Halloween Horror Nights 28 (UO): Reviews & Photos | Inside Universal Forums
  • Signing up for a Premium Membership is a donation to help Inside Universal maintain costs and offers an ad-free experience on the forum. Learn more about it here.

Halloween Horror Nights 28 (UO): Reviews & Photos

DestinationDoug

Newcomer
Sep 26, 2018
61
After 5 days and 78 total house walkthroughs (still at least 3 more days to come!):

1. Poltergeist (Best combination of scares and theming)
2. Trick 'r Treat (Best theming)
3. Halloween 4 (Best scares)
4. Scary Tales (Best original)
5. Carnival Graveyard
6. Stranger Things
7. Slaughter Sinema
8. Dead Exposure
9. Seeds of Extinction
10. Horrors of Blumhouse
 

JawsVictim

Veteran Member
Nov 3, 2015
1,891
Now that I’ve let my marathon weekend settle in...

1) Scary Tales
2) Dead Exposure
3) Stranger Things
4) Poltergeist
5) Seeds of Extinction
6) Trick R Treat
7) Slaughter Sinema
8) Carnival Graveyard
9) Halloween
10) Blumhouse

1) Killer Klownz
2) Vamp ‘85
3) Twisted Traditions
4) Chucky
5) Harvest

AoV: It’s OK, but not good enough to fill the void caused by Bill and Ted’s departure. The in your face, dangerous, DIY aesthetic is missed from this year’s edition.
 
Last edited:

JungleSkip

Premium Member
Feb 15, 2010
21,937
The Mushroom Kingdom
Houses:

1) Poltergeist - An incredible interpretation of the movie, tons of great scares, tones of great effects, and all together something special. Definitely one of the all-time great IP houses

2) Dead Exposure: Patient Zero - Non stop scares. Can't say enough about how fun this is.

3) Slaughter Sinema - Not the scariest, but this one just speaks to me. I love B movies, and this does them so much justice, and it has enough scares to go along with the comedy. Plus the queue video is an all-timer. #AttackOfTheSwampYeti

4) Seeds of Extinction - Tons of scares, a high energy cast, and some really cool set pieces.

5) Trick R Treat - My favorite Halloween centered movie, and once again they did it some major justice. Good scares, beautiful sets.

6) Scary Tales: Deadly Ever After - I wish I liked this one more. The sets, costumes, and effects are there...it just never came together to be something great for me. It's good, but it could have been great.

7) Stranger Things - A solid IP house with some good scares and effects, but just a bit too repetitive with the demogorgons

8) Carnival Graveyard: Rust in Pieces - Man, what a disappointment. Not a bad house, per say, but I expected some decaying carnival rides in my carnival graveyard.

9) 2Blum2house - This one seems like an IP house from 5 years ago. At the time it would have been middling. Now it just seems out of place.

10) Halloween 4 - No one cared in this house. Boring as hell. Nothing but the same character over and over again. Blah.

Zones:

Don't really have much to say about the Zones. They were all fine. I really, really liked the looks of the creatures in Twisted Traditions, so it was probably my favorite. But the rest weren't all that great. Not bad, but not much to write home about.

All in all, the event was strong. Probably the strongest house lineup I've ever seen. But overall it still doesn't top 21 or 25 for me. The loss of Bill and Ted leaves a huge hole in the lineup. Academy of Villains just can't keep the same interest, especially in a year where crowds are even bigger due to Stranger Things.

Also, closing 1/2 the rides just doesn't work when Gringotts was pulling a 60min wait at 10:30.
 

NickC

Newcomer
Feb 14, 2008
98
Orlando, FL
Last year I did an Unmasking the Horror tour and took some 360° photos to create lights-on virtual tours of the haunted houses. They proved to be rather popular, so I did the same thing again this year - and luckily, the photo restrictions weren't as strict as they were last year, so I was able to make two long tours (Seeds of Extinction and Carnival Graveyard) and four shorter tours (Stranger Things, Scary Tales, Poltergeist and Trick 'r Treat). If you've already been to the event this year (or don't mind spoilers) check out the tours at the link below:

Halloween Horror Nights 28 - 360° Virtual Tours - California Coaster Kings




Also, while I'm here I figured I'd post a few of my favorite shots so far this year:







 

JunoSynth

Member
Sep 26, 2013
528
Morrison, CO
I don’t have any reviews for the individual houses but I will say this. I’ve been going since HHN 14 and this is now my favorite year hands down. There’s just too many good houses and zones this year. Also a lot of houses this year will easily replace some my top 10 houses throughout the years.

