still my fav tho, with scarecrow trailing close behind.
Sounds awesome. Also you rarely hear ops people getting complimented.. thankless job
Curious.. what did they yell specifically? Was it distracting?
A little bit. One guy I heard yell: "Fresh meat coming in!!" A couple of the ops were really annoying as they stood at the entrance of the room and walked me to the end so I wouldn't get lost even though I knew the way.
They might just be the CDT (IDK if they still exist), but I cannot praise the Chainsaw Clowns enough. Wonderful cast. Please make into a full time scare-zone next year, Uni.
TRT is the third best scare-zone I’ve experienced, behind Skoolhouse and Asylum, besting Deadtropolis Zombie Siege by a hair’s width.
The final scarecrow before the cornfield finale is one of the ugliest things they’ve ever designed and I mean that in the best way. Love how you can hear him from outside the tent.
As I’ve said, FOTD is a very visually pleasing zone.
Oh and on a side note, I hope Rogue is doing ok, given his name and the recent hurricanes. He’s always been one of my favorite reviewers, and I was really looking forward to hearing his thoughts as usual.
With Halloween done, time for a final wrap-up. Will return this weekend, but I think it’s fair to say my opinions will not change.
A few general notes. With two exceptions, all houses felt a good length. And in-house Ops were far less intrusive than they have been in years, becoming virtually invisible in houses like Scarecrow and Dead Waters. Big complaints year after year, glad to see them corrected.
The changes at Finns have damaged the social aspect of the event severely. I found myself meeting up with old friends, and meeting new ones, far less than in years past. Actually left the event earlier than I would’ve normally several nights because of that. And the lack of Jello shot girls makes the event less fun. But these are discussions better left to the dedicated Drink Changes thread.
On to my final rankings …
9) Ash v. Evil Dead—Seen only 1 episode, but familiar with Evil Dead. Not a horrible house, just didn’t engage me (or apparently most anyone else). The disconnect between real Bruce Campbell’s voice and the fake Bruce Campbells was just too wide an uncanny valley for me to cross, took me right out of my suspension of disbelief. Was cool to see the cabin again, and there were some cool effects in the back half of the house but ultimately a misfire. And that long walk back was ridiculous, seemed unnecessary—Ops needs to reevaluate placement of houses and pathways.
As an aside, I love dark comedy houses. But all three attempts at IP-driven dark comedy houses (this, P&T, Krampus) haven’t worked for me. May be a lesson there.
8) Fallen—second biggest disappointment of the year. Far too timing-dependent, especially the bungee scares. 45-second resets aren’t viable for a house that needs to push through a thousand or more an hour. Sets kept most actors at a distance, limiting scares. Without wings on the angels, the story makes no sense. And while I hate to call people out like this, a noticeably lackluster cast but for the blacksmith demons. (Also as often as not the house felt understaffed, which probably exacerbated that feeling.) What’s a shame is all those things other than the cast—including the realization dead angels might get the religious nuts in an uproar----should have been recognized and addressed in design phase. This one was just too ambitious for its own good.
7) Jigsaw—Not a fan of IP, but thought the house was well-done for what it was. Too many victim scares, a little too timing dependent (a recurring theme this year) but Saw fans seemed to enjoy it. Felt like a really decent length, too. Was probably doomed to be a middle-of-the-road house, but no one embarrassed themselves here.
6) AHS—still not a fan of the show, or the disjointed “greatest hits” approach of the house, but some good design work on sets and costumes, cast really tried to scare. One Evan Peters look-alike is scary accurate, one of the Kathy Bates is close too. I fear this gets recycled into an AHS mega-house next year as they “Walking Dead” the franchise, but for this year this was fine.
5) Blumhouse—two recycled houses with a third that still feels familiar. <Yawn> And yet … All short hallways with tight turns, quick re-sets, and distraction scares—perfect for the conga line. And actors who brought their A-game from Opening Night on. May replace Havoc as proof concept and set decoration don’t matter, if you have a well-engineered house and a solid cast. Better than it had any right to be. And an interesting façade as well.
