Discussion in 'Halloween Horror Nights 29' started by Brian G., Nov 4, 2018.
when it's been 29 years and there's still no lovecraft house, so you decide to do it yourself
Eh. I actually understand why it hasn't been done. Frankly, Lovecraft ain't Poe.
Poe - more specifically, his works - are well-known by the general population. Almost everyone can name at least one piece of his (The Raven). Most people can name between five and ten. When a house consists of ten scenes that works incredibly well. Additionally, his characters are all human/real. There's no pressure to "create" based on the written word.
Lovecraft is, essentially, the exact opposite. Most people, if they even know who Lovecraft is, would struggle to name any of his stories. Nevermind that most people only know Cthulhu and none of the other Great Old Ones or creatures he decided. There's the added struggle of creating "impossible" monsters that satisfy fans and don't confuse everyone else.
I think a Lovecraft house is easy to design. I also think it's (rightfully) incredibly hard to sell.
I believe the main difference is the genre. Poe's works are typically categorized as horror fiction, gothic fiction, or horror mystery. Not only are his works well known but the genre itself lends itself to being used for a haunted house/movie as most of the props are fairly simple and most of the horror is essentially just medieval torture techniques.
Lovecraft's works on the other hand are typically categorized as Cosmic Horror and Psychological horror. Both of which are much more difficult to translate to a two hour film let alone a 10-15 min house.
If universal just had a bunch of random cultists and fish people in rooms, strange chanting, glowing symbols, and a giant latex cthulhu at the end then they've essentially translated the works to a scooby doo esq fish demon to the general audience. I'm not saying its impossible to do, but in order to do it right I feel like you'd perhaps need a dual themed scare zone haunted house combo in which a narrators voice could set the tone at the scare zone along with actors playing roles... (cultists handing out pamphlets, a few dock workers talking about how strange the locals are, police mentioning all the missing tourists... etc)
Needless to say it would be A LOT of work and the general audience STILL might not be entirely receptive to it.
Thanks @Legacy I only remembered Poe. I wish I could of seen Castle Vampyr, since shared some Anne Rice's work elements. Love Anne Rice. Lovecraft would be amazing, be nice if they decided to do it this year. I wonder if there is any kind of house they could do off of either Dean Koontz or John Saul's books. I know Dean Koontz had a book or two turned into the movie, which I can say most of the time the book is way better than the movies, like ODD Thomas movie was ehhh, book way better.
Thanks @Legacy and @horrornights789 for the feedback. Now I am trying to think of some good book they could do. Legacy didn't you start working or doing concepts for your own haunted house based on a book or music, I remember last year seeing a post with your white statue hallway. That looked very amazing. Thanks again, is it September yet.
I have Ghostlight, based on the works of Shakespeare and Literary Terror based various books (which I still need to shift to my online portfolio).
Regarding the feasibility of a Lovecraft house:
They just did a house based on sentient plants in a shopping mall. That’s pretty Lovecraftian in and of itself. They could easily do a very good Shadow Over Innsmouth house.
Speaking of literature-based houses I’d love to see a house based on demented takes on classic literature. Imagine something like Slaughter Sinema or HR but with Tom Sawyer, The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, Animal Farm, Anna Karenina, and Moby Dick.
The image of pigs walking upright from Animal Farm had always weirdly freaked me out
Also does anyone have ideas as to what we could have for scare zones this year?
- Original SZ
- Original SZ
- Popular IP
- Cult IP that A&D love thatll probably be used at HHN30 or 31
My wishful thinking is that we could get a Resident Evil 2 scarezone in New York since the remake was a hit but after 23 idk if they’ll use that IP again
Not sure whether all of those are public properties, but god this would be awesome. Imagine a 1984 scene, with a giant rat puppet and/or air blasts to simulate rats crawling all over you.
Yeah, I am also curious as to the scarezones this year.
Run - The Running Man
Wyandot and Dead End - Hill House and Hell House
Nightingales- The Little Sisters of Eluria
Jack the Clown - Pennywise
Scary Tales - every single iteration relies upon literature
The Usher - a “modern day” Phantom
Asylum in Wonderland
The Shining - originally literature
The Exorcist - originally literature
There’s probably more.
Arguments can be made for Poe’s influence on Dead Man’s Wharf and Winter’s Night.
