#HHNForever - Hollywood 2020 | 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.

#HHNForever - Hollywood 2020

Spookies n' Stuff

Veteran Member
Oct 9, 2016
1,175
They did with Insidious: Into the Further and Insidious: Return to the Further. Beyond the Further was a very bare, disappointing retread that managed to squeak out a HOTY in a weak year.

Hill House also calls for the grand sets that Hollywood hasn't really done for a while... or if there is one, the rest of the maze is composed of black walls. Reading between the lines, it sounds like we'd get a compressed foyer, handful of bedrooms, and black wall bonanza with Bent Neck Lady box scares.
Honestly forgot Beyond the Further managed to get HOTY that year, such a strange choice. Even with 2017 being as weak as it was I'd easily place AHS and Titans of Terror above it.
 
This shocked me to my core man like I thought hill house in 29 was an absolute lock and hearing this threw me for a loop.
BJ, Eilish or perhaps the Peele original (just due to overall mega-clout) could also be worthy of stage 29, but Hill House really felt like the best option for space utilization of the stage.
Honestly forgot Beyond the Further managed to get HOTY that year, such a strange choice. Even with 2017 being as weak as it was I'd easily place AHS and Titans of Terror above it.
Titans of Terror was a pretty majorly underrated maze that actually had some great scares and scenes. The Freddy Sled scare was super effective and should be brought back in some other form
 

Spookies n' Stuff

Veteran Member
Oct 9, 2016
1,175
BJ, Eilish or perhaps the Peele original (just due to overall mega-clout) could also be worthy of stage 29, but Hill House really felt like the best option for space utilization of the stage.

Titans of Terror was a pretty majorly underrated maze that actually had some great scares and scenes. The Freddy Sled scare was super effective and should be brought back in some other form
It did kinda reuse a lot of props and scenes from 2007/8, 2010, and 2016, so it wasn't necessarily the freshest thing, but in my mind its pretty much the closest Hollywood is ever gonna get to an anniversary mash up maze so I'll take it.
 

Tobias

Veteran Member
Feb 25, 2014
1,591
Considering they got Paranormal horror right with Insidious..that's a question to wonder.

How could they mess it up that badly, regardless of it's location? Was it the overuse of reused materials along with a lack of scenes and constant walls? It's a curious question, I admit.
Considering pretty much everyone was asking the same thing about last year's Stranger Things house (you know a house is bad when the first "scare" is a character arriving on scene and joining a group, not even going after the guests.) , it's not exactly far-fetched to imagine they'd drop the ball with Hill House. @Clive nails it pretty well that Hill House needs grand set pieces that Hollywood hasn't really done. Add in a lack of creativity and overreliance on black walls and box scares, and you've got a disappointing house for a great IP.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Freak
Considering pretty much everyone was asking the same thing about last year's Stranger Things house (you know a house is bad when the first "scare" is a character arriving on scene and joining a group, not even going after the guests.) , it's not exactly far-fetched to imagine they'd drop the ball with Hill House. @Clive nails it pretty well that Hill House needs grand set pieces that Hollywood hasn't really done. Add in a lack of creativity and overreliance on black walls and box scares, and you've got a disappointing house for a great IP.
It really makes you wonder why these mazes that have a ton of potential are so disappointing. Is it a design thing, budget, space, time? It feels like it’s probably a combination of all those factors, but its very disheartening when great properties aren’t represented to the level of surrounding indenpendent and regional theme park haunts.
 

Tobias

Veteran Member
Feb 25, 2014
1,591
It really makes you wonder why these mazes that have a ton of potential are so disappointing. Is it a design thing, budget, space, time? It feels like it’s probably a combination of all those factors, but its very disheartening when great properties aren’t represented to the level of surrounding indenpendent and regional theme park haunts.
For me, it's really a design and creative issue.

Now yes, Hollywood doesn't have the same kind of budget nor ample space for houses like Orlando does. But that hasn't stopped them from making awesome houses like the La Llorona house. Creative thinking/designs can make up for many budget and space issues. However HW has been over relying on the same black walls and box scares for years, making all the houses feel the same and that is something you never want with an event with multiple houses.

I know it's been said before by others, but I'll add to it. HW needs a creative team shakeup.
 

HydraGen2299

Rookie
Jun 30, 2019
162
For me, it's really a design and creative issue.

Now yes, Hollywood doesn't have the same kind of budget nor ample space for houses like Orlando does. But that hasn't stopped them from making awesome houses like the La Llorona house. Creative thinking/designs can make up for many budget and space issues. However HW has been over relying on the same black walls and box scares for years, making all the houses feel the same and that is something you never want with an event with multiple houses.

I know it's been said before by others, but I'll add to it. HW needs a creative team shakeup.
If I remember correctly before the speculation thread was closed legacy and others were saying that a “shakeup” is an inevitability. I just really hope our scarezones don’t become glorified photo ops like in Orlando (I hope I don’t get attacked for saying that). Also from what I can tell specifically with the IP houses the ones in Hollywood are definitely scarier at least for me personally, like killer Klowns from outer space is a good example I guess, the scare actors are much more in your face and aggressive. I’m probably in the minority on that I dunno I just don’t want those aspects of the events to change sorry for ranting lol
 

HydraGen2299

Rookie
Jun 30, 2019
162
From my understanding, a shakeup has been discussed off and on over the last couple of years. With how long Murdy has been working at/with Universal, and with 2020 being what it was, now is the time to pull the trigger.
John’s uncertainty on Twitter on whether or not he’s coming back is a big sign of that I think. I dunno whether to chalk that up to 2020 being 2020 though
 