4) Shining—A lot works here: the maze façade, the first Shelly Duval, the “All work…” display, the shower scene, the Gold Room. But some things didn’t—the Jack masks primarily, but also the twins, the tricycle scene and the mirror room didn’t really do it for me. The “Here’s Johnny” scene was perfect if you hit it right, but another effect that was slow to reload—missed it more often than I saw it. The elevator impressed me at first but a couple runs in I realized it basically takes up two rooms yet offers no real scares. In other words, the house works better as a recreation of the movie than as a haunt. Was a decent house but felt like it was missing an “X factor” to be in a league with AWiL or the Halloween houses. Perhaps if it had pre-dated those houses I’d be more kind to it.
3) Dead Waters—the riverboat façade was amazing—easily in the running for best ever--the tilted floor was fun, the cast got some good scare (particularly in the woods and under the chicken coop). I appreciated the clever touches, like zombie Mark Twain and the water-spitting gator. But … the house is three or four rooms too short. Without those extra rooms, and with what felt like a sparse number of actors in the first half, it’s just very good, not all-time great.
2) Hive—yeah, I’m shocked too. Was not impressed opening night. But has quietly grown into the best cast this year, dedicated to doing whatever it takes to get a scare. Some interesting effects throughout the house, as well, like the contacts and the spider-crawling baby vamp. I liked how, when the fog and strobe worked, it truly appeared the stilt walker vamp was flying at you. The graveyard scent worked as well. That all said, really needed a queue video (even more than Fallen), and could’ve used a proper façade. My new example of why it pays to go multiple nights thru the event.
1) Scarecrow—everything I said about Blumhouse and Hive applies here as well. Perfectly designed for the event, killer cast. Plus a very effective façade, some innovative tricks (the bird room, the outhouse), a good variety of monsters. What I think I like most about this house is even static props still manage to elicit scares—there’s just a disquieting sense of eeriness throughout the house that makes you jump at anything. That said, would’ve loved to see a raven/crow from the Poe house hiding at the end of the bird room. Never been any competition for #1 spot since for my first run through. Not quite grand/ambitious enough to be GOAT for me, but probably sneaks into the mid- teens in my all-time Top 20.
6) Altar of Horrors—Horrible.
[That one-word review required more time, effort and creativity than was put into this zone.]
5) Invasion—biggest disappointment of the event. I expected sci fi icons. I got tired two tired alien clichés, one of them not really period-appropriate, who made zero effort to scare anyone. Saw them chatting up attendants far more than I saw them trying to scare. Plus, as always, area quickly became too busy to walk through without bumping into people. This zone was a misfire in every way, but UOR needs to ditch SF as a zone area.
4) Festival of the Deadliest—really hoping the story on this leaks soon. Floats did not match concept art. Some striking costume designs—though others (mostly anyone not on stilts) were crappy—but no sense of story. Who are these guys? What is the Festival all about? That said, the music and the opening ceremony hint at something far more organized that we almost had. But cast tended to be pretty lackluster, can only judge what we saw, and it was not good.
3) Purge—by default. Not as good as the first zone, IP feels played out after that and being used in two houses. Light-up masks were great, but a lot of the other outfits felt kind of random. The van and cycles are cool in theory, but just seemed to be a cluster on busy nights. Cast was having fun scaring tho, which is more than I can say for the bottom three.
2) Chainsaw Clowns—I know, not a real zone. Still, best scares at the event. The two biggest HHN clichés overcome by a stellar cast. And while I think clowns are overplayed, there’s no question the costumes gave the actors a manic energy they simply lacked as hillbillies or geishas or Mad Max rejects.
1) Trick r Treat—simply perfect. Captured every aspect of the movie, and captured the “spirit” of Halloween as well as any zone ever has. Also a great cast (if not quite clown-great), Has replaced PsychoScarepy as my all-time favorite. Well I think a zone worked fine, would love to see the IP return as a house next year, or whenever the sequel is released.
AoV---better than last year. More “Halloweeny” with its choice of music and the speed-painting segment. Also, to be honest, the show benefits from the shorter 14-minute format. Still nothing I haven’t seen on America’s Got Talent twice a week.
B&T—can’t objectively review. Thought it balanced the nostalgia and the 2017 riffs equally, which was good. Loved that the professional dancers returned. Death and Spicer nailed their roles. Will probably write a longer obit this weekend, but devastated by this show ending.
