The opening weekend of HHN26 has come to a close, and the last remaining houses were a blast! Let’s get right to it….
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre ★★★★★
With an incredible amount of detail and faithfulness to the movie itself, this haunted house was one of the best of the year. There were various moments and quotes taken directly from the film, along with a much wider cast than just Leatherface himself.
The cast of characters included Nubbins, Grandpa Sawyer, Dayton Sawyer (the father), as well as both Sally and Franklin Hardesty.
The house starts in the Sawyer’s living room covered in chicken feathers and the infamous couch constructed out of bones. There are human remains all over the place, but it’s a bit dark to be able to see everything. You can also hear their chicken clucking in the background. You progress further into the Sawyer’s house, passing the staircase, the stainless steel door, and more. Than its into the kitchen to watch Leatherface chop up a body. Through a narrow hallway lined with windows on the left side, you eventually make it into the dining room, where you can see Grandpa Sawyer sitting at the head of the table, awaiting his next meal. Turning left you actually pass by the staircase a second time.
The following scene is one I really liked with some great lighting effects (the entire scene is lit up by a camera flash!), and it’s further into the Sawyer’s house you go. The path you follow, going through the house, than outside, and back inside again, is the same path that the characters in the film took on that fateful night.
Once you’re outside of the tent that houses the maze, it is still not over as there is more stuff to see and more actors to get scared by, so don’t relax yet just because you have made it back outside. A keen observer will also see Franklin’s dead body still sitting in his wheelchair as well as a motorcycle used in the scarezones during “The Carnival Of Carnage” within the outdoor decorations which make up the Sawyer’s backyard.
I give this house a full 5/5 due to it’s attention to detail, great scares, effects, and faithfulness to the original source.
The Exorcist ★★★★☆
This haunted house was overall pretty great. There are some awesome special effects scattered throughout the house, and the movie’s original soundtrack and dialogue shine.
The effect in the first scene really is something to behold, as the walls of the house disappear and the demon Pazuzu’a statue is everywhere outside. Pazuzu appears in the house in various other ways, including flashes of his face in lights on the walls, to his statue here and there, and even his head is enlarged at one point and pops out through the wall.
The maze follows the possession of Regan, and the actresses who play her throughout the house get more and more decomposed and demonic as the house progresses, which was really neat.
A notable scene, which lasted a little longer than I was comfortable with, was two narrow corridors, with stuff moving and touching either sides of your body. It was much like a similar corridor in the Insidious house of last year’s HHN25 that also had objects stretching through the wall and touching you. But this one was about double the length of that.
The vomit scene had a particular odor of partially digested food, but it wasn’t super overpowering and gross. What was more gross than the smell was walking through the vomit soaked mattresses.
Scenes in the movie that were not included in this haunted house were Regan peeing on the carpet, stabbing herself in the nether-regions with a crucifix, and the infamous “Your mother sucks…….” quote. Also, at no point does Regan stick out and wiggle her long demon tongue at you. But you can expect to see her freaking out on her bed, her head spinning around, floating on top of the bed, and killing the old priest, amongst other things.
I give this house 4 stars for its awesome special effects, sound effects and soundtrack, and it’s unique way that it shows you the same room 6 times without getting boring.
Halloween: Hell Comes to Haddonfield ★★★★★
Just as the original Halloween house was back in HHN24, this house was one of the scariest of the year (if not the scariest!)
The maze actually begins at the end of the original Halloween film, with guests immediately walking through the closet with clothes hanging that you have to walk through. The group in front of us actually got lost and didn’t realize we were supposed to turn left and instead kept walking straight and ending up in a boo hole. I have to admit though, there’s no gap in the clothing to help you figure out you need to turn left. Dr. Loomis in the next scene actually had to wave us in the right direction, my wife could see him through the clothing telling us “this way” with his hand.
Anyhow, you go through a few scenes at the end of the first movie to lead you into the hospital in which the movie takes place. Michael Myers is pretty much everywhere (as he should be) and will pop out for a scare at every corner. Some of them don’t even have lighting effects when they pop out, and hide and scare in the shadows.
A noteable scene is that from the movie where a women is seen on a hospital bed bleeding out from her arm all over the ground. There’s the shadow of Michael Myers behind some privacy screens, but of course that’s not where he actually pops out for the scare! Not to mention, the finale of the house is something not to miss, as the hospital burns to the ground all around you while you’re still in it, with a charred Michael still chasing after you!
I give this maze a full 5 star rating for how scary it was throughout, the amount of actors, variety of characters, and great set dressing and decoration. This haunted house definitely lived up to it’s predecessor of two years ago, if not improved on it.
Opening Weekend Summary
Without getting into ranking the houses best to worst (that’s for another article altogether), HHN26 is a pretty great year overall. The houses are all very solid, each having their own merits. The only maze I could say that fell flat this year is Lunatics Playground, which comes with the dissapointment of many, as it is the house of this year’s icon. We haven’t gotten much time in the scarezones thus far as we were focusing on the houses first, but we can say that from what we have seen, they aren’t the best scarezones we have ever seen, but they’re also not completely terrible. We haven’t heard a huge amount of screams coming from the streets so far, but it has only been one weekend. Give the actors another weekend to get used to their characters and effective methods of scaring guests and these scarezones have a lot of potential.
Keep following the page for a more in depth summary of this year’s horror nights event in the coming days. We sign off today with a photo of our senior writer with a Geisha and one of Chance’s crazy minions! Happy screaming!