Another early rumor for HHN29

A disturbing rumor popped across my desk at HHNU HQ this week, and its something that the long-term purist HHN fans may not be too happy about…

The rumor originates from a number of sources and was discussed on the latest Jim Hill podcast The Universal Joint. Jim refers to information he had been passed from Shelley Caran of where Universal are seemingly interested in toning down the level of horror at Halloween Horror Nights to make the event more family friendly – though Jim stresses 13 and up family friendly.

It was our boss Christopher Ripley who first broke the news on the show Universal After Dark where he raised his concerns of how Warner Bros for this year appear to be keeping their properties for exclusive use in their new Hollywood event Horror Made Here. Whereas last year’s HHN27 had The Shining, Texas Chain Saw and Trick r Treat (all Warners’ properties) this year only has Trick r Treat as a property from Warner (though some commentators says that TrT is now a Universal property as Legendary has moved from Warners to Universal.  They are also working on TrT 2 right now too!).

Warner’s properties for their 2018 Hollywood exclusive event include: the DC universe villains, Friday 13th, the new IT movie, Freddy Kruger, Conjuring, The Nunn and The Exorcist. Ripley said that he was concerned that if Warner’s event was successful, could this possibly lead to Warner’s preventing their vast horror catalogue from ending up at HHN in the future (remember Warner’s own New Line Cinema too).


Jim says via his show that perhaps the best way to counter this move would be to re-focus our beloved HHN event so a more family friendly approach is taken. He cites the fact that Stranger Things at HHN28 is so genre and sphere redefining that it is now blurring the lines of horror/sci-fi/drama and with its huge audience of fans it wont be just be the diehard horror fans that are currently sweeping into the turnstiles for HHN28. Jim also says that fans shouldn’t be surprised if Stranger Things also returns for HHN29.

This all combines with an article we shared this week where Universal has now moved the popular Christian Rock Festival Rock the Universe from its September slot allowing HHN29 and on wards to start earlier in the season. This would allow HHN dates to directly compete with Disney Halloween party dates (for which start in August no less!)


Could houses be scaled with how scary they are where less scary houses could be presented? Longtime HHN devotee and movie director Eli Roth has a brand new Universal picture coming out very soon with The House with a Clock in Its Walls. This family adventure movie combines full on fantasy with some horror type elements (the latter of which Roth is better known for). Jim asks on his show could this type of movie be repurposed for a future house at HHN? Apparently he will next be working on another ‘family friendly horror movie’ with Aleister Arcane, which is being touted as Jim Carrey’s big comeback movie and it is being produced by longtime Universal collaborators Amblin.

So all this being said is Jim Hill right? Could HHN29 and on wards be more geared towards a larger more family encompassing audience? Would toning the horror down slightly be a good move if it draws more people through the gates?

Let us know what you think!


First Rumor for HHN29!

HHN28 has not even started (yet) and we have our first proper rumor for HHN29!  The rumor comes from Universal’s annual Christian Rock Festival – Rock the Universe.

For many years the concerts were held right before HHN usually in the slow weeks of early September.  Last year the concerts played host to Steven Malcolm, Hollyn, The Young, and DJ Promote (plus many more).  However, the popular concerts will return for 2018, but they will be moved to February, thus removing them from their regular Fall position of early September.

So why might Universal move the concert series?  The only plausible reason can be that next year they may hope to expand the dates that HHN has been running.  Pretty much every single year since the very beginning, this event has gone from a handful of weekends in the 1990s to now where the months of September, October and November are dominated by HHN dates.  And whereas the calendar month of November is bookended by Thanksgiving and then Christmas, the month of September will now be fully open.

And if you think Universal would be crazy for extending HHN into early September (some 9 weeks before the actual date of Halloween) then we need only look at the house of mouse where Disney started their Halloween parties back at the end of August.

But there’s more, if they were to ignore this move and start the event in the same time slot as this year, that would mean the event starting on… drum roll…  Friday 13th September.  Which would be a great day for a certain Mr Voorhees!

Halloween Horror Nights possibly running into early September or even August!? Is this a good idea?  Could they also tie the event into the Froday 13th and use Jason as an icon?  Let us know your thoughts!

Was Trick ‘r Treat Accidentally Announced Last Night?

That’s right HHN fans it appears beloved Halloween property Trick ‘r Treat was accidentally released last night via Universal Orlando’s Youtube page, before moments later being swiftly deleted.


