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HHN XX - Why the Hate?

TylerDurden

Veteran Member
Oct 14, 2012
1,475
After joining these boards, I've noticed what seems to be a lot of contempt for HHN XX. I'm just curious as to why people on here seemed to not enjoy it that much and what their favorite year is that they're comparing it to. I personally loved the event and I don't know if it's maybe because I just happened to go with fun people throughout or what but when I think about the houses, I remember loving all of them, especially Legendary Truth and Hades, one of the most intense house experiences I've ever had. I also remember Catacombs and Havoc being pretty intense, and Zombiegeddon was a lot of fun for me, one I wanted to go through several times. Hallow'd Past was also really great in my opinion but I can understand the lack of originality maybe turning some people off. The only one I don't remember well is Psychoscareapy but even then I don't remember it being 'bad' per se. So what is it about XX that makes it such a low mark for you guys?
 

Splatter

Veteran Member
Nov 29, 2009
2,614
I think there were many variables that people were not comfortable with.

1. The hype of a new decade with an Icon to end all Icons. This was supposed to be the evil presence behind the very Icons we saw, and what we got was a neat looking character on stilts but he did little else besides pose for photos. No Epic backstory, and really no backstory at all.

2. A lot of it was just sort of like Sixteen. Some of the houses I thought were awesome where others I thought fell flat. It was as if there was a group of people who wanted to push boundries and go for what the event does best and another group felt 20 needed to be a revisit to the best of. After we just had that four years prior and done very well in 16 it would of been better in many people's minds if we would of just gotten all new rather than a revisit.

3. Things the I feel the event is typically great at was lacking. There were queue videos that played slideshows and clips of video from previous years that related nothing to the year. So it seemed kind of a waste to revisit a clip of The Thing Assimilation while waiting in line for Psychoscarepy. Just a lot of waste opportunity. Nothing against the houses but the atmosphere was sometimes off.

4. Scarezones were not the best. They were a lot of fun in my opinion but nothing on the scale of what they were doing prior. They went the way more of the photo ops. A problem many scare zones turn into, but even with that I felt the concept was a bit too easy. Having too similar zones near each other did not help for me perosnally. You had the zone of props from years passed with random bits of house and zone props and homages right next to a zone full of homages and icons of years passed. Seemed too similar and right near each other. That was sort of half of the park's zones offerings that year.

5.Some big misses from a fan/nerd perspective. I mean you had 20 years of HHN, with the legacy of Universal horror in general and they completely failed to have Norman Bates at the event anywhere. A character who was with the event since year one. They did not shy away from other movie property characters or enviroments, so I am not sure why Norman got the shaft completely. Even if only a reference scene in Hallow'd Past or a Scare Zone.

For the record I still enjoyed the event but in no way was I impressed with it as a whole or into it like I had been in years prior or since. It was my least favorite year if I had to pick one since I have been going in 2003.
 

knokout1

Premium Member
Jun 25, 2009
782
Tampa
I don't think it's so much people don't enjoy particular years, and everyone has fun every year they go (at least I think so, I know I do), I think it's that people have seen what Universal can do, and know there is so much more potential there.
 

TylerDurden

Veteran Member
Oct 14, 2012
1,475
I don't think it's so much people don't enjoy particular years, and everyone has fun every year they go (at least I think so, I know I do), I think it's that people have seen what Universal can do, and know there is so much more potential there.
I understand that (it's why I'm so disappointed with this year), but I thought that compared to other years it was great! It had more original houses than the year before and my first year attending, and was in my opinion scarier (though less violent and atmospheric maybe) than 18. I thought the houses set a new standard. But I guess I see what you're saying.

And a lot of what you said makes a lot of sense too, Splatter. I can see how maybe older vets would be disappointed.
 

Clive

aka Fallow
Staff member
Moderator
May 26, 2010
3,540
I understand that (it's why I'm so disappointed with this year), but I thought that compared to other years it was great! It had more original houses than the year before and my first year attending, and was in my opinion scarier (though less violent and atmospheric maybe) than 18. I thought the houses set a new standard. But I guess I see what you're saying.

And a lot of what you said makes a lot of sense too, Splatter. I can see how maybe older vets would be disappointed.
HHNXX took many steps back from some of the other years in terms of design and presentation. It was far less violent, as you mentioned, the beginning of the dumbing down of content that has been going on the past three years. FEAR was a last minute decision and it showed. The houses were mostly middling, the scares were mostly photo ops (though pretty ones). It lost the "world building" the past few years had been working towards.
 

TylerDurden

Veteran Member
Oct 14, 2012
1,475
I've only been going since 17 (the most intense year for me, but then again, I was an HHN virgin when I went so that probably had a lot to do with its scare factor), what have I been missing that was there in the previous years?
 

Clive

aka Fallow
Staff member
Moderator
May 26, 2010
3,540
I've only been going since 17 (the most intense year for me, but then again, I was an HHN virgin when I went so that probably had a lot to do with its scare factor), what have I been missing that was there in the previous years?
I've only been attending since 18, actually. HHNXX was missing a proper icon, a proper backstory laden website, a strong lineup of houses or zones, an overarching "world" for atmosphere, victims (with the exception of the spine girl for the Body Collectors vignette), gore, projection effects (random #s strewn about don't count), a strong/coherent marketing campaign, a proper entryway, many little things... It was a big step back in a lot of respects from 08-09.
 

