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P-town to O-town... an HHN25 review.


PeoriaBJJ
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Ok so I went 4 night in a row (I’m STILL tired LOL) on Oct 1,2,3,4. I hit up everything multiple times (a couple exceptions). So here… we… go!

 

Scarezones:

5. All Nite Die-In – Double Feature: 
Ah the drive-in. Had one a mile from me growing up. Very fond memories. I freaking LOVED this scare zone. The B&W and color idea was great! It makes me happy to no end that the Classic Monsters were representin’! All my favorites were there (exception of the Creature but Im sure that would have been horrible to do)! Then the “modern” era had some greats too. My wife and I spent more time in this zone than any other. We got some great pics too but were NOT complete a$$holes about it like a lot of people were. Cell phones are slowly killing the scare zone. But it was still great! I might be in love with Carrie too… don’t tell my wife.

4. Scary Tales - Screampunk:  Man I really wanted to love this scare zone and I realize WHY they have to keep this area to a minimum but it just wasn’t there for me. Too bright and not enough going on. The costumes were great and the scareactors had some serious focus on their roles! I did like the huge "thing" in the middle. 

3. Icons - HHN:  This was really cool. A nice way to honor and introduce the former icons. Loved the 5 minutes shows each would do. All very cool! HHN did NOT hold back on the gore this year. Lots of blood, cutting of throats (an act that was repeated quite a bit in this years event), electrocution, and that poor dudes tongue! LOL! Awesome job on this one!

2. Evil's Roots:  Definitely an “old school” scare zone. Kind of had that Grown Evil or Harvest of Souls feel to it (I said almost!). The bush guy got me a few times. LOVED LOVED LOVED that they went crazy with the pumpkins!

1. Psychoscareapy - Unleashed:  Now this might be my favorite of the year. What a great idea. A small town, middle America-type towns Halloween Festival taken over by escapees from an asylum… well, you know where this is going. This SZ was huge. Lots going on. Lots of great acting, costumes, shows, etc. It was just a great concept IMO executed very well! I live in the Midwest so I feel like this could be some small town anywhere around me. Loved it!

Houses:

9. The Purge –
I know this was a last minute replacement when Scream fell through but ugh… this house just wasn’t good. At all. I thought the Purge worked great as a scare zone last year. In fact really well. But as a house. Blah. Loud metal music and strobes does not a house make. But I realize what it was there for and kudos to the actors inside. But that franchise just isn’t made for a good house. We only went through this once the first night and skipped it the rest of the trip.

1/10

8. The Walking Dead: The Living and the Dead –
I was not looking forward to this at all. In fact I’m TWD’d out. As most of everyone is… But I was pleasantly surprised that this house was pretty cool! In fact probably my fav TWD house out of all of them! Good scenery, good scares, good flow to it. I really enjoyed it!


7.5/10

7. An American Werewolf in London –
I know as an HHN “super fan” I’m supposed to be all shitty about this coming back and be all cynical about it. Well f**k that! I LOVE this house!!!! This one wasn’t as good as 2013’s, maybe a little rushed, but AWIL is so bad ass! The movie is one of my all-time fav’s and those wolves were SICK! Loved that there were more this year and that last one that rears up and howls before it goes into attack mode was so epic. I could go through that house  a million times and still be in awe of how awesome it is! But just bc it’s a repeat I’ll dock it .5 point… LOL


9.5/10

6. Insidious –
So I wasn’t expecting much out of the house. Damn was I surprised! This house was effing GREAT! They did a great job of setting a very creepy vibe right away. That red faced demon is so cool too. The actors in this did a great job. I’m not sure if she kept doing it on purposed but that woman with the shot gun kept hitting me in my man parts every time I went in there! LOL Keep your eyes open for the blue lanterns!!! Great house, after my first walk though I was so happy Orlando picked this up!


