Scarezones & Show Announced for HHN27

Universal have today announced the scarezones and one additional show for HHN27, they said:

There is one aspect of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights no one can escape… the SCARE ZONES. They’re the first and last things you’ll experience, and it’s our chance to make sure there is no way to hide from the scares.

This Halloween Horror Nights, we’re inviting you to join the celebration of blood and bone at what can only be called The Festival of the Deadliest – an ancient tradition from the depths of where nightmares are born.

A gathering of the most unearthly, hellish terrors has emerged from the darkest corners of despair. It calls to those who long for the thrill of the scare and wish to have their fears made real. You’ll be drawn like moths to a flame, and once you join this hallowed celebration, your nightmares will never end.

You’ll find the heart of the Festival on the streets of Hollywood in Universal Studios Florida, but its claws have spread throughout Horror Nights. Here’s what awaits you every night…

Trick ‘r Treat
First up, it’s time to make sure everyone understands the rules of our haunted holiday. Get a proper Halloween education in our Central Park scare zone inspired by the film Trick ‘r Treat. We’re excited to have Sam visit and make sure we follow the rules of Halloween.

As a longtime fan of classic horror anthology films, Trick ‘r Treat is a favorite of mine that pays perfect homage to that genre. In this zone, you’ll have the opportunity to come face-to-face with several characters from the film, and learn for yourself what happens when you don’t follow the rules.

The Purge
Next up, we have a returning story to our New York streets with The Purge. This time, our approach was to create a zone that showed how we think the events of a Purge night might play out in our streets.

There are some fan favorites returning such as our auction and a very polite gentleman. We also have some new surprises in store. For example, how do you clean up all the mayhem on the streets during a Purge night? Visit the clean-crew up crew with their trusty wood chipper to find out. Just don’t get too close…

Altars of Horror
Near the front gate, on Avenue of the Stars, we have our Altars of Horror. For me, this zone is very exciting because we’re bringing something to the streets for our horror fans that we have never done before.

In this zone, we’re taking some of the larger than life characters featured in this year’s houses, and letting them have their own scare zone. A lot of work goes into bringing these iconic film characters to life in our houses. Now you’ll have the opportunity to get an even better look at them.

Invasion!
Set in a time decades ago, our docks in San Francisco find themselves the victim of an INVASION! Visitors from far beyond have crashed their vessel, and are now wreaking havoc on the streets of San Francisco.

They aren’t just here to destroy; these invaders are also on a mission to learn everything they can about us humans. Careful, or you may find yourself on the experiment table at the mercy of an alien scientist.

Roaming Hordes
Lastly, no Halloween Horror Nights would be complete without roaming hordes. This time, it’s the smell of the greasepaint, the roar of the chainsaw. Unhappy with how popular culture has made clowns scary, this grotesque gang of gigglers has risen from the grave, determined to show the world that if you want scary clowns, they’re going to make sure you get your worst nightmare.

ACADEMY OF VILLAINS: AFTERLIFE
But wait! There’s more. The question is, “can you handle more?” I’m happy to share ACADEMY OF VILLAINS: AFTERLIFE will be returning to put on an all-new killer performance. This group of powerhouse artists will make you bear witness to what happens after we leave this life. They’re going to give you one mind-blowing and shocking dance performance that will escort you from this world to the great beyond.

As you can see, the streets will be alive with plenty of horror, mayhem, and celebration. The opportunity to bring favorite horror films to life and tell our own unique horror stories makes every day a thrill. My favorite part of the event is walking the streets each night as our scare actors make these terror-filled tales a reality. Every scream I hear puts a huge smile on my face.

Pick up your tickets today—I’ll see you out on the streets!

Are you excited for these scarezones?  Let us know in the comments!

Universal Cancels Bill & Ted Show After HHN27

It was confirmed today that this year’s Bill and Ted Show will be HHN’s last.  After 25 (26 including this year) the show is to be axed with one final ‘Farewell Tour’.

Jason Horne of Universal wrote:

After 26 years of Excellent Halloween Adventures, these pop-culture icons are bringing their Farewell Tour to Halloween Horror Nights. Party on as the phone booth lands one more time at Universal Orlando.

Over the years, this show has morphed and shifted to fit with the changing tides of pop-culture. But at its heart, it has remained true to its nature. The Wyld Stallyns, from San Dimas—and their time-travelling phone booth—find themselves in the middle of pop-culture-parody chaos and must somehow save the world yet again.

But now the time has come for these most outstanding dudes to find adventure in other places and other times.

