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So the question everyone wants to know this year is Halloween Horror Nights 24 any good? Well the resounding answer from me is 100% yes. This is the very best year of new Ip lead era of Halloween Horror Nights, and it has been pulled off spectacularly to say the least. From the houses to the streets. Everything has been tweaked and tested to be pulled off bigger and better than ever. So lets rate the content that everyone is really wanting to hear about - The Houses. My house rankings will be. Bad, Fair, Good, Awesome, Perfect, and Outrageous 1. AvP: Alien Vs. Predator - This house is completely outrageous in the best way possible. From the superb sets to the cast and puppets. This house was built to scare and terrify long time fans of both franchises and new comers alike. Keep an eye out for some familiar looking marines and a certain android while you are inside the house, as well as many references to the blockbuster AvP franchise it's self. Thank God Orlando was allowed to tell it's own story in this franchise because the pay off was absolutely worth the extra work it took to create. Rank - Outrageous 2. Halloween - The franchise we've all been waiting for. But was the source material done justice? Absolutely 100% yes. From the Outside Facade, Michael, Michael's Victims, the set design, and the nods to the other films in the franchise. This attraction becomes an absolute must for any and all classic horror fan - especially if you know about a certain Silver Shamrock. Rank - Perfect 3. Dracula Untold Reign In Blood - Certainly a controversially choice for A&D and Marketing to choose but man oh man was the pay off worth it. This house seems to take place either during the final climax of the brand new film of the same name or shortly after it's ending. Everything you'd expect is here. From the awesome castle facade to the invading turks to Dracula himself. Certainly one of most surprising things that drives this house isn't the beautifully created sets, but is the cast it's self. Everything from Dracula slaughtering the turks right in-front of you to him popping out at you at the very last second of the house. It's all here and should be high on your totem poll to check out this year. Rank - Perfect 4. Giggles and Gore Inc. - Never in my life did I ever expect to be blown away by a Disaster Overflow cue house, but this may have done it for me. The cue over the years has had so many over whelming problems from the venue it's self, to the cue line, to the very material chosen for the venue. But this year i was proven dead wrong. This house was boasted as being the smallest house in quite some time with only seven rooms, but this does not feel to be the case at all once you are inside this evil clown factory. Perhaps it is the long transition hallways or perhaps the pure scare factor of the house but one thing is for sure. Giggles and Gore is gory!! and when i say gore i mean gore. From peoples faces being torn apart to being stuffed with mix match body parts to ultimately being crushed to death in a giant people grinder - it's all there. This house is not to be missed. Especially for long time fans of HHN's own Mr. Jack Schmidt. Those who are familiar with some of the clowns old toys (mainly a certain oversized blender) will truly be over joyed once inside. Rank - Awesome 5. From Dusk Till Dawn - After witnessing The Walking Dead be such a large mixed bag driving force at Halloween Horror Nights I believe many of us had given up hope on ever seeing a Tv series done to it's max potential at the event. Whelp El Rey's From Dusk Till Dawn has finally changed that. Not only did they change it but they have truly kicked the doors down for what will hopefully will be a excellent future for TV horror at the event. This house has everything in it from the stripper vampires, our favorite brothers and other characters, but especially references to many things from the Tv series and the Film. Nothing gave me more pleasure than seeing The Gecko Brothers, Carlos, Kate, The barker, Santanico, and the band leader all inside the house. My personal favorite part of the house was a now deceased Sex Machine with his favorite fire arm still well in tact. Rank - Awesome 6. DollHouse of the Damned - I'm still a bit on the fence about this house personally. It definitely is far from being average but something about it personally didn't scare me nearly as much as all the other houses this year did - even those i liked less than it. But no matter how little it actually scared me it did have something none of the other houses had at all. Creepiness. This house is completely unnerving. It has twisted baby dolls and evil teddy bears for God's sake. This house has potential to scare me more in the future as i always felt like i was in front of or behind a scare for the most part. But this review is based on my experience in the house and so far it hasn't terrified me yet, but it definitely will deserve multiple visits to truly appreciate. Rank - Good 7. Roanoke Cannibal Colony - I'm not entirely sure what to think about this house yet. Definitely the weakest of all the original content this year but it is still interesting to me. This house is extremely dark and I absolutely love that about this house. But what I didn't like was that almost all the scare actors were either missing their lighting cues or something was miss firing. It seemed every time an actor would jump out at me it would be completely dark and I couldn't see them, than all of a sudden the lighting