The Celebrity Super-fans of HHN

For many years now our beloved event HHN has been a global phenomenon that has attracted millions and millions of people through the gates of Orlando, Hollywood, Spain (yes Spain!), Japan and Singapore to experience this world-class Halloween event.

But normal people fReAkS like you and I aren’t the only ones that have been flocking to these events but also celebrities have been too. From members of Marvel’s Avengers to rock n’ roll royalty have all been delighting in the horrah.

What HHN fans might not realize is that many of these celebs are actually super fans of HHN and are often spotted year after year attending the event. So for today’s article we thought we’d look into which celebs are actual Super Secret HHN fReAkS!!

Penn & Teller

The magical duo have been involved with HHN since the very beginning of event (they appeared in Hollywood’s first year) and they’re also rumored to be HUGE HHN fans of both coasts! But it wasn’t until 2012’s Penn & Teller: New(kd) Las Vegas 3-D that the duo not only designed their own house but starred within it as scareactors for select nights. I have vivid memories of guests walking through that house only to double-triple-quadruple-take that they had just been literally scared by the actual masters of magic. Back in 2016 HHNU broke the news that the duo were spotted in Orlando on business trips and many speculated that they might have been discussing working with Universal, alas nothing has yet come of this news. 🤞

Ariana Grande

This native floridian and mega pop sensation has been visiting our Orlando event since she was a kid, and although she now resides in the City of Angels (where she has been visiting Hollywood’s event in the last couple of years too!), she always takes time out of her busy schedule to visit her home state and enjoy some east coast scares.

And as you can see below, she visits very regularly!

Fran Summers

The current face regular cover model for Vogue is an internationally renowned model but what many don’t know about her is that she adores Universal Orlando and HHN.

In a recent interview talking about her passions for Vogue she said:

“Flo-ri-dah baby! I think I’m going again this year. First things first, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios – best thing ever. If I could recommend one holiday to go on this is it. Basically, me and my sister went to all the theme parks last October for two weeks and my brother came for one. Universal Horror Nights is this big thing around Halloween – they have like 10 haunted houses. There’s a Stranger Things one, there was a Saw one the year before – very scary actually – and a Michael Myers one. We got express tickets and went five nights in a row, to every house and backstage tour. I went from the Fashion Month where, I think, I did something like 39 shows that season, and literally didn’t have one break. So I went straight to Florida once it finished. Honestly, it was my best decision ever, I just forgot about everything!”

James Franco

The coolest of cool Hollywood actor has done what many HHN fReAkS have aspired to become because he is not only a super fan but he has also been an actual scareactor!

I’m told that he has appeared twice as a scareactor but in researching this article I could only find information on his appearance in Hollywood’s The Shining maze. I seem to remember that he possible appeared in the This is the End maze but does anyone know?

Jason Blum

As with Penn and Teller, Blum holds the title of working with Universal to develop a number of mazes. From my notes I can see how he personally has been attending the Hollywood event for over a decade.

Starting in 2011 he helped bring Insidious to both coasts, plus many others ever since with no less than two houses on both coasts since 2017 featuring his company’s name. HHN’s John Murdy said of Blum in 2011:

“To bring the paranormal world of ‘Insidious’ to life, we’re collaborating with the film’s director James Wan, writer/co-star Leigh Whannell and producer Jason Blum, who all happen to be huge fans of our Halloween event!”

Slash

The man, the myth, the legend, has been visiting HHN in Hollywood for years. He has helped design mazes and last year he helped score a maze! The Universal Monsters Maze was widely haled as one of the best mazes Hollywood has ever built.

Here’s a trailer for this amazing maze:

Photo from Hollywood Life

Justin Bieber

The global pop star has been spotted many times at HHN (mostly in Hollywood) and he normally attends with a large entourage which over the years have included Selena Gomez and Kourtney Kardashian; who themselves are huge respective fans of HHN. Here’s a sneaky picture of him enjoying a rest between mazes in 2013:

Zoe Saldana

Interesting although she’s the only Avenger on this list she isn’t the only Avenger to attend HHN. This Avenger or Guardian of the Galaxy has a special mention as she has visited the event without fail every year for more than a decade. She loves the horrah and apparently she is also super nice should you bump into her during the event.

So there you have it, the biggest HHN Super Fans! Let us know in the comments which celebs you think should be on this list and who you’ve spotted at HHN!

My Updated I.P. Wish-list

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.

Phantasm II

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.

The Thing

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!

Videodrome

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.

Legend

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

“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?