Funny thing my favorite year of all time used to be HHN 18 which had Scary Tales as a house also.

Overall this is one amazing year!
 

Tobias

Veteran Member
Feb 25, 2014
1,565
Having time to reflect on my September 22nd trip, I think I now have a precise ranking of the houses. As a preface, I honestly did enjoy all ten houses. So the houses on the lower half aren't bad, in some cases it's merely due to a stacked line up.

1. Poltergeist - For me this was the total package. It had great sets, great scares and a total smorgasbord of different effects which made it stand out in all the right ways. It also helps I love the movie, so this was a job well done by the creative team!

2. Slaughter Sinema - Without a doubt, this house was the most "Fun" of them all. I love B/Schlocky movies, so this was right up my alley and just delivered laugh after scare after laugh. The ranking of this house also get's one heck of a boost due to my first run-through where the friggin' Swamp Yeti sent me to the floor. I did not expect a horror comedy house to get that kind of reaction out of me.

3. Dead Exposure: Patient Zero - This house probably had the most the prove since I was expecting this to be the scariest one for me, and it fully delivered in every way. While the Swamp Yeti in Slaughter Sinema was the first scare which made me hit the deck, Dead Exposure was the first house which had me sweating from fear.

4. Stranger Things - While it was dead last in my anticipation list, this house thoroughly surprised me. While I knew the sets were gonna' be good, the lookalike's and the fact it was a lot scarier then I thought it would be ended up launching this into my top 5.

5. Carnival Graveyard: Rust in Pieces - I'll admit this one and #6 were hard to place one over the other. I personally dug the heck out of this house, and while this one wasn't as big on scares as others, I adored the theme and the set design. There's so many big and little details, and I keep looking back on this house more then any other. Not to mention this house felt super long, which is impressive considering it shared the soundstage with...

6. Scary Tales: Deadly Ever After - I loved this house, the theme is right up my alley and it certainly provided some nice scares. So why did I put Carnival Graveyard one over this? I had to get to the nitty gritty, and it came down to length. As I said with CG: RIP, that house felt super long. Scary Tales on the other hand, it felt a little short.

7. Trick 'r Treat - This house was gorgeous, and felt like a decent length even with multiple huge scenes/set pieces. This is one of the houses where it's just down at #7 simply because of the stacked lineup...that and if I had to nitpick, I personally wanted more wolves.

8. Seeds of Extinction - This was another good looking house, though unfortunately while I got some hard hitting scares at the beginning, the timing was off for most of the house where my friend got the bulk of the scares.

9. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers - While the set's were generic/not very memorable, the cast was very memorable for me. They were very aggressive and it ramped up real nice throughout the house. This one is low solely due to the set's not standing out.

10. Horrors of Blumhouse - This one's tricky. On one hand the set's were more memorable then Halloween 4, and the cast was doing a good job as well. The issue I have and the reason this is #10 is the short First Purge segment not really working for me, especially after the Happy Death Day segment which was really fun! Out of all the houses, this is the only one where the ending fell a little flat, so with a stacked lineup, that's what put's it on the bottom.

Overall once again, this was a awesome first year for me. The only downside I see is 29 has some big shoes to fill.
 

DannyPowers

Veteran Member
Apr 29, 2016
1,513
Ok. Now that the dust has settled in my mind. I'm ready to put my thoughts on paper for the year.

Overall Thoughts
-This year was crowwwwded, and crowds seemed to stay later than in previous years. The week we go typically has at least one day where I would call crowd levels "low". Not this year.

-There wasn't a "bad" house in the whole bunch. One of the strongest line-ups in years. Sure, there were ones that felt a bit understaffed, or uninspired. But each one had at least something that stood out as unique.

-Zones were better than last year, but overall seemed a bit lackluster. Maybe they need to rethink what their overall goal with them is?