On a personal note, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of writing for and directing Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure for the past 7 years. It goes without saying that this show means a lot to me. Working on Bill and Ted’s has become one of the most enjoyable parts of my year—and they have meant a lot to so many people.

Since 1992, hundreds of talented individuals have worked on its production and numerous performers have graced its stage. It also means a lot to the fans. Wyld Stallyn fans are loyal, supportive and the central reason the boys have had so many adventures.

The “Farewell Tour” gives us the perfect opportunity to give Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted “Theodore” Logan a proper sendoff. This year’s show is everything you’d expect from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure. It’s relevant. It’s ridiculous. It’s irreverent. It’s edgy. And at the end of the day… it’s just a good time.

Whether the new digital age of instant content sharing, Nintendo Land expansion or the rumored remake of Bill and Ted in the works is to blame is anyone’s guess.  For now, we should look forward to 2017’s final run of shows – which this author can confirm are set to be the best yet with some fabulous surprises ahead!

Thanks for the memories dudes – party on.

Are you sad for B&T leaving HHN?  Let us know in the comments!

 

An IT House is Coming (But Not at HHN!)

When official news broke that Stephen King’s haunting big screen version of The Shining was coming to HHN27 many fans were speculating that IT, another Stephen King adaptation, must surely follow – but it didn’t.  Fans were particularly hyped about this idea as a remake of the classic 1990s TV movie was being released in 2017, but for whatever reason it never came to pass.  However, we do have some good news…

The IT Experience: Neibolt House Hollywood is coming to the corner of Hollywood Blvd & Vine St. A haunted house experience inspired by Warner Bros’ upcoming release IT which will be in theaters September 8th. And supposedly, the house is so horrific, that all participants must sign a waiver prior to gaining entrance!

The house will be open to the public daily from Monday August 14th to September 10th from 1pm-11pm and admission is free! Those who are 18 and over are welcome (at their own risk) to step inside the two story replica of ‘where IT lives’. Guests will be guided by “Georgie” through the 5,000 sq. foot house and will venture room by room through immersive film inspired scenes complete with authentic set props. “Losers Club” groups of 7 will journey through a 20 minute experience encountering pneumatic surprises, live actors, holograms, animatronic characters, and state of the art lighting, audio, and video.

So if you’re on the west coast in the next few weeks, all primed for HHN at Hollywood – then this is the place to visit!

Will you be visiting?  Let us know in the comments!

More info and to book tickets here.

SAW is Confirmed for Both Coasts

“DO YOU WANT TO PLAY A GAME?”

LIONSGATE’S HORROR BLOCKBUSTER FRANCHISE SAW SETS THE ULTIMATE TRAP
AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS’ “HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS”
WITH A TWISTED NEW MAZE BASED ON THE
ICONIC GAMES OF JIGSAW

All-New Maze to Feature a First-Look at Lionsgate’s Upcoming Eighth SAW Film, JIGSAW,
Debuting at the Nation’s Premier Halloween Events in Hollywood and Orlando

The SAW series – one of the highest grossing horror film franchises of all time – makes its return to “Halloween Horror Nights,” bringing the blockbuster’s most terrifying traps to life in an all-new original maze opening at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort, beginning September 15, 2017.

Based on the Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures hit horror film franchise, “SAW: The Games of Jigsaw” will bring to life the scariest game yet. In this all-new maze guests will come face-to-face with the work of master craftsman “Jigsaw” and a collection of his most infamous traps from the SAW film series and upcoming eighth installment JIGSAW.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering again with Universal Studios on an immersive experience that celebrates everything that our SAW fans love,” said Lionsgate Senior Vice President of Global Live and Location Based Entertainment Jenefer Brown. “The maze features the most terrifying traps that made the SAW franchise such a Halloween tradition, including some of the best from our upcoming film JIGSAW. What better way to complement the film’s release this Halloween than taking audiences into the over-the-top action at Halloween Horror Nights.”

“SAW is one of the top grossing horror film franchises, and we’re thrilled that the fan-favorite is making its return to ‘Halloween Horror Nights,’” said John Murdy, Creative Director at Universal Studios Hollywood and Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights.” “‘SAW: The Games of Jigsaw’ will encompass the greatest collection of traps featured in all eight SAW movies to bring to life the most twisted SAW maze ever produced, and we can’t wait for our fans to relive moments from the films.”

