I really like the way you break it down and qualify it all. Good insight into your reasoning!1) The Exorcist—still the scariest movie ever made. Creative has a solid track record with “classic” horror flicks this decade. Fairly unique setting (don’t see a lot of Catholic demon houses). And come on, man, “Tubular Bells” in the queue!
Best Case Scenario: In conversation for top 5 of all time.
Worst Case Scenario: Limited setting/plot stymies Creative, we get what ends up being remembered as an interesting failure.
2) Ghost Town—I love Westerns, love original houses. Teaser art looks incredible.
Best Case Scenario: House of the year, inspires at least a 50/50 mix of IPs and originals next year.
Worst Case Scenario: Too politically correct for its own good, eschews too many genre tropes.
3) Tomb of the Ancients—Mostly same reasoning as Ghost Town. Also mummies have gotten short shrift in Halloween pop culture as of late, let’s let them be the monster to knock off zombies.
Best Case Scenario: Fun Indiana Jones vibe.
Worst Case Scenario: Marks a return to the tent houses being 2nd class also-rans.
4) Krampus—Boring movie, but with fun iconography. If Creative can bring that to life, should be a memorable dark humor house.
Best Case Scenario: My sleeper pick for House of the Year.
Worst Case Scenario: Feels like an unfunny derivative of Home for the Holidays with silly effects/costumes.
5) Halloween 2—Loved the first one. Glad to see an effort to disguise the fact it will be largely recycled.
Best Case Scenario: Like the movie, not the classic the original was but still fun with some effective jump scares.
Worst Case Scenario: AWiL 2.0 all over again
6) Lunatics Playground—I enjoy Chance, at least when she has Jack to bounce off of. Not sold on the new venue, not sold on the asylum concept being used once again, not sold on a 3-D house every year
Best Case Scenario: Finds new ways to make 3D fresh like the In Between and (to a lesser extent) Alice did.
Worst Case Scenario: Feels like an Alice rehash in a smaller, tighter venue.
7) American Horror Story—Not a fan of the show, tho it does have some memorable iconography (legitimately the only clown I’ve ever found scary). And Creative kept trying to secure the rights for years, their hearts will certainly be in this one, which goes a long way in making it enjoyable.
Best Case Scenario: A highlight reel from the show’s effects department—all the visuals, none of the nonsensical plots, hammy acting or musical numbers.
Worst Case Scenario: A double-length slog.
8) Texas Chainsaw Massacre—Never been a fan of any of the movies, despite being the target demo. Chainsaws are to the point of oversaturation at the event.
Best Case Scenario: Creative plays down the chainsaws, inspires me to go back and watch the movies again.
Worst Case Scenario: About same as 2007, just a forgettable house of hoss after hoss with a chainsaw.
9) TWD—tired show, tired haunt concept, recycled sets/costimes.
Best Case Scenario: House bombs hard enough to drop the IP next year.
Worst Case Scenario: This doesn’t actually prove to be the worst house at HHN26.