-Wait times seemed to be way off at certain points. We got in line for StTh when it was supposed to be 80mins, and was only about 45. Conversely, we waited for 35 for Blumhouse when it was only supposed to be 10.

-I'm not sure the 10th house helped with crowd control as much as a second show did. It's possible that AoV didn't draw quite as big as B&T usually did.

-They really need to just bite the bullet and commit to a full theme for the events. I'm not saying we need icons, but a full theme would really help. If this was supposed to be a "retro/80's" theme...I didn't really see much of that.

-The music that played throughout the park (not in the houses) was pretty damn terrible. Just bad ominous tones. Almost nothing memorable at all.

Scarezones
5 - The Harvest: Somewhat a re-hash of Altars of Horror from HHN27, but with much more interesting sets, and really fun costume design. Unfortunately, there wasn't a whole lot to it.

4 - Vamp '85: The mini-show was cool and all; but, it felt like most of the actors were actively avoiding guests when that wasn't going on. The opposite of what made Vamp '55 so popular. Also, they had other "stages" (news van, the hair metal band), but they weren't really used for anything and everyone congregated near the main stage.

3 - Chucky's Revenge: The individual show pieces were all unique, and the twisted take on the childhood toys had great design. Actors also seemed to be working their asses of to be entertaining as well.

2 - Twisted Traditions: Pretty much Trick 'r Treat again? That's just fine by me. The sets and props were all absolutely gorgeous, and the costume design had a great classic feel to it.

1 - Killer Klowns: Small, but powerful. Everything just worked together really well. The actors were all having an absolute blast, the lighting and props all felt dead-on, and I LOVED the smoke filled bubbles.

Houses
10 - Blumhouse 2: Not bad by any means, just nothing too groundbreaking. It would have helped if The Purge was something (anything) else.

9 - Dead Exposure: Great concept, that didn't quite work for me. One or two rooms were pretty great (hello subway). But, most of the rooms I ended up just walking through without seeing anything.

8 - Trick R Treat: Gorgeous scenic work, but a lot of the scenes felt really sparse.

7 - Halloween 4: If this had been in another location, it could have been great. Very true to the movie, and gave me some of the better scares this year (they get really close during that hallway fight).

6 - Seeds of Extinction: Very immersive. It really felt like you were walking deeper into abandoned buildings.

5 - Carnival Graveyard: Another house with absolutely stellar scenic work. The characters felt a little too generic (pretty sure some costumes were plucked right from The Fallen last year), and the story wasn't quite there.

4 - Slaughter Sinema: The fact that this is only number four on my list should tell you how good the final three are. The trailers on the facade were fantastic. Each scene was just a little big of greatness, and then you went onto the next bite.

I'm also very impressed how well timed the poster talk-ups seemed to be. I always got a tag line as I was walking past.

I just walked through this one grinning like an idiot.

3 - Scary Tales: This is why people love original sound stage houses. It had a huge, epic opening facade. Each scene tells a complete story in just one room. It was fun, while still presenting the scares.

2 - Stranger Things: What a love letter to this property. It felt like a mini episode in itself. Hell, it even had a cold open before the credits scene. Great look-a-likes throughout, and a simple yet very effective finale. Season 2 should be even better.

1 - Poltergeist: This was on the bottom of my anticipation list, and boy was I wrong. I really didn't know what the hell they were going to put in this house. The answer is, some of the most creative license I've seen them do with a property. It almost felt more like an original in some ways, but still held to the roots of the IP.
 

JunoSynth

Member
Sep 26, 2013
528
Morrison, CO
I never write up reviews but I felt I had to since this year was so good. Pardon me if my grammar is poor. I'm just too excited to get this review down while everything is still fresh in my mind.

Houses:

Standout houses

Carnival Graveyard: Rust in Pieces:
Loved this house. I came in with no expectations so maybe that's why I enjoyed it so much. Stand outs are the creepy robot clown, Ernest Lee slashing a guys throat and the Love Shack Couple. Intense, Chaotic and Beautiful is the best way I can describe it.

Scary Tales: Deadly Ever After:

This was creeeeepy. Some houses are so good I get really immersed in them and this is one of them! The Hansel and Gretel Witch was really scary! The facade was amazing of course. Sets looked amazing too.

