The Connection Between A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday 13th and The Evil Dead

Halloween Horror Nights has given us several memorable haunted houses based off of intellectual proprieties (IPs) over the last twenty-seven years.  The list of IPs has grown to include A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and The Evil Dead.  Each of these films are considered classics from the 1980’s and have immense cult-like devotion from their fans.  That being said, most people do not realize that these movies are connected due to a few cleverly placed props.

It all began with a poster

While watching, “The Hill Have Eyes,” Sam Raimi noticed a scene with a half ripped poster from,”Jaws.” Raimi interpreted this as the movie’s director Wes Craven saying the movie was scarier then, “Jaws.” So, once Raimi finally got his shot to direct he decided to reference the half ripped poster in his movie, “The Evil Dead.” During the scene were Ash and Scott explore the cabin’s basement a half ripped poster from, “The Hills Have Eyes,” can be clearly seen on the wall.  So, Raimi is trying to say that, “The Hill Have Eyes,” is only as half as scary as ,”The Evil Dead.”

Wes plays along

Once, Wes Crave saw, “The Evil Dead,” and heard why Sam Raimi placed  a, “Hills Have Eyes,” poster in the film he decided to play along.  Craven winked back at Raimi by including a scene in ,”A Nightmare on Elm Street,” where lead character Nancy is watching, “The Evil Dead,” on her television while trying to stay up.

If the glove fits

Loving the fact that Wes Craven referenced his film in, “A Nightmare on Elm Street,”  he decided to take it to the next level in the sequel, “Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn.”  This time around Raimi referenced, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” by including two scenes where Freddy’s glove is clearly seen hanging in the background. The first scene is when Ash goes into the woodshed and Freddy’s glove can be seen hanging over the door frame.  The final reference can be seen when Ash in wondering in the basement looking for the missing pages of the Necronomicon Ex-Moris, or the Book of the Dead.

A Book is only worth what it is printed on

After the dismal box-office results of, “Friday the 13th part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan,” Paramount Pictures sold the franchise rights to New Line Cinemas in 1990.  This lead to one of the weirdest entries in the Friday the 13th series, “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.”   In this film, Creighton Duke reads a spell from the Necronomicon, while another character stabs Jason with the Kandarian dagger.

The Ending or the Beginning everyone wanted

By now, everyone knows how, “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday,” ends. Freddy’s glove comes out of the ground and crushes Jason’s mask. This was the ending that every fanboy wanted and it lead to the film, “Freddy vs. Jason.” However, with the inclusion of the Necronomicon and Kandarian dagger many fans wanted a sequel called, “Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash.” The fanboys never did get this movie, but they instead got a limited six issue comic series published by Wildstorm and Dynamite Entertainment. This series ran from November 2007 until March 2008.

This could be the greatest house ever built…

This leads me to wonder why Halloween Horror Nights have not created a Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash house yet?  I believe this would be an incredible house and the billing alone would draw in the fans.  Please Universal give us a mega house that combines scenes from all three franchises and climaxes with Ash breaking out his boom stick and  chainsaw to send Freddy and Jason back to Hell!

So, did you know all these facts? Are you still hoping for a Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash movie? Do you think this would make a great HHN House?  Let us know!

My Top Five HHN Houses

My love for Halloween Horror Nights began almost four short years ago when I was lucky enough to attend HHN 25.  That year’s event showcased nine incredible haunted houses, five scarezones and brought back everyone’s favorite icon Jack the clown.  I was hooked the second I walked into one of the haunted houses and have been back every year since. Here are my top five favorite HHN houses from the last three Halloween Horror Nights.

1. Jack Presents: 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem

This was the very first HHN house I ever dared to walk into and it set the bar for the rest. I was completely blown away with all the amount of detail that each scene contained. It was literally like being in all the monster movies I grew up watching. This house still has the honor of being the only one to actually make me jump from a scare. This was all due to the perfect timing of the scareactors and a well built false wall.

2. American Horror Story (Murder House/Freak Show/Hotel)

2016’s American Horror Story uber maze was the star of Halloween Horror Nights 26.  The Universal creative team did an incredible job combining the three seasons of: Murder House, Freak Show and Hotel into one house of pure adrenaline.  Even if you are not a fan of this show the house featured Twisty the clown, who is down right creepy and the actors that portrayed the character were on point.

