Last year’s Halloween Horror Nights 28 was a incredible event and I was fortunate enough to get two of my wish-list intellectual properties (IPs) included in that event. Those two IPs were “Poltergeist” and “Killer Klowns from Outer Space.” Furthermore, if the rumors this year are true then “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” will be returning to the event.
Since, Warner Bros is now hosting their own Halloween themed event, Universal has had a hard time securing some big name IPs. This got me thinking about what IPs could Universal easily use for one of their HHNs. While compiling my new wish-list, I took three factors into account: 1) Universal must have distribution rights to the movie, 2) the film or series should be 80’s based to fit into the possible continued theme from last years event and 3) the source material could come from Stephen King, since he does not like to license out this properties. Please keep in mind that this is just a wish-list. If any of these houses are actually apart of this year’s lineup, then it was just pure luck on my behalf.
Honestly, I would love to have the original film as an Horror Nights house, but Universal only released the high budget 1987 sequel. Lucky for everyone the film series uses the continuous theme of the evil undertaker, referred to as the Tall Man going town to town and killing off the population. This film series is know for its special effects involving flying killer spheres. The Tall Man character is incredibly intimidating and could be used for some great scares. Not to mention, the haunting soundtrack and creepy visuals that director Don Coscarelli created would make for a legendary haunted house. It would go without saying, but a, “Phantasm” house would have a lot of balls!
Psycho Film Series/Bates Motel TV Series
Of all the great stories Mr. Alfred Hitchcock put on film, nothing is more suspenseful then that of one Norman Bates. Halloween Horror Nights would be able to give us a great maze no matter if they choose to use the murderous version of Norman in, “Psycho,” or the younger version of the character that is struggling with mental illness in, “Bates Motel.”
Either choice gives Universal plenty of material to make the maze memorable. If Universal chooses the adult version of Bates then they can simply recreate all famous scenes for the movie, like Norman attacking with a knife from behind the shower curtain or the discovery of Ms. Bates’s decaying body in the basement. However, if Universal chooses the younger version of Norman then they may be able to do something more creative with the maze. I for one can see a maze that is designed around young Norman’s troubled mind. The further you go into this maze, the further you lose the ability to tell what is real and what is a construct of the mind. Thus, showing you the horrors of the victims and the killer himself. As for the possible continued theme, “Psycho II” and “Psycho III” were both based in the late 80’s.
The Serpent and the Rainbow
In 1988, horror maestro Wes Craven gave the world “The Serpent and the Rainbow.” This film centers around Haiti’s voodoo culture and how zombies are created. The film features black magic, zombies, people being buried alive and brutal torture, all of which could be used to make one memorable HHN house.
There are two particular scenes in this film that could be used to make you scream for your life. The first would be the scene where the main character meets the skeleton bride and a huge boa constrictor jumps out of her mouth. The final scene would involve the incredibly brutal torture scene where the main character is strapped to chair and a nail is hammered into his private parts.
It goes without saying, but this is a haunted house that all HHN fans have been asking for over the years. The films features many memorable gory scenes that could be used to make any year’s HHN more edgy, something that old school HHN fans have been asking for the last two years. Please Universal gives us this house!
This house would have everyone shouting “Long Live the New Flesh” and they are transported to the digital mind control realm of “Videodrome.” The film is about a secret government organization using pirate video broadcasts to brainwash viewer into becoming assassins. Like many other David Cronenberg films this too uses outrageously grotesque imagery of body mutations. This IP could be used to make a house full of scenes that you would not be able to forget.
First, lets discuss the film’s distribution. Although most believe it is a property of 20th Century Fox, the movie was actually distributed in the United States by Universal Pictures. So, this give me ability to add this film to the list.
After seeing HHN 28’s visually stunning house “Scary Tales: Deadly Ever After” I would love to see what Universal’s creative team could do with “Legend.” I feel that Universal would be to hit a home run with the visuals provided in this film by director Ripley Scott. Not to mention, what an incredibly awesome and intimidating lead villain that Darkness is in this film. If you have not seen this film, please do. Tim Curry’s performance as Darkness is one of his best and rates up their next to Pennywise in “IT.” You could go as far as to say that Mr. Curry puts the Tim in intimidation with his outstanding performance.
“The Funhouse” makes my list due to two things. First, it is directed by Tobe Hooper, a horror legend. Secondly, the movie takes place at a carnival, a setting that Universal’s creative team loves to use. Just last year we got “Carnival Graveyard” so, this IP could be used as sequel to that house. Also, everyone’s favorite icon Jack’s origin story revolves around a traveling killer carnival. This one just seems like a no brainier for Universal to use if they are in need of an IP.
Four IPs that just missed making my list
While compiling this wish-list, I tried my best to create a set of IPs that would please anyone. That being said there were four intellectual properties that barely missed making the final list. These four IPs missed by such a close margin, I felt that I had to let everyone know their names. Those four IPs are as follows: 1)They Live, 2) Ghost Story, 3) Cat People and 4) Prince of Darkness.
So, what do you think of this wish-list? What Universal owned IPs would you use on your list?