Some photos from the past week
Because tonight signals the end of the Halloween (and hhn) season, I figured I'd finally type up my review. I just have to start by saying that in terms of houses this has been my favorite year of the 3 I've been to. So anyway here are just my house ranking and reviews.
Coming in at 9 is unfortunately The Fallen.
I'm sure it had to do with timing but we missed a ton of scares and it was frustratingly dark. Saw only one acrobatic trick (the leaning guy) and the bungee man was not in his spot. We only got to do this once and just felt we could better spend our time in line for other houses. I will say the costuming was great and i definitely got a jump or 2.
Every other house is steps above my feelings toward Fallen.
#8 Ash v Evil Dead-
Not the scariest but I loved seeing the mini scenes play out. I've never seen the show but I'm familiar enough with the property to get what they were going for. Had some great laughs and e good scare or 2. I felt bad for this maze because it was tucked away in kids zone and I heard a couple other guests remark that they didn't even know it was at the event. It had a 5 minute wait in the middle of a Saturday night. If I was the property holder I'd be a little miffed.
I enjoyed Hive immensely, but I just didn't get scared. Some rooms were too open and allowed for me to see scares up ahead. But the casts energy made it fun and it didn't matter that I wasn't getting jumps. The atmosphere was great and I just enjoyed my time in this house. Loved the stilt actor, I had to pull my group back to see it because I knew they'd enjoy him. The final hallway did give me the creeps with the eyes I was hoping someone would jump out at us! Props to the wall crawl. I missed it every go through but my friend who saw it said t was super cool.
As a formerly huge Saw fan this house was seriously great to see. It was much longer than I expected and had tons of my favorite kills. The pig faced characters got me a couple of times but I was really in to seeing the traps incorporated into the maze as if now they're part of our game. The Venus fly trap was great and I even got to see the one that opens up and rips the characters ribs out. Definitely a cool touch. It's what I always wanted from a saw maze.
What a sneaky house! Really had a low bar for this, which I'm sure contributed to me liking it, but this house was many steps above Chance and I can totally see this location as a legit setup now. Even the short Sinister portion got me good in that hallway (Double Bagul ) and I'm a sucker for Insidious as the atmosphere and characters just seem to set off that part of my lizard brain that can't help but freak out. Loved the ending even with the crappy black light painted walls. The actors really made it work. Props to y'all!
Honestly this one is hard to put at 4 because what it set out to do, it completely accomplished and is the most amazed by a house I've been. The sets and the details were spot on. It somehow accurately captures the feeling of the Shining and translates it into a haunted house without cheapening the actual film. It was like a living art piece. I didn't want it to end! The blood elevators, the "Here's Jonny" scene, I mean I didn't even know I needed this house in my life!
#3 Dead Waters-
I'd say this house was the second scariest but due to high expectations I felt like this house was just a little less than perfect. The facade was of course amazing and the "outside" scares immediately lets you know this won't be just eye candy. The scares were loud and intense and sometimes came out of nowhere. I got some really good jumps in here especially the swamp and the very end voodoo doll. If it was only just a bit longer! But what can you do. This one deserves a sequel for sure.
#2 Anerican Horror Story-
I loved last years AHS as an accurate portrayal of the scenes in the show, casted impeccably and enjoyed the vignette style of presentation mixed with a few jumps. I enjoyed this years much much more though! From the indoor queue alone, the atmosphere is noticeably darker and sets you up for a beautiful long and spooky house. The scares were aplenty this year and this house had some of the most impressive sets I've seen at the event. The tall walls of the asylum and the Ornate details in the Coven portion. Great use of misdirection in this house. I loved the stilt lady in coven as well as her partner of normal height under the fake stilt lady. Both scared the hell out of me. Also a great house for smells ! The first go trough I remember at least 2 or 3 distinctly but have since forgotten. Except the baby powder! All in all I'm sad this is probably the last year of AHS. The houses had such great variety length and Evan Peters lookalikes haha!
#1 is probably predictably Scarecrow as most people seemed to really love this house.