Luckily, HHN fans quickly jumped on the video and re-uploaded it to Youtube.  So will we get the rumored announcement this week instead?  Will we see Sam return to HHN and make all HHN fanboys very happy?  Well it seems very, very likely that the official announcement must be imminent…


Extra Day Added to Jurassic Park Celebration Due to Demand!

The roar just got more thunderous at Universal Studios Hollywood with exciting updates to the Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Celebration inviting guests to be a part of an exclusive event that pays homage to the blockbuster action-adventure that brought dinosaurs out of extinction a quarter century ago.

Due to popular demand, the May 11-12 event has been extended to include Sunday, May 13. The event will also feature special guest appearances by those who worked the films as well as an all-new Raptor Encounter exclusive.  One insider even remarked to HHNU that this celebration is like HHN for JP lovers!

This first-ever themed Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Celebration, created in partnership with Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment, is a separately ticketed event. Space is limited and tickets, which can be purchased here, will sell out.

The multi-faceted immersive Celebration includes a private screening of the epic Jurassic Park at Universal CityWalk’s all-new, state-of-the-art Universal Cinema. The exciting showcase will also re-release the film’s original trailer.

The remainder of the event, which includes exclusive after-hours access, will take place within Universal Studios Hollywood, adjacent to the theme park’s thrilling “Jurassic Park—The Ride.”

Guests will enjoy unlimited access to all things Jurassic, from the acclaimed theme park ride, to original props, including the Gyrosphere as seen in the record-breaking Jurassic World, original dinosaur maquettes, costume displays and an interactive expo area. Themed food and merchandise along with live entertainment will complement the experience.

As an extension of this fun element, guests will be invited to dress up as their favorite character from the franchise. Please visit for costume guidelines requirements.

More information is available at Like Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook and follow @UniStudios on Instagram and Twitter.

More info below…

The Original HHN Maze that was later made into a Hollywood Movie!

Yes that’s right an original HHN house was later recreated into an actual movie.  It’s not just Disney that can make their rides into movies,  it’s also HHN!

Here’s the story…

15 years ago today Rob Zombie’s masterpiece House of 1000 Corpses was released in theaters. The cacophony of genre mixes, large set pieces and Zombie’s distinctive flair for horror and comedy worked together to make a movie that horrified the critics but was adored by fans.

The film gestated for 3 years on the Universal Studio backlot. Universal executives interfered with the production worried that the movie would get an explicit rating for the violence and graphic scenes. Release delays from nervous execs saw the production move from Universal to MGM and then to Lionsgate – nobody in Tinsel Town were quite sure the film should see the light of day. Zombie finally relented, trimmed the movie up and it was released to a solid R-rating. Within days Lionsgate had a hit on their hands.

But where did the movie come from?

It was 1999 and Universal approached Zombie to create a haunted house at HHN Hollywood. Working in partnership in Hollywood as they had done previously with Clive Barker, the production team worked closely with Zombie to create The Thrilling Chilling World of Rob Zombie, which became incredibly popular. The house was such a success that Universal immediately invited Zombie back to HHN to make another maze in the following year. It was this second maze that would be so successful that it would be expanded and upscaled into an actual movie. That maze was Rob Zombie’s The House of 1000 Corpses Maze.

The sets, the characters and the props were all created for HHN but then used in the production of this movie. Captain Spaulding, the Firefly family, the Murder Ride and The Museum of Monsters & Madmen were all created for HHN.

All of the following images are copyright to Ghost Ride Productions via


The maze was extreme! Zombie warned Universal that in the first year he was just learning his craft but by the second maze he wanted to ‘open the horror taps’ and really go for it. Blood and gore abounded and the public lapped it up. Universal executives greenlit the film production based solely on how popular the HHN maze was.

The HHN maze inspired movie would eventually be released and be wildly popular within the horror genre. The movie earned over $3 million in its opening weekend, and would later go on to gross over $16 million worldwide. Despite its initial negative critical reception, the film went on to develop a cult following. A sequel was rushed into development, The Devil’s Rejects (2005), where the characters move into a horror type caper territory.

House of 1000 Corpses is a unique horror picture that changed the genre and still to this day shocks and delights audiences 15 years later.

Which begs the question, would this movie have ever existed if Universal had not taken a chance on Zombie and allowed his twisted vision to become a HHN reality?  Keep your Pirates of the Caribbean or Eddie Murphy’s Haunted Mansion for movies inspired from theme park attractions, there’s a new king in town!

Did you visit this maze? What other original mazes could be turned into Hollywood movies? Let us know in the comments!

Stranger Things CONFIRMED for HHN

HHN Meets RunDisney!?

