Halloween Horror Nights 29 (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 29 (UO): Reviews & Photos

MrRoamer

Premium Member
May 20, 2013
2,164
Local
I've purposely not posted any of my first reviews, since I feel pretty conflicted. I've been 8 or 9 times so far, and I don't think I'm feeling this year and don't think it is going to be remembered very fondly.

Overall broad strokes, the streets are a mess, None of the houses are standout front runners like we've had several of the past years, two of the houses are currently in the running for least liked of all time (Stranger Things and Depths of Fear), and a lot of things don't feel as tight as normal.

We have had some amazing runs, our first run of Ghostbusters was absolutely perfect, Us is super unnerving, Graveyard Games has had some great moments, and AoV is back and hitting pretty hard.

Current Ranking
1) Monsters
2) Graveyard Games
3) Us
4) Ghostbusters
5) House of 1000 Corpses
6) Klowns
7) Yeti
8) Nightingales
9) Depths
10) Stranger Things
 

Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
14,189
Pittsburgh, PA
two of the houses are currently in the running for least liked of all time (Stranger Things and Depths of Fear)
Could you elaborate on this more, especially the Depths one? I found Depths pretty good after they scaled back the Brooders. My last trip through I was alone, go the shirt scared out of me, and it was super intense. As much as I'm disappointed in ST2.0 it's not as bad as Dracula Untold, Roanoke, Chance, TWD 25, or even Saw.
 

MrRoamer

Premium Member
May 20, 2013
2,164
Local
Could you elaborate on this more, especially the Depths one? I found Depths pretty good after they scaled back the Brooders. My last trip through I was alone, go the shirt scared out of me, and it was super intense. As much as I'm disappointed in ST2.0 it's not as bad as Dracula Untold, Roanoke, Chance, TWD 25, or even Saw.
Yeah most of those on your list were pretty bad except for MEAT!!!

We were talking about it last night what we weren't liking and trying to figure it out. I think it comes down to a whole lot of "Hey they said the title of the movie in the movie!!!" It just feels like the same thing over and over again without any mix up.

In regards to Depths, it definitely has gotten better without the fish men, but it feels like the cast is trying as hard as they can to make a broken house work. I think the difference between Havoc and this is that Havoc relied so much on the cast they were able to turn it around themselves. It feels like Depth relied on the monsters and the gags they were going for and it hampers the ability of the cast to save it. The house is too close quarters for them to be able to do much, although last Thursday I did see a full outfit Brooder run full speed at a boo hole for a scare which was fantastic.

ST2.0 for me is the worst house they have done because they had a ton to work with and instead punted on some pretty major scenes. The fact that they took the season 2 finale and turned it into a worse GAME OVER Resident Evil Room a horrible waste. Add on the giant Mindflayer that is barely active, it just feels like a huge waste of time and money for A&D.

The miss on major show scenes seems to permeate a lot of houses this year. Stay Puft feels weird because you just see a head that all of a sudden catches fire with no reason (yes I know its just like the movie, but in context if someone were to have never seen it, would look weird), the giant pop out in Klowns doesn't seem to work most the time, the Mindflayer, the portal, the disco fish in Depths.

I love HHN and always will, but in my opinion just because you love something doesn't mean it gets a free pass and you shouldn't be critical of it.
 

Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
14,189
Pittsburgh, PA
Yeah most of those on your list were pretty bad except for MEAT!!!

We were talking about it last night what we weren't liking and trying to figure it out. I think it comes down to a whole lot of "Hey they said the title of the movie in the movie!!!" It just feels like the same thing over and over again without any mix up.

In regards to Depths, it definitely has gotten better without the fish men, but it feels like the cast is trying as hard as they can to make a broken house work. I think the difference between Havoc and this is that Havoc relied so much on the cast they were able to turn it around themselves. It feels like Depth relied on the monsters and the gags they were going for and it hampers the ability of the cast to save it. The house is too close quarters for them to be able to do much, although last Thursday I did see a full outfit Brooder run full speed at a boo hole for a scare which was fantastic.

ST2.0 for me is the worst house they have done because they had a ton to work with and instead punted on some pretty major scenes. The fact that they took the season 2 finale and turned it into a worse GAME OVER Resident Evil Room a horrible waste. Add on the giant Mindflayer that is barely active, it just feels like a huge waste of time and money for A&D.

The miss on major show scenes seems to permeate a lot of houses this year. Stay Puft feels weird because you just see a head that all of a sudden catches fire with no reason (yes I know its just like the movie, but in context if someone were to have never seen it, would look weird), the giant pop out in Klowns doesn't seem to work most the time, the Mindflayer, the portal, the disco fish in Depths.

I love HHN and always will, but in my opinion just because you love something doesn't mean it gets a free pass and you shouldn't be critical of it.
Thanks for clarifying. I agree with your final point which is why I was interested in your expanded thoughts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MrRoamer

Necessaryevil

Rookie
May 13, 2018
106
Well we completed our last visit yesterday for this year and I'm not sure if the full moon had an impact but it was far greater than the last 3.

The casts in every house were on it coming at us left, right and centre, sometimes for multiple scares without even going back into the boo holes.