effect and sound would go off and the actor was in a resting state. Maybe it was just me personally but it ended up making this house pretty messy to me. Hopefully they work out a lot of the bugs because this house has amazing potential to be great and scary if they can fix those few gripes of mine. But overall the scares I did get saved it's ranking for me in the long run. Rank - Good 8. The Walking Dead: The End of the Line - I'm gonna try and keep this one as short as I possibly can because i feel like i'm speaking for most of us who attend HHN are about sick of this franchise's residence - especially after seeing how the show's characters can be effectively used inside a maze like From Dusk Till Dawn. To me last year's effort was literally the strongest Walking Dead we've ever had and probably ever will have. I can not tell you the difference it made to me being able to see Milton and Merle Dixon inside the house. Literally the best part of the house this year is the massive facade that A&D has created outside of this "super" maze. The house to me suffers mainly from two things. Those are messiness and already visited territory. We revisit the prison in the beginning of this house and it isn't that much welcomed back being much smaller and less exciting than that of last years prison scenes. But what's worse after that is we seem to take a trip down to mistake ally with the awkward transition from 22's house making an appearance again. It's miles ahead of that train wreck but honestly just throwing us in a fake wooded area in-between locations like the big spot or the moon shine cabin just seems forced and boring. Also the finale was just a waste of time. Just seemed like they ran out of money to complete the room of the house so they just put 6-8 zombie actors inside a chain link fence and turned a strobe light on and said have at it. Now Mike has said somethings may change in this house once season 5 starts so i'm interested in seeing if that's what he's talking about. Now no matter how much I have listed complaints about this house it does have two things that are vast improvements inside compared to it's brother and sister houses. The first is the increased amount of actors, they are truly felt and the walker hoard scares feel real and scary. The second is the amount of detail and scale of the sets built inside, also personally enjoyed the dark lighting as well. The darker the better. My last thought about the house is that it felt like some actors were missing out of the first half of the house when i went. So i'm wondering if I visited in the middle of a cast change and due to the size of the house was able to encounter a fresh group of actors at the end of the maze. Either way this house is feeling worn out already compared to the other houses at the event to an extent but I am hoping for a better run on my next visit so until than my rank must stay the same. Rank - Fair Scarezones ranking is the same as the houses Bad-Fair- Good-Awesome-Perfect-Outrageous 1. The Purge Anarchy - This Scare can be described with two words. Metal and Insanity. There is so much going on all the time inside the zone. Between the purgers, the drill team, the auction, Big daddy and his goons, and lastly the purge slavers. It's all there and it is totally awesome. I honestly feel emerged inside the world of The Purge every second i was inside the zone and i look forward to spending more time in it. Rank - Outrageous 2. Face/Off: In The Flesh - This zone is definitely different than I thought it was going to be. It's similar to the Seven scare zone from 2011, but it just feels better. There are five platforms displaying one of ten different face/off creations Orlando has chosen for their event this year and each of them has what appears to be at least three minions surrounding them scaring guests. There is a ton of fog in here and a lot of screams could be heard through out so I'm gonna say this zone is an absolute success so far. Rank - Awesome 3. Bayou of Blood - This zone is definitely a mixed bag that could benefit from a lot more fog being pumped into it's wooded environment. The actors seemed a bit tired and not that into it. Which is truly a shame because the zone is decorated beautifully and the costuming feels like a super twisted version of disney's the fog princess. Hopefully they gain some more motivation to get amped up as the event goes on. Now onto my real problem with the zone. Placing the hut in the large open area in front of Mel's and the horror make up show is a mistake. It instantly takes you out of the bayou environment so beautifully crafted in the central park area. To me it would have been better to place this where the Rv was last year for the walking dead - forcing guests to walk through the zone before you could see the Voodoo queens dilapidated shack would have worked better and would have looked way cooler at night in the darker area of the back half of the park. Also i'm not quite sure what the schedule or how often these human sacrifices are supposed to be happening but I have yet to see one and I am personally looking forward to seeing it since it seems that it was this zones giant selling point. As of now the zone is just fun and not to scary yet, but this could absolutely change. Rank - Good MASKerade: Unstitched - No real review on it as of yet cause the actors were only out for a few minutes but from what I saw it looks pretty cool and creepy. Rank - Good That's my review of this years houses and scare zones, didn't review the shows cause I was unable to see them yet, but for anyone who has been to Halloween Horror Nights before you know exactly what you are going to get from both of these two shows. Bill and Ted will be funny as always and The Rocky Horror picture show will be a fun musical delight for all those who are looking for a fun break from the scares outside. That about does it for my review. I hope you all enjoyed it and I hope everyone enjoys this year's Halloween Horror Nights 24 and all that it has to offer this season.