Spookies n' Stuff

Veteran Member
Oct 9, 2016
1,175
It really makes you wonder why these mazes that have a ton of potential are so disappointing. Is it a design thing, budget, space, time? It feels like it’s probably a combination of all those factors, but its very disheartening when great properties aren’t represented to the level of surrounding indenpendent and regional theme park haunts.
Honestly its really hard to say, even harder since a lot of the fanbase likes to blame certain choices as poor design when a lot of the time they seem to be budgetary. There is definitely some validity to the design argument though, thats evident from how good some mazes come out even with a comparatively limited budget. I obviously don't know for sure, but it seems like hollywood has kinda been in a design rut for a good while, since we don't see a ton of new surprises aside from occassional new techniques or big set pieces. Another thing I don't think a lot of people mention but I think is a bigger factor than a lot of people think about is lighting, since basically every orlando space is enclosed while hollywoods aren't, but I'm pretty sure I mentioned that a few weeks ago.
 

AlexanderMBush

Legendary Member
Nov 23, 2013
18,672
Arizona
From my understanding, a shakeup has been discussed off and on over the last couple of years. With how long Murdy has been working at/with Universal, and with 2020 being what it was, now is the time to pull the trigger.
John’s uncertainty on Twitter on whether or not he’s coming back is a big sign of that I think. I dunno whether to chalk that up to 2020 being 2020 though
At this point--I genuinely think even if Murdy comes back--they're going to have to shake up how HHN is conducted to begin with. Especially for Hollywood, while it has grown in popularity, hasn't had the budget or allocated resources to be able to pull it off on the scale that's been set. I agree with @Legacy that I don't see Murdy coming back to the event, and honestly I think if 2021 goes through, the lineup is going to shrink. They'll need to rebuild 5 of the mazes; and to finish Texas at Mummy and the mystery maze at Waterworld.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HydraGen2299

Freak

Veteran Member
Jan 10, 2013
4,672
No man's land: SoCal
In terms of a "creative reset", while I thought last year was pretty good, we are overdue for one. Murdy served his purpose but the event has not evolved much in terms of creativity. The houses have become very formulaic and even creatively lazy. I refuse to accept long black hallways as "budget cuts" when other home haunters can get really creative with the limited budget that they have.

I really don't see them scrapping any of the mazes already built (WW, Mummy, and two in Metro). They need to reuse whatever they can, but scrapping TCM would be great. This would be a great opportunity to introduce a new team and build a couple of new mazes as a relaunch effort".

If the event is just five or six mazes, I am totally fine with cutting our maze count almost in half. I don't think the event should do any more than seven houses max. Six if there's an IP that will be really expensive. Six mazes excluding TWDA would be super ideal. I don't want the event to be as big as Orlando. I want quality over quantity. That's something I wish Hollywood's team would understand.
 

Legacy

Veteran Member
Jul 27, 2015
8,521
Yup. And this is why we need someone else to take the helm.
Though I’ve heard of some SoCal haunters getting discussed (and no, I cannot remember their names or vouch for the veracity of the rumor), my preference is Patrick get hired to Hollywood. Though there’s much to be said about the SoCal haunt style, “unifying” the design process (or at least, open communication) between coasts would be beneficial to the HHN brand. Especially if Cali-style haunts can get sent to Orlando with no change (and visa-versa).

There’s no reason for HHN to have “competing” designs within their own brand.
 

PerceptiveCoot

Veteran Member
Jul 13, 2018
1,567
The black walls are a design decision by Murdy. They are written into the treatments.
what
If the event is just five or six mazes, I am totally fine with cutting our maze count almost in half. I don't think the event should do any more than seven houses max. Six if there's an IP that will be really expensive.
I also think it's going to be necessary if Universal wants to expand the park in certain locations. The maze going from Universal Plaza to Parisian Courtyard is the most obvious candidate for removal if previous rumors of an Illumination Land are true. The Mummy maze might also have to go if they replace that ride with something worthwhile.
 
Last edited:

Freak

Veteran Member
Jan 10, 2013
4,672
No man's land: SoCal
If I recall, he literally tells folks he's working with that black walls are the way it's gonna' have to go.
Murdy is a cheap guy. I’ve heard reports from scareactor meetings that he is always about “reuse, recycle; reuse, recycle.” (An exact quote) On closing night last year, I got the chance to talk to him, and he literally told me to my face that he tried to reuse the Alice Cooper snake for Pandora’s Box but they made him get rid of it because they were running out of space for reused props! LOL!

I get you need to reuse some stuff here and there if you want to save a little on costs, but there’s a point to where excessive recycling is just lazy. I think the reason Murdy stuck around for so long is that he designs the mazes with a “cheap” mindset. If they want to cut costs, he will go the cheapest possible angle.
 

Legacy

Veteran Member
Jul 27, 2015
8,521
Murdy is a cheap guy. I’ve heard reports from scareactor meetings that he is always about “reuse, recycle; reuse, recycle.” (An exact quote) On closing night last year, I got the chance to talk to him, and he literally told me to my face that he tried to reuse the Alice Cooper snake for Pandora’s Box but they made him get rid of it because they were running out of space for reused props! LOL!

I get you need to reuse some stuff here and there if you want to save a little on costs, but there’s a point to where excessive recycling is just lazy. I think the reason Murdy stuck around for so long is that he designs the mazes with a “cheap” mindset. If they want to cut costs, he will go the cheapest possible angle.
Except, he doesn’t. A hefty chunk of the budget is the result of using specific, more expensive contractors instead of doing a bid to save money with cheaper ones. It’s self inflicted.

And the designed “black voids” really just come down to lazy design. Basically, “I can’t figure out this transition. Black void!”