Slaughter Sinema:

What can I say. This house stole my heart. At first was like Ehh... But like a nice girl with that unique charm I kept coming back and fell in love with her. This house has everything I could ask for.
Huge Variety (All the different sets and movies)
Beautiful sets (love the Chuck E. Cheese and Biker Room)
Scary Tall creatures (Yeti)
Smells to immerse you (Pumpkin Guts, Popcorn Smell)
Gore (Those Carved Pumpkin heads were nasty and morbid!)
Comedy (Critters chewing on corpse, Shittes Kids, Barber Chop)
Great Acting
Huge Projector at the entrance ( I love the projectors they have playing trailers related to the story and they can really elevate a house for me)

I thought about it really hard and decided to dethrone my 1# pick Ghost House. Never thought that would be possible!

Dead Exposure: Patient Zero:
Dark, Intense and Scary. This house wasn't as good when there is still light but it really shines at night. I thought the 2nd half wasn't as creepy though. The subway scene creeped me out.

Seeds of Extinction:
They did a good job at giving this subject matter a creepy setting. I really enjoyed the sound effects and lighting in this house. The Hurricane room was pretty cool too.

Poltergeist:
Honestly I didn't expect much from this house. Good thing I watched the movie before I entered. Anyway it was a really good house with nice sets and a very creepy beginning. Some of the creatures looked a little cheesy though like that one on a stick.

The rest

Halloween 4 :The Return of Michael Myers:
Not a bad house at all. Its just that the others were so good that this one didn't really stand out.

Stranger Things:
I made sure I watched the show before I entered. The sets were nice and actors were top notch. They looked like the actors from the show too. The "eleven" mannequin looked kind of silly though. lol

Trick 'r Treat:
Very good house of the movie. Again this had really nice sets. It wasn't really scary though but I go for the sets anyway so I enjoyed it.

Horrors of Blumhouse:
This house felt very generic to me so I only did it once. The only bad one of the bunch




Zones:

Revenge of Chucky - OMG I did not expect to love this zone so much! I spent most of my time here listening to Chucky Roast everyone. He was so funny and witty. I wish he was there every year! The Scare Actors in the Zone were really good also. Standouts were the Monkeys and the Cabbage Patch Kid Girl. She was funny and always going after me for some reason. HAHA. I even got to speak to Chucky and posted the video in the Chucky thread.

Twisted Tradition - Generic but pretty. The glowing pumpkin guy was cool

Vamp 85: New year's Eve - This was a cool zone. I expected to live in this zone since I love 80's music but spent most of my time in ROC lol. Anyway the Thriller show was pretty cool and I liked the News actors that were covering it.

Killer Klownz from Outer Space - The clowns did a really good job acting like the clowns in the movies. They were all very funny and interactive.

The Harvest - The most Generic zone and wasn't really a fan.




Like I said in a previous post. This year is now my favorite year of all time. It just had it all. Good Houses, Beautiful sets and Awesome Scarezones. Universal set a new standard for me as far as I'm concerned. Look forward to next year!

20181010_213214.jpg20181012_181647.jpg 20181010_234258.jpg
20181010_181935.jpg
20181005_192218.jpg
20181011_165807.jpg 20181010_181916.jpg
20181010_232905.jpg 20181007_221749.jpg
20181011_211805.jpg 20181011_213207.jpg
 
Last edited:

Sprung1

Newcomer
Aug 31, 2016
51
1) Scary Tales - amazing facade. My favorite ongoing original so I am biased but I love this house.
2) Poltergeist - we had a really bad first run during a cast change but the second run made up for it and then some. Just so sad I didn’t get to see the drop down clown in operation.
3) Dead Exposure
4) Slaughter Sinema - so much fun. The movie previews in between each scene was not as disruptive as I anticipated
5) Carnival Graveyard
6) Stranger Things - hard to live up to the hype and I think they still did a great job. Fun house. Not the best of the year but it’s still solid.
7) TrT
8) Halloween - surprisingly good. Cast killing it in here. No pun intended ;)
9) Seeds - extremely disappointing. After Tomb and then Scarecrow last year I expected them to continue the theme of having an amazing claustrophobic Original. Let down.
10) Blumhouse - awful. I loved last years too the cast made it so much fun. This year the house is just terrible in every way
 

Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
14,205
Pittsburgh, PA
I'm writing a larger piece on Parkscope about the event but here is my house ranking without commentary ;)
  1. Stranger Things
  2. Poltergeist
  3. Slaughter Sinema
  4. Trick r Treat
  5. Scary Tales
  6. Seeds of Extinction
  7. Dead Exposure
  8. Carnival Graveyard
  9. Blumhouse
  10. Halloween 4
 

OhHaiInternet95

Veteran Member
Aug 18, 2017
4,250
House rankings starting to take shape.

