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Universal Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) - 2012


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But recycling three of the five houses (and that's not even counting how they repurpose the permanent House of Horrors) definitely shows the lack of commitment by someone at USH. Maybe it's the money people saying "Hey, we already have a bunch of Freddy, Jason, and Saw props in the back... just reuse them in a different order and say the mazes are brand new". Maybe they figure they can get away with reusing mazes since Knott's does year after year. I guess I just expect a little better from Universal. Instead of stepping up their game, it feels like Universal is treading water this year.

 

It's worth noting (again) that the Freddy, Jason, and House of 1000 Corpses mazes ARE NOT RECYCLED MAZES. They are all new mazes based on characters that have been used before. Saw is the only "recycled" maze, but even that will include new traps from the franchise that were not in there last year.

 

It's no different than HHN in Orlando, Haunt, Howl-O-Scream, or any other haunt revisiting a popular theme (clown, vampires, crazy people, etc.) with a new story.

 

But aside from that, John Murdy has mentioned a few times on twitter how those properties are the most mentioned ones in guest surveys. Guests wanted to see the return of those famous characters. How dare USH give guests what they ask for!

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But aside from that, John Murdy has mentioned a few times on twitter how those properties are the most mentioned ones in guest surveys. Guests wanted to see the return of those famous characters. How dare USH give guests what they ask for!

 

Exactly! The Freddy and Jason characters are extremely popular at Halloween Horror Nights, partially because you can't see them anywhere else. If you have access to properties that draw guests in the way that Friday the 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street, and SAW do... why wouldn't you use them? And if they're building new mazes each year, all the better!

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Why are tickets for HHN so inexpensive on opening day. That is a VERY ideal ticket price and a good day for me to go but there must be some reason why its so cheap. Does anyone know why? Knotts was seemingly just as good a few years ago on one of the earlier nights of the season and it was pretty dead. Is HHN the same way. As a first timer should I wait until further in the season for full scare value?

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But recycling three of the five houses (and that's not even counting how they repurpose the permanent House of Horrors) definitely shows the lack of commitment by someone at USH. Maybe it's the money people saying "Hey, we already have a bunch of Freddy, Jason, and Saw props in the back... just reuse them in a different order and say the mazes are brand new". Maybe they figure they can get away with reusing mazes since Knott's does year after year. I guess I just expect a little better from Universal. Instead of stepping up their game, it feels like Universal is treading water this year.

 

It's worth noting (again) that the Freddy, Jason, and House of 1000 Corpses mazes ARE NOT RECYCLED MAZES. They are all new mazes based on characters that have been used before. Saw is the only "recycled" maze, but even that will include new traps from the franchise that were not in there last year.

 

It's no different than HHN in Orlando, Haunt, Howl-O-Scream, or any other haunt revisiting a popular theme (clown, vampires, crazy people, etc.) with a new story.

 

But aside from that, John Murdy has mentioned a few times on twitter how those properties are the most mentioned ones in guest surveys. Guests wanted to see the return of those famous characters. How dare USH give guests what they ask for!

 

Well, to be fair, we won't know how "all new" those mazes will be until 9/24. I hope they really are completely different and I will happily admit to being wrong. But when they reused Freddy from 2007 into 2008, they also promised a "brand new" maze for Nightmare on Elm Street and it was maybe half new. The rest was exactly the same from the previous year.

 

As for "guests want to see Freddy and Jason again", that very well may be true. But I also worked in theme parks for over a decade and I know that could be standard corporate spin used as an excuse not to improve something. Disney uses the same excuse when they get complaints about the Sorcerer's Hat at Disney's Hollywood Studios. People complain and their PR knee-jerk response is "but the guests love it!" I'm just saying that if orders came down from high that they had to reuse certain characters for whatever reason, the easiest way to defend it is to claim "but that's what guests want." I'm not saying that is what happened. But it's very possible.

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Why are tickets for HHN so inexpensive on opening day. That is a VERY ideal ticket price and a good day for me to go but there must be some reason why its so cheap. Does anyone know why? Knotts was seemingly just as good a few years ago on one of the earlier nights of the season and it was pretty dead. Is HHN the same way. As a first timer should I wait until further in the season for full scare value?