But oh man what an earned love. I hope hhn always has one of these claustrophobic intense mazes every year going forward. I love the ornate sets and scale and film accurate IP representation. But Scarecrow and Tomb are seriously my favorite houses ever. Scarecrow is relentless and terrifying. Who would have guessed that this would take the cake? The characters literally oozing from the walls and some of the loudest sound effects in any house ever made the fear inescapable! The variety of places each after could get you made every run through unpredictable. I couldn't peg down the final hallway and was always scared at least 3 times in that room alone! The big boss before the corn stalk room was always scary. I just can't say enough about this house. It was somehow classic Halloween feeling but wrapped in complete original terror! And any time a scare comes from above I'm both not expecting it, and will be crawling to escape it.
I'm seriously going to miss HHN 27! Can't wait to see what horrors await us next year!
9 - Fallen
8 - Saw
7 - Ash v. Evil Dead
6 - Hive
5 - Blumhouse
4 - AHS
3 - Shining
2 - Dead Waters
1 - Scarecrow
Unlike many, I feel like Fallen was an energetic cast away from being great. I thought the effects and sets were great--again, maybe that's partially because I hadn't seen the bungee effects before.
I agreee completely. I really enjoyed this house myself and it was my 2nd favorite next to The Hive. Mainly because I was unintentionally immersed in it and it gave me a really uneasy feeling. I really felt like I was in some hellish environment.
If this many people missed integral effects then i'm inclined to say the house was just okay. If enough people don't enjoy something for whatever reason then it just doesn't work. I tried to enjoy it and missed most actors which just feels like the weren't giving it their all.
I rate HHNs 27 at a B-
Original houses KILLED the IPs in every single way!
1. Scarecrow: Awesome from start to finish, close and creepy.
1a. Fallen: Awesome entrance, great scenes and it delivered.
3. Dead Waters: Great facade! well themed.
4. Hive: Cheap facade, solid house with really well done vampires.
5. Ash: Some cool looking scenes, best of the IP's but that's not saying much.
6. Shining: The poor Jack appliances were laughable! The facade was joke! the elevator looks like bad video very little to like in there.
7. Saw: Saw it before, looked the same.
8. AHS: Don't watch the show so it was just a bunch of stuff.
9. Blumhouse: Garbage, if it cost more than $10.00 U.S. I would be shocked.
1. Trick r Treat: Awesome, this felt like a Halloween event, should have used the bus....
2. Invasion: fun, but small.
The rest in no order.
Altars of Horror: Boring, did we really need ANYMORE Purge in the park?
Clowns: eh chainsaws.
Festival of the Deadliest: Strippers.... really this is what you came up with? Bring singles and support those single mothers!
The Purge: See Above.
Bill and Ted: Glad it's dead, been crap for years. Not very funny and the dancing was average.
Academy of Villains: If you watch the fist two minutes you have seen the whole show.
Overcrowding is killing my enjoyment of the event.
Yeah I always recommend to people I know who aren’t HHN buffs, who understandably notice the IPs first, to GO IN THE ORIGINALS!
I (sort of) disagree with you about The Shining. Had they cranked down the thermostat I think the facade (and finale) would’ve been great. Yeah the blood elevator was a projection but in a much cooler way than I thought. Agree about the Jack forehead appliances. Buuut, the Wendys were perfectly cast, Room 237 and the Gold Room worked great, seeing the twins bodies was neat, and I loved seeing that carpet design.
I agree on the Wendy's they looked great. I thought the video would be better, and I hate that it depends on timing.
It should have been cold, you are right, like they do in the winter houses...
The elevator scene was most definitely not a projection.. It was a forced perspective room behind plexiglass with actual red water being pumped in the sides..
I specifically stood in this room because I was so impressed and if you got close to the glass you could see where the water was pooling and churning on the "floor"
Good to know, didn't hear that on the tour.
It looked like video both times I saw it. And we not afforded the opportunity to stop and watch without getting yelled at, typical HHNs.
I definitely heard the person say keep moving but they were saying that even when we were moving haha.
I stayed for like 2 cycles just because with the strobe effect it was hard to see exactly what it was. Hollywoods was definitely just a projection from the movie but I give both parks props for attempting it.
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