Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood Photos & Video


Recommended Posts

Hey everyone!

 

Here is our "official" review of Halloween Horror Nights 2007 at Universal Hollywood. This is the total raw, no BS, no random sausage, straight out how you like it cooked TPR Photo & Video TR!!!

 

And oh, yeah, if you don't watch the video we will have Dave come over to your house and do a karaoke version of his favorite death metal band!

 

Anyway....

 

Overall, Halloween Horror Nights grew this year. And that's what it needed. This is only the events 2nd year back from the dead and I really think they did a lot of things right over last year. There were also a few things I feel they did wrong, and we'll get to that, but for now let's talk about the expansion.

 

First off, there were two additional mazes from last year. And all 4 mazes were brand spankin' new from last year's offerings. And they all pretty much kicked some haunted house severed ass.

 

Then the addition of Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween was MUCH welcome and after last year's "disaster" of a comedy show (yeah, Lilo and Squeek or whatever those guys were called were really bad) it improved the show line up 100%!

 

The scare zones were on par with last year, and I think the only thing that really seemed to take a step back was the Terror Tram. But again, I'll cover that later.

 

Ok, so let's get chainsaw deep into some of this stuff....

 

The Mazes

If you read my interview with HHN Creative Director John Murdy you'll know that his comment was "It's all about the mazes....that's what people want." And I was more than happy to see the park add two additional mazes over what was offered last year for a total of four mazes in 2007.

 

Now granted, one of the mazes is the parks permanent, year-round maze "House of Horrors" but it's been given a facelift from last year's Halloween Horror Nights, and it was much improved.

 

The other three mazes were all based on very popular Horror franchises "Nightmare on Elm Street", "Friday the 13th", and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

 

Out of the 4 mazes, I think my personal favorite was Friday the 13th. If you are a fan at all of these movies you will recognize scenes from the films in the maze. You'll see the "sex room" where Jason impales the couple doin' it in the cabin, you'll see the guy get his spine crunched in the fold-up bed, and you'll see the girl get attacked through the roof of her VW bug. All great classic scenes from the film series.

 

The mazes felt more like being on a movie set and less like going through "the line ride" which is what you find at other local Halloween events. These are "movie set quality" effects and props. Nothing about HHN mazes feels cheap or homebrew. You can tell there was quite a budget here. (Well, ok, maybe other than the Terror Tram, but I'll get to that...)

 

One thing I would like to point out is that HHN in Florida has always made a point of being fresh and new each year. Meaning that HHN has never re-used the same maze two years in a row. Each year the entire event is "new." New mazes, new theme, new characters, new scare zones, new shows, etc.

 

If Hollywood can pull this off, they will be decapitated heads and shoulders above the offerings at Knott's Halloween Haunt. My #1 complaint about Knott's is the re-use of mazes year after year. When I spend $50+ at a Halloween event I do not want to see the same mazes I saw last year, or in Knott's case, for the past 5 or 6 years. I want to see something NEW! I can understand if House of Horrors comes back every year since that is an actual day-to-day park attraction, but next year it would be nice to see something completely new. Now, I would be "ok" if Freddy or Jason had a maze, but give us something new. Not the same maze over again.

 

Another note about the Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface mazes is that you got to see those characters...a LOT! That was awesome! When I go into a Friday the 13th maze, dammit I want to see Jason! I saw him kill so many people in those movies and I want to see him all over that maze! I got my wish!

 

Keep it up Universal, you are already BETTER than your local competition on both coasts as far as quality of mazes go!

 

Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure

I am SO Happy this show was brought back to Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights. Personally I didn't think the show played quite as well as it did in Florida, but that's also because it has a 17 year following there.

 

In Florida, as soon as they start playing "We will rock you" at the start, the entire theater goes crazy! And in the finale, the audience is rocking and dancing in their seats. I'm not so sure Hollywood quite got into it as much, but I'm also not quite sure they knew what to expect. Could also be that Florida's event sells alcohol where as Hollywood doesn't! C'mon Hollywood, at least give the crowd a two drink maximum! (BTW, I was happy to see you guys fixed the lights on the sign out front. The first show no one could find the theater!)

 

For those of you California locals, one thing you need to know about Bill & Ted - It is *NOT* "The Hanging." It doesn't try to be, it doesn't pretend to be, it is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT KIND OF SHOW! So if you go in expecting The Hanging, you may be in for quite a shock.