Yep you read that right, Universal is currently pondering the idea of adding some kind of competitive running race to HHN and we couldn’t be more excited!  We’ve all seen runners running along the road, they pretty much look like zombies, just add in the traditional blood pouring from their nipples (yes that is a thing!) and they could just as well be the undead.  But fear not, running is not that boring, it can be fun and it is obviously a great way to stay healthy (ironically for this race’s theme).

RunDisney over at the Mouse House has been running for many years and runs very popular events that see people travel from all over the world!  The ‘Disney Difference’ is that you can run through the parks, have unique photo opportunities with selected characters and take home some exclusive bling.

So Universal are thinking of getting in the big running business, a process that they have tested over the years with a number of small employee only 5Ks being held.  This all came to light when Universal released their usual customer survey which included a number of ideas as special add-on tickets for HHN28.  Here’s the screenshot:


It’s also worth noting that the same survey also asked guests what their thoughts were about starting HHN earlier than before, say August, (though we’ve heard rumors of a Sept 14th start) and whether they’d like a VR experience back (Repository sequel).

I mean, where do they get their ideas from…

Whether Chris inspired this choice or not (likely not as they have already prepped with employee only 5Ks) it has to be seen that us at HHNU cannot be more excited for this idea!  We think it would be great and would LOVE to run a 5K whilst getting chased by Scareactors – it is GENIUS.  Please do it!!

Would you love to see this?  Would you take part?  Let us know!

Featured image courtesy of Mary DiNapoli

The Walking Dead Returns… but NOT how you think!

From 2012 to 2016 the popular walker franchise ‘The Walking Dead’ haunted both the streets and houses of HHN Orlando.  Starting off with a single house in 2012 with ‘The Walking Dead: Dead Inside’ the popularity of the show grew enough for the whole event to be walker themed in the following year where every single scarezone was themed to this franchise.  The houses and zones would keep coming until 2016’s ‘best of’ house featuring various scares and popular set pieces from the series would complete the show’s reign of terror at HHN.

Fans of the show have loved experiencing the sets and scares of the show where most of the seasons have been represented (though weirdly none of the characters were) but HHN fans have been less than positive.  HHN fans have decryed from the roof tops of their boredom of the repeated visits of the walkers and their lack of character driven narrative thanks for the most part as the absence of the actors likenesses in any of the houses and zones.  But fear not HHN fans, TWD isn’t coming back in a way you think…

We’ve heard from 3 sources, 2 of which are trusted, that many of the masks, props, costumes and setpieces from the 5 years of TWD back catalogue are currently being refurbished for use at HHN28 in Orlando.  It appears from what we’ve heard that the masks particularly are being altered and “re-colored” for use of another possible hoard of zombies coming this Fall.  But for what purpose?

The rumor according to one source it would appear that a scarezone, probably around the Fast and Furious area, is being designed to celebrate the life and times of George A. Romero who sadly passed away last July.  The rumor goes that since he passed there has been a huge increase of interest in his work and what he did for the horror genre.  For those not in the know, Romero is the grandfather of zombie horror, starting with Night of the Living Dead (1968), which is often considered the genesis of the modern fictional zombie genre. Other films in the series include Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985) (including their remakes).  Aside from this series, his works include The Crazies (1973), Martin (1978), Creepshow (1982), Monkey Shines (1988), The Dark Half (1993) and Bruiser (2000).

The rumor says that Universal via HHN want to honor his work and provide a scarezone that not only scares HHN goers but also shows the evolution of the zombie genre.  The very first movie that kickstarted the whole zombie on film craze was ‘Night of the Living Dead’ shot on a very low budget.  Shot on black and white film it terrified audiences with it’s gritty realism and tension packed pace.  It is this the rumor says is to be used for the refurbished masks and costumes where the masks will be hand painted black and white in honor of this genesis movie.

The backup for this rumor comes from two areas.  The first is the legal side of proceedings where the ‘Night’ movie is now supposedly public realm and not officially recognized by copyright.  It appears that the original distributor (Walter Reade Organization) did not copyright the original prints.  And in 1968 US law defined that all original prints required a copyright.  As this never happened if could mean that other media companies could use the source material for their own means.  In the 1980s a slew of zombie pictures were released all with the same similar ‘night’ prefix that indicates this absence of any proper copyright.

The copright issues are explained here:

The other factor is Romero’s passing.  Since he left this mortal coil there has been a release of novels, books, graphic novels, mentions and merch all honoring his life and work.  The idea could be that a fitting tribute be made for this year’s HHN in Orlando that honors him and educates everyone how he created this zombie genre and how without him we would not have the huge cacophony of zombie movies/books/TV shows etc that we have today.  Black and White zombies at HHN have also been done before but this was in a house, so how they’ll work outdoors in a zone would be very interesting to find out.