“We’re excited to bring SAW back to Halloween Horror Nights and to take fans even deeper into the mind of ‘Jigsaw,’” said Charles Gray, Show Director for Creative Development, “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Orlando Resort. “Filled with unimaginable horrors from the hit saga and the upcoming film JIGSAW, this maze is truly a trap in itself.”

Created by James Wan and Leigh Whannell, the SAW film series has ratcheted up tension and invention with each successive film, while rattling millions of nerves worldwide. The eighth film of the powerhouse franchise is scheduled to hit theatres on October 27, 2017 – in its traditional opening weekend slot leading into Halloween. JIGSAW is written by Josh Stolberg & Peter Goldfinger and directed by The Spierig Brothers

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 20 years, guests from around the world have visited Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood and Orlando to become victims inside their own horror film. The streets of each coast’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing “scare-actors” lunge from every darkened corner. Multiple movie-quality haunted houses are erected throughout the event, based on everything from iconic slasher films to hit horror television series to haunting original stories.

SOLVED: The Mystery of the Missing HHN27 Date

Take a careful look at the below calendar, notice anything odd…

hhn27777

The 28th September is the answer – why is it missing?  The Thursday before and the Thursday after are all official HHN event nights but not the 28th.  HHN fans have speculated for months why the date was missing from the calendar and why all us Frequent Fearers are effectively losing one night (though admitting gaining others!).  So here’s why… Bill Gates, no really.

Microsoft has just announced that they are taking over the Universal Orlando Resort for their new Microsoft Ignite Attendee Celebration at Universal Orlando Resort.  Here’s the details:

Get ready for one of the biggest parties Microsoft has ever thrown—we’ve reserved both Universal Orlando Resort™ theme parks for Microsoft Ignite attendees only. From 7:30pm to 12:00am on Thursday, 9/28, you’ll have unlimited access to immersive, award-winning rides and attractions.

Enjoy your night in Universal Studios Florida™, the world’s premier movie and TV based theme park. You can climb aboard Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit™ roller coaster and plunge into darkness on Revenge of the Mummy™. Then head next door to Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ for more cutting-edge rides and attractions like Skull Island: Reign of Kong™.

It’s a great way to blow off steam and connect with your peers as you take in an entire universe of action and excitement. It’s all yours for one night only.

More info can be found here.  So there you have it.  No cover-up, rock star concert or movie shoot (all hearty speculations received by HHNU) it is in fact a resort takeover for a tech convention hosted by Microsoft.

So move over Disney hashtag #ThanksShanghai – we have a new hashtag in town!  #ThanksBill

Will you miss the 28th or are you attending this convention?  Let us know in the comments!

 

 

SAW Accidentally Confirmed By HHN?

Was a house based on the popular movies from the SAW franchise just accidentally confirmed by HHN?  Take a look from HHN Hollywood’s Official Twitter feed and judge for yourself…

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Now look closer…

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They could always be recycling props…

What do do you think?  Let us know in the comments!

Universal Vs Ash Vs The Evil Dead Vs The Evil Dead Vs HHN27

Yes you read that title right….

The Evil Dead has had a complex history with both Universal and Halloween Horror Nights, which all started in 1989 when HHN was just pipe dream in the minds of the creatives at Universal.

Sam Raimi who was hot off the back of the initial success of the early Evil Dead movies was approached by Universal to direct their next feature.  Raimi had tried to springboard from the success of these movies to direct his “ultimate” comic book movie.  Universal knew that he had attempted to obtain the rights for The Shadow and had been in the running to direct the new Batman movie, losing out to Disney alumnus Tim Burton.  When Universal approached Raimi with a deal to create and then direct his own comic book movie he grabbed at the chance.  That movie would ultimately be Darkman, (who incidentally would appear at HHN2 in his own house), and it was released in 1990 to much praise and solid box-office returns.

After the success of this comic book movie, Universal were keen to see Raimi do another fantasy based movie though Raimi was more keen to make another Evil Dead movie.  The Studio and the director meet in the middle and created Army of Darkness, the sequel to the two original movies.  Creating the sequel would prove complex as with new distribution partner Universal on board (who had no handling of the original two movies) would see them having to step change the sequel away from traditional lodge in the woods setting, which was not as bigger deal as many people made out, as Raimi had plans to set the movie in the Middle Ages (which is what happened).  The movie was not the success that Universal had hoped (though was profitable) and both director and studio parted ways amicably.