 

The only similarities between the two shows is that they make fun of pop culture icons. Bill & Ted is a comedy/music show where as The Hanging is a comedy/horror show. IMO it will probably be a hard sell to those So Cal folk who have 'grown up' with The Hanging, as I didn't know what to make of it the first time I saw the show in Florida. But if you go into it knowing that it's more of a "party" atmosphere not an excuse to buy a bunch of blood packs, you may really enjoy the show for what it is. Personally, I now prefer it over The Hanging. It's kind of nice to not have to stand up for one, and not have to hear nothing but Disneyland jokes over and over because Knott's knows they aren't as cool as the park down the street from them.

 

The last 5 or 6 minutes of the Bill & Ted show, IMO, is probably the most high-energy, most rocking, dancing in your seat, pyro-technic, party atmosphere FUN you'll see in any theme park. So be prepared!

 

You'll get a feel for what the Bill & Ted show like in the video we produced below! (So watch it, dammit!!!)

 

The Terror Tram

Ok, this is where things don't get quite as pretty.

 

Last year, I *LOVED* the Terror Tram. It was easily the highlight of the evening. We spent nearly an hour down in the backlot section and had the best time of any Halloween event ever!

 

But this year something happened....something was VERY different.

 

The vibe last year was that it was like the "World's biggest scare zone in easily the most incredible Halloween setting on earth." You were allowed to walk freely and mingle with the monsters at the Bates Motel, Psycho House, and War of the Worlds set. OMG, it was incredible! We got photos with Norman bates, video of monsters coming out of the plane wreckage, and watched the motel inhabitants scare the pants off people!

 

This year....the moment we got off the tram "PUT YOUR CAMERAS AWAY! NO PHOTOS! DON'T LET ME SEE ANY CAMERAS OUT!!!" was shouted at us by multiple people!

 

"What?!!? Getting to take photos in this area is what made the backlot special last year!"

 

And then we were pushed through this section as though they thought it was another maze. The paths were narrow and we were constantly told to move forward. It was like they tried to create a "maze" out of an open area that lent itself more to be a scare zone.

 

Where last year we spent an hour in this section, this year we were done in 10 minutes! It was quite a disappointment.

 

And on top of that, this was really the only section of the event where "shaker cans" were everywhere! Why?!?! In past years Universal has done SO much more with their scares than just giving a dude in a costume a shaker can. In fact, I remember a conversation with one of the creative directors last year who told us "We prefer not to use shaker cans. Why would a zombie have a shaker can? They'd have something they could bang or hit you with. A shaker can isn't a threat, so why should our monsters use them?" I can maybe accept one or two here or there, but the entire War of the Worlds section was nothing but monsters and shaker cans. It was the only area of the entire night that felt "cheap" to me.

 

Please, Universal, go back and remove those shaker cans and give your monsters something that gives a REAL scare. I expect shaker cans from Knott's Berry Farm and Six Flags, NOT the film studio that invented horror.

 

Now, on the plus side, the addition of "Jack" was amazing! For those of you who don't know Jack (heh, get it?) he is the clown from Halloween Horror Nights in Florida. Getting to hear the back story of Jack while on the tram was also cool. He's certainly the most popular clown of any horror event and I hope his character gets the same following here in Hollywood as it has in Florida.

 

And to the people who work on Terror Tram, please, PLEASE turn it back into more of a "scare zone" and let people take pictures and video. You had something REALLY amazing here. Something really unique. And it was turned into something lack-luster.

 

Overall

Halloween events are a crowded market in Southern California. Knott's Haunt has been the standard for years. But if John Murdy means it when he said "I want to bring what made Florida's HHN a success to Hollywood" then I really think Knott's should be more than just a little bit scared.

 

Universal's Halloween Horror Nights has already nearly doubled in content this year (which was really our only complaint about last year's event) and the quality is already far above what all the others offer.

 

You just can't get the same "movie set quality" mazes anywhere else. If you're only going to do one Halloween event this year, we recommend Halloween Horror Nights!

 

Now onto some photos!

 

All photos by Robb & Elissa & Jahan!

 

UPDATE! 10/8/2007 -

I have just recieved an email from John Murdy, Creative Director at Universal in response to our comments about HHN and the Terror Tram. Here is an excerpt:

 

Wanted to let you know that I thought your criticism of Terror Tram

was right on. We already started tweaking it by Sat. I didn't realize the attraction hosts weren't allowing pictures...that's just wrong and we'll correct that immediately. That's part of the experience, the chance for the fans to see these amazing sets up close. I'm going to spend a lot of time tweaking Terror Tram this week....

 

I'm VERY happy with Universal's response and this makes me look even more forward to the growth of their event!

