Halloween Horror Nights 29 (UO): Reviews & Photos

SeventyOne

Veteran Member
Jul 1, 2010
2,618
Orlando
Finally knocked out all the houses (many a couple runs). Strongest house lineup since 25, maybe even 21. Been plenty of HHNs any of my top 3 would be an easy contender for House of the Year, and the next 3 are all solid must-dos. And even the bottom 4 each have something interesting that redeems them.

My First Week Rankings:
1) Ghostbusters - maybe not GOAT, but certainly Most Fun of all Time
2) Universal Monsters - pretty much a perfect house, with a great cast; only nostalgia and novelty of Ghostbusters keep this #2
3) Yeti - love the sets, a lot of Hosses who love to scare cast as yetis
4) HoTC - as I said in its thread, perfectly designed house, whatever the IP, with an intriguing theme even as a non-fan; this, Monsters and Yeti gonna duke it out for Cast of the Year
5) Graveyard Games - incredibly immersive sets, just a little sparse on actors; a top 3 house most other years
6) KKfOS - see thread, works very well for what it is
7) Stranger Things - incredibly long, lots of fan service, just wanted more actors, feel like sets were better last year (possibly because Season 1 locales more iconic); honestly finale undercut when Klownz does the same thing only better
8) Nightingales - see thread; lack of a finale in the Coliseum hurts it, as does having to live up the the franchise name
9) Depths of Fear - some interesting effects, but most water effects not working, repetitive creatures, whole less than the sum of its parts
10) Us - haven't seen the movie, which makes the house a confused jumble, but standard 2019 complaint of too many mannequins, and other than the fun house, nothing all that interesting set-wise

Not even bothering to rank zones, all are forgettable. Well, Hellbilly Deluxe isn't, but it should be on Rodeo, no room for mini-shows in SF. Even my beloved Springfield Chainsaw Drill Team seems to have lost a step--I think the clown make-up gave them a certain manic energy.

Marathon of Mayhem is a great addition to the line-up, glad to see it.

Overall, a very good year--if just one or two of my bottom houses finds a way to step up its game, could be even better.
 
Aug 1, 2018
117
A very quick initial review from last night, but I'm struggling to rank the middle order as it's honestly quite a strong year imo. Will post a full review in time after our 2nd night.

1) Universal Monsters
2) Ghostbusters
3) Us (this one surprised me, it was genuinely quite an eerie one and some excellent scares.)

4-9) Graveyard Games gets 4th but the rest can fight amongst themselves.

10) Depths of Fear. Honestly, quite disappointed in this. So much so that I gave the house a 2nd run to make sure it wasn't a bad run. The creatures look like the skating fish from the parade.

Didn't catch AOV but Marathon of Mayhem is a cracking addition and just great fun!
 
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OhHaiInternet95

Veteran Member
Aug 18, 2017
2,226
A very quick initial review from last night, but I'm struggling to rank the middle order as it's honestly quite a strong year imo. Will post a full review in time after our 2nd night.

1) Universal Monsters
2) Ghostbusters
3) Us (this one surprised me, it was genuinely quite an eerie one and some excellent scares.)

4-9) Graveyard Games gets 4th but the rest can fight amongst themselves.

10) Depths of Fear. Honestly, quite disappointed in this. So much so that I gave the house a 2nd run to make sure it wasn't a bad run. The creatures look like the skating fish from the parade.

Didn't catch AOV but Marathon of Mayhem is a cracking addition and just great fun!
It's funny--I was predicting that there would be very few actual creatures in Depths and that would cause of complaints about the house. I was ok with the look of them when I went through (although my opinions are entirely subject to change), but I wonder if they would've actually been better off going the IT route and making them more bacterial/viral?
 
Aug 1, 2018
117
It's funny--I was predicting that there would be very few actual creatures in Depths and that would cause of complaints about the house. I was ok with the look of them when I went through (although my opinions are entirely subject to change), but I wonder if they would've actually been better off going the IT route and making them more bacterial/viral?
Personally I think it suffered from the creatures being very visible. If it had been a bit darker or if they had been less noticeable in advance then it might not have been as bad, as I liked the theming and the water effects including the ending were all working well on the 2nd run.