Only gaps we saw was a lack of cast in Ghostbusters and Yeti. No slimers at all in GB and quite a few missing yetis in yeti which was a shame as always had a good run in yeti.

I had posted in the other thread that I preferred 28 to 29 and even after last night I still do but was awesome to get a great run at the houses and it moved it from good to great. Shows what being in the right place at the right time can do.

A few individual comments:

Depths of fear.
Had poor runs at this so wasnt even going to bother going through again but last night was immense. Everyone going for it. Really did feel like they know people have been negative and they are trying to turn it around.

Stranger things.
Some great potential. Feel like it would have been better being all season 3 as I enjoyed the end of the house far more than the start. Was fun to see Mad Max as Michael Myers last night though as hadn't seen that once so far.

Ghostbusters.
Great house to look at with some great ideas. Unfortunately the Ghostbusters just sort of stand there so half the "scares" are just like hello. The ghosts offer the better potential.

Killer Klownz.
Even though it's not too scary I have had a great time in this house. I love how they know the klownz are too big for usual scares so have gone for distraction and then scare. Possibly one of my favourites this year.

Graveyard games.
After reading about this one I so wanted to love it. For previous runs I was always in the wrong place to fully enjoy it such as the wrong end of the candle room etc. I know this can be said of a lot of the scares but you normally get the tail end of a actor scare. Last night saved it for me and if it ever happened this would be one of the houses that really would benefit from pulsing of the line.

Universal monsters. Fun especially the last Frank who always got me even though I know he is there.

US. To echo other peoples comments if I hadn't seen the film I would be lost but again last night the cast were on fire and really brought it. Well played Pluto. You got me.

Marathon of mayhem. Amazing.

Scarezones. Meh.
 
Last edited:

ReelJustice

Premium Member
Aug 6, 2008
3,954
Universal City
Took my parents for the first time. My mom and sister were absolutely terrified after watching videos on YouTube before the trip. After 4 nights: “it isn’t scary enough; we were really looking forward to getting scared.”

and more:

“there were a lot of empty spaces where people (actors) should have been.”
 

qwerty

Newcomer
Mar 17, 2016
48
Thought I'd give a small review, as someone who only got to experience 1 night...

so first of all, I went on monday the 21st which was a weird night since apparently actors were out of position to fill in spots. There was akso a weather delay, resulting in some empty boo holes early in the night especially. That being said, I think going on monday was worth it since crowds were very low. I realize houses are timing-dependent so a review of one run through is not always accurate, but here it goes anyways:

1. House of 1000 Corpses: best house by far for me. Perfectly followed the movie right down to those wacky movie transitions. My group also managed to go through the first 3-4 rooms alone, which led to the first Spaulding basically giving his entire monolog to me directly! Great cast, scares and details! Hoping to keep Rob Zombie on the wheel and get Devil's Rejects as a house next year! both his house and zone gave hhn29 the best vibes of the event, in my opinion.

2. Nightingales: beautiful facade and the best scares of the night! that cast was aggressive af! not only was the cast in the house amazing, but the cast being switched out were scaring people in line, banging on garbage cans as they were walking away. decor/details were not too impressive and quite forgettable, but the quantity of scares was able to bump this house to my #2 spot for fun alone.

3. Universal Monsters: this house has everything: beautiful, with scares and memorable characters. That Phantom guy got me GOOD, he was right in my face. This house got the praise it deserved.

4. Yeti: I liked this house for how different it was compared to the rest, it was just refreshing to go into a house with a totally different feel. Decent scares although I didn't catch all of them. Also I missed door yeti that I heard about on here.

5. Graveyard Games: I loved the dark hallway though and the room with the graves of people where you didn't know who's real and who's fake. A few good scares (first guy with spray can got me!) but not higher on my list because it overall felt quite generic.

6. Depths of Fear: only 2 mouthbrooder in the entire house and many visible holes, but the remaining cast were giving their all so I have to give them kudos! Overall a fun house, loved the snake puppet thing coming from the ceiling. Just not memorable enough to earn a top spot.

Up until this point, I'm pleased with the houses. The next few were disappointing to me.

7. KKfOS: not scary at all and way too short. Klownzilla was impressive, but apart from that the house felt cheap to me. Not a fan...

8. Ghostbusters: what a disappointment! I knew going in that this house was supposed to be not too scary but more effects-driven. But honestly, I don't think the effects were impressive enough to make up for lack of scares. I mean yes, the effects were there, but I feel like it's nothing we haven't seen before in the park or in another house. My friend whos first hhn it was actually innocently said "so this house is like for kids, right?", um no...

Did not get a chance to do US or Stranger Things. We knew we wouldn't have time for all houses due to having to leave at a certain time and chose to leave these two out, hopefully we made the right choice.


As for the zones, I need to start by saying that the extremely heavy humidity on monday caused the fog to stick around longer + extra steam which gave such an amazing atmosphere! I actually got some scares in the streets, which usually rarely happens, due to the low visibility. Best zone goes to Rob Zombie, hands down. I love that old school heavy metal vibe. Vanity Ball was good too, with actors actively trying to scare (I heard on here that the VB actors just sit around talking to friends, but luckily I saw none of that one monday). Anarchade was beautiful, all there is to say. Vikings was very cool with all that extra fog, I think that central park region hasn't been foggy enough since hhn25 so this was nice. Zombieland was the only real disappointment. I felt the actors were really trying their best, but the NY area just had no ambiance at all, which is sad seeing as it's the largest zone.