9/10

5. Run: Blood, Sweat, and Fears –
I went through the 2006 RUN house and it was cool. But honestly I don’t really remember too much about it other than the line video was interesting. So I can’t really compare this house to the previous editions (I didn’t see the first one), but this one was fun. Nothing mind blowing or revolutionary but I had a good time going through. The geisha, gladiators, etc was a cool mix up of things. The guy on the table saw loved to pick on my wife as we went by (I think all 4 times). Good kills, good blood, good action, good house!


7/10

4. Asylum in Wonderland 3D –
I was kind of torn at the idea of this house when it was announced. But I like the 3-D houses and we skipped one last year. The façade was obviously reminiscent of The Inbetween (which I loved) so I was stoked to go through the rabbit hole! Of course you know what comes next… “keep looking forward” is usually the battle cry! This house was cool. Nothing crazy or particularly new but a cool and effective 3-D house. Very fun going from trippy to gory!


7/10

3. Jack Presents: 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem –
Now this was my most anticipated house to go through. As soon and I heard the rumors I was stoked. When they announced the name I was double stoked! “No way could this be a bad house” the monster loving little Peoria screamed in my head! It did not disappoint. Some great scenes from our favorite houses! Scary Tales, Gothic, Nightingales, Jack all over, etc… It was pure joy for this horror nerd from walking into Jacks mouth to finish running away from Meatz Meats and Eddie! I loved this house so much.


11/10

2. Freddy vs Jason –
Now through my several years going to HHNO I have come face to face with some of my favorite movie monsters… Xenomorph, the Thing, American Werewolves, Predator, Hellraiser, Chucky, Wolfman, Frank, Drac, etc. I didn’t make it to HHN17 so I missed a couple of my favorites, but all was redeemed when I got to come face to face with Freddy AND Jason in the same house! They nailed the sequence for this house. Starting in Camp Crystal Lake and slowly transitioning to the boiler room and 1428 Elm Street. I hope everyone noticed the underwater scene. It was really cool! I also got some great photos in here from the UTH tour!! Thanks Jesse!

9.5/10

1. Body Collectors: Recollections – Here is another franchise I had yet to experience. The BC’s. I will say again that the façade to this house was epic. It’s cold, it’s snowing, it’s HUGE! This house had so many great rooms to it. My favorite was the teaching/autopsy room! Which I was told was used for a couple movies filmed in the last few years. Another great scene was the headless body room. Spoiler alert! It’s awesome! Great house A&D! A real original home run!

9.5/10

 

The shows:

 

The Carnage Returns – Jack is back with a show by Mel’s Die-In! I was sure what to expect with this show but it was great! Jack and Chance having fun at the expense of some unfortunate victims. Lots of music, blood and killer jokes! It’s a good time. You should definitely make a point to see it.

 

Bill and Ted – A real staple of HHN. This year was pretty good, not super great IMO. My wife absolutely loved it. Didn’t have the skin that last year had but it was pretty funny. I only didn’t get ONE joke this year which is a record for this 38 year old. My keeping up with pop culture isn’t what it used to be. But making fun Kim and Kanye is always fun! Only saw it once and the second time we tried we weren’t early enough and got turned away.

 

Overall I think it was a fun and very strong year! Great houses and scare zones and the merch choices were a plenty. So happy it wasn’t all TWD like the last few years. Tons of stuff to choose from! We picked up a lot. I got to eat in my favorite restaurant in the world, the Monsters Café several times and even tried out the new Happy Potter ride. I don’t know ANYTHING about HP so I thought I’d have a little fun and kept asking Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones questions while in HP land and on the ride. I got so many disgusted looks, it was great! The ride was cool and didn’t make me sick either. Now my only complaint, let’s call it a legit bitch… the prices for everything. Holy shit Universal slow down. $30 for a house t-shirt! $27 (?) for a coffee mug? Plus dem tix prices… Prices are getting out of hand for real! I’m pretty fortunate to be able to go multiple times and coming from IL but if the price keeps going up like this… gonna be a hard sell in future years. Other than that… great work on HHN25!!!!!

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