 

--Robb

hhn200752.jpg.a88406414bf7af823aa1e39c8a62104f.jpg

And finally, it wouldn't be a Universal update with out a little sneak at the Simpsons area coming in 2008!

 

Halloween Horror Nights was a GREAT event. We highly reccomend it, and if you only do one So Cal Halloween event this year, do HHN!

hhn200755.jpg.678814bbc1077a0cc8eeb6c2e62fe52f.jpg

Turns out Jahan is a Friday the 13th virgin! "I gotta watch ALL these movies?!?!"

hhn200754.jpg.9f0eb8cff566bdfd785eae82901cea40.jpg

We found it interesting that it looked like they were using some merchandise on both coasts. Did Hollywood's version actually carry the "Carnival of Carnage" moniker?

hhn200751.jpg.9c74e1468ed1266786e7f57c3c6d30e7.jpg

Yay! Since we weren't allowed to take pictures with Jack on the Terror Tram, we were lucky enough to find him wandering the main entrance area! Elissa was so happy that she found her man! =)

hhn200749c.jpg.d77a1b8a74b2e48f7e43fb85d9156d71.jpg

The show always ends with a BANG!

hhn200749d.jpg.facb5da72f7b086db88f8847f44cb482.jpg

Optimus Booth was rockin' out in the aisles!

hhn200749.jpg.4bb5633095b78424926cba49235c3a96.jpg

The last 5 or 6 minutes of the Bill & Ted show, IMO, is probably the most high-energy, most rocking, dancing in your seat, pyro-technic, party atmosphere FUN you'll see in any theme park.

hhn200747.jpg.de7ae09a7a76760d86bd316f4c24f19d.jpg

There's a good amount of hot chicks too! (Although I did think this version of B&T didn't have quite as many half-naked chicks as I've seen in previous Florida shows.)

hhn200746b.jpg.04ebb95d87cd9257e905d0d2fe36fb1c.jpg

It's a lot of high-energy rockin' music with comedy and pyro!

hhn200745.jpg.a38bbb5bc7b2722714617b2e41b9f2d1.jpg

The Grindhouse chick now had a cannon for a leg!

hhn200746.jpg.104fd896de0b1378a5cf62fc5d9c6df6.jpg

Some of the jokes were hilarious! The battle between Rosie and Donald kicked some serious ass! (And check out the size of that ass!)

hhn200743b.jpg.b61c27d190eeeb73d89ef9a8b00e79d2.jpg

Turns out Bill & Ted's phone booth is a Transformer! "Optimus Booth!"

hhn200743.jpg.9a29ed6a8e90b094cfb18cc5d762ab6a.jpg

Some gay pirates gave us a nice song and dance.

hhn200742a.jpg.a3a1dc0832ddae6cdfc99f613aa7d1aa.jpg

The only similarities between the two shows is that they make fun of pop culture icons. Bill & Ted is a comedy/music show where as The Hanging is a comedy/horror show.

 

Here is one of the dudes from 300 and the cheerleader from Heroes checking each other out.

hhn200741.jpg.4ed0468396e3389419d3aa15b0e243f1.jpg

"...and together we're WYLD STALLIONS!!!" (C'mon, everyone here has seen Bill & Ted, right? If not...GO RENT IT NOW!!!)

hhn200740.jpg.4e319197dba2dbd1ef54b552a48b3778.jpg

"This seems so weird to NOT be seeing this show in Florida!"

hhn200739.jpg.e26a97d274e03f9d889732c08657104c.jpg

And now for the highlight of the evening! The Hollywood return of the "Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure!"

 

For those of you California locals, one thing you need to know about Bill & Ted - It is *NOT* "The Hanging." It doesn't try to be, it doesn't pretend to be, it is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT KIND OF SHOW! So if you go in expecting The Hanging, you may be in for quite a shock.

hhn200738.jpg.d547c46f95fda2319d98d0b1a61ec092.jpg

Dude, Jahan has seriously gotten more action tonight than he EVER has! Now, they are all dead and scary chicks, but damn, when it's dark who's counting the scars?

hhn200737.jpg.e069ac9f67aed5b76244a9d5195eff09.jpg

MMMmmmmm the ride was back! Yay!

hhn200736.jpg.e4517fafc24fa5409c71dd5b8ac35a8c.jpg

Frankie goes to Hollywood.

hhn200735.jpg.065b75f19466960c1ddb3b489c5530fa.jpg

The maze itself is VERY impressive. It really is more of a collection of 'sets' and less about being a 'maze.'

hhn200734.jpg.d948f3b3d85487ec2260d93aea6765b0.jpg

Chucky was here. He was pretty sexy.