3. Scarecrow The Reaping

Scarecrow The Reaping was the best house of Halloween Horror Nights 27 and some believe it may be the best house ever. This original concept maze had you walk through a farm during the 1930’s dust bowl, while being attacked by a pack of scarecrows.  What made this so memorable were the narrow halls that made everything feel claustrophobic.  Plus, it seemed that the actors were jumping at you from every corner possible.  Another bonus for this house was the facade, which included actual rows of corn that only helped you believe you were actually on a farm.

4. Insidious

HHN 25’s Insidious house took users through the further as shown in the first two chapters of the movie series.  You could tell who ever designed this house was a fan of the movies series, because every scare from the movies were included into this house. What I remember the most from this house was waking into a room and seeing the lipstick demon jump at the person in front of me. Trying to act all bad ass I looked the actor in the eyes as they slowly went backwards into a false wall only to see the actor’s eyes look past me as if something was hidden out of my sight. I figured go with it, so I turned around to find another lipstick demon right behind me looking over my shoulder.

5. The Exorcist 

The Exorcist was HHN 26’s most anticipated house and it lived up to all the hype. First, I would like to point out that the movie is considered one of the scariest movies of all time and Universal took on a huge challenge trying to create many of its memorable scenes.  What I remember most about this house was the smell of pea soup as you walked past vomit stained sheets.  This house scared my sister-in-law so bad that she refused to do anymore houses that night.

So, what are your favorite Halloween Horror Nights houses? Let us know!

Three Scarezones Announced!

Although scarezone announcements aren’t as exciting as House announcements, they’re a huge part of the event and make the experience that much greater. Today we learned about three scarezones we’ll see this coming HHN28

The Harvest

Last year’s House of the Year award winner “Scarecrow: The Reaping” is making it’s comeback for HHN28, and this time it’s in the form of a scarezone! That’s right, the frightening characters of last year’s scariest haunted house attraction are coming back, and this time outside of the confines of a haunted house! The scarezone will be themed as a large farmhouse, decorated with trinkets from each haunted house featured this year at HHN28

Vamp ‘85

As another callback to a previous Horror Nights event, Vamp ‘85 is a sequel to the HHN26 scarezone, Vamp ‘55. Whereas two years ago the scarezone was a high school pep-rally and parade being over-run by vampires, this scarezone takes us 30 years into this fictitious timeline. This time, though, it’s not a high school football hype party; it’s a New Year’s Eve party! Expect lots of confetti!

Twisted Tradition

Remember how Central Park was decorated with over 200 jack-o-lanterns in the Trick R Treat scarezone? This year the pumpkins are back, but this time they’re a bit rotten. The description of this scarezone is rather vague so far, but our understanding tells us to expect rotting pumpkin-people and other decaying creatures.

As always, check back with us here at HHNU for the lastest updates on HHN28!

 

Survey Hints at Possible REPEAT Houses & Numbers for HHN28

A survey was released today from Universal Orlando on the topic of HHN28. The survey primarily asked users about which years that they had attended HHN in the past and what expectations they had over the number of IP houses (external well known properties) or original concept houses.

This was all very interesting as the survey made reference to 10 houses and 2 shows through the different topics, which therefore suggests that Universal is likely planning on these numbers for HHN28. As of yet, Universal has not confirmed the number of houses, scarezones or shows but has hinted at a number similar to last year.

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The other tidbit of information was the below list of houses from past years that hint as to whether you’d be happy about them returning to the event, essentially being repeats. Whereas Orlando hardly ever repeats houses, it is common in the wider haunt industry to repeat various houses from previous years. The list is interesting as it contains two houses, which are highly rumored for this year, namely Halloween and Asylum in Wonderland. Which begs the question as to why Universal would want to know whether you’d be pleased to see these houses return?

 

Anyhow, this is just a quick update from us as it is very likely other official updates from Universal Orlando must surely be around the corner! Are you excited if any of these houses would return? Let us know in the comments!

Trick r’ Treat Returns for HHN28

Beginning September 14, Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood will bring Legendary Pictures’ cult Halloween classic Trick ‘r Treat to life in all-new Halloween Horror Nights mazes that dare guests to live by the rules or suffer the consequences.

