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OhHaiInternet95's very late review of HHN 26*


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*with thoughts on 16 and 18 for perspective


Given that we're still in dead season right now thanks to marketing, and since I haven't posted any of my thoughts on previous HHNs (in full detail, at least) when I've been to a few, I figure I'd post my thoughts on all three HHNs I've been to--I feel very fortunate to have been to that many :)


My first HHN was 16. While I do not have that good a memory of any of the houses (only small bits here and there), my favorite house was easily Psycho Scareapy, best scare of the event was when an inmate yelled "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" in my ear--it scared the crap out of me. All Nite D I E In 2 was great too. Harvest of the Souls and Deadtropolis were both very good scare-zones. The overall best thing of the event, of course, was The Arrival. I had my picture taken with all the icons, as well as Darkness. Overall, the event was like nothing I'd ever seen before!


My second HHN was 18. I spent the summer following the amazing website reveal, and Mary remains my favorite HHN icon (too bad they're not allowed to acknowledge she exists :(). I'd like to think that THIS is how you market an event--though sadly, from what I understand, the event didn't draw much attendance, likely due to to lack of well-known IPs and the fact that the event took place during the financial crash. Loved pretty much everything about Scary Tales (AiW scene legitimately made me queasy), Hallow and Creatures. Body Collectors--spine rip, Sweeney Todd and prostitute throat slashing scenes were awesome, problem was it was SO DARK. Interstellar Terror--awesome story (obviously based on Event Horizon, but still), but strangely didn't have much of an opinion. Dead Exposure--just didn't do it for me, though again an amazing idea, I missed pretty much all the scares. Loved the camera flashing sound. RoF and Doomsday--pretty forgettable. Loved loved loved loved loved Skoolhouse and Asylum, Fractured Tales and Path of the Wicked were good too. This event makes me sad that HHN is ultimately a special (and therefore temporary) event. Like, I would love to go back and re-experience it. 18 was easily A&D's magnum opus--you can tell they put everything they had into it.



Which brings us to 26. Although it wasn't 18, its quality was about on par with 16, which means I have had a blast at all three years, so I don't buy into the narrative some have that HHN is just a shell of its former self. I should note that this was the first time I was able to go multiple nights (9/18, 10/16 and 10/26). Because I wanted to go through certain houses a lot of times, I decided to single out a few houses I wasn't into. As a result, I skipped AHS, TWD, and LP3D. So here's my (ranked) review of the six houses I went through, as well as the scare zones:


#6--The Exorcist (1 run): Unfortunately I was only able to go through this once. Maybe if I had gone through it again it would be higher. The highlights were definitely the facade and vomit hallway. Making a house out of a movie that takes place mostly in a single room, as many have said, was a tough task, and I can definitely admire their effort. However, IDK what was with that hallway with the noodles? Don't remember much else, unfortunately.


#5--Halloween II (2 runs): I haven't seen Halloween II (heard it isn't anywhere near as good as the first, which I HAVE seen--not surprising). That said, they did a decent job on this. I liked that they start with the ending of the first movie, and the neighborhood sets and hospital facade were great (dumpster Mike)! Sadly, from that point up until the fiery finale, it was pretty bland. But what a finale! Mr. Saaaandman bring mee a dreeeeeeeeeeaaaaaammm!


#4--Krampus (3 runs): I was interested in seeing a house in the Shrek theatre. I had seen the movie when it was all but confirmed, and thought it was an okay, campy romp. Again the facade was impressive, enjoyed the cold effects. The biggest problem I had with this house? NO KRAMPUS. That being said the elves were pretty scary. The best thing in here was the smells. Mmmmmm gingerbread and...whatever that was in Krampus's lair. Seriously, what was that stuff? I need it in my life. :lol:

The above three houses ranged from "eh" to "solid." The next house was "very good." I apologize for my "stream of conscious" writing, BTW.


#3--Ghost Town (4 runs): The gunfight scared the crap out of me. The piano man was also a very good scare. The town square was jaw-dropping. I really liked the mirror effect's use in the mine (including the hanging miner). One little detail of this house that showed me "yep, A&D's still got it" was the fact that every scareactor had a corresponding "corpse" with identical wounds. I could be wrong, but I don't think that level of detail is very common in haunts. This house reminded me that this is a movie studio, because that's the level of quality that these sets were. The thing that kept this maze from being truly great was its length--I assume TWD got the lion's share of the soundstage? It just sort of ended, and I was hoping for a corral. Oh well. (Funny story: I walked through this on 9/18 SOAKING wet, as it was pouring outside. And then I encountered the rain section. Imagine my surprise.)


These last two houses, at least to me, were fantastic.

#2--Tomb of the Ancients (4 runs): As I mentioned previously, I loved the Hallow, and this one-upped it. While the facade could've used a bit better lighting, that's a minor nitpick. This did not feel like a sprung tent, and I would say it at least felt longer than Ghost Town--likely due to how intentionally claustrophobic it felt. The glowing hieroglyphs room was a terrific scare. The air "darts" were a nice touch too. The only real criticism I have was that the Amut statue at the end was a little misleading. I thought THAT was the puppet, and thought it just wasn't working. It wasn't till my last run through it that I finally saw him. All in all, it really did feel like the set of an Indiana Jones movie. Wonderful house. It's strange--while so many of it does kind of blend together, making it hard to remember too much of it (partially because I haven't found any POVs), it all blends together in the best possible way, if that makes sense.


#1--Texas Chainsaw Massacre (3 runs): A controversial number one, sure. Maybe this was purely because I hadn't been in certain previous houses, or I had extremely good luck, IDK. All that aside, the Leatherface actors were TERRIFYING. I find the look of the original Leatherface to be much scarier than Michael or Jason, and these guys towered over me (I'm 5'11). They got EXTREMELY close to me, and there were times I came close to fearing for my safety b/c of this--especially the hammer kill scene. The hitchhikers were very convincing. The outdoor section was a really cool add on. Plus, this house smelled wonderfully terrible--best way I can describe it is very old, gone-bad barbecue sauce. I haven't been in a slaughterhouse (thank god), but this is what I would imagine it to smell like. I know I'm in the minority, but yeah, I loved this house.




#5--Lair of the Banshee: ummm...yeah, completely forgettable. Looking forward to them bringing back the jack-o-lanterns in CP this year for TRT.


#4--Survive or Die: I liked the grunge, NIN-sounding music here, but too generic for me. Again, fairly forgettable.

#3--A Chance In Hell: I actually kind of liked this zone. The actors were very funny, and I found Chance's random "KNOCK KNOCK!"s amusing. Nothing special, but I appreciated it for what it was.

#2--Vamp '55: Although I wish it had been a bit more detailed, I have to give it to them for sheer creativity. The "skits" that the scare actors would do here were great--on 10/26 I had some conversation with one of the crying homecoming court girls. I can't remember exactly what she said, but it left me in (figurative) stitches. Cast was on top of its game here.


#1--Dead Man's Wharf: A bit too short, but a great zone. The lightning mixed with the fog was beautiful and I loved the ship. I was filming the area at one point and then one of the fisherman walked up to me and made me walk back all the way across the street. It was great. Plus a hint towards The Shining house, in playing the theme music! I would put it a tