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Halloween Horror Nights 28 (UO): Reviews & Photos

Discussion in 'Halloween Horror Nights 28' started by Brian G., Sep 14, 2018.

  1. ThemeParks4Life

    ThemeParks4Life Veteran Member

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    My thoughts:

    10. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Meyers: I was cautiously optimistic on this one because the last two houses were strong. This wasn't a bad house by any means, but outside of like one or two brief startles, the actors did nothing for me. Bland sets and weak scares combine for the event's worst house, which is still kind of decent! 7/10

    9. The Horrors of Blumhouse:
    I had no expectations going into the house but ended up pleasantly surprised. I hit basically every scare in the Happy Death Day section, but none of theme even startled me. I really enjoyed the set design here though, and hearing "Nice one, dickhead" repeatedly was amusing. The First Purge section was pretty forgettable outside of one actor who gave me a gigantic scare when he came out of nowhere. 7/10

    8. Stranger Things:
    When I read Legacy's scene breakdown, I lost basically all interest in this house. However, the strong reviews had me optimistic it could be something really special. After going through the house.... eh. It has excellent sets, but the scares weren't doing anything for me. When Mike is the scareactor that made me jump the most, something is wrong. The ending is incredibly abrupt as well. Season 2 is going to translate much better next year, but like the last two houses, it's still pretty decent. 7/10

    7. Carnival Graveyard: Rust in Pieces:
    Most of my opinion on this house is the same as Stranger Things, but I absolutely loved the sets here. It gets an extra half-point for the originality. 7.5/10

    6. Seeds of Extinction:
    This was my most anticipated house going into the event, and it didn't really let me down. The house suffers from a lack of variety in costume design and easily visible scareactors, but there were a couple decent scares in here and some cool sets. I especially liked how the tilted walkway was used in here. 8.5/10

    5. Scary Tales: Deadly Ever After:
    Even though I went through the house on a night where a good chunk of the cast was absent (nobody was in the Little Mermaid room), I ended up enjoying the house a lot. Gretel got me good, and there were a couple other good scares throughout the house. Awesome set design and facade as well. 8.5/10

    4. Poltergeist:
    Although I don't quite think this is a GOAT-contender, it's still a very strong house. It's a long house with a lot of creativity put into it, though most of the scares I got didn't do much for me. This house is why I wish I could go again this year because a properly timed run through here could be very intense. 8.5/10

    3. Trick 'r Treat:
    Great house! I don't know if I'd say it's better than Krampus, but I got hit with a lot of scares in here. It had good set design compared to recent parade building mazes and was a faithful adaptation of the movie despite being out of order. 9/10

    2. Dead Exposure: Patient Zero:
    This is the scariest house of the year. The cast is aggressive and never lets down. The only reason it's not house of the year is because the set design is kind of weak. 9/10

    1. Slaughter Sinema:
    I had a blast with this house. There were several good scares (Swamp Yeti!), but most importantly, so much creativity was flowing through the house. I knew I was in for a treat with the trailer reel on the facade, and this house did not disappoint. 9/10

    Scarezones were scarezones, I guess. One of the red monkeys in Chucky got me really good on my way out of the park as he was hiding behind a prop. Didn't see Academy of Villains.

    Overall, this is a decent year. There isn't a bad house in the lineup, but at the same time, I wouldn't put any of these houses in my personal top 10 except maybe Slaughter Sinema (I've been going since 2014).
     
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  2. Necessaryevil

    Necessaryevil Newcomer

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    Seeds is my favourite non IP house scare wise. I thinks it's my favourite just edging out slaughterhouse. I know slaughterhouse wasn't always scary but the yeti got me every time and I just adore the Critters films.
     
  3. OhHaiInternet95

    OhHaiInternet95 Veteran Member

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    Still feel like Killer Klowns could've been a contender for GOAT if they had just scrapped Vamp '85 and made it all of NY. Oh and if the spinning light had always been working.