Dates for your Diary

There’s no mistaking that after a very early update from Universal on dates and BOGO tickets for HHN29 we haven’t yet had any house announcements at all. So what we thought we’d do is to provide a list of dates based on last year’s announcements and at least that way we can see when roughly the next updates will be. So here goes:

End of March: Dates and BOGO tickets

First week in April: Stranger Things

Last week in April: Dead Exposure

Second week in May: Trick r Treat

First week in June: Show and zones

End of June: Slaughter Sinema and zones

End of July: Carnival Graveyard

First week in August: Seeds of Extinction

First week in August: Poltergeist

Middle of August: Halloween 4

End of August: Blumhouse and Scary Tales

End of August: Merch update

Start of September: Food update

The earliest house announcement we’ve ever had is in the last week of March (2017) though technically we had a house announcement at the very end of HHN19 but that was a long time ago! Anyways, mark your calendars now and let’s hope we get an official announcement soon!

Let us know when you’ll think the next announcement will be and keep your eyes peeled for more info on #HHN29!

Former HHN Creative Creates Scary Escape Room Experience

Co-Created by former HHN Orlando and Universal Studios Artist Seth Wolfson the experience is expected to blur the lines between haunted house and escape room but taking this new 60 minute team adventure to new heights!

Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn Escape Room will see players enter into the infamous cabin in the woods to find the Kandarian Dagger and destroy the Book of the Dead before the evil dead swallow their souls. Currently under construction in Seattle, the experience is set to open later this year.

Fans of the cult horror classic can expect to be encountered by Deadites, deadly chainsaws, a very strange deer head, a chained-up cellar door (chained up for good reason!), and plenty of weird and gruesome surprises.

Wolfson has promised that everything he learnt while honing his skills at HHN will be deployed to new levels with expert level attention to detail to the original movie, scareactors, animatronics (his speciality) and every scare tactic in the book! He said:

“Every part of the design phase we stop and ask if this fits into the Evil Dead 2 universe. We want this to be a great Evil Dead 2 experience and a well-respected escape room on its own merit… It’s an honor to be the first team ever entrusted with creating an escape room out of my all-time favorite horror film. It’s a dream come true.”

Unfortunately, the attraction is located in Seattle and no news has been received that the attraction will tour, but Wolfson isn’t deterred as apparently people are already promising to attend the experience from all over the world.

Doesn’t this sound awesome! Will you be travelling up to experience it? Let us know in the comments!

For more information click here.

Disney Fox Deal WILL Affect HHN

It’s with sad news we can confirm the rumors of whether the new Disney deal with Fox will in fact affect HHN from a tweet that was sent a few days ago by HHN Hollywood’s Creative Lead John Murdy.

For those that don’t know, and there can’t surely be many of you, the deal we’re mentioning is the agreement of where many of the Twentieth Century Fox assets are to be purchased by Disney and assimilated into their ever growing current business. The deal includes nearly all broadcasting rights, contracts and deals for television and film with mostly news outlets and newspapers being excluded.

It’s not known exactly when the deal with finalize but it is expected to complete this year giving Disney the controlling powers over virtually all of Fox’s former properties.

The tweet was during one of HHN Hollywood’s regular fan Q&A’s:

As “ahs” or American Horror Story was a perennial favorite at HHN it will be sad to see this property not return. Which got us thinking, what other properties do Fox own that now will likely never see the light of day at HHN? Here’s some ideas:

Aliens / Predator

We’ve never had a house where either of these properties has been allowed to explore their own respective franchises and the best we ever came was a “vs” house back in 2014.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

A rad choice from the 90s and it featured at a previous edition of HHN but strictly in Hollywood (it was also an awesome house read the walkthrough here). With a reboot of the franchise expected soon this could be annoying and what about the Body Collectors (or Gentlemen)!? No more Body Collectors???

A Cure For Wellness

This was recently rumored in 2018 but never saw the light of day.

The Exorcist

It’s been done recently and the sequels aren’t a great loss…

The Fly

Both the original and the beloved 80s version with Jeff Goldblum could sadly be off the table.

Jeepers Creepers

This property has apparently nearly been made a few times, it’s a shame we might never see it realized.

Hammer Horror

Some of the 70s British horror movies were released under the Fox banner. Most of them featured Christopher Lee as Dracula being pursued by Peter Cushing in various guises.

Hellraiser

This long rumored property has apparently got a very complicated legal ownership where Fox has some say over various parts of the franchise.

Lake Placid

The guy that keeps banging the JAWS drum is gonna be pissed…

The Legend of Hill House

Not to be confused with the Haunting of Hill House...

The Omen

Damian won’t likely be rising anytime soon.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Orlando has done a show based on this a few times and it’s sad it might never come back. We just need to take a step to the left and then a step to the riiiiiiiight.