hhn200733.jpg.2772ed4cc544985c052cf79eb75f7535.jpg

There are a lot of random dead dudes in here.

hhn200732.jpg.60b19ed462e62637693fe8672b8f252e.jpg

House of Horrors - This is the parks permanent horror maze that is open all year round. I had not seen it since it was made over last year and it's really great! It includes many of Universal's "Classic Monsters."

hhn200731.jpg.c0c2c48eb8bfdf1704869b01b2eccb4d.jpg

This is the only photo we have to show you from Terror Tram because as soon as we got off the tram we nearly had our own cameras impaled in our heads by the "camera nazis." Please read my rant above about Terror Tram. It was the only disappointing part of the event this year, but it was quite a disappointment to be honest.

hhn200730.jpg.1d7e9a3e8804f89325f8ddfe69851fd7.jpg

We headed on town to the Terror Tram, our most anticipated part of the evening after how awesome it was last year.

hhn200719.jpg.f1c0439588756b4261b9d66593236838.jpg

The scare zones were littered with blood, guts, and random body parts. "Meat Cow" would be proud!

hhn200714.jpg.493837ae14cfeed1c0195fc08ee750c0.jpg

The Roach Motel included these little beauties.

hhn200713.jpg.966687ea5483271fd0a66b9c08423e6f.jpg

Freddy was just hanging out with this dude...you know...just seeing what's been cookin....

hhn200712.jpg.2cfc5962b0fba30b9df24136fccf5f1c.jpg

Yeah, we'll forgive you that it still says "Asylum" from last year because the new maze was so good...but don't think we didn't notice! ;)

hhn200711.jpg.85518089c569202e9c050e7028cc813d.jpg

Nightmare on Elm Street was the 2nd maze we did. Complete with the nursery, the roach motel, and many other scenes you'd remember from the films.

hhn200710c.jpg.b300fdf0b30e19db928e6b3d63d96eee.jpg

"Oh Jason...your pole...it's so big!"

hhn200710b.jpg.de486a18dd7ab945a677d7222d632b12.jpg

And the "sex room" where Jason double impales a couple who are 'doin it!"

hhn200710a.jpg.97701e1196b842aa222c8380b16ae600.jpg

If you are a fan of the movies, you will recognize scenes from them. Like this dude that gets crushed in a fold up bed....

hhn200710.jpg.9fc85467e7dcf57ff3d96a807a4a698d.jpg

Friday the 13th was the first of the "New Line" character mazes we did, and it was my personal favorite of the three.

hhn200709.jpg.3d41df981126377c433dd9efe25e1ffa.jpg

Out on the streets of Universal there were plenty of chainsaw dudes, sliders, severed heads, and other random things to scare you with.

hhn200706.jpg.670ba18c84d8bf5b5304da5b9ebe4361.jpg

"Watch out for that other lady, she might eat BOTH of you!"

hhn200705.jpg.091434713d32c4dd83d1686a49cc54b6.jpg

"Hey lady, that's a real nice snake you got there!"

hhn200704.jpg.a0d37e5a8e193fc12f74b705a5f66627.jpg

Jahan found himself the woman of his dreams! "What, don't make fun of her! At least I know she can cook!"

hhn200703b.jpg.fff588b80172508ce3b7119b5778ccca.jpg

Universal really knows how to throw a party! Rob Zombie was there, that chick from Medium who is a sister of the chick that was Desperatley Seeking Susan, and they had mini-hamburgers....mmmm..... (They know media people also like to EAT!)

hhn200703aa.jpg.6ab485cbcdb815944f704ccb2f408eb5.jpg

We were an invited member of the "media" and just so we knew what event we were at...there was a sign. (Media people aren't usually very smart!)

hhn200703a.jpg.28484aa53a5e147f70ee56f1675ddf3c.jpg

HHN brought to Hollywood "Jack." The most awesome creepy clown ever! And as you can see he has friends. These people are NOT to be f**cked with. Trust me, they will kick your ass!

hhn200703.jpg.a90a5f14821a9c9381c07bdb207010fd.jpg

Yeah, we're at Universal Studios. Just in case you weren't sure...now you know! ;)

hhn_2007_640.zip

Zipped version of the HHN Video!

hhn_2007_640.wmv

Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood 2007 Video. This gives you a glimpse of what the Bill & Ted "Finale" is like as well as some of the best moments from this years mazes! It's all high energy and totally awesome Enjoy the video! (NOTE: The video is dark...it's a nighttime event after all...but you should be able to SEE everything...you may need to adjust your monitor settings)

 

(Zipped version below!)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 113
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Awesome report. A shame about the Terror Tram, as what they had last year sounded amazing. Not sure why they didn't keep going in that direction. Hopefully they'll get a lot of negative feedback and change it back.