Away from the movies and TV shows the franchise picked up steam in the renaissance that the comic book industry was experiencing in the 1990s, all the while the movies were garnering cult statuses on VHS and later on DVD.  Universal saw the popularity of the franchise pick up with horror fans and planned to have an boomstick handling Ash at HHN in the early 00s – this however never came to pass.  It wasn’t until 2009 that the idea seriously came onto the table.

hhn

The idea was to create a house based on Army of Darkness where guests would follow in the time traveling footsteps of Ash all the while he protects his bunch of traveling companions from a fleet of gruesome deadites.  The house promised to be gory, have splattering special effects, chainsaws a-plenty all wrapped up with elaborate sets with a healthy comedic twist.  Unfortunately the house would never come to be.

2009 proved to be a bumper year.  It would be a big year with big ideas and a much increased use of IPs.  The house got planned and it got pitched.  Initially, the house was thought to be an easy win for the event, a “quick add to the roster” but unfortunately it wouldn’t come off.  As USF had obatining the rights to some very big names in horror for that year (SAW, Chucky; Wolfman movie to promote etc.) they decided that the house should be condensed into a single scene and placed in the Silver Screams house of that year.

Ash and the Pit Hag were in the scene but there was a problem, it was rumored that someone in Legal had spotted that the movie was not outrightly owned by Universal.  On this basis and just to cautious it was rumored that the scene would be downplayed.  To keep Ash in the house but without the full rights they altered the film poster seen in the connecting scene leading into the room – the movie was given the title “Medieval Dead” instead (which was the actual original name for the film!)  Furthermore the prop located next to the poster was the Necronomicon from the film – especially made by USF’s prop department.  HHN fans have argued whether this was in fact Ash or not.  For me, it was, the name was pulled but the detail wasn’t – that scene had Ash – the Ash we know.

Ash vs Evil Dead Debuts at Halloween Horror Nights - Low Res
For the first time ever, STARZ’S critically-acclaimed television series “Ash vs Evil Dead” will summon Deadites to a new haunted maze at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood, beginning September 15. Throughout the maze, guests will come face-to-face with disturbing characters and iconic comedic and gory scenes from seasons 1 and 2 as they desperately try to escape all things evil…before it’s too late.

Skip forward to 2013 and Universal were keen to circle back on their original idea.  Unfortunately, TriStar along with Raimi were about to release a new reboot of the series (what with reboots being the ‘in’ thing in the last few years).  Universal were supposedly counter offered and the new reboot was accepted.  In 2013 on both coasts we received the rebooted movie house which made fine houses.  And although the movie was not a huge success, the houses proved to be very popular.

Shifting to 2015, the same production team of Raimi and Campbell wanted to make a sequel to their original movie franchise.  Countless comic books, video games and even a popular musical had ensured the brand was very much ‘undead’.  For whatever reason, the will they had manifested into a brand new TV show.  Universal, however were not on board.  It appears that shortly before this time, Universal started making preparations to make a sequel to Army of Darkness but without Raimi or Campbell – an ability they had being that they handled just the third film in the franchise.  Likely due to this no mention of the third film would be seen in the new TV show.  Bloody Disgusting wrote about the issue last year:

In fact, when we talked to producer Robert Tapert back in April, he eluded to this…“’Army of Darkness’ doesn’t exist,” says Tapert before clarifying a bit. “Well, certainly Ash went through a bad experience, but we’re not really referencing it [on the show], specifics from that, but he certainly has that in his memory.”

However, after the show was a hit, the legal issue was quickly resolved, Universal became on board and now the third series is in production and will make reference to AoD.  Which leads us to 2017 where Ash will once again return to HHN and finally get the house we have been waiting on for so many years!

Groovy…

Are you excited for the Ash Vs The Evil Dead house?  Let us know in the comments!

 

Universal’s Code Pointing to No Icon and One More IP

It is common knowledge that Universal announced Ash vs. Evil Dead last Thursday, but what you might not have realized is that they commented out the code pointing to the soul collector picture. This may unfortunately mean that rumors are true and HHN 27 will not have an icon, which is a real bummer.