Poltergeist, Sinema and Dead Exposure are top tier, not sure about which order I'd put them in. Poltergeist kind of drags in the "mouth of the closet" section, but apart from that does not let up. As I said, I finally got to see the drop clown in all his glory! Was awesome. I think I speak for everyone when I say that I love when an inventive scare tactic pays off for them. The use of puppetry in this house is masterful. I think Zombieman on HNN said it best, this house really is going through the nightmares people had upon seeing the movie (it was my first horror movie, incidentally)--really, it's everything Exorcist should've been. Words cannot describe how good the wind and rain feel after standing in a sweaty-@$$ line for 70 minutes. The finale of Carol Anne calling out is truly haunting. That 360 tour someone posted really shows how fantastic this facade is. I'm quite confident they give this the AWIL treatment and bring it back in two years.

The music outside Dead Exposure gets me PUMPED. I don't know why. Great looking facade. One of the monkeys got me real good tonight. Doing this when it's still light out gives the optimal experience. I do think the second half isn't quite as memorable, though I love what they're trying to simulate with the finale--a good response to those who claim this year lacks gore. The moving image in the sewers (or is it catacombs?) is very frightening. Most aggressive cast of the event in tent 1 for the second year in a row. I still would've loved the news reports from the trailer playing in the house, but it still has some very cool sound effects (the subway).

Despite a couple missing actors in the Schittie's Kids scene, I adore Sinema. I just love the variety of these ridiculous concepts. You just KNOW Hughes had a blast listing these B-movies out. The trailers out front...oh man, those trailers. The Pumpkin Guts and Barber Chop scenes are my favorites.

Seeds was VASTLY improved tonight. I said that lower light levels would help, and I was correct. So many more SAs I didn't see coming--though I would've loved a hallway with the bloom creatures embedded into walls like in Scarecrow. The opening text with "Spores" from A:C is very foreboding...if you can read it. In line, a guy made a comment (political in nature, so I won't say what it was) that made me see this house in a whole new light, one that makes it very scary for me.

I've only been through Stranger Things once, and that was with a group on 9/21. Was SO much fun (singing along to "Should I Stay or Should I Go" was the highlight). I feel like it's one of those houses that's much more fun with a group, and combined with the ridiculous lines it has, I haven't bothered attempting it again. So Seeds and Stranger Things are the second tier.

Carnival, Scary Tales and TrT are in the next tier. Carnival has some very inventive scare tactics and is a giant easter egg hunt, but is just not as wide open as I had hoped--only one or two scenes for which that applied. Were the tin barrels louder? Because the plastic barrels were just not very loud. Wonderful use of the mirror trick.

Scary Tales and TrT suffer from the exact same problems (lacking SAs, length--but what can they really do for the latter?) as well as have the exact same things going for them (GREAT facades--a trend this year--and WONDERFUL smells). I give the edge to Scary Tales for the awesomeness that is its facade and HHNBear. All three of these have kinda been disappointments.

H4...I did it 10/4 and have zero desire to go through it again. I can see why the new movie is wiping the post-H1 canon clean.

Scare-zones:

The spinning light in Killer Klowns was unfortunately not on. When it's on, it's on the level of TrT. If it had been longer (on Fifth Avenue instead of dance-marathon) it'd be on par with AIW for GOAT.

Tradition and Chucky are quality zones. I noticed a Jem in Chucky. The monkey squirting water never gets old, nor does the operation. I just love the fact that they have a building at the front of Central Park again. These three zones are better than four of last year's zones by a long shot (I thought Festival was alright).

I noticed them try to scare in Vamp '85, so slightly better. But just not a very good zone.