Disclaimer: SPOILERS! (DUH!) Also my opinions and observations of 19th and 20th of September HUGE TIP FOR YOUR FIRST TIME GOING!!!! There is a cluster of 3 houses towards the back of the park and the exits can get kind of screwy. I heard everyone in lines complaining about it so I would like to spare you the agony of unnecessary walking. The 3 houses in question are Roanoke, Dollhouse and Halloween. The order you should do things in is Roanoke first because the exit is by the entrance of Dollhouse, then you would do Dollhouse because Dollhouse and Halloween share an exit (which is by the entrance to Halloween). Then you would do Halloween last in that whole cluster****. Hopefully this will spare your feet from having to walk through Springfield multiple times a night. Overall Event: 7.5/10 (Adding all ratings and finding average) The overall event was very well done and the attention to detail was incredible (especially in Halloween). The houses overall were pretty good, I was only disappointed by two houses which I will talk about later. All of the houses were will developed and there were a hardy amount of scares in most houses. The scarezones were so refreshing to see and also its great that it's not all TWD. Scarezones were the best I've seen since 2011 (my first year. Got the ass end of the stick on the scarezone front). Overall I give this year an 7.5/10. I will reviewing the houses in the order I went in them my first night. Houses (In order of experience) Roanoke: The Cannibal Colony: 6/10 Times through: 1 Going through this house didn't feel as satisfying as the other houses did. Also the finale room that would have probably scared the shit out of me was ruined because I could see the scare walking into the room. More of a divider than branches heading into the final room would have worked much better. But this house was really brutal and gory which made my inner sadist giggle. There were't a lot of scares but the ones that were there were worth it. So overall I give this house a 6/10. I was sort of disappointed by this maze. The atmosphere was there I just feel we got a bad cast when I went through. Maybe going more will change my opinion on this. Dollhouse of the Damned: 8/10 Times through: 2 This house was easily the best sprung tent house I've been through (second would be Penn & Teller). This house was so creepy in the best way possible. I would love to commend one scareactor in particular. In the room with all the cribs, towards the end there is an actor in a high chair, this was the happiest grown man dressed as a baby I've ever seen. He made that room both funny and creepy for me. All the scares in this house were well thought out and most of them I didn't see coming. The use of smells in this house added to the eeriness. The atmosphere was incredible, I truly felt I was lost in a demented dollhouse. I gave this house an 8/10. Halloween: 8/10 Times through: 2 Halloween was the house I was looking forward to the most this year. The attention to detail in this house was incredible. One scare I really did like was seeing young Michael in the room with the stairs, then in the next room in the mirror you see young Michael, then an older Michael comes out of the side room. Seeing the film before going is really a must to understand all the rooms and all the detail that was put into that house. The pacing of the house was very spot on, I saw all the scenes I thought I would see, and I actually thought I was in a soundstage a some points of the maze. The bad things I can point out from the 2 times going through it is that I thought the scares were kind of repetitive. I'm not sure how many people actually saw this but outside of the sprung tent there is a Michael hiding behind a fence, I only saw him after my 2nd time through last night. It was a nice added touch. I give this house an 8/10. Giggles & Gore Inc.: 7/10 Times through: 2 It's hard for me to fairly judge this house because I am personally horrified of clowns. But I did go through it twice and will try to keep my biases to myself. This house is kind of growing on me if I'm being honest. This house is definitely one you have to go through multiple times to appreciate it in its entirety. This house also made my inner sadist smile along with Roanoke. The gore and brutality was great, the best squeamish factor of all the houses. The opening room sets the tone of this house perfectly, although they could have used that room to put a scare in, kind of a missed opportunity in my opinion. The interaction in this house was amazing. I tried the first one with the crusher but I think you needed to press both buttons for something to happen. The one in the elevator shaft was fairly disappointing. The 3rd one honestly had me terrified to press, all it says is "Call for Backup". Overall this house was a gorefest and brutal beyond imagination. 