Discussion in 'Halloween Horror Nights 1-19' started by Brian G., Nov 2, 2009.
I knew people hated that house!
I have no idea why i liked it that much.
My ratings & explanations for HHN 19:
#8) The Spawning (C) This started off as one of my favorites on opening weekend. As I continued visiting, telling my friends how intense it was, however, I was left disappointed. The first few times I visited it was a very actor-driven house... they didn't get much to work with, so the Sculders had to give it their all for the house to be worth it. And the first few times I guess I got lucky with some intense casts. Later, though, the lack of true sets and special effects were very apparent. Why was I supposed to be frightened of these Sculders, anyway? Because they look like watered down Sleestaks? The sets consisted of repetitive grimy walls, with the only real "set piece" being the egg clumps halfway through. Where was the terror, the gore? If I saw some Sculders that actually represented some sort of danger, I may have enjoyed this house more. More variety and set pieces were needed - clearly a house Universal ran out of money on.
#7) Leave it to Cleaver (B-) Cleaver had a fantastic backstory, some great sets, and some good scares. At the beginning of the event I was very disappointed, calling it awful (a D) - but by the end it had improved significantly, as the actors got more into their roles, making it a far more immersive (and unsettling) experience. Still, while it was macabre with gorey gags galore, it wasn't all-out scary... a fun time, yes, but rarely a true haunted house. I like the idea of a comedy house, but there needs to be much more horror included for this type of house to be a success. (More rooms like the freezer, please!)
#6) Chucky: Friends Til the End (B) Chucky is a favorite film character of mine, and I adored seeing some of the sets of his films come to life (especially the factory at the end). The other rooms were excellently creatively & trippy (the ball-sack room, the etch-a-sketches, Barbie's tearoom, barrel of monkeys, & Army bunker were all excellent). The detail was solid throughout, though I was somewhat disappointed with the execution of Chucky. The short girls gave it their all and I respect that, but I feel like puppets would've given Chucky more justice, especially since he was used relatively conservatively throughout the house. Still, though, Chucky had great sets & costuming, especially for a tent house, though it did lack in scares some visits.
#5) Silver Screams (B+) Screams was as solid and elaborate as the soundstage houses. And, even though it served as the Icon house, it was the least crowded spot in the entire event. It did have its flaws - The Thing room was weak and underdeveloped, Army of Darkness & Shaun of the Dead seemed very out of place. The rest of the rooms, though (Phantom, Strangers, My Bloody Valentine) were great and frightening. The former rooms weren't poorly themed, per say, just not scary in the slightest. Bloody Valentine & the Usher rooms made up for it, though, as did the incredible facade. The only other thing going against this house was the passages in between the sets - I know they were transitions, but they were clearly defined moments where you were not being scared. Some may see it as a positive, but I saw them as unnecessary "safe zones", especially when the line backed up.
#4) The Wolfman (A-) Wolfman would've been a much better house, I feel, if the movie had been released prior to the house's debut - I think it would've allowed the scare actors to take better advantage of their roles. That said, the sets in this house were a sight to behold, and the makeup/costuming excellent... I'm glad to see they didn't cheap out with the Wolfman costumes and went for the whole make-up approach, looked fantastic. Looking back on the house, it was quite accurate to the film, and in certain cases more scary - but I think it would've been more appreciated if people actually understood what they were seeing.
#3) SAW (A-) I'm an admittedly big fan of Saw, but you have to admit this house perfectly captured the feel of the films. The setting was perfect for the Jaws queue - hands down the best house they've ever held there. Claustrophobic corridors, Tobin Bell's ominous voice haunting you, pigheads everywhere - it was any Saw fan's dream. They picked some great traps to showcase, and found creative ways to get scares without constantly resorting to the pigheads or making it seem like you were in a museum of gory traps. The finale also (again, admittedly) scared the crap out of me - had me running out of there. A job well-done Universal - the only flaw was the fact that not everyone got to see every trap due to timing.
#2) Frankenstein: Creation of the Damned (A) Who says you can't make Frankenstein scary? The steampunk take on the tale was great, with the stitched up castle setting perfectly setting up the mood. There was a constant feeling of dread and hate permeating the house, and Frankenstein's lab early on was extremely effective at building atmosphere. Even if the good Doctor looked a bit like the Mad Hatter, Frank looked terrifying for the first time in many years. Great takes on the other monsters, particularly the Bride and Igor, also helped boost this house to "A" status. I'm still attempting to figure out how they did that heart-pull trick!
#1) Dracula: Legacy in Blood (A) Dracula did everything right. A beautiful, haunting set. Brooding atmosphere. Fantastic costuming with memorable characters. An intriguing plot. An of course, effective scares. The feral brides got me every single time. The gradual transformation of Dracula into a bat-creature was brilliant, as were the floating vampyres... the whole thing was dripping with sophisticated scariness.
6.Leave it to Cleaver
1.Dracula, by far the best house of the event for me. Fallow's review of it pretty much is dead on. A near perfect house IMO!
I have been noticing that the Fangora houses are the two lowest ranked houses (via reviews). Now saying that, do you think Universal made a bad choice in having an outside haunted company sponcer two of their haunted houses?
I'm not sure the sponsorship had anything to do with it - I just felt The Spawning was uncreative and unthreatening with minimal sets/costuming... while Cleaver was a great idea that they just didn't inject enough scares into.
My run in Spawning was great, and even BriMan said that it was probably the best one he had the entire event. It was pretty epic. Dudes climbing fences. It was nuts.
Cleaver was fun, but not scary. Had some cool moments but nothing made me jump or come close to it, and I'm very jumpy.
8. Chucky - Absolute pointless, sorry guys
7. Saw - Another pointless house, it wasn't scary, you basically walked by torture scenes with people screaming for help
6. Wolfman - Yes the details were great, but I didn't get one scare in this house whatsoever
5. Spawning - I loved the sewer feel to it and the fact there were so many SAs, and looking for the roof, if you look, you will find it, so don't look.
4. LITC - I loved the campy feel of this house and the meat smell room was great
3. Dracula - Was a cool theme to it and vamps are always neat
2. Frank - I loved a steam punk frankie, lol
1. Silver Screams - This house was fantastic and they need to give Phantom his own house.
Chucky has more votes than Saw...*le sigh*
Well at least it had the longest line at any given moment...... Definitely the most popular spot for HHN 19.
I liked SAW best, but Dracula was quite good aswell.
Frankenstein and Silver Screams for the win!
I missed Dracula, Frankenstein, and Chucky completely the night I went and skipped out on the Spawning because I felt like I was going to throw up. Of all the others, Wolfman was definitely the most enjoyable. My friend and I were in the very front of the group they selected for us and we got EVERY scare in that house, so freaking good.
Runner-up is definitely Silver Screams.
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