Overall a good year though. For me, both the rob zombie house and zone are in some of my top since attending the event (been attending since HHN25 except27), but apart from those two, I rate 29 as being on par with 28, and below 25 and 26. Bring on HHN30!!
 

jrn14

Veteran Member
Dec 21, 2016
1,357
Just back on Saturday from a week at Uni and two nights at HHN29. I needed sometime to unwind before I rehashed the week, but I did my unscientific ranking and I will edit in my reviews/reasonings.

This is my rough ranking for my two nights at HHN29.


10. Nightingales Blood Pit
9. Graveyard Games
8. Stranger Things
7. Depths of Fear
6. Revenge of the Yeti
5. US
4. Killer Klownz From Outer Space
3. House of 1,000 Corpses
2. Universal Monsters
1. Ghostbusters
 

Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 21, 2008
21,629
Orlando, FL
Just back on Saturday from a week at Uni and two nights at HHN29. I needed sometime to unwind before I rehashed the week, but I did my unscientific ranking and I will edit in my reviews/reasonings.

This is my rough ranking for my two nights at HHN29.


10. Nightingales Blood Pit
9. Graveyard Games
8. Stranger Things
7. Depths of Fear
6. Revenge of the Yeti
5. US
4. Killer Klownz From Outer Space
3. House of 1,000 Corpses
2. Universal Monsters
1. Ghostbusters
any particular reason why you have several of the general consensus of favorite houses near the bottom?
 

jrn14

Veteran Member
Dec 21, 2016
1,357
I honestly did my rankings before looking at others rankings so it was not intentional. I did hear some WOM about Graveyard Games being really good which may have raised my expectations and they might not have been met exactly.

I did go Monday the 21st and there were a lot of empty boo holes that night. My second trip was Wednesday the 23rd.

Did Ghostbusters/Stranger Things 3 times
Nightingales only once and everything else twice.

Almost everything improved from Monday to Wednesday... (except GG wasn't much better for me... and might have actually had a worse run on Wednesday)

I would say I loved houses 1-6 though

I'll elaborate more later.
 

Stitch_101

Member
Feb 11, 2015
598
Destin
My first night of this year was Thursday October 17th, with this passed Sunday marking my 4th and final night of the event. Night one was done via RIP Tour, and night 3 was done with Express. The other 2 nights were Sundays and done to enjoy the scare zones (as much as you can enjoy them this year) hit up our personal favorite houses and just have a lazy evening enjoying the HHN atmosphere.

As far as houses go, this year was... interesting for me to say the least. I'll just jump into my list to explain:

1) Yeti: Yeti was the one house that I tended to forget or overlook while thinking about HHN before finally attending this year. Not that I thought it sounded bad, simply because the line up of Ghostbusters, Klowns, Universal Monsters and the promising theme behind Graveyard Games drew my attention away from it... and maybe that was for the best, because man this house took me by surprise. My first run through won me over immediately, and more than that we walked into the house with probably the most perfect timing I've ever had with any HHN house. I'd wager that ever single scare in the house hit our group full throttle, one even accomplishing what no house in HHN history has been able to do: it literally scared me to the floor. All subsequent run throughs were just as fun, and even if scares weren't hitting me head on, that was ok because it gave me a chance to appreciate the design of the house and enjoy watching others get the same treatment I got my first run through. Yeti isn't just my HOTY this year, it has entered my top ten houses of HHN ever!

2) Universal Monsters: Universal Monsters delivered for me so much and I walked through every time with a massive smile on my face. I loved the design of the creatures and house itself (though admittedly the Creature section let me down a tad), the Easter eggs spread throughout and the how aggressive the cast was on all of my walkthroughs. If Yeti hadn't surprised the way it did, it would have been my number one this year.

3) Graveyard Games: This house was so detailed and incredible to look at. Had I had slightly better timing in my walkthroughs, it may have crept up and overtaken Universal Monsters, but even regardless of that it was a lot of fun. Setup of the plot both outside the house and inside was well done, and the final black whispering hallway gave me goosebumps!

4) Killer Klowns: This house was straight up fun! I loved how they didn't let the size and restrictions of the clown costume hinder them from providing some good scares, but instead built a few unique scares around them instead. Seeing Klownzilla made me giddy. And props to the OPs guy next to the interactive buttons for helping make it known "hey push these" without taking us out of the moment.

5) House Of 1000 Corpses: This was a house I expected to be far lower on my list than it was. The first thing I noticed that really made me appreciate it were the hallways and rooms with screens on both the wall on ceilings helping get across the "grindhouse" feel of the film. Many in my group when we left the first time mentioned that the house wasn't as gory as they were expecting given the movie, but I counter that the film actually isn't as gory as people tend to remember. Yes, its twisted and demented, but similar to the original Texas Chainsaw, many of the situations are so demented that our minds filled in the gore that wasn't really seen on screen. All in all, a pleasant surprise and hands down the best house done in that tent.