 

No reason to wait. The only reason that it's so cheap on opening night is because it's still early in the Halloween season and most people wait until the last couple weeks in October. The price is just Universal's strategy to level out the crowds. There's no difference in the event itself (although I do believe that Bill and Ted's gets better as the month goes on. They seem to tweak it continuously). Go early and enjoy it before it gets crazy crowded

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Interesting they've dropped the second show, though I'd prefer an extra maze over a show unless the show was like the Lesbian Vampires making out show. I can't wait to see who the B & T show will be skewering this year.

 

I personally enjoy the movie themes for the mazes especially when they're movies/franchises I'm a fan of like Halloween.

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Tickets are probably cheaper because they know it will not be as crowded. Notice how weekends are more expensive the later into the month you get?

 

Well, to be fair, we won't know how "all new" those mazes will be until 9/24. I hope they really are completely different and I will happily admit to being wrong. But when they reused Freddy from 2007 into 2008, they also promised a "brand new" maze for Nightmare on Elm Street and it was maybe half new. The rest was exactly the same from the previous year.

 

To that regard, it is worth noting that instead of calling the SAW "all new" because they added new rooms, they were honest and said "new traps." Perhaps that is because the other mazes really are all new? John has also confirmed on the twitter page that the mazes are all new. They will probably share some elements given the overlap of the remake to the originals, but John even mentioned how those will be different (example he gave was the famous boiler room...will be larger in the new version).

 

As for "guests want to see Freddy and Jason again", that very well may be true. But I also worked in theme parks for over a decade and I know that could be standard corporate spin used as an excuse not to improve something. Disney uses the same excuse when they get complaints about the Sorcerer's Hat at Disney's Hollywood Studios. People complain and their PR knee-jerk response is "but the guests love it!" I'm just saying that if orders came down from high that they had to reuse certain characters for whatever reason, the easiest way to defend it is to claim "but that's what guests want." I'm not saying that is what happened. But it's very possible.

 

Having worked in theme parks for 10 years, you should also know the "general public" have a wildy different view of things than park employees and enthusiasts. For better and for worse. While I personally hate the hat, the average guest probably has no idea that Disney Studios was themed to old school Hollywood Blvd. and a giant hat ruins the theme. They probably just think its cool they got a picture in front of it.

 

With the Freddy and Jason mazes this year...I just think USH fell into a good opportunity to bring the properties back without having to truly recycle since these versions are owned by a different production company and offer a new storyline to base mazes off of. House of a 1000 Corpses was so long ago that I doubt many of the guests even remember it was a maze at HHN in 2000...and aside from that, this version is sure to be the "plussed" version in 3D. Hard for me to call that recycling when its 10 years apart and in 3d (which adds a whole new realm of storytelling possibilities).

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Interesting they've dropped the second show, though I'd prefer an extra maze over a show unless the show was like the Lesbian Vampires making out show. I can't wait to see who the B & T show will be skewering this year.

 

I personally enjoy the movie themes for the mazes especially when they're movies/franchises I'm a fan of like Halloween.

 

The Halloween maze last year was awesome! Loved it!

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^Ditto, it's like being in your favourite horror movie without having to be killed or at least fight for your life.

 

Totally! And some awesome details for the fans like Don't Fear the Reaper playing on the radio, The Thing From Another World on the TV, the Halloween 3 room. So well done!

 

Having worked in theme parks for 10 years, you should also know the "general public" have a wildy different view of things than park employees and enthusiasts. For better and for worse. While I personally hate the hat, the average guest probably has no idea that Disney Studios was themed to old school Hollywood Blvd. and a giant hat ruins the theme. They probably just think its cool they got a picture in front of it.

 

Oh, you don't have to tell me. I totally understand that. But in the case of the hat, I don't even think guests like it. When I used to work down there, they'd get so many complaints from guests! But they spent so much $$$ on it (and at the time planned on tearing down the Chinese Theatre) that they were stuck with the thing. Sorry to get off topic there.