Based on the critically-acclaimed and fan-favorite movie, directed by Michael Dougherty, the “Trick ‘r Treat” maze will transport guests to Warren Valley, Ohio on Halloween night to celebrate the holiday’s dark traditions. Recreating some of the anthology’s most iconic scenes, the disturbing new maze invites brave thrill-seekers to become entwined within the secrets of this sleepy suburban town.

Guests will experience some of the film’s most grisly scenes and encounter hauntingly familiar characters. They will meander through Mr. Kreeg’s infamous house, watch as college students viciously transform into bloodthirsty werewolves and dismember the town, as well as come face-to-face with Sam – the spirit of Halloween – who readies to punish those who break the holiday’s tradition.

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 25 years, guests from around the world have visited “Halloween Horror Nights” in Hollywood and Orlando to become victims inside their own horror film. Multiple movie-quality mazes based on iconic horror television shows, films and original stories come to life season after season. And, the streets of each coast’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing scare-actors lunge from every darkened corner.

Additional details about Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” will be revealed soon. Select tickets and vacation packages for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights are on sale now. For more information about “Halloween Horror Nights” at either Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.

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.

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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…

 

Would A Quiet Place Make a Good HHN House?

“A Quiet Place,” tells the story of the Abbott family trying to live in complete silence to hide from creatures that hunt by sound.  In no way is this movie scary, but it definitely has some incredibly suspenseful moments.  The amount of details each character puts into trying to remain silent is beyond brilliant.  Such details include speaking in sign language, sound proofing rooms, and even painting walking paths on the home’s floor to prevent the children from walking on squeaky floorboards.

Personally, I would have to say this one of the smartest horror films I have seen in quite awhile. There are some many details in this film that I would recommend watching it a few times, so that you may pick-up on them all. This film takes scenes of children playing and turns them their ears when you realize later that the kids where not playing at all, but instead practicing their role in a planned family escape plan. The only complaint I could see anyone having with this movie would the ending. I personally liked how the movie end, but it is definitely one of those sudden cuts to black, hear the sound of a cash register ring and roll credits.  To me this leaves the audience wanting more and thirsty to see a sequel.

Now, the most important question could this story line work as a Halloween Horror Nights house.  I think this would make an incredible maze if it was built in the fashion of last year’s ,”Scarecrow: The Reaping.”  You could even keep the facade, since the Abbott family lives on a farm with cornfields. The rest would be simple, just have sudden loud audible cues and then have a monster jump out at you.

Come on Universal make this happen please!  Have you seen it and do you think this would be a good house?

Farewell to the King Baby!!!

For those of you that may not know STARZ has put the series, “Ash vs, Evil Dead,” to rest after airing the season finale for the show’s lackluster season three.  Season three has been very hit and miss to say the least, relying on a very convoluted plot and recycling old gags  from the original trilogy of movies. Some of the recycled gags included Ash battling an evil version of himself and the series ending with the original planned finale for, “The Army of Darkness.”  I will not give any spoilers away for those of you that still have not seen this finale, but I will say the only way it could have been worse would be by having Ash sit next to the Ghostbeaters and eat onion rings while listening to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”

Furthermore, Bruce Campbell has now come out and announced that he will no longer act as the character Ashley J. Williams, thus putting a final nail in the ,”Evil Dead,” coffin.  I would like to thank Mr. Campbell for his thirty plus years of dedication to the character of Ash Williams and making sure he always appeared as a every man that anyone could identify with.  Mr. Campbell, I am sure you have many awesome projects on your radar, but I secretly hope you or your agent get Budweiser on the phone and make you the new king of beers. That way we can go from, “Dilly, Dilly!” to ,”Hail to the King of Beers Baby!!!”  Not to mention there is a Budweiser brewery in your character Ash J. Williams’s favorite vacation spot Jacksonville, Florida.

It is hard to imagine that just last year Ash vs. Evil Dead was a house at Halloween Horror Nights 27.  Rest in peace Ashley J. Williams a.k.a Ashley Slashy.

Gone but NEVER forgotten!  Thank you for an awesome HHN house.

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 www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com/JP25 for costume guidelines requirements.