6) Ghostbusters: I wanted this house to be higher up on my list soooooo bad. I am an avid Ghostbusters fan, and this house was my most anticipated of the year. My disappointment with it stems from two different reasons. One: because the universe was conspiring against me, ever single one of my walkthroughs were soooooo ill timed. Six walkthroughs spread out over four nights, and only one of the scares or scenes actually seemed to hit. Two: like what happens with more effects heavy houses, the house was clearly not up to opening day condition. So many of the effects were not working as well as they should have, and likely did, earlier in the event. For example, the demon hands on the chair were clearly broken. All of that said, the set design was amazing and it was fun getting to be "in" a movie I love so much. I had a discovery moment the second run through were I noticed the library ghost walking behind the first bookcase when you walk in that made me cheer. All in all, I feel like Ghostbusters would have been much higher on my list if I had visited earlier in its run, but as it stands I have to rate it based on what I actually experienced.

7) Nightingales: The original Nightingales is one my my all time favorite HHN houses, so approached this one with with cautious optimism. My first issue was the redesign of the Nightingales themselves. The original design was so amazing, why the felt the need to change them is beyond me. Secondly, the house rarely made me feel like I was in "ancient Greece" and for the most part it felt like it could have been any indiscript tunnels or catacombs. The saving factor was, on our last two nights, the cast got SUPER aggressive and managed to get some really great scares. And I loved the lions. Overall, this was just a decent HHN house that felt short of the original.

8) Depths Of Fear: Depths Of Fear was another interesting one for me as my issues were the exact opposite of Nightingales. I loved the design and story of this one, but the scares were just not there. And the design of the creatures seemed almost comical to me as opposed to the darker serious tone of the rest of the house. Again, not a bad house, but just average for me.

9) Us: I can appreciate what they were attempting to do with Us. I enjoyed the movie for what it was, and felt like the overall design was done well enough. The scare tactics they mostly used here just were not my cup of tea. I did love the use of the music from the film and the funhouse portions, but that is probably the only positives I have. As a counter to this however, the house did in fact hit for my husband who can't stop talking about it. It was his second favorite of the event, so this house is IMO the most divisive and polarizing this year. Seems like you either love it or hate it.

10) Stranger Things: I wanted to like Stranger Things... I really did. I really enjoyed last years house and I love the show. But aside from the mind flayer finale that wowed me the first walkthrough and the cabin scene, the house just fell flat. The choice of scenes to portray was baffling at times, and the cast just didn't seem completely committed. It was the only house we did only twice: once on our RIP tour, and once when we had express. Any other time, it just seemed like a waste of time.

Onto the scarezones. They disappointed this year. Vanity Ball and Hellbilly Deluxe were the two I liked the "best" this year, but in any other year would likely fall on the lower end of the scarezone rankings for me.

As far as the shows are concerned, they were both firing on all cylinders this year. Academy of Villians surprised after how lackluster and over bloated I found their show last year and reminded me of why I loved them so much their first year. Marathon Of Mayhem was just brilliant. Probably one of my favorite things HHN has done in years! I'm hoping it returns and continues to evolve!

The tribute store this year was amazing. I bought far more merch this year than I have in years past simply because the tribute store kept drawing me back in.

After years, I finally tried Pizza Fries. Liked them alot. Also tried Smores Fries (husband tried to hog them all, so I only had a couple bites) and some street corn. Ok ok, I may have had a LOT of street corn. Loved it.

So, that is my overall thoughts on this years event. Far from the greatest year for sure, but I don't think it's as weak as some people have made out. They introduced some great new things, the houses mostly hit for me and the shows were killer. If they could have just made the scarezones work better I feel like this year would be remembered a little more fondly than I think it will me by a lot of people on here.
 
Last edited:

jrn14

Veteran Member
Dec 21, 2016
1,357
Just back on Saturday from a week at Uni and two nights at HHN29. I needed sometime to unwind before I rehashed the week, but I did my unscientific ranking and I will edit in my reviews/reasonings.

This is my rough ranking for my two nights at HHN29.


10. Nightingales Blood Pit
9. Graveyard Games
8. Stranger Things
7. Depths of Fear
6. Revenge of the Yeti
5. US
4. Killer Klownz From Outer Space
3. House of 1,000 Corpses
2. Universal Monsters
1. Ghostbusters
Elaborating.

10. Nightingales Blood Pit - I only got one run through this early on Monday. I'm not sure what was going on Monday especially early in the evening… It really was a double edge sword. We were able to do all 10 houses, Stranger Things and Ghostbusters twice, saw AOV, ate, rode a ride or two, but there were soooo many empty boo holes and missing scare actors. If I didn’t get subsequent runs in most of these houses on Wednesday so much wouldn’t have made sense. Maybe Nightingales unfairly suffers here because it was the only house we did just once on Monday. I appreciated the façade and I like the overall theming here, but I swear I saw like 4 actors in this house… lots of static figures… fake dead horses on the ground… The one cool effect my friends mentioned about the gladiator punching the person’s head off I missed. Also I appreciate the concept of the Nightingales and that they are original creatures but the like two I saw did not look scary to me and more just confusing… looked like a person in a mask from Spirit Halloween store… Also didn’t help that I saw one leaving the scareactor dining on the street and it was clearly like a 4’10 girl. Wish I gave it another shot because I do appreciate what was TRYING to be done here.