 

Anyway- now I have to rent House of 1000 Corpses so I can appreciate that house. I've been putting it off because I'm not a Rob Zombie fan.

 

It's obvious that you work there, so where are they putting the extra house? (It does make me happy that the houses went up from 4 to 5 this year).

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^Thanks for reminding me to see House of 1000 Corpses, though I've only seen the first SAW so maybe there's no point. I'm definitely not a Rob Zombie fan, I really didn't like his version of Halloween but I do appreciate his enthusiasm for the horror genre. Rob Zombie is doing a show with Alice Cooper at the Gibson Ampitheatre (if memory serves me right) the night before I go to HHN but I'm going to Scary Farm that night, I probably would have checked that out otherwise.

 

I found it hard to fault HHN at Hollywood last year (though it was my first HHN), the only problem I saw was that in the Halloween house because of the need for throughput, it was very easy to miss acted out scenes because some of them were relatively long (though awesome). Luckily I had front of line, so I just kept going back.

 

As a foreigner, I was amazed how crazy and politically incorrect you Americans get at Halloween.

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House of 1000 Corpses is a better film than either of his Halloween remakes, but in all honesty, the movie lends itself so well to this sort of event that it doesn't matter that the movie is terribly campy and poorly acted. Visually, House of 1000 Corpses will be fantastic, and for Halloween Horror Nights... that's really all that matters. Just look at the SAW maze; half of those movies are garbage, but the maze was one of the best they've done thus far!

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^You know what would be awesome, a whole maze like the underground lair in Texas Chansaw Massacre 2 (the Dennis Hopper one). House of a 1000 Corpses sounds similiar to TCM2 in some ways.

 

I'll probably love the maze, even if I didn't like the 1000 Corpses film, I'm not a fan of 3D in mazes but we'll see how USH goes with it.

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^Chop top was such an amazing (cringe inducing) character.

 

It will be interesting to see what they do with the Terror Tram this year, there's so much space and possibility. Sure we know what the theme is but will they put a lot more stuff in there this year, it was so much fun to go out into the backlot last year. Perhaps a surprise maze - ACE, From Beyond The Grave-y: complete with real life coaster enthusiasts like Mantis Man, nah, that's way too scary.

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I have House of 1000 Corpses sitting at home from Netflix right now so I'm going to check it out this weekend. I'm hoping that I'll like it more than Zombie's Halloween movies. I feel like I will appreciate his style more when it's an original work and not the desecration of a classic like Halloween.

 

I remember reading a review when Zombie's Halloween came out that said something to the effect of "It's obvious that Rob Zombie would rather be remaking The Texas Chainsaw Massacre but, since that was already taken, he had to settle for Halloween." Judging from the movie, that makes perfect sense. And now hearing about House of 1000 Corpses, it seems even more appropriate.

 

Regardless, I'm sure the maze will still be a blast. I watched the Behind the Screams video on the site and it looks cool, I'm very curious as to how they're going to integrate the 3D. I've done plenty of 3D mazes before and I've always found it more distracting than anything. I hope they've cooked up something fresh with this. 2 weeks away!!!

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I have House of 1000 Corpses sitting at home from Netflix right now so I'm going to check it out this weekend. I'm hoping that I'll like it more than Zombie's Halloween movies. I feel like I will appreciate his style more when it's an original work and not the desecration of a classic like Halloween.

 

Make sure you watch the follow up, The Devil's Rejects, as well. Much better then the first movie (IMHO), but wouldn't lend itself well to the Haunt as its more of a revenge film.

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^ Definitely agree with you there. Even if you're not crazy about the first film, I'd definitely check out The Devil's Rejects.

 

Only two weeks until opening night, will anyone else be there?

 

It sounds like I may have to check out Devil's Rejects too then.

 

I'll either be there on opening night or on Saturday (still finalizing plans).

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I was checking out the top ten film competition entries and saw that there was a film called The Marksman by Chris Lunardon - my roommate on the TPR 2010 Europe Trip also has the same name and is a videographer, so I've PM'd him to confirm it's his video, and if it's him we should all get voting.

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