Paranormal Activity

HHN has done similar houses to this with original content.

Poltergeist

Lucky they did it already!

The Simpsons

Forget any chances of a Treehouse of Horror house now.

28 Days Later

We’ve surely had enough zombies houses for this millennium!

Wrong Turn

We’ve had similar houses over the years which were likely better anyway.

The X-Files

It’s been unofficially at the event with The Spawning in 2009 and at various Bill and Ted shows.

But it’s not all bad news:

 

So there you have it. A number of IPs that may or may not ever come to HHN but if the Murdy tweet is to be believed it would appear these properties aren’t likely to come to HHN anytime soon. Thanks Mickey!

So there you have it, let us know your thoughts in the comments! And remember, nothing is confirmed until Universal confirms it!

Rumor: Is Universal Orlando Finally Opening a Year-round Haunt?

Full credit to this rumor goes to our pal Alicia Stella the ace crack theme park reporter who has been the first in the know on Potter and Jurassic Park extensions.  A link to her website and podcast are here.

As we have reported previously it would appear that the Classic Universal Monsters are making something of a return from the doldrums of their aborted Dark Universe concept and are being proposed as a new ‘world’ within the new theme park that Universal Orlando are apparently building.

Yesterday Dan at HHNU reported on rumors he had received where Universal are keen to maximise the use of their own properties without wanting to buy-in too many other IPs from the outside companies; so, the classic monsters, wholly owned by Universal, would fit this model perfectly.

Alicia points within her latest article that at a recent shareholder/stakeholder meeting it might have shown text that read, “Dracula’s Castle and the Worlds of Universal Classic Monsters, concept art for one of the many attractions in the Universal Classic Monsters.”

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She also points out that rumors are spreading around the internet of “everything from a show of some type or walk-through maze attraction, to a high-tech dark ride and even a boat ride based on the Creature from the Black Lagoon.”

As you can appreciate that is just rumor but the leak of the concept art for the Castle does apparently show that they are considering building some kind of haunted looking attraction, with the best guess being that it could be a maze of some kind just like the Castle Dracula, later renamed The House of Horrors walkthrough maze that graced the Upper Lot of Universal Studios Hollywood for many years.

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What with Blumhouse confirmed to be revitalizing the classic monsters and a new mural appearing on the backlot at Hollywood, there definitely seems to be increased interest in this use and what better way to celebrate the films that literally saved Universal from financial ruin in the 1930s than by giving these creepy creatures their own ‘world within a world’ at their new park.

So could Orlando be finally recieving a year-round haunt?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

And remember, nothing is confirmed or fact until Universal confirms it, just RUMORS!

Possibles for HHN29…

On a recent episode of The Universal Joint with Jim Hill, Jim spoke at length about Universal’s wider strategy to cutback their use of external outside IPs and instead try to ensure that to, as far as reasonable practical, use their own Universal brands when trying to develop new attractions and additions to the parks.

Recent examples of this include: The Fast and the Furious Ride, Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon and the soon to be re-themed bakery at the entrance which according to Jim will be refurbished into a new Today styled quick bites eatery. And from what we’re hearing HHN will be no different.

Certain external centrepiece IPs are supposedly still in contention, especially those in partnership with Netflix but the wider haul of houses going forward are supposedly being sort to contain mostly NBC Universal properties.

This being said we thought we’d dive into their back catalogue and look at what possible franchises and films Universal has access to without much external permission making:

**Warning Speculation Ahead**

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Universal Monsters

This maze appeared last year at HHN Hollywood and was a real home run for the event. Detailed environments were paired with excellent special effects and superb character design that ensured this was the best house at Hollywood last year. And if Blumhouse reignite the stalled Dark Universe franchise this could be very exciting.

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Alfred Hitchcock

Apparently, most of his movies and TV shows were acquired by Universal prior to Hitch’s death. In the final third act of his life he spent his days on the backlot of Universal Hollywood where he planned and then shot many of latter classics. You can read more about that here.

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Blumhouse

The Indy film studio that has turned small scale sleeper movies into box office gold, including no less than last year’s smash hit Halloween has been partnered with Universal for some time. This partnership has also seen Blumhouse provide varying degrees of great houses at Orlando and Hollywood for 2017 and 2018.

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Jurassic World/Park

As hard as it may seem to turn this franchise into a house Universal have done it before! Read more about that house and scarezone here.

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Child’s Play

Some say that Chucky gets used too much but did you see that scarezone last year? It was scary and hilarious, ergo we can always have more Chucky!