Upon further probing of Universal’s code I was able to find the script they are using to call video clips. That code is provided below:

var vid;

//for autoplay, default is TO AUTO PLAY
ap = typeof ap !== ‘undefined’ ? ap : 1;

switch(v){
case 1:
vid = “JO3bMivablE”; // AHS
break;
case 2:
vid = “e3s6hfAVrYE”; // TS
break;
case 3:
vid = “yiXQszZlg-U”; // SC
break;
case 4:
vid = “6xVMENghE-U”; // AvED
break;
case 5:
vid = “JO3bMivablE”; // TBD
break;
default:
vid = “JO3bMivablE”; // AHS
}

$(‘.dialog-video-home’).html(“”);
$(‘.dialog-video-home’).dialog(‘open’);

For those you that do not know how to read source code the // represents a segment of code where the programmer is leaving a comment for future reference. The // makes the text after it on that line rendered as a comment and will not be seen on the visual display of the website that the user sees. Since, the commented lines of code will not be seen by the users programmers tend to use this on old lines of code that are no longer needed, which is referred to as commenting out a line of code. An example of commenting out code was given previous in this article referring to the soul collector picture. Just for complete clarification there are three ways to comment out lines of code: 1)) \\ This comments out one line of code, 2) this allows the programmer to comment out multiple lines and 3)/* */ which also knocks out multiple lines.

Now that everyone understands how to program a comment on a website lets break down what Universal’s code is saying. First, there is case 1 with it’s comment of AHS which stands for American Horror Story. Next, we see TS for The Shining. Then we see case 3 with the comment of SC, which stands for Soul Collector. Case 4 has a comment of AvED, so this clearly means Ash vs. Evil Dead. Finally, case 5 has TBD, which stands for To Be Determined. This means that Universal have one more IP that remains unnamed. This final IP could be either Saw or Blumhouse, both of which have been rumored to be at the event. Hopefully, Universal will answer this final question on August 3rd at 10:00 A.M. when their counter hits zero.

So what do you think, no icon and one more IP?  How do you feel about this?  Let us know!

Why are we so excited for Ash vs. Evil Dead at HHN?!

Clearly, the team here at HHNU is thrilled over the recent news that this year’s Halloween Horror Nights will be featuring a house based on the Starz television show Ash vs. Evil Dead, the sequel series to the original Evil Dead film franchise from director Sam Raimi. Sure, we’ve caught a glimpse of the chainsaw-appendaged, boomstick-wielding Ash in a segment of the 2009 house Silver Screams, but this will be the first time we see a full haunt dedicated to this beloved horror hero. We can barely contain our enthusiasm over the recent announcement, but just why is Ash vs. Evil Dead a perfect fit for HHN?

Revisiting the Classic Film Series

MINOR SPOILERS FOR ASH VS. EVIL DEAD AHEAD:

Even though the newly-announced house will be based on the current television series, viewers are well aware that part of Ash vs. Evil Dead’s success and charm is its deep ties to the original film trilogy. Over the course of the show’s two seasons, Ash and his new sidekicks, Kelly and Pablo, revisit the cabin from The Evil Dead (1981) and Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn (1987), Ash battles a possessed Henrietta (once again played by Evil Dead II’s Ted Raimi), and reunite with familiar faces from the original franchise, most notably Ash’s sister Cheryl, played by returning actress Ellen Sandweiss. With the show revisiting classic locations and characters from the original series, this house will give die-hard Evil Dead fans the opportunity to relive memorable moments from their beloved film series.

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Evil Dead II’s Henrietta, played by Ted Raimi, brother of director Sam Raimi.

Great Original Set Pieces

Just because Ash vs. Evil Dead has a strong connection to the films that came before it doesn’t mean that the Starz series doesn’t have a few original ideas of its own. Without getting into too much detail, season two features an episode that sees Ash’s journey to retrieve the Necronomicon (The Book of the Dead) lead him to a morgue and features a grotesque but hilarious “fight” between our hero and a corpse. Although this episode goes into uniquely gross territory that may even be too hot for HHN, there’s no denying that this scene is a prime example of how Ash vs. Evil Dead is more than just a nostalgia trip resting on the laurels of the original film series.

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Different from 2013’s The Evil Dead

Halloween Horror Nights fans will recall that in 2013’s event, guests were already treated to a house based on The Evil Dead. Evil Dead the “remake”, that is. While the 2013 film surprised many by holding its own as a well-made and well-received gore-fest, the Fede Alvarez-directed picture is quite different from the original source material, most notably in tone. While the remake has a more intense and serious attitude akin to more modern horror movies, Sam Raimi’s original films are typically categorized as horror comedies, featuring both quality scares and gore as well as gut-busting physical gags courtesy of Bruce Campbell’s great performance across all the movies in the series.

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We may have run out of ways to proclaim just how excited we are about Ash vs. Evil Dead coming to Halloween Horror Nights 27. What moment from the series would you like to see recreated in this highly-anticipated haunt? Let us know and don’t forget to hail to the king, baby!

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-Freddy