 

And oh, yeah, if you don't watch the video we will have Dave come over to your house and do a karaoke version of his favorite death metal band!

 

Trust me, you do not want this. You think those death metal guys can't sing? You haven't heard me. Yet. WATCH THE VIDEO!

 

dt

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks incredible. I really like that House of Horrors when I visited at the end of July. It's a shame the Terror Tram wasn't as good but I'm sure yours won't be the only negative feedback they'll receive so can see them changing it back.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Awesome report. A shame about the Terror Tram, as what they had last year sounded amazing. Not sure why they didn't keep going in that direction. Hopefully they'll get a lot of negative feedback and change it back.

 

And oh, yeah, if you don't watch the video we will have Dave come over to your house and do a karaoke version of his favorite death metal band!

 

Trust me, you do not want this. You think those death metal guys can't sing? You haven't heard me. Yet. WATCH THE VIDEO!

 

dt

 

You should hear me giving it a go

Link to post
Share on other sites

Aw man, I really want to go hit this up. It looks awesome! I should probably watch all the movies before I go though. This looks like a great event and a bunch of fun.

Brent "wishes he was old enough to drive himself there" Shenton

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice TR! I really loved the video! Except the part with Welcome to The Black Parade, they completely f*cked that song up the way they chopped it. (Well, unless you had to chop it Robb, then I'd understand...)

 

 

 

 

 

Vekoma "Coincedentally, I'm actually wearing my MCR shirt!" Fan Boy

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was really impressed with Universal this year. It was so much better than our visit to Knott's. Just like you said, Knott's needs to bring in some new elements. My best friend and I got REALLY scared in the mazes at Universal!!!!

 

Bummer about the tram, they didn't make us put our cameras away, we even got a pic with Norman Bates!

 

Great video!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dang it!

I went to HHN last year and it was alright, and this year I'm going to Halloween Haunt for the first time, yet HHN is better!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just watched that video and it made me even more jealous... Haloween sucks here.

 

I swear if me and my friends went to HHN properly "made up", I'm sure as hell we'd be mistaken for actors...

 

But then fashion does come at a price...

 

Glad you had a good time, I'm still trying to persuade my family to go to Florida for the Halloween festivities... Wish me luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites
What the heck did they do to Jack? Stick his head in a toilet bowl? He looks ridiculous.

Yeah, that was easily the WORST looking Jack of the night. The other ones at Terror Tram looked great, but we weren't allowed to take pictures of them.

 

--Robb

Link to post
Share on other sites

Were the New Line characters apart of the Terror Tram? That is the only reason I can think that they would not allow pictures.

 

 

This is off topic, but I'm seriously jealous that Wes has an iPhone!

Link to post
Share on other sites

^ The Terror Tram has some New Line chracters, but it wasn't a focus. They allowed photos and video in all of the New Line mazes, you just aren't allowed to use a flash or video lighting.

 

The only place in all of HHN where we were told specifically "NO CAMERAS!" was Terror Tram.

 

--Robb

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow this is one of the updates I can't wait for every year and this was great! Thanks for the awesome video too. What do you think your guys favorite mazes of this year are from best to worst?

Link to post
Share on other sites

^ That's a tough question. I really thought they were ALL very top notch. There wasn't a stand out loser at all. My favorite was Friday the 13th, then probably Freddy, then Chainsaw, then House of Horrors.

 

But I really liked them all nearly equally.

 

--Robb

Link to post
Share on other sites
^ The Terror Tram has some New Line chracters, but it wasn't a focus. They allowed photos and video in all of the New Line mazes, you just aren't allowed to use a flash or video lighting.

 

The only place in all of HHN where we were told specifically "NO CAMERAS!" was Terror Tram.

 

--Robb

 

That's strange. Over here in Florida we are having some weird camera issues also.

 

For one no one is allowed near the New Line characters with a camera. For some media shots they got opening night they all had to walk out in black robes so guests couldn't sneak a picture.

 

Also for a few nights the employees seemed to be telling everyone to put their cameras away, and that pictures weren't allowed. That seems to have stopped though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, they're being extremely strict with photos at UO. The New Line characters even wear black robes for cast changes. Take a photo of them and you risk a lynching. You also can't have your camera out during Bill & Ted. At all. The staff will actually bring a COP over to give you a warning.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/