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JAWS

Keep dreaming fanboys!  😉  (Though it is only one on this list that’s never had a house….)

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Insidious

We’ve had a number of houses from this franchise before but there’s definitely more room to provide out-of-the-box ideas if they wanted, such as a house dedicated to the Lipstick Demon for example?

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The Purge

We’ve had enough of The Purge right?

And that’s it for franchises, unless we’ve missed some? Let us know your thoughts and what possible Universal productions you’d like to see at HHN in the comments!

And remember, nothing is confirmed or fact until Universal confirms it, just RUMORS!

Jack, Chance & The Usher are returning BUT not how you think…

Jack the Clown, his murderous muse Chance and The Usher are back together again for another show but this time, the amazing actors behind these classic HHN roles will be portraying new and existing characters in the forthcoming new show Animatronicans: Under New Management.

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Jeff Jones, comedian, playwright and co-star of the original The Animatronicans, has written a sequel to his hit play which he describes as not a sequel but another episode of the show.  For those that don’t know, the show is what would happen if a number of Disney’s Audio-Animatronic characters were brought to life and started living together just outside the gates of Walt Disney World.

The Usher aka Josh Siniscalco will play Abe Lincoln from Hall of Presidents, Jack the Clown aka James Keaton will play the now missing Polar Bear from the former Maelstrom ride and Chance aka Erin Cline will be giving her hilarious take on the Redhead, the beloved yet seemingly now unemployed figure from the current version of Pirates of the Caribbean Ride.

The show is premiering within the 2019 Orlando Fringe Festival, which will be held on May 14-27 in Orlando’s Loch Haven Park.

For more information: https://orlandofringe.org/

Did you see the original show?  And if so let us know what you thought!  And also whether you’ll be buying tickets!

 

 

Seeds of Extinction is REAL!

We all remember last year’s smash hit house Seeds of Extinction. Located in a new location, in the Second Parade Warehouse, the house was immense! It was described as, “Humanity is extinct, wiped out by a cataclysmic meteor. In its wake something monstrous has taken root. You’ll be unnerved by familiar sights that have been overtaken by invasive vegetation. But soon your horror will ripen as you realize these plants are predatory, and you’re easy pickings. From strangling vines, to deadly beautiful blooms, to phosphorescent plants that glow with evil, fear is fertile in this gruesome garden.”

It was mostly set within the fictional Desert Valley Mall where it has been overrun with murderous plants. But did you know… there are actual malls like this!

Dead Malls have sprung up around the world where shopping outlets that have fallen on hard times and closed fall into disrepair as it’s cheaper to leave the malls to rot and be taken over by nature than it is to have them demolished.

And that’s why this one in Bangkok really got our attention as it looks just the HHN house! Check the photos out below and know that, if you wanted to, you could visit this house for REAL!

It truly was an amazing house! Let us know in the comments if you agree!

Photos by Dax Ward

Why JAWS Could Be An Excellent House For HHN29…

Everybody loves JAWS, period.  It has to be one of those absolutely perfect movies that doesn’t matter how old you are or where you come from, you all universally love it (pun intended!).  From people tweeting Universal daily for a new JAWS ride (yes that happens and there’s even a dedicated Twitter account for it too), to people reminiscing on the old ride and how with all the new land Universal is currently developing they could build a new one.

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Indeed we can thank the original JAWS ride for bringing HHN to Orlando, as if it wasn’t for this amazing attraction breaking-down and subsequently having to be rebuilt we might not have ever gotten HHN!  Read more about that story here.

And everyone’s favorite popular culture merchandiser Funko have even announced today that they are developing a range of JAWS figures; so there’s a ready made merchandise line ready to go!

So that’s why we NEED a JAWS house at HHN.  It would be killer to step into the scenes from the movie using a combination of practical effects and even screens, yes screens can be scary too, as demonstrated by the video below.

And life can even imitate art when a YouTube Urban Explorer recently found more than he bargained for when exploring an old abandoned theme park he came face-to-face with a real giant Great White Shark in a tank!  It was dead and half decomposed but zombie sharks are just as scary!  The original story was reported a few days ago by a number of major outlets and can be read here.  Another view of the tank is below, but note due to vandals, Zombie JAWS has now been destroyed.

 


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Cracking open a cold Mountain Dew with the boys

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So there you have it.  Universal needs to dust-off all the props from their old ride and redeploy them into making a new kick-ass JAWS house.  If they can make an elevator bleed waves of blood for The Shining or have a possessed doll walk like a backwards crab down a flight of stairs for The Exorcist then they can definitely find a way to make this house happen!

Do you agree with this?  Would you love to see a JAWS house?  Let us know in the comments!