    Traditions is a solid Central Park zone that benefitted greatly from the stage not being there.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  4. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Veteran Member

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    My Final Review

    Will be there Halloween night, probably this weekend, but I don’t see opinions changing much at this point. Look, I’ll say it again—average year at best. Four houses were direct sequels that failed to live up to the original—I’d argue Sinema was a spiritual sequel to the far superior H.R. Bloodengutz as well. Two of the originals didn’t work for me, either—which is a shame, I can see they were taking creative risks, but just didn’t stick the landing for me. That said, a strong year for Zones, where I think the experimentation did pay off.

    Overall, the event felt understaffed, even as houses for the most part feel a satisfying length. The lack of Bill & Teds hurt the event, but I’d argue turning Finns into a walk-up window has hurt it equally if not more. More and more about hitting the houses commando style rather than being the world’s biggest Halloween party.

    HOUSES

    This year, 1 to 3 pretty set, 4 to 8 largely interchangeable, 9 and 10 solidly in their positions.

    1) Poltergeist—when it worked, it worked very well. Clever ideas to expand maybe four rooms of movie scenes into a house of a very satisfying length. Solid cast. Perfect use of sound clips.
    Best Parts: Façade and its dirt smell. That frigid bedroom. The droppy clown.
    Room for Improvement: I thought the “inside the TV” tunnel went on too long. Ops was great some days, horrible and in-the-way others. Needed more consistency in effects.

    2) Trick r Treat—about as faithful an adaptation as you could ask for. Took everything good from the zone and added things you can only do in a house. Strong initial cast, tho faded over the event, which is why it’s not #1.
    Best Parts: The jack-o-lantern filled façade. Krieger wrestling Sam. The wolf. The school buses. Unobtrusive ops.
    Room for Improvement: Been discussed but needed to maintain its cast better, felt sparse by the end of the event. Could’ve used a costume store scene.

    3) Scary Tales—liked it fine, but very repetitive with a lot of things we’ve seen before in previous ST houses and Scarecrow last year. Felt perpetually understaffed. Still, amazing sets, amazing character designs, and a lot of what cast there was seemed to be having fun scaring.
    Best Parts: The façade (including the opening hallway banners). The gingerbread house. The Miss Muffet scene.
    Room for Improvement: Needed a lot more actors. Could’ve repaired the mirror door that was wrecked on Preview Night rather than abandoning the boo hole. Humpty Dumpty could have upped the rotten egg smell. It’s odd, but what have been a good length house 5 years ago now feels a bit on the short side. As mentioned before, why the fan service of ending on HHN Bear if he’s not going to dance?

    4) Stranger Things—works well as a re-creation of the sets very well, somewhat less well as a haunted house.
    Best Parts: Beyers’ living room/Wil’s bedroom. The school hallway with the disappearing scrim. The demigorgon design.
    Room for Improvement: The 11 mannequin. Relies heavily on “victim” actors.

    5) Slaughter Sinema—wanted to like this more than I did. Not outrageous enough to be funny (contrast with HR Bloodengutz), but never serious enough to be truly scary.
    Best Parts: The queue video (easily the best part of the house). The Swamp Ape. Devil Dogs. Both probably strong enough to support a full house (or maybe split between a double feature house).
    Room for Improvement: Schitty’s Kids and evil Tribbles fell flat for me. Cult of the Beast Baby and Amazon Women from Planet Hell had potential, but neither room’s cast felt all that into their roles.

    6) Dead Exposure: Patient Zero—solid cast but strobe lights couldn’t hide the fact this is a mostly flat 2-D sets.
    Best Parts: Subway scene (that mirror effect always works on me). Monkey lab was a good way of establishing fear without having to rely on actors.
    Room for Improvement: I needed a better storyline and better sets.

    7) Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers—great cast, Michaels just superb. But everything else about this house tired. Seen variations on these sets a dozen times this decade, twice in other, better Halloween houses.
    Best Parts: The Michaels. As always, the iconic Halloween theme.
    Room for Improvement: Should’ve sit this one out this year, used this year’s film as a basis for a Halloween house next year.