9. Graveyard Games- I think on Wednesday my timing was off here.. I appreciated the setup and the facebook feed projection outside to set the story. I liked the first room with the punk kid with the spray paint kind of setting the stage. I do think they did a decent job with the sets making it feel like a real graveyard, but I feel like it was lacking scares and or actors possibly. There were a few good scares with some statues and I liked the skeleton children effect. In the last room with the kids on Monday one or two jumped out and scared us… On Wednesday I slowly walked through the room and no children popped out to scare… not sure there were any actors in that room. Also both times I looked for the male punk after the first room and he never showed up again though the female showed up 3 times (once living and twice dead). Also maybe I was missing something or it was broken… but there is a weird effect where a glowing blue poncho floats towards you on a clothes line???? There has to be more to this because it looked really odd, out of place and not scary. I was just kind of hoping that since the theme for this house was rather generic everything else would be A+ but it just kind of fell flat for me.

8. Stranger Things- I still liked this but I echo what others have said that combining Season 2 and 3 was a mistake. The whole thing felt rather disjointed and a bit confusing trying to piece together what scenes each room was pulling from. I feel like way more could have been done from season 3 and even the big scenes and animatronics looked “good” but not great. Some of the actor look a-likes weren’t great (I know this is not always easy to pull off). Didn’t like the first scene from SEASON 1 with eleven in the school it reset too quickly and we already have 2 seasons we didn’t need a third in this house. Lots of static mannequins and demmidogs. Just fairly underwhelming compared to last year. I weirdly feel like Max in the Michael Myers mask was the best scare lol. Also liked Will in the mirror effect.

7. Depths of Fear- The first run through this was fun, but pretty empty… However the second was way way improved. I appreciate the creativity of the setting and the way they framed some of the visuals with the lighting. I loved the fish costumes, but on second glance you can see that they are aren’t great for movement. I just liked the atmosphere and feeling of this one a lot. Also the weird eel puppet things were great.

6. Revenge of the Yeti- I know this was a bit repetitive but I thought it always got a good scare out of us. It was cold and atmospheric. I liked all the snow and the Yeti’s vs. the hunters was fun to watch… Some really cool effects… Loved the heart rip and the all the blood splatter… Also some cool overhead stuff.

5. US- Thank goodness we did this again on Wednesday because although I enjoyed my run through Monday I’d say about 33% of the actors were missing and there were scenes that made no sense. On Monday there were characters that were supposed to be getting killed by another actor just doing the scenes alone.. Also where Adelaide and Red were having their showdown it was just one person moving around the room themselves. As a huge fan of the movie, I loved all the nods to the film and thought they did a really great job with a lot of the cast. There were also some great scares in this house. I thought the final scene was very effective and I never knew which tethered were going to jump out at me… Also loved the twins scare. I did apparently miss a cool mirror effect in the beginning though. The only thing that hold it back is that as much as I liked it the simplicity house/movie holds it back a bit from being able to be as impressive as my top 4.

4. Killer Klownz From Outer Space – The Klownz are just so much fun.. it’s hard not to have a good time in their house. The costumes are movie quality and they just have such a fun spirit about them. I thought some of the tech in this house was fantastic and Klownzilla was probably my favorite set of the whole event. I loved the puppet show, the popcorn smell, and the interactive buttons….only two complaints are I wish it was longer and they should have incorporated the shower/hamper klownz more.

3. House of 1,000 Corpses-I can’t believe I’m ranking this so high, but I just felt like the attention to detail, sets, costumes and the acting of the cast in this house was top notch (Also our Monday run was missing like 1/3 of the actors) lol but I felt like this cast really shined… The makeup on Spaulding and Otis fantastic.. The scalping scenes, the final scene with Dr. Satan all really good stuff. Fun chaotic and great scares… Really got me a few times… Only thing that stood out was the casting/costuming of mama… They made her look way older than the actress did in the film. Could have been the lighting but it looked like they gave her gray hair (not blonde)

2. Universal Monsters- This house was just great.. I know this is an IP technically but from my perspective this might as well have been an original house since I really haven’t seen the classic monster films but am aware of them. Everything from the mood in the very first room to the double bonus scares at the end were fantastic. The costuming and set design here were great.. the loud chaotic soundtrack made for lots of great scares… I loved this house… Could do it 100 times (this and GB are neck and neck)

1. Ghostbusters- I just really really liked what they did with this house (oh yes our first run through after Stay and Scream Monday was pretty bad…) there were just empty rooms with no actors like the rooftop scene with Zuul and the Keymaster was just an empty set. However I thought the casting and effects in this house were terrific in subsequent runs. Loved the library scare and all the slimers. Thought they really did some fantastic casting with Dan Aykroyd, Dana, and loved the free speaking Janine. Just a really fun and technically impressive house… Great marshmallow smell… Maybe not the scariest in tone, but great fun and some good jump scares.
 