7/10 in my book. Dracula Untold: 7/10 Times through: 2 Dracula is a house that will get better when we see the movie that comes out. Everything just felt random to me. The scares were great and for my group they were plenty. Some were very generic like the Turk in the village and the statues but one of them is real. But there were some i appreciated like the guy covered in arrows. This house feels very generic to me. I feel it would do just as well as an original concept. I guess seeing the movie it will make all the rooms make sense. The costumes and props were very well done and the atmosphere was eerie and creepy which I loved. The atmosphere saved this from going down to a 6. 7/10 for me. Alien vs Predator: 9/10 Times through: Not Enough (2 times) As predicable as this sounds. I'm sure this is getting house of the year. But it definitely earns it, this whole house is a spectacle of it's own. The scares were all great, unexpected and just well timed and planned. The open and dissected Predator (WITH NO MASK ) was pretty neat and I kept thinking it was going to jump up at me. The best room of this house had to be having to crawl through to be evacuated and there was an Alien waiting for you at the end. I felt like I was actually in danger crawling through there. I'm not too sure what happened last night but AvP closed down for a while and when we went through it the tunnel was closed down and the house just ended. I was really disappointed and curious on what could have happened for them to have that. When we saw AvP was closed we went into Dracula and saw an ambulance outside so I imagine someone got hurt or freaked out and hurt themselves somehow. This is why we can't have nice things...My only problem with this house was the lack of Predators. That was the only thing keeping it from a perfect 10. 9/10 for me. The Walking Dead: End of the Line: 6/10 Times through: 1 WHY MUST THIS BE THE LONGEST HOUSE??? Again it is hard for me to fairly judge this house when you are sick of seeing TWD and I hate what the series has become. Again I shall try to keep my biases to myself. This house felt like it dragged on. I haven't watched TWD since the end of season 2 so I was very confused on what was going on. One thing I did like about this was the amount of scareactors in a given room. I would say they had at least 3 or 4 per room which is very nice and should be implemented into all the house. The last room was supposed to be scary but made me for disoriented than anything. I literally was confused on where to go and ran into a fence. The scareactor was laughing really hard at me xD. Overall 6/10. From Dusk Till Dawn: 8/10 Times through: 2 I personally enjoyed this house a lot. Having the doorman in the first room made me smile. On my first walkthrough, the group in front of me had their little daughter maybe 13 years old. So the doorman starts doing his thing and they are getting so offended. I was laughing so hard they might have thought I was a pedophile...xD But the rest of the house is amazingly done. The pacing of the rooms felt so right. Also seeing Richie and Seth made my heart happy, Richie said hello to me and I was very tempted to hug him. Although he did cut me off from the rest of my party which is a good way to pulse out the crowds so its not a freaking conga line through the house. But i digress. Seeing the show really doesn't matter. Knowing the premise of your in a strip club/temple with stripper vampires was all my friends needed to get them excited. Although seeing the show does help you to understand why Katie Cakes is holding a chainsaw at the end xD I give this house an 8/10, Scarezones (order of experience) Faceoff: In the Flesh: 8/10 This scarezone was just simply amazing. The distractions did their job very well. (I got scared multiple time due to looking at the distractions). It was very 7-esque but that's not a bad thing. They costumes for both the leaders and the grunts were amazing. I love people watching, trying to get pictures of the distractions and watch them scream when a grunt comes up behind them. If you find yourself with nothing to do or some extra time, I suggest standing on the sides and watch them mayhem commence. The Purge: 8/10 The Purge was a beast of a scarezone. It was massive although the scareactors tended to stay in the area of the bus or on the main street. I did catch a little bit of the auction before going into Dracula. It was hard to hear and a crowd had already formed around the good areas to see. So I will not touch on that until I see it for myself. The props were all great. The soundtrack was pretty cool. The actors were passionate for what were doing. I like the mix between chainsaws and regular people. All in all it was really good and I recommend going through it. MASKerade: Unstitched: 6/10 This scarezone was a big let down for me in all honesty. I didn't feel immersed in it like I did the other scarezones. It felt kind of half assed. The costumes looked great. But I found the scare actors to just be obnoxious more than anything. This wasn't really scary, just felt like a pain in the ass to walk through. I tried to avoid it if at all possible. Bayou of Blood: 9/10 (The reason this is after everything because when I went through it opening night no actors were out, I saw them on the second night) Best scarezone of the year. The atmosphere was amazing, perfect place for this scarezone. The props were well done and the actors makeup and costumes (from what I could see) were pretty awesome and fitting. The stilt walkers towards the end by the hut were perfect. I don't think I saw the Voodoo Queen but I can't be sure lol I thought it was this black lady in the leopard print. Didn't get a chance to see the sacrifice. Will add my thoughts later when I see it.