It's all subjective of course, I'm sure others will love it and as always I commend the effort of an original. Was just a swing and a miss for me.
 
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Legacy

Veteran Member
Jul 27, 2015
5,495
Personally I think it suffered from the creatures being very visible. If it had been a bit darker or if they had been less noticeable in advance then it might not have been as bad, as I liked the theming and the water effects including the ending were all working well on the 2nd run.

It's all subjective of course, I'm sure others will love it and as always I commend the effort of an original. Was just a swing and a miss for me.
Is the waterfall working?

If the waterfall isn’t working, then it’s still missing its biggest effect.
 
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itsabee

Rookie
Sep 11, 2019
191
Is the waterfall working?

If the waterfall isn’t working, then it’s still missing its biggest effect.
Nope.

The only water effects are a little dripping around the first creature as soon as you walk in and the water trough.

Also, they took away the stilt role. That was my favorite effect that was actually present. Visibility sucks so I get why they did it, but it just kind of hurts that the lack of consideration for the actors’ vision when constructing the costumes is what caused a key effect to be taken away.
 
Aug 1, 2018
117
Is the waterfall working?

If the waterfall isn’t working, then it’s still missing its biggest effect.
if that's the scene with the red lasers and when the creature storms towards you, then it looked like it came through a waterfall at you...kind of. Think it was more fog/mist than a fall
 
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Aug 1, 2018
117
If that’s all it was supposed to be, the scene wouldn’t be named “Waterfall.”

Effects aren’t on/working.
That's fair, but your Average Joe doesn't know scene names. Not defending it at all, as I said before I didn't really rate the house.

Sorry @Brian G. Back to the normal broadcast...
 

truejonas

V.I.P.
Mar 22, 2018
802
Nashville
I felt like this was an overall solid year. We ran through them all over the course of two nights (ROF Express, so we could go to bed at decent times). I have a hard time rating fairly, so instead, some spoiler-free comments on my favorite parts:

Stranger Things - I’m a big fan of the show, and this did nicely to me. The Starcourt portion had a slow down for my first run through, so we actually got to stand and take in the whole scene without being pushed along. Even knowing what was coming, it was impressive.

Us - I may have shouted “Pluto! Bad dog!” at one point. I have inventive fearful sayings.

Killer Klownz - Easily the most fun house. I got a little dance out of one of the scareactors in the final room while I was head banging to the title song, a definite highlight.

Depths of Fear - Like others have said, light on the scares. It’s bright enough though that we were able to appreciate how gorgeous of a set it was.

Overall I don’t have a favorite or least favorite house - I think they were all of equal quality.
 
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rinacee

Member
May 30, 2010
650
Florida
Will be going again tomorrow night, so this is subject to change (though tomorrow we're going with a friend who has certain houses she doesn't want to do for sure). We got to Stay & Scream at 4 and had drinks and a snack in Finnegan's before getting in line for Ghostbusters. All said and done, we left at 11:30 and managed to get all ten houses done.
1. Universal Monsters: it was dynamic and the actors were on their game. Some cool effects with Hunchback and Phantom.
2. Ghostbusters: just plain fun! Really close between this one and Klowns.
3. Killer Klowns: a dream property for me. Though I didn't scare much in here, they got my husband a few times. So much fun--did this twice and the second time had all the actors. Can't wait to hit it again tomorrow. Good scents too!
4. Yeti: So cool. Loved the costumes and the setting.
5. House of 1000 Corpses: I am shocked this is so high for me, because it was low on my hype list. Cast nailed it.
6. Graveyard Games: beautiful house, couple good moments for me. Could have had a better run.
7. US: good creepy vibe. Actors were on point. Can see why those who don't care for the film or haven't seen it wouldn't vibe with it.
8. Nightingales: Some good scares, but nothing that wowed me. Missing a little something.
9. Stranger Things: I was unimpressed. Heavy reliance on strobes and mannequins. Love the series but lukewarm on this house.
10. Depth of Fear: Eh. Most of what I think has already been expressed. Bright, most scares come from human characters. Missing effects discussed above that would have helped a lot. Might need to do it again tomorrow, but was unimpressed.