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

More info below…

Top Ten Intellectual Properties I would love to see at Halloween Horror Nights

1. Return of the Living Dead

Return of the Living Dead is by far my favorite horror movie of time. This one of the few horror films where the characters make logical decisions, but still seem to get themselves in dire situations. The film is non-stop action, great special effects and still has moments of comedy allowing the viewer to catch their breath.

This movie would make an incredible Halloween Horror Nights maze. First, you have an unlimited of zombies to jump at you from every corner.  This film has several memorable scenes that Universal’s creative team could knock out of the park. Such as the scenes where the goo-zombie is attacking in the basement, or when Ernie is dissecting a body in the morgue. Not to mention if Universal made this one of their smaller mazes the action would be non-stop and give the users a scare around every corner.

2. Psycho/Bates Motel

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.

3. Fright Night

First of all I want to make it know that we  are only talking about the original 1985 version of this film.  This movie is not only great story, but it was also one of the first horror films to present a lead character who is film savvy and knows how to follow the paint by numbers approach in order to survive.  This character approach would later give us another horror classic in, “Scream.”

The real reason I only see the 1985 version of the movie as a maze, is that you could do some really cheesy Peter Vincent, “Fright Night,” TV show monologues cue videos just like Universal did for the now classic maze, “HR Bloodengutz.”  This would get the crowd pumped up and excited for the maze. Finally, Universal should have plenty of vampire supplies left over from 2017’s “The Hive,” to recreate some of the film’s more famous scenes.

4. Suspiria 3-D

Suspiria is an incredible viewing experience, that challenges all of your senses.  First, the scenery is all vibrant red and violet colors that gives the viewer a sense of being in an desolate dream. Next, you have the incredibly bloodcurdling soundtrack by the band Goblin.

Taking in account of all the visual and audio aspects of this movie I fill this would make an incredible 3-D. All the vibrant colors of the movie could be recreated using the glow-in-the dark neon colors that Universal loves to use in 3-D houses. As for music, just blast the Suspiria theme song and let the mindf@### begin!

5. The Howling/Dog Soldiers

Either one of these houses would be easy to create. Just give us incredibly intimidating tall werewolves in very confined spaces. Give us a claustrophobic feeling of no where to run or hide. Makes feel that we are being hunted down one by one and the screams are certain to happen.

6. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3

Where to begin on such a classic film that saved a movie franchise. Freddy is a horror icon, so you can never go wrong including him at a Halloween Horror Nights.  I would be happy if Universal just recreated all the classic kills from the films. If anything, Universal would have to give us the Freddy worm trying to swallow Kirsten and the, “Welcome to Prime Time,” TV scenes to make this maze legit. It would allow be incredible to see Universal recreate the winding stairs to Hell, right before you face off against Kruger in the boiler room.

7. Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Every year at Horror Nights there is a comedic house, so why not have ,”Killer Klowns from Outer Space.”  This movie has a cult following, so it would guarantee to sell tickets to the event.  Not to mention that a lot of people are direly afraid of clowns. So, this intellectual property is a no brainer to me.

8. Hellraiser

Count this one on the why hasn’t this already been a maze at Halloween Horror Nights list.  There are so many creepy scenes that the creative team could recreate for this maze.  I could even see Universal making the maze be the puzzle box itself.  You solve the riddle to the box, and begin to travel those the various chambers until you face off against Pinhead.

9. Five Nights at Freddy’s (VR Experience)

Five Nights at Freddy’s has been a pretty popular property the last four years, and the HHN fans have been asking for it.  If we ever do see this one at Horror Nights, I hope Universal does something really creative with it like making it a virtual reality experience.

For those of you that experienced 2016’s ,”The Repository,” remember wearing the VR headset and carrying the optic wand. I can see this working with the whole FNAF game play. The VR headset could be used like the mask in Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 and the optic wand would be your virtual flashlight.  As you walk around the dark maze you would hear footsteps or breathing at that point you pull down you VR headset then flash your flashlight to make sure you are save.

10. Poltergeist

This is another classic film that would great to see as a Horror Nights maze.  Just recreate the special effects from the film and let the users wander through the maze while trying to avoid the light.

There you have it, there is my TOP 10 I’d love to see at HHN but what are your top 10s? Let us know!