    8) Carnival Graveyard—not the worst house ever but loses a point for being such a disappointment. I believe Jungle Skip said it, I want my carnival graveyard to have carnival rides. Until the end, this was primarily a junk yard with carnival performers scattered throughout.
    Best Parts: Falling clown. Tunnel of Love and Hall of Mirrors. Credit where it’s due, this felt like a double length house—can’t accuse it of being too short.
    Room for Improvement: Implicitly promised rusting hulks of carnival rides, needed to deliver that. Could have used more of a storyline and build to a climax, as well.

    9) Seeds of Extinction—just did not work for me. Sets looked like an Old Time Pottery vomited. Fake plants look fake, can’t get around that. Felt like only three monster designs throughout the house, just repeated over and over. And the ridiculous walk out to the house then back again did it no favors. Bottom 20 of all time for me. Possibly bottom 15.
    Best Parts: Feeling the sweet overhead fans of E.T. when you finally make it back to Kid Zone.
    Room for Improvement: Variation in monsters would've helped. Maybe a better queue video. But not convinced anything could save this cheesy concept.

    10) Horrors of Blumhouse II—over The Purge. Happy Death Day felt cheap—one off-the-shelf mask, repeated again and again. Cast seemed to know they ended up in a dog of a house this year, responded by giving up. Bottom 10 of all time.
    Best Parts: Can’t think of one.
    Room for Improvement: Purge The Purge going forward. Stick to the more supernatural/spooky Blumhouse movies.

    Scare-Zones

    1) Chucky—at least a dozen different character designs. Three mini-stages with fun shows in their own right that also serve as distractions for on-the-street scare-actors. Cast that relished every scare they got, literally chasing guests down. Put against the houses, this would be #2 this year.

    2) Twisted Traditions—cleverly designed costumes that manage to make pumpkins creepy. Perfect sets that fit the season. Solid cast who seamlessly shift between posing for photos and scaring.

    3) Springfield Chainsaw Team—once again, the one cast that seems to really, really enjoy getting a scare. Contagious enthusiasm. Sadly felt understaffed this year, but most fun I had entire event was sitting with a Dufftoberfest and watching them do their thing,

    4) Killer Klownz from Outer Space—should’ve been a house. But a crowd-pleaser as a not-so-scary selfie zone, and no question the costumes are impressive. One thought: maybe move selfie zone to F&F courtyard next year, leave that street for actual scares?

    5) Harvest—recycled costumes, too crowded for legit scares most of the time, but probably as good as we get on Production Blvd ever again. Need to have something here …

    6) Vamp 85—as others have said, listless cast. Storyline not clear, either—are those actual celebrity vampires? What concert would feature Prince, Boy George, Run DMC and the Dead Kennedys on the same bill? Also sparsely populated—one of the few streets that can handle a crowd and still allow scares, should take advantage of that. Nice 1984 playlist, tho.

    7) F&F Chainsaw Team—no make-up. Too crowded. Again, use the courtyard for selfies, leave this street empty.

    Honorable Mention: The tombstone donut at VooDoo Donuts. Damn that thing is tasty.
     
  5. ProColor

    ProColor Newcomer

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    Well since this seems to be the thing to do now...

    FINAL RANKINGS:
    Ultimately I thought this year was good, but also demonstrated the growing chasm between what I want in a Halloween events. To try and put it as nice as I can, this event reminds me of Magic Kingdom/Disneyland: The content is there and ready to go, but the large amount of crowds, the lack of any real place to relax for a bit, and the somewhat questionable nature of some attendees are really dragging it down.

    HOUSES:

    1. Trick r' Treat - My personal favorite due to relatively consistent positive runs and a general sense of "Halloween" that seems to be missing from this event sometimes.

    2. Slaughter Sinema
    My favorite original at event end, this house lacks in consistency but thrives in variety. The ideas executed well (Swamp Yeti) rank among the best the event had to offer.

    3. Stranger Things - Probably the biggest surprise of the event. Does some interesting ideas that I think work well, and the Demogorgans are the most aggressive half cast of a house this year.