So there you have it: 3 tips and some rumors to belt it all up.  Are we right?  Well only Universal knows that.  We’ll just have to wait until September 2018…

For more info on Romero read our tribute to him that our HHNU staffer Rob wrote last year HERE.

Would you like to see a Romero tribute scarezone?  Do you think this would work?  Let us know in the comments!

Our buddy Fowl Owlerson helped contribute to this article, go read his blog HERE.

Recent HHN Marketing Wins and Fails!

In the last couple of days HHN has received heaps of praise and complaints in equal measures.  Firstly the praise which came in the form of Universal Orlando winning an “Addy” at the 2018 Orlando American Advertising Awards in the film and TV category for their commercial for HHN27.

Directed by famed horror director Eli Roth the 1min 48 long commercial named “The Best Nightmares – Director’s Cut” won out against other TV marketing campaigns to win the top spot at the local awards.  For those that want a trip down memory lane to see this awesome commercial, click below:

The praise comes for Orlando as the marketing campaign for Resorts World Sentosa Singapore’s HHN comes under heavy scrutiny.   The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) reported this week that half of all the complaints these received last year from concerned citizens related to HHN.

The complaints focused on publicity stunts that the resort made to better publicize their HHN event on social media, these included three fake memorials located at bus shelters, with the names and photos – along with flowers – of “victims” of a fictional Southpoint Mall disaster, with complainers calling the campaign “tasteless” and “insensitive”.

Another stunt even included a campaign where people had to help locate a missing girl and an advertisement featuring self harm.  ASAS said: “As the feedback was received at the end of the advertisement’s run, the advertiser agreed to take ASAS’ feedback into consideration for future Halloween events.”


They continued: “ASAS informed the advertiser who created the advertisement that depicted self-harm during Halloween, that it had breached the Singapore Code of Advertising Practice (SCAP) guidelines on violence and influence to children and young people. As the feedback was received at the end of the advertisement’s run, the advertiser agreed to take ASAS’s feedback into consideration for future Halloween events. Advertisers are reminded that advertisements addressed to or likely to influence children and young people should not contain anything that might influence them to harm themselves mentally, morally or physically.”

It can be said that perhaps the mistakes made last year at HHN Singapore are exactly the mistakes that Orlando has avoided by not allowing Sindy to icon the event.  Speaking of Orlando and to end on a positive note, Universal Orlando didn’t just win for HHN at the Addy’s!  They also won best Social Media Video for their highly popular fan video, “You Know You’re an UOAP When…”.  The short video was wildly popular across social media and featured some very familiar HHN alumni sending up their former HHN roles.  If you didn’t catch it, see this incredibly well done and now ‘award winning’ video below!

That’s it for now and we hope to bring you more news and rumors for HHN28 as we receive them…

Bill & Ted Return! (To the Silver Screen)

It seems after years of “will they / won’t they” our favorite time traveling dudes are set to return to theaters soon with a brand new installment to their iconic franchise (which isn’t the greatest of timings now they have left HHN! But hey we can all dream).

Returning with original stars Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves along with co-creators Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon the original team are director Dean Parisot, (Galaxy Quest) and producer Steven Soderbergh.

Solomon told Digital Spy:

“We have a script that we really are proud of, that we worked very hard on, that we’ve done many iterations of – and we did it on spec, meaning we spent years working on it because we wanted to get it right, creatively.

This is not, ‘Hey let’s all cash-in on the Bill & Ted thing for money’ – this is the opposite. This is, ‘We love these characters, they’ve been with us for our whole lives’ – Chris and me, and Alex and Keanu – and we wanted to visit them again as middle-aged men. We thought it would be really fun, and funny, and sweet.”

He went on to explain the plot details where older dudes meet the younger dudes and where the whole movie gets “totally” meta, he said:

“There’s actually a scene – one of my favourite scenes in the whole movie – where middle-aged, 50-year-old Bill and Ted return to the Circle K and see their teen selves and Rufus, and actually interact with their teenage selves, played by their actual teenage selves.”

No release date has been fixed and the filmmakers are still working on the script as they raise finances for it’s production, so it might be some time before we see the duo back in action.

Heck, if they need a hand we know an old prop phonebox that’s going spare…

Would you see this movie?  Do you think Bill and Ted should return to HHN?  Let us know in the comments!