Really enjoyed Academy of Villains. Despite going the last 7 years it was our first time watching them. We were impressed.
 

Tbad556

Veteran Member
Aug 17, 2009
5,698
Orlando, FL
Quick ranking after doing each house once and each scarezone a few times:

Houses
  1. Graveyard Games
  2. Us
  3. Killer Klowns
  4. Ghostbusters
  5. Stranger Things
  6. Nightingales: Blood Pit
  7. Universal Monsters
  8. Yeti
  9. House of 1000 Corpses
  10. Depths of Fear
Updating my House Rankings after several more nights/runs:

  1. Graveyard Games
  2. Killer Klowns
  3. Ghostbusters
  4. Us
  5. Universal Monsters
  6. Nightingales: Blood Pit
  7. Stranger Things
  8. Yeti
  9. House of 1000 Corpses
  10. Depths of Fear
Graveyard Games is still the GOAT. I pretty much love all of my top 5. The flaws of Stranger Things start becoming more of an issue for me with each run. Depths of Fear keeps Depths of Fear'ing. Have only had 1 run of Us, but loved it a lot. Need more time with it. Universal Monsters will likely keep rising.
 

ChaseTuff

Veteran Member
Aug 15, 2015
1,035
Will only feel comfortable doing a full review after I get an actual good run of Ghostbusters, as in I'm not forced to run through half of it.

Stranger Things, which I got to do tonight, was...about what I expected. Some cool scenes, but ultimately gets a shrug from me.

Nightingales definitely got better for me with a slower runthrough. Got to see some things I didn't see before and got to admire the scares more.

I think Uni Monsters (Which may get in my Top 5 All Time), Graveyard Games, and House Of 1000 actually may be my top three.
 

DestinationDoug

Newcomer
Sep 26, 2018
39
My house rankings have also changed after a few more runs.

1. Universal Monsters - The only truly great house for me
2. Ghostbusters - Great theming, but not enough good scares to be #1
3. Yeti
4. House of 1000 Corpses - Moved up a lot after 2 good runs
5. Killer Klowns - Dropped a lot after 2 mediocre runs
6. Us
7. Graveyard Games
8. Stranger Things
9. Depths of Fear- Escaped the bottom spot after a decent run
10. Nightingales
 

sjago13

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
1,353
Kissimmee
I guess my rankings will be somewhat off from the majority but I enjoyed Depths and Nightingales despite their flaws.
Top 6 are all solid in my book with the top 2 being gems. 7 & 8 are both really good but just off how I feel about the top 6. Klowns if fun but doesn't offer much more than that. Stranger Things is lifeless. It has some beautiful rooms but the house just feels like a boring book report of the show. This is the only one I do not have a desire to go in nightly.