I’d love for them to revisit Poe. So many good stories/poems to be used.
I’m next to certain that they aren’t all public domain. I just think the idea would resonate, especially if you were to choose the type of literature everyone read in high school.
I said “Designing a Lovecraft house is easy. Selling it is hard.”
There’s a thing in media called an “elevator pitch.” The principle is that a creator should be able to coherently present their idea in the time it takes to ride one story on an elevator (about 2-5 sentences). They give enough detail to allow a vision to form, and use well-known things as comparisons so the idea “clicks” with the approver. Elevator pitches are HARD, but apply to everything Universal has done.
“We want a house where/with...”
Seeds - “Humanity is extinct and plants have taken over.”
Nightingales - “Banshees in WW1.”
Winter’s Night - “A snow-covered haunted cemetery.”
Body Collectors - “Creepy dudes harvesting body parts.”
Vamp 55 - “Vampires attacking a 1950s homecoming parade.”
Face-Off - “Monsters created on/inspired by the show ‘Face-off.’”
Foresaken - “Ghost pirates attack a fort.”
See? They can be grabbed in a single sentence as accessible without sounding silly. Movies do it. Shows do it. Books do it. It’s an entertainment staple.
Now, with Poe that’s easy. “Scenes based on Edger Alan Poe stories.” Because Poe is ubiquitous, the approver will automatically start filling in gaps themselves. The elevator pitch works.
Lovecraft, however, isn’t that simple. People don’t know the stories, so you can’t go the Poe route. And saying, “Cult worships/summons fish monsters and alien gods” sounds too preposterous to get an approver. It requires the approver to already have context for the idea, putting the onus on THEM to know stuff instead of just being told. It’s a huge reason why Hollywood is so hesitant to actually do Lovecraft. His stuff is too weird.
(For some context, every quarter a #PitMad will take place on Twitter. This is literally writers providing elevator pitches to agents and publishers. It’s a great opportunity to see great pitches and bad pitches. Get Ready for #pitmad! | Pitch Wars)
You’re describing my Literary Terror house.
I love Lovecraft, but the essence of his work cannot easily be translated into something visual for a house, interestingly enough though, if we were to get The Thing, that I'd consider Lovecraftian. What makes Lovecraft Lovecraft though is always a feeling, something that can't be put into words, let alone an image. Though it would be equally impossible to make a proper house of this, an original bearing the name: the king in yellow would be interesting.
Shadow Over Innsmouth: “Man gets stalked by horrific frog people through a creepy seaside town.”
IDK sounds like it would be worth a second look to me.
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of his stuff would be very difficult to translate, but Shadow and/or Dunwich are two of the easier ones. It’s not like they’re Color Out of Space or anything...
Nicolas Cage to star in Richard Stanley's Color Out of Space | EW.com
The King in Yellow would be a rather droll house. It’s an interesting/compelling read, but there’s no overbearing atmosphere, interesting “creatures,” or connective thread between the stories apart from a play we never actually read.
Even the play itself only references three characters.
I agree, only could really be done as an asylum type house, which was the setting for the King In Yellow story, though even that was vague, and most of the story was just weird dialogue. That said, it would be nice to have an inmates run the asylum house just named King In Yellow, something a tad like last year's Carnaval Graveyard, but in an asylum, so unlike the regular dark asylum aesthetic, this would be a bit more bright, and most rooms would consist of the inmates putting on little vignettes that illustrate their madness. If I am not mistaken there's an older horror film called "Mansion of Madness" that was like that, obscure little title, directed by Moctezuma.
You will lose almost every approver at “frog people.” It doesn’t matter what adjective you put in front of it, “frog people,” “fish people,” “giant flying squid god” sounds more silly than scary. The immediate question that comes from someone who knows nothing about the source material is “how is that scary?”
Regarding Color Out of Space, it’s pitch is “Meteor contaminates earth and drives people insane.” To present it to a producer you give that pitch and say, “It’s Annihilation meets The Thing.”
Doesn’t sound like such an outlandish movie, does it?
EDIT- I recognize the irony of “Annihilation” being used as a comparison for a story that actually inspired it, but that’s how these things work.
So if Hellraiser does come to HHN29 it would exclusively be the original right? The rights to sequels seem to be everywhere
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