youhow2

Member
Mar 25, 2010
681
HHN 29: It looks cool

Mazes Overall Score: 7.8/10

1.Yeti. 9/10

Was able to get this one in 5 times. Every time, there were scares to be had. The careful touches on the design, going in and out of cabins, carefully placed wind effects, the lighting and flow of this maze made it the #1 for me. It felt the most "organic", making it easier to forget I was in a haunted house. Actors were always on point, every run through. I think there was a missed opportunity to do more with the wind effects, it really helped sell the atmosphere. There was a lack for atmospherics, A/C, Snow Machines... A little more could've made this feel REAL. The thought of looking up and seeing a blanket of clouds suspended above my head as I start getting really cold , the wind blowing wisps of cold fog in your face as the snow streams in from above. A missed opportunity in my humble opinion but what a great maze and my favorite for this year.

As a side note, This maze is kind of what I would I expect a horror nights maze to be. It tells a story, but it leans into its trappings as a scary attraction vs a walk-through with some scares. I've noticed that the lower ranking mazes on my list lean so far into some kind of alternate walk through storytelling.


2.Depths of Fear 8.5/10

I saw some initial bad reviews for this one, so I was surprised when I ended up having to decide whether I liked this or Yeti more. Depths, sounds like earlier on it had a serious case of Jaws syndrome. The creatures aren't very scary when you get to see them so many times and for so long. All the runs I did, I think there were 3 or 4 tops, all tucked away in various "big" moments in the maze. With the way everything flowed as the story focused in on the crew first and the creatures second, along with a beautiful design, This was seriously top contender for me. The way this maze was executed, the story played out for me every time, and there was a variety of scares for each run through.



3. Universal Monsters 8.2/10

There's not much I feel I can say about this. Before I did Yeti, thought this was going to be number one. If anything I wish they were able to spend more time on each character. I think that's the only reason I have it at 3, It's so good looking you want to spend time in it and appreciate each scene, and you just flow through too fast. It makes you miss the slow buildup of terror and dread you would feel watching those old horror movies. If it could've achieved that feel, it would've been one of my favorite haunted attractions of all time for sure.



4. Blood Pit 7/10

Can't speak on the design change, But I thought the creatures were scary enough. Loved the theme, loved the gore... Perhaps a bit too over-reliant on the atmosphere and smells, the gore. Got this in 5 or 6 times and only saw a lion activate once. By my last run through I had forgot they were in the maze. But I loved the atmosphere of this one, I loved the theme. Just kind of worked.

5. Killer Klowns 8/10

Had this one been a tad bit scarier I might have swapped its ranking with blood pit. The effects and presentation alone made this a top rated attraction for me, but the gags and scares are so in your face, you're just not getting much new on a repeat walk through. Kudos to those actors in those costumes. Klownzilla was great. This was a lot of fun each time I went through.



6.Ghostbusters 8/10

Lots of good cool small details in here. If you don't get a good run through the containment scene the scares kind of fall flat. Was so good to look at, but I was hoping this would've leaned into its scarier side more. I just think this could've been adapted better to be scary and faithful to the story all at the same time. I wish it was a bit more nuanced on the comedic bits. Less would've been more in my opinion. Still a very cool maze, and great effects. I wish I got to see more of the dogs on each run through, if you missed them along with the containment scene, it's like you missed all the scares, so I can imagine that is something that is happening a lot because I noticed lots of holes between a few scenes with resets that really could've made for something if everyone was getting them.


7.Us 6.5/10

This was very unsettling, just like the movie. It unfortunately just went so atmospheric I think so you lost a lot of people. It was still very cool to be in as a fan of the movie, but It needed a few stronger "Big" moments interwoven with a bit more of edge, more scare moments. Perhaps if the format of the maze had accommodated for a more original take towards the end with the facility


8. Graveyard Games 6/10

Loved the overall visual vibe, Disliked how much it reminded me of trick r treat. I loved how enclosed it felt, but the maze went TOO cliche with the story for me, But it was really cool to be in. The detail and atmosphere was amazing as always, but I felt the cheesy take on the story kind of ruined what could have been a more haunting and atmospheric maze that was scary due to the inherent nature of the subject matter. A more solemn and gloomy take, calling into question the idea if ghost/spirits exist, without making the characters so unnecessarily deserving. You know, that kind of dark and brooding surreal approach that is so popular with gen z. It was missing a few of those stand out moments that take a maze from good to extraordinary. I felt like the placement of the mannequins and how cheesy they played off their demise detracted from the maze for me. All of those should have been scenes with actors. This would've been better played off with the same intensity as poltergeist from last year, but intense in the sense that you are getting haunted right along with the characters in the story vs you watching their demise with such a less serious take... I mean, this is still a haunted house, Not everything has to have such an overt story with so many show scenes. The more comedic approach just didn't flow right for me. It was like if they stuck a comedy house in Dead Waters with comedic props.