Harvest..well, it's better than Altars. Long arm pumpkin guy is cool, I guess.
 
Last edited:

SeanPhilly

Rookie
Aug 17, 2016
217
This was my fifth year going, and the first time I’ve had such a difficult time ranking my favorite houses. Stellar year.

1) Dead Exposure
2) Poltergeist
3) Trick r Treat
4) Seeds of Extinction
5) Slaughter Sinema
6) Carnival Graveyard
7) Scary Tales
8) Stranger Things
9) Halloween 4
10) Blumhouse

Honestly, it may be a 9-way tie for first place. Seeds was the favorite of my two buddies I went with.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Like
Reactions: OhHaiInternet95

OhHaiInternet95

Veteran Member
Aug 18, 2017
4,250
Not really that many reviews, but at the same time, plenty of reviews that have been overwhelmingly positive. I maintain my belief that this has been a very divisive year.

Had a "quick" visit tonight. Went through Poltergeist, Scary Tales, Dead Exposure and Slaughter Sinema. Poltergeist and DE2 are still the best.

Slaughter Sinema wasn't quite as good tonight--felt on the empty side. Still, wonderful queue video, and what a terrific bunch of concepts. I would be more than happy seeing at least half of these be their own houses.

ST4, on the other hand, bounced back--the Scarecrow got me bad, and while I would be disappointed that the Witch wasn't flying at you (as it was a very haunting finishing statement), it did make for a great scare when she came out in a different spot. I do have some creative differences with some of the scenes (would've preferred to see Ariel, sorry, "Little Mermaid" having her fin sawed off, with a spare supply of legs hanging, also would've loved to see a steep chasm mirror trick for Humpty Dumpty, but they probably lacked room). Still, the cast was MUCH better tonight, so kudos to them. Facade is right there with DW, and the Hansel and Gretel scene smells so good.
 

Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 21, 2008
21,639
Orlando, FL
After 4 weekends:

1. Poltergeist
2. Scary Tales
3. Trick R Treat
4. Seeds of Extinction
5. Carnival Graveyard
6. Slaughter Sinema
7. Dead Exposure
8. Stranger Things
9. Halloween 4
10. Blumhouse
Seems like I just posted this, and now we're entering our final week. :ugh:


Updated: Dead Exposure is great, just can't do it a lot cuz strobes - so it knocks it down. Stranger Things is still solid at 9, but I've had really good runs of H4 lately so...

1. Poltergeist
2. Seeds of Extinction
3. Trick R Treat
4. Scary Tales
5. Carnival Graveyard
6. Slaughter Sinema
7. Dead Exposure
8. Halloween 4
9. Stranger Things


Last - Blumhouse


1. Klowns
2. Chucky
3. Vamp
4. Twisted
5. Harvest
 
  • Like
Reactions: OhHaiInternet95

OhHaiInternet95

Veteran Member
Aug 18, 2017
4,250
Seems like I just posted this, and now we're entering our final week. :ugh:


Updated: Dead Exposure is great, just can't do it a lot cuz strobes - so it knocks it down. Stranger Things is still solid at 9, but I've had really good runs of H4 lately so...

1. Poltergeist
2. Seeds of Extinction
3. Trick R Treat
4. Scary Tales
5. Carnival Graveyard
6. Slaughter Sinema
7. Dead Exposure
8. Halloween 4
9. Stranger Things


Last - Blumhouse


1. Klowns
2. Chucky
3. Vamp
4. Twisted
5. Harvest
Yay, someone else who likes Seeds.
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
24,860
Orlando
Let’s see...

1. Poltergeist
2. Slaughter Sinema
3. Dead Exposure
4. Stranger Things
5. Trick ‘r Treat
6. Carnival Graveyard
7. ScaryTales
8. Seeds of Extinction
9. Halloween 4
10. Horrors of Blumhouse

Poltergeist is a solid number 1, 2-8 could probably be interchangeable on any given day and Halloween 4 and Blumhouse are 100% not changing from where I have them.

1.
2.
3
4.
5. Vamp

No real opinion on the zones except for how bad Vamp 85 is. I mean, the least they could do is at least give the courtesy to pretend to try. Instead they just talk with their friends.