    4. Poltergeist - Not as high on this house as some are. The first 2\3rds of this house are my favorite of the event, but everything past the bed sheets room I think is dull and uninspired.

    5. Scary Tales - The Oz scenes make this house for me, while the rest lacks a bit in creativity (outside of Rapunzel). Was 2nd or 3rd for a while, but another events cast with a similar theme blew most of this house out of the water.

    6. Halloween 4 - Sure, there was almost no sets and a very lackluster attempt to follow the movie, but the cast in the house killed it. The yearly reminder that cast is the most important feature of a house.

    7. Dead Exposure - This one never really clicked for me. I thought the darkness aspect would be far less stroby. A bit of a disappointment since the last two houses in this location were my favorites of those years.

    8. Carnival Graveyard - More of a funhouse than a haunted house. Really lacked in scares and the aforementioned Carnival rides. Though I liked the barrels (when they were there) and the animatronics room.

    9. Seeds of Extinction - This house didn't feel like it was designed for a conga line. The mall setting screams big spaces and not tight corridors. Christmas tree plant was funny.

    10. Blumhouse - It stunk.

    ZONES

    1. Chucky - Scares, strong cast, variety, and open spaces made this zone for me. Chucky may have actually been my least favorite part.
    2. Killer Klownz - When the selfie brigade isnt out in full force, this cast is great at interacting. This should have has a larger area, and it's clearly a favorite this year.
    3. Twisted Traditions - The best looking zone, though the cast seemed pushed to the side when it was busy. The church and the lack of congestion made this one fun to walk through.
    4. The Harvest - This one had nothing going for it, but the cast was giving it a shot, and trying to scare. That I cant say about...
    5. Vamp '85 - Other than Traditions, I walked through this zone the most. I haven't been ignored by so many people since I was in High School. Really disappointing, considering how much I loved '55.
     
  6. OhHaiInternet95

    OhHaiInternet95 Veteran Member

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    What is the cause of bad guests this year? Especially with reduced alcohol. And what could possibly be done apart from raising prices? The event is already really expensive as is. Obviously, they HAVE to expand the event into some of Islands. I would love the additional scenery.

    Seriously, some kids I saw in KKfOS on one of my visits made me wish the zone was real--would've legit loved to see them put in a cotton candy cocoon.

    I don't know if this year had as much standing out, but I think it had a very strong lineup of houses that just meshed together great. Still my second favorite year after last night, and I'll return one more time this weekend.
     
  7. Joe

    Joe aka TestTrack321 Staff Member Moderator

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    Great review.
     
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  8. Brian G.

    Brian G. Staff Member Administrator

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    Photos from last week:

    IMG_3075.JPG IMG_3268.JPG IMG_3305.JPG IMG_3547.JPG IMG_3573.JPG IMG_3594.JPG IMG_3624.JPG IMG_3647.JPG IMG_3707.JPG IMG_3906.JPG
     
  9. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Veteran Member

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    QFT. As funny as Bill & Teds was some years, I think this is what most fans mean when they say "The event needs Bill & Ted." It can't be all houses with no breaks other than another line to get a drink.


    I think a combination of a younger and younger crowd--I vaguely remember from my teaching days that 7th grade is the most violent age--and longer and longer lines with nothing else to do but stand in another line. That breeds resentment.

    (For the record I don't see expanding into IoA making a bit of difference, but that's a discussion for the inevitable spec thread Monday.)
     
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  10. Nick

    Nick Staff Member Moderator

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    I do think ticket prices need to be increased... I hear many people saying they are only at the event for the rides because it’s actually affordable to get into the park. This needs to stop imo.
     