9.Stranger Things 6/10

I don't know what to say about this one. I felt like this was mistreated compared to some of the other mazes. I just don't get the choice of scenes they chose, and the dark shadow mindflayer not getting better treatment here is very disappointing. This again feels like a haunted house that forgot it was a haunted house. I love walking through these things seeing recreations of the scenes but they chose so many of the least uncomfortable or horror related scenes and opted for many action related scenes that turn the mazes into retelling of a story vs a haunted attraction.


10.House of 1000 Corpses 5/10

Can't say much bad about this maze overall, It's pretty dang close to the movie from what I remember. But it didn't work as a maze for me. I love the visual vibe of all of rob zombie's films, but I fall asleep on almost all of them every single time I attempt a viewing, minus his first Halloween film. That pretty much sums up my feelings on this maze. Super cool to look at, and I love the atmosphere, but that didn't translate well into a haunted experience for me.

SHOWS

Academy of Villians: Altered States 8.5/10

I completely disliked Cyberpunk, I only saw it once, a 2/10 for me. Altered states was a vast improvement. It flowed better, the story was stronger, It's beats flowed more naturally. I thought the soundtrack was comprised of songs that have been a bit overdone. The segment with the soccer balls is weird... Weird choice of skill and weird song choice, It disrupts the energy of the show for me. There needed to be something else there. They need to go bigger, and they need to add more circus/variety acts to this show, that's the combo that helps push this show over the edge, the choreography, illusions and variety of acts, with the strength of the choreography as a foundation and a strong pillar, when it's used as background is when it's been it's at it's weakest, especially with such a large performance space. They need to really fill out the space with variety of strong acts and choreographed moments to take this to the next level. The "3 ring circus" approach if you will. I think that is what is missing, but the show was still very enjoyable.


Marathon of Mayhem 6/10

I like this infinitely better than cinematic spectacular. Projection clarity was a problem for me on both of my viewings. Another problem for me... This event cost as much, if not more than any major concert to attend, and the theme park is regarded as one of the best in the world... Yet I can go to many concerts and get more of a light show than is present in the entirety of the lagoon in a much smaller space. There just needs to be a lot more going on in here, both in terms of movement of the show and all the effects working together to tell a cohesive visual story.

Shows Overall Score: 8.0/10
 

jrn14

Veteran Member
Dec 21, 2016
1,357
Just a few more thoughts after reading some other reviews.

Kinda bummed I didn't get a great walk through of GG as it sounds like people had some great experiences with it.

Didn't see any Lions in Nightingales :(

Did both shows and they were both fantastic. I love the shows... as HHN days are always a super long day for us, it's great to have something to break it up .

MOM was terrific and loved the 80s vibe and the use of the music and properties... I know for legal reasons they can't but I would love to see a show like that, that covers as many horror movies/tv shows as possible. Fun time.

First time seeing Academy of Villains and it was fantastic.... The crew is insanely talented and I loved the choice of music.... I had my doubts of how Horror and a dance show would mix but they really did a fantastic job and some of the stuff happening on stage is more scary and unsettling than stuff in the houses... We saw it twice!

The zones were all fine... I loved the atmospheric nature of Anaracade and Vikings. The cast at Hellbilly were fantatstic and loved the set pieces.

Vanity Ball was "interesting" but I feel like it was kind of lacking in purpose and direction Wish there was more of a story line there.

Zombieland was "fun and cute", but honestly I feel like that Scarezone was WAY to big for a property like Zombieland which is kind of a comedy zone. People talk smack on Vamp 85 and the Purge, but I thought those zones fit the New York area way way better than Zombieland. I'm not not opposed to Zombieland existing really but I feel like it shouldn't have gotten the biggest space. The star lookalikes did a good job.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lucky Planet

GA-MBIT

Member
Jun 16, 2017
646
Haines City, FL
I just went to my last house yesterday so barring any major changes in heart for me, this should be my list for this year. I'll elaborate my thoughts when I have the time. I went in every house at least 3 times.

  1. Ghostbusters
  2. Nightingales: Blood Pit
  3. Killer Klowns from Outer Space
  4. Graveyard Games
  5. Universal Monsters
  6. Yeti: Terror of the Yukon
  7. Us
  8. Stranger Things
  9. House of 1000 Corpses
  10. Depths of Fear
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mad Dog
Jun 27, 2019
300
Finally made it down here to Orlando for HHN and honestly, my list is all over the place, so let me start by saying that there wasn’t a bad house this year. The only thing that lacked was the scare zone but of course, you guys knew that already. it was hard to rank them but here is a consensus of my first night impressions:


10. House of 1000 Corpses: This house was okay. A little bias because I didn’t like the movie, but I do appreciate it and think the movie could be pretty scary, so I was wishing they amped up the scares in this house, but it was kind of toned down, which was a bummer. Still the best house in that location. 6.5/10.


9. Nightingales: Blood Pit: I feel like this house was overhyped so I expected too much. I didn’t think it was scary and the chicken looking creatures really just made me laugh more than feel scared. I hear the cast A crew is really good, so I’ll def have to go through again, but I just didn’t understand the hype. 6.5/10.


8. Us: This was our first house and we loved absolutely every second of it, but when I thought of it after the next few houses it just couldn’t compete. I like the atmospheric feel. 7/10.


