Jump to content

AsylumSB’s “Darth Insidious Could Use a Bikini Wax” Review of HHN 2013


Recommended Posts

Due to a combination of laziness and life keeping me busy, I realized that I never completed my 2013 HHN review when making a back-up of my external drive. For your reading pleasure, I offer the 1.33 people who stumble upon this to bask in the glory of the mind of AsylumSB!

AsylumSB’s “Darth Insidious Could Use a Bikini Wax” Review of HHN 2013

Excited to be able to discuss Halloween Horror Nights -2013 edition!! I just returned from my yearly California jaunt and amped to recall the sights, sounds, and stuff from Universal on October 4th. It is sort of a transition year for me…..5 years of HHN and working towards 500 posts on Horror Night Nightmares. Prior to going, my wife and I discussed the upcoming trip and she noted that the event was losing its luster. Since I considered this OUR big yearly trip, it appeared that this could be the last visit to HHN for a while. More on this later.

First off, I have yet to see or hear about an event that could match Universal as a full event….rides, shows, scare zones, mazes, talent, and the ambience of having a haunt developed and professionally managed by one of the largest media conglomerates in the world. No matter what I think of the small, individual issues that occur during the event, I would recommend to anyone wishing to visit a yearly Halloween attraction take on HHN! Sure, there was some debate about how great Knott’s was this year, but I still consider a future visit to be pending due to limitations in my travel itinerary. Part of this was confirmed when a few of my work associates came back from their annual haunt travels and noted Knott’s was a huge waste of their time this year. They are long time Scary Farm visitors and for the past three years they also visited Halloween Horror Nights. No comparison. But someday I may want to visit KSF just to say I have done it at least once.

Then, there is the most awesome aspect of visiting Universal…..well, its Universal Studios, home of the greatest horror films in history. The soundstages are still there, and in some ways you still get the feeling that the people who are no longer with us would once again stroll through the backlot to act in, direct, or produce a film that helped put the studio on the map. I get the same feeling when visiting the standard Universal theme park as well. If Mr. Peabody would loan me the Way Back Machine for one day, part of my trip would be visits to Stage 28 to witness Phantom of the Opera (amongst other great Universal films), Stage 12, Little Europe, and Court of Miracles were many of the Classic Monster films were shot, and Stages 24 and 27 for the interior shots of The Thing (lensed in 1982).

So….what to say about Halloween Horror Nights 2013…memorable in a lot of ways:

  • The VIP tour was much better than last year, but this particular admission tier always has some kind of snafu that partially inhibits a 100 percent confidence vote
  • Scare actors were phenomenal (as usual) with even more aggressive scares than ever before
  • Insidious was absolutely amazing!!
  • Seeing Universal Plaza and the backlot added a unique twist to our visit. Seeing the “hordes” of people waiting for the backlot attractions was a strange experience.

AsylumSB’s Third Annual HHN Awards

Hear-ye, Hear-ye. Come one, come all and gather around to listen to the presentation of awards offered for HHN 2013! There is a different twist as two of my special guests and attendees to this year’s event, The Bride of AsylumSB and the Demon Spawn, present the awards as a “trilogy”.

Maze of the Year: Insidious
Aggressive scares and memorable characters made this a must-see and repeated attraction. This was as close to a movie experience for any maze since 2009. The Thing was a close second.

Bride says: Those picture scares in Insidious got me every time! Best maze of the night.

Demon Spawn says: Evil Dead gets my vote; for my first year attending the event, I thought this
maze was terrifying!

Best Scareactor of 2013: Mia from the Evil Dead
There were several Mia’s who had slightly different nuances towards their portrayal of the character (even props based on her). But the scareactor who played her towards the beginning of the maze charged us while doing the Exorcist “spider-walk” with her mouth agape! Tremendous flexibility and almost an unnatural presence. There were two guys behind us who grabbed onto each other for dear life as they tried to pass her. They kept yelling…”Oh no, she didn’t, Oh no she didn’t”! Ha Ha...great stuff.

Bride says: The Bride in Black was well portrayed in both the maze and on the VIP tour. During our walking part of the tour, the character was slowly stalking us holding a candle.

Demon Spawn says: I agree with Mia being the best scareactors....plural because they all did a great job!

Scarezone that Made Me Pee My Pants (a little) Award: Cirque Du Klownz
Well only figuratively…hee hee. I am a big fan of foggy atmospheres during Halloween events and this scarezone had just enough light with heavy fog that it made scareactors look ominous and shadow-like as they approached. It was only until you were a few feet away that you could make out the details of the costumes, which I thought were incredible. Some of the Klownz were waiting for guests to leave El Cucuy and gave some effective scares upon exiting the attraction.

Bride says: Chucky’s scarezone had a surprisingly good mix of characters and the modified Insult Emporium was entertaining.

Demon Spawn says: I didn’t realize that the lower lot was only supposed to be Scarecrowz! There were many scareactors from the early Terror Tram closure down there and the energy level was high.

Well, there you have it….another year of titillating awards on behalf of the Asylum family. Onwards to the rest of my review. VIP started off with another snafu….last year it was the silly backlot tour, this year Universal changed the check-in process that delayed entry to the event. Instead of having the entire admission process all in one section outside the gates, we had to wait in the will call area and the managers were confused about who was there and for what. Then, after will call, it was into the VIP office which ended up being even slower than waiting at the will call. Ultimately, we were given a much later tour time and we had to use our time wisely since the tour cut our night in half. For those of you who have or are considering VIP, get there early for one of the first tours. That will leave you with well over 5 hours to complete the rest of the event, including attractions that are worthy of repeat visits.

Maybe I am losing patience with age, but that one bump in VIP caused us to be uncharacteristically aware of our time. Fortunately, I still consider this to be a worthwhile admission tier. The food in the VIP lounge was great as usual and contained many choices that prompted us to return a few times. The tour improved, by leaps and bounds, as we were led through the backlot to an Insidious-based paranormal investigation. The cast was believable and interacted with the guests. My hopes came true as there was enough scareactors involved in this part of the tour that it felt like scarezone/maze hybrid. The Bride in Black was present throughout. Then, it was off to the Walking Dead™ Terror Tram and Backlot Experience with special guest stars, Black Sabbath 3D. It was somewhat surreal to see the mass of people in the same area waiting in line for both attractions.

The scareactors were more aggressive this year (and that is a good thing). Usually, they go right after my wife, but there many times where they directed their attention to me and were relentless! Insidious got me good several times and we returned for multiple repeats. Probably the highlight maze of the evening.

It’s difficult to say where to go from here. I feel like we accomplished something special by attending the past five years and there is a lot that Southern California offers every Halloween season. I always have a great time, but the familiarity of the event may be limiting the interest for those I attend with. We had a chance to visit Savage House in San Diego, a built from scratch Haunt from folks who have been in the industry for quite a few years. Pretty slick haunt with much potential. Also, we are (still) planning for an Orlando trip this fall, hopefully there is room for Hollywood HHN ’14!

To summarize, HHN 2013 had great mazes (Insidious, Universal Monsters Remix, the wee short Black Sabbath, and Walking Dead), good mazes (El Cucuy and Evil Dead), and surprisingly good scarezones (Klownz, Chucky). VIP redeemed itself with an improved tour, trips to the lounge, and repeat mazes.

Edited by AsylumSB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love the title! Great to see you posted this, I love how you did this by giving awards to certain things and I agree with you that the Mia characters were spectacular in the Evil Dead maze.

Thanks for the feedback. It looks like there was consistency with the scareactors, which for me, makes this an awesome event. Oh, we typically stay in Burbank but used the Universal Hilton. The short walk was a plus!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...