1. Graveyard Games
Stunningly beautiful with some really good scares. Only gripes are a slow start and a lackluster ending.​
2. Universal Monsters
I love this house. Each room is packed with sets and scares. Also by my count there are 29 actors which is a lot. This house is packed with so much to take in. Only negative is how one note the creature room is and I wish the mummy portion was longer.​
3. Nightingales
I am a sucker for the tight close quarter houses with the two houses that preceded this house here being my favorites of their respective years. The cast has good energy and has a really solid back half (lion though to the ending). I also can respect the design decisions that the nightingales are a less evolved versions that we last saw and do not mind that we stay under the coliseum.​
4. Depths
Opening weekend this house had its issues and the monsters are a bit cheesy. Despite that I love the setting and have had nothing but super high energy runs from the casts week 2. They have also added a ceiling scare that was not there opening weekend.​
5. Yeti
Opening weekend had bad timing but second weekend the cast has been going very hard for scares. If this stays strong I can see this moving up into the top 3.​
6. House of 1000 Corpses
Surprisingly good. First half has a lot of imagery from the movie and they this house turns it up to 11 when you get into the catacombs on your way to Dr. Satan.​
7. Us
Great actors and beautiful sets that really take you though the movie. I can understand that if you didn't like the movie or didn't see it the house will be confusing. Have noticed that one cast is noticeable better than the other.​
8. Ghostbusters
Beautiful sets and a really fun atmosphere. Some good scares but not enough and the terror dogs really lack motion and they sit idle for way too long. Still a great house that I have a blast going though.​
9. KKFOS
House if fun and has some good sets and use of space for a shrek house. To me the movie was nothing more than a crappy fun movie and so there is no special attachment that elevates this for me since there are very little scares. I appreciate this house for the ambition and scale of some of its elements. This house is all but locked into 9 for me.​
10. Stranger Things
Enjoy the show (did not care for season 2) but this house just did nothing for me. Like I said above this house isn't bad but it is just boring, which is a worse sin in my book. Face actors are less convincing this year and the season 2 potion is just terrible with so much wasted space on huge empty rooms without scares. The tunnel is a huge waste that should have only been half its length and the demidogs are way to small, have terrible range of motion and you can barely see most of them. I would have liked this house more if it was just the season 3 portion. This house will not move from the bottom spot.

Barring any major changes I see the top 2 battling for first, 3-6 jockeying for position, and Ghostbusters and Us figuring where they want to finish relative to each other.
Overall a very solid year in my book and one that I look forward to returning to frequently.

PS- Marathon of Mayhem is great and would love for them to find a way to make this type of show a staple of the event going forward.​
 

UniversalRBLX

Veteran Member
Nov 3, 2015
2,743
Cabana Bae
This year was amazing. All the houses were fantastic and the shows were some of the best I've seen.

House Ranks:
1) Graveyard Games - I feared that they would lean heavily on the kids rather than the ghosts, but wow was it amazing. Scares were spot on and a very beautiful house. (9.5)
2) Ghostbusters - Very well done, and great scares. Whoever says this house has no scares probably got a bad run. Slimer got me twice. (9)
3) Universal Monsters - Great scares and the scenic design definitely fit the monsters. (9)
4) Nightingales - Loved how compact this house was. Was worried they wouldn't be able to capture the Roman "theme" but it worked out. (9)
5) Us - Out of all the IP mazes this year, this one was very true to the film. Creepiest house this year. (8.5)
6) Yeti - First half of the house lacks scares but the second half really makes up for it. (8.5)
7) Stranger Things - Disappointing. Didn't feel like Stranger Things, but it was still a great house. It gives me hope that next year Season 3 will be the main focus. (8)
8) House of 1000 Corpses - It was great but the scares lacked a bit. (7.5)
9) Killer Klowns - Most fun I've had in a house. This year is really hard to rank. (7)
10) Depths of Fear - really loved the scenic design but the costume design was just weird. Hopefully they improve the scares because the house is really well done. (6.5)

Scare Zones:
1) Rob Zombie - Everything about it was amazing, great scenic design and scare actors really do a great job. (10)
2) Anarch-cade - Best zone at that location of the park. (8)
3) Vanity Ball - Scare Actors really do a good job of scaring people. (7)
4) Vikings Undead - Was really hoping this would be good. After years of great zones in this space, it felt off. (5)
5) Zombieland - Not good. (4)

Shows:
1) Academy of Villains - Just wow. Was not expecting it to be that good. The contortionist really brought the show to a ten. He's been there in years prior, but that last "thing" he did was jaw dropping. Crowd was really into it. (10)
2) Marathon of Mayhem - It was really good, but wished it was 5 minutes longer with a shot of pyro at the end. Hopefully it becomes a new HHN tradition. (8.5)

Overall:
The event is still not child-friendly. There's still lots of gore (if not, even more) and the scare actors are definitely in your face a lot more this year. Overall I give the event a 9.0 rating, its giving HHN 25 a run for its money.

Going two more weekends. Hoping they improve Depths and Zombieland.
 
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