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  11. Captain Tragedy

    Captain Tragedy Premium Member

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    Overall, I had a fantastic time. Yeah, not having B&T stunk especially without having it as a people eater, but it didn't kill my fun with the event as a whole. My cousin (first timer) came down with her bf and she loved it too. Went last Wed/Thurs/Fri with Express, sunday without. Here are my rankings:

    Houses:
    1) Slaughter Sinema - right up my MST3K loving alley. The "photo booth" portion of Schittie's Kids got me every time. So much fun!
    2) Seeds of Extinction - Not sure why this one is so low on others' list. I loved it. This past Sunday night, pops and I got our own walk through with stay n scream and we hit every single scare. Just phenomenal.
    3) Scary Tales - This being my first Scary Tales house I thought it was so cool. Lion got me real bad.
    4) Carnival Graveyard - Awesome sets and always had a good run.
    5) Stranger Things - Being a huge fan of the show, this was a fantastic representation. One demogorgon got me so bad I almost fell over.
    6) Dead Exposure - Never did the original DE, so the concept was pretty fresh for me. Super disorienting and could never tell when something would pop out next. Liked it a lot.
    7) Trick R Treat - Love the movie, loved the SZ last year, really liked this house. A couple of dead spots dropped it down for me though.
    8) Poltergeist - I know, I know I'm a heretic. Just never had a good run. Too dark in some spots. Really long white pathway had nothing in it for me, not sure if there was supposed to be scareactors there or not. The clown did drop but it was super slow. Puppets were awesome, though.
    9) Halloween 4 - Had a really good run then had a really bad run. It was fine. I hope it's the last year for this franchise.
    10) Blumhouse - woof. NotGreatBob.gif. Plz stahp.

    Houses 1-6 could easily be switched around they were all that good. 7 & 8 were just bad timing. 9&10 need to not be a thing next year.

    Scarezones:
    1) Killer Klowns
    2) Chucky
    3) Vamp 85
    4) Twisted Tradition
    5) The Harvest

    All of these I thought were really well done. Killer Klowns had best interactions, Chucky had best scares.

    I will also chime in and comment on the crazy amount of strollers and little kids I saw. So weird. Why do parents do this? Was talking with some in line had brought their kids but they were standing outside because they were too scared. Wasted all that money. Get a babysitter.

    Suggestion for next year also, open up more rides. Holy crap were streets congested on busier nights. I would say raise prices too, but I don't know if that'd make a difference because people still seem like they'd be willing to pay out the butt for this event.

    Edit: AoV - Didn't see it. Didn't care to.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  12. OhHaiInternet95

    OhHaiInternet95 Veteran Member

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    If they were to bring B&T back, I’d be in favor of cutting the house number back down to eight, even split of IPs and originals. (Yes, I realize that combination of events has a .001 percent chance of happening.)
     
  13. Joe

    Joe aka TestTrack321 Staff Member Moderator

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    How much does that actually change anything? You get rid of the coke deal, fine, but how does that change the long lines at the houses?

    I say a price increase on the passes and reducing discounts to increase the budget of the event to include more to do is the best way forward.
     
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  14. Nick

    Nick Staff Member Moderator

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    I’m not saying that’s the only thing that needs to change. Obviously other things do as well, starting with at least one more show.
     
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  15. erider

    erider Newcomer

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    After going 4 times to the event this year, here is my final ranking:
    1. Seeds, my favorite house. I loved the scenery with an abandoned mall and the overgrown plants with scareactors hiding among them. Loved the whole atmosphere in there.
    2. Poltergeist. A very intense and beautiful house. Loved all the puppetry.
    3. Stranger Things. I haven't seen the series but love sci-fi/fantasy theming. Love the theming in the upside down.
    4. Carnival Graveyard. Lots to see in there, after doing it 4 times still noticed new details.
    5. Scary Tales. A beautiful house, but not very scary imo. Loved the opening scene.
    6. Trick 'r Treat. Loved the lighted pumpkins in front of the house and the combination of indoor and outdoor scenes.
    7. Slaughter Sinema. Lots of theming in there and the 'humor' house. I did however think they tried to put too many scenes in there making some parts to short.
    8. Dead Exposure. Very intense house which I like, but didn't like the cardboard theming in some spots.
    9. Halloween 4. Kind of dissapointing for me after the better Halloween houses the last couple of years.
    10. Blumhouse. I liked it better last year then this year. It was a 1 time deal this year for me.