7. Yeti: Terror of the Yukon: was one of my most anticipated houses. We went around midnight and it says 35 mins, but it was a walk on! I loved this house, but I feel like we missed a lot of scares in the front. The middle is where the money is because yetis we’re coming from literally every direction. I can’t wait to do this one again. 7.5/10.


6. Stranger Things 2: This one might be controversial and bias because I’m a huge stranger things fan and loved last year’s house. It was in my top 3. This one wasn’t as bad as people were making it seem. I think they placed more scare actors in because I understand everybody’s argument on static characters and mannequins. There was only one puppeteer which was a bummer but we did go later in the night and it was like a 30 min wait so that’s kind of our fault. I still enjoyed it tho. 8/10. I feel like it could improve.


5. Graveyard Games**: my most anticipated house because everyone kept talking about how scary it is, but we missed the scares so we have to do it again. 8/10.


4. Killer Klowns From Outer Space: Yes, just yes. What a ton of fun! Not scary at all, but I adore this property and the clowns are pretty creepy but it’s scary good fun. And Klownzilla puppets...wow. 9/10.


3. Universal Monsters: missed a lot of scares, but I loved the character design and no one was behind me so Frankenstein followed me which was ultra-cool. I love this house, its really beautiful and I won’t be surprised if it becomes #1 by the end of the week. 9/10.


2. Ghostbusters: I wasn’t expecting to get scared in this house but they got me good. 80s nostalgia and watching one of my favorite movies come to life was a dream come true. So much fun. 10/10.


1. Depths of Fear: shocker! Everyone had this ranked low and I think that got to their head because the energy amplified to 10. This house was intense, I got so many scares and the puppet that comes from the ceiling scared me the most because it really lunges out at my face. Woah was not expecting this to be my #1 but I felt it was the scariest house and really fun. 10/10.


it’s a really good year, but only the first day so we’ll see!
 
Last edited:

OhHaiInternet95

Veteran Member
Aug 18, 2017
4,249
Finally made it down here to Orlando for HHN and honestly, my list is all over the place, so let me start by saying that there wasn’t a bad house this year. The only thing that lacked was the scare zone but of course, you guys knew that already. it was hard to rank them but here is a consensus of my first night impressions:


10. House of 1000 Corpses: This house was okay. A little bias because I didn’t like the movie, but I do appreciate it and think the movie could be pretty scary, so I was wishing they amped up the scares in this house, but it was kind of toned down, which was a bummer. Still the best house in that location. 6.5/10.


9. Nightingales: Blood Pit: I feel like this house was overhyped so I expected too much. I didn’t think it was scary and the chicken looking creatures really just made me laugh more than feel scared. I hear the cast A crew is really good, so I’ll def have to go through again, but I just didn’t understand the hype. 6.5/10.


8. Us: This was our first house and we loved absolutely every second of it, but when I thought of it after the next few houses it just couldn’t compete. I like the atmospheric feel. 7/10.


7. Yeti: Terror of the Yukon: was one of my most anticipated houses. We went around midnight and it says 35 mins, but it was a walk on! I loved this house, but I feel like we missed a lot of scares in the front. The middle is where the money is because yetis we’re coming from literally every direction. I can’t wait to do this one again. 7.5/10.


6. Stranger Things 2: This one might be controversial and bias because I’m a huge stranger things fan and loved last year’s house. It was in my top 3. This one wasn’t as bad as people were making it seem. I think they placed more scare actors in because I understand everybody’s argument on static characters and mannequins. There was only one puppeteer which was a bummer but we did go later in the night and it was like a 30 min wait so that’s kind of our fault. I still enjoyed it tho. 8/10. I feel like it could improve.


5. Graveyard Games**: my most anticipated house because everyone kept talking about how scary it is, but we missed the scares so we have to do it again. 8/10.


4. Killer Klowns From Outer Space: Yes, just yes. What a ton of fun! Not scary at all, but I adore this property and the clowns are pretty creepy but it’s scary good fun. And Klownzilla puppets...wow. 9/10.


3. Universal Monsters: missed a lot of scares, but I loved the character design and no one was behind me so Frankenstein followed me which was ultra-cool. I love this house, its really beautiful and I won’t be surprised if it becomes #1 by the end of the week. 9/10.


2. Ghostbusters: I wasn’t expecting to get scared in this house but they got me good. 80s nostalgia and watching one of my favorite movies come to life was a dream come true. So much fun. 10/10.


1. Depths of Fear: shocker! Everyone had this ranked low and I think that got to their head because the energy amplified to 10. This house was intense, I got so many scares and the puppet that comes from the ceiling scared me the most because it really lunges out at my face. Woah was not expecting this to be my #1 but I felt it was the scariest house and really fun. 10/10.


it’s a really good year, but only the first day so we’ll see!
It’s funny. A lot of people seem to really like one of Nightingales and Depths and dislike the other.
 

rhino4evr

Veteran Member
Apr 7, 2010
5,199
I really expected to dislike Depths from all the initial impressions , but I actually enjoyed it a lot. It helps that one of my top scares happened in this house, probably by sheer luck.

I thought the monsters in nightingales were too corny to be scary. We just laughed at a lot of it.