Octobers Fade

DEAD inside
Premium Member
Jul 10, 2010
6,081
NoRemorse Cemetery
Lame Icon, cool idea.
LT house was joke, unless you like a mile of hallways, it was heavily dependent on timing.
Havok... bulkheads and sound activators, oh my!
Hades, took the tour..... but saw none of the "cool" things mentioned in action later that night... or the next.
And I could go on about the cast changes and lack of Scareactors with all the dead spots through all the houses...

Disapointing year do me, after two very good years.
 
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Clive

aka Fallow
Staff member
Moderator
May 26, 2010
3,540
The houses sans Catacombs were kinda meh. 2011 had far superior houses.
This, above all. I could have forgiven some of the event's other flaws had the house lineup been stellar... and it wasn't. 2011 had the best house lineup hands down in the years I've attended... 2010 had the worst. (IMO 2012 isn't impressive at all, either, but House of Horrors & Gothic & Dead End are all better than 2010's efforts).

All IMO:
Psychoscareapy was a misguided bore
Legendary Truth was a good effort but forgot to actually have a plot, decent costumes, and generally be scary
Hades just underwhelmed with too many missed opportunities
Zombiegeddon felt generic and while I liked ZAP it just never really gelled
Orfanage I actually liked a lot for the atmosphere & casts, but it could've (and should've) been even better
Catacombs was rock solid
HAVOC had great casts but the house itself was poor
Hallow'd Past = one giant missed opportunity, though a handful of fun scenes
 

Octobers Fade

DEAD inside
Premium Member
Jul 10, 2010
6,081
NoRemorse Cemetery
This, above all. I could have forgiven some of the event's other flaws had the house lineup been stellar... and it wasn't. 2011 had the best house lineup hands down in the years I've attended... 2010 had the worst. (IMO 2012 isn't impressive at all, either, but House of Horrors & Gothic & Dead End are all better than 2010's efforts).

All IMO:
Psychoscareapy was a misguided bore
Legendary Truth was a good effort but forgot to actually have a plot, decent costumes, and generally be scary
Hades just underwhelmed with too many missed opportunities
Zombiegeddon felt generic and while I liked ZAP it just never really gelled
Orfanage I actually liked a lot for the atmosphere & casts, but it could've (and should've) been even better
Catacombs was rock solid
HAVOC had great casts but the house itself was poor
Hallow'd Past = one giant missed opportunity, though a handful of fun scenes
Agreed.
 

TylerDurden

Veteran Member
Oct 14, 2012
1,475
Interesting. I must have been lucky with timing I guess haha, though I agree 2011 had the best house lineup ever.
 

Clive

aka Fallow
Staff member
Moderator
May 26, 2010
3,540
Hallow'd Past was pretty decent. I had more fun in the streets that year than anything else and by streets I mean 20 Years of Fear.
Yeah, Hallow'd Past had good/scary scenes - they scenes were just not very well chosen, it came across as "2008 redux" rather than "The Hallow'd Past." There were easy opportunities to incorporate stuff like Psycho, People Under the Stairs, Classic Monsters (09 Frank doesn't count), Terra Cruentes, RUN, etc.... we didn't need two (or even one) room for Dead Exposure no matter how much I adore that house.

And of course, no FEAR at all was a mortal sin.

I just wish they would have merged the two.
Yeah, that would've made more sense and reduced a lot of confusion. And frankly, "Fear Revealed" needed to be an "Arrival" type show with the rest of the icons, with a proper "photo op" after... billing it as a scare zone didn't really work. It wasn't really scary at all.
 

YETI PINTRADER

Veteran Member
May 9, 2008
2,839
South Florida
XX is honestly my favorite year behind 18. I liked the lack of gore and victims, because for me it made the scares directed toward the guests. I may have just been lucky but I had scareactors attack me multiple times in many of the houses. The only house I didn't like was LT, and 7 out of 8 houses being great is not a bad scorecard at all. I also didn't really like 21's houses nearly as much as I did 22. I felt that the actors were a lot more reserved during 21 compared to 22 which really put it ahead.
 

TylerDurden

Veteran Member
Oct 14, 2012
1,475
XX is honestly my favorite year behind 18. I liked the lack of gore and victims, because for me it made the scares directed toward the guests. I may have just been lucky but I had scareactors attack me multiple times in many of the houses. The only house I didn't like was LT, and 7 out of 8 houses being great is not a bad scorecard at all. I also didn't really like 21's houses nearly as much as I did 22. I felt that the actors were a lot more reserved during 21 compared to 22 which really put it ahead.
Good so I'm not crazy hahaha
 

Splatter

Veteran Member
Nov 29, 2009
2,614
See that is funny because the Soundstage actors I encountered during 21 had the most energy maybe of any year I have went or up there with some of the best energy of me going since 03. Especiallly Nightingales from my experience. It just goes to show you that with HHN. It is a relative wildcard.
 

Jakemeister

Premium Member
Feb 1, 2008
5,830
Central, Fl
See that is funny because the Soundstage actors I encountered during 21 had the most energy maybe of any year I have went or up there with some of the best energy of me going since 03. Especiallly Nightingales from my experience. It just goes to show you that with HHN. It is a relative wildcard.
The amount of variables in having a decent house run is so subjective. It takes a lot of runs to get a really good gauge of how a cast is overall. You could have a great run one cast, and terrible another.