    I have been the last couple of years to HHN and thought this year was one of the best yet! The houses where amazing, the scare zones ok. I did notice longer lines this year compared to the last couple of years (didn't have Express). It's getting harder and harder to enjoy myself without Express at the event after 8 (usually do Stay and Scream and then hit some rides after it gets really busy).
     
  16. NYG

    NYG Rookie

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    So happy I got to go this year! The scarezones were definitely lacking (may be the worst in recent memory IMO save for Killer Klowns), but the houses were firing on all cylinders...

    1) Stranger Things
    2) Seeds of Extinction
    3) Scary Tales
    4) Poltergeist
    5) Carnival Graveyard
    6) Dead Exposure
    7) Trick r Treat
    8) Halloween 4
    9) Slaughter Sinema
    10) Blumhouse
     
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  17. sjago13

    sjago13 Premium Member

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    Quick wrap up.

    1. Dead Exposure
    2. Seeds of Extinction
    3. Poltergeist
    4. Halloween 4
    5. Slaughter Sinema
    6. Scary Tales
    7. Carnival Graveyard
    8. Stranger Things
    9. Trick R Treat
    10. Blumhouse

    1. Chucky
    2. Klowns
    3. Twisted Traditions
    4. Vamp 85
    5. Harvest

    1-3 are all really close great houses.
    4- 8 are also all really close but just missing that extra element that keeps them behind 1-3.
    Trick R Treat was good but lacked scares and at times, huge chunks of cast.
    Blumhouse blew. A real worst house of all time contender.
    With Halloween, one cast was way better than the other so I always timed it so that we got that cast (B). They were always so aggressive and really elevated that house. Basically the Blumhouse effect from last year.
     
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  18. Brian G.

    Brian G. Staff Member Administrator

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    My final list. I'll get into more discussion on our HHN 28 wrap up podcast, which we record tomorrow.

    1. Poltergeist
    Jury still out if it makes it in my Top 25, but I'm going to wait before making that claim, for the sake of avoiding "prisoner of the moment". If it did, it'd probably fall around 22-25 range. Haven't really thought of my list since after HHN 24.
    2. Seeds of Extinction
    My runs were always consistent. It seemed by the event's end, they really were firing on all cylinders as my best runs were in the past 2 weeks. Wife got scared the most in this house.
    3. Trick R Treat
    Another house of consistency. Really captured the movie, and was always fun. Just felt like Halloween each time.
    4. Carnival Graveyard
    They found their footing by mid-event, IMO. It's such a unique house, that offered some unique storytelling. The success may not have reached heights of their ambition, but this house should be a benchmark for maze creativity.
    5. Scary Tales
    Caught that bug that usually plagues a house each year - starts strong, ends weak. Still a great house though, but the other 4 outshined it by event's end. Ranks behind 2 & 3 as far as the Franchise goes.
    6. Slaughter Sinema
    Just had too much damn fun, although some runs were better than others. Some scenes worked, some didn't. Yeti was A+, Schittie's Kid and Amazon Cannibals didn't.
    7. Dead Exposure
    Still stand by my statement of the scariest house this year - but the strobes made it hard to enjoy on a consistent basis so we didn't always do it.
    8. Halloween 4
    It's not as bad as some people say, but it definitely was not as good as 1 or 2 - so it gets written off quickly. Still, strong cast helped make this a fun house to experience - with one of my best house runs coming from this one.
    9. Stranger Things
    The 9 placement is no indictment on the quality. It's still a damn good house, but one cast was better than the other - and the very weak finale makes it fall to this spot.
    10. Blumhouse
    HDD grew on me. Purge can go fly a kite. We did have a really great run on the last night, specifically in the HDD parts - but Purge fatigue is real.


    1. Klowns

    #1 FOREVER. Don't care what you say - fight me. Admittedly, the small area hindered the zone - and it was more fun than "scary" - but it is the most fun I may have had in any zone in my 17 years.
    2. Chucky
    Definitely got better as the event went on. Loved the monkeys and the O.R. table. The cultists also got creative and each one offered something different.
    3. Twisted
    The cast was always looking to scare - but my god, CP has become a terrible cluster of traffic.
    4. Vamp
    Probably the most disappointing zone by event's end. Still, it was a strong zone; but the size offered vs size utilized did not do any favors. There were a few MVP's but a lot of the cast by the end seemed to be more into hanging out.
    5. Harvest
    They tried. It's definitely better than originally thought, but they really had little to work with. This area needs to be retired as a scare zone, or at least one populated by actors.
     
  19. OhHaiInternet95

    OhHaiInternet95 Veteran Member

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    I feel the same way about this year's houses that you do--Like last year, I don't know if any were GOAT (the three that first come to mind in that category are PS:MM, ST3, and just for being the only house to make me fear for my safety TCM), but unlike last year, there were just so many that were either solid or very good, and they just meshed together so well. Only one bad house for me (DISCLAIMER: I did not go through Blumhouse).
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  20. Imagineer83

    Imagineer83 Rookie

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    Some random thoughts from my visit to the final 3 nights of HHN 28.

    Biggest surprise of the event was the extensive use of atmospheric effects in multiple houses. Especially Poltergeist and Seeds. Those storms where fantastic and very effective!

    Seeds of Extinction and Trick r' Treat were awesome but WAY too far from the rest of the park. Google Earth puts a combined round trip without switchbacks at just over a mile walk. We saw both twice but I would have loved to do them more. It was just too exhausting of a walk in an event that already has a LOT of walking. Exiting seeds and passing an empty queue line for Trick R Treat was soul crushing knowing how far a walk was ahead of you just to get back to the same point.

    Poltergeist was the best representation of an IP and I hope it becomes the model going forward. I much prefer that the house pulled inspiration to create a 'feel' instead of a 'walk through the film' recreation. Key moments were represented but it still felt 'original' at the same time. The puppets were surprisingly massive and very effective.

    Slaughter Sinema was the best fully realized execution of an idea. The drive in previews outside were perfect. The house was just plain entertaining with some unexpected scares and quality sets. The yeti was a great finale!

    Loved the gigantic set pieces in Carnival Graveyard, Trick R Treat and Scary Tales. The scale really added to the immersion of the environment but didn't take away from the scares. Lots of 'wow' moments in each that distracted me enough to get a scare or two.

    The demigorgons in Stranger Things were the best costumes of the event. The articulated faces were terrifying up close with the lighting and sound effects. I didn't mind the repetitiveness of them like others did. The various face settings and unexpected locations made it feel like you were being stalked by them throughout the maze. Although, I do wish the fully articulated open mouth wasn't shown so early in the maze. I think it would have been more effective to have the costume progress to more terrifying as the maze went on.

    Dead Exposure was really good. The overall design was spot on. The sets, lighting and sound design really complimented each other and came together nicely as a complete package. It wasn't super detailed but it didn't need to be.

    I am a little bipolar on the streets this year. On one hand I loved the party atmosphere and energy each zone offered. The mini shows were fun and entertaining if you timed it right. However, on the other hand I really wish the zones pushed their entertainment a little farther. The party in Vamp was energetic and 'fun' but felt like a wasted opportunity to provide any real scares. Chucky was fun but a little more edgy banter would have made the zone complete. Twisted Traditions needed more fog and the church needed something more to it than just a backdrop on the side. Chainsaws felt sparse, but they were working pretty hard to get the scare. The pieces are all there to bring the scare zones to a new level of entertainment they just need a little extra push to get there.

    Unpopular opinion warning...The killer klowns were fantastic looking and had a lot of personality but I just didn't get their rock star status for the event. I could see the klowns personalities being used in a variety show at some point though.

    AoV was just meh in my opinion. Lots of talent but I think there needs to be more variety to appeal to a larger audience. The show obviously had its fans but I think the half empty arena for the first show on a very crowded final night of the event is proof there just are not enough fans to keep it long term. If they continue with AoV a second type of show needs to be added as well.

    Overall I REALLY enjoyed this year and thought it was a fantastic event. All the houses had something to offer (except maybe Blumhouse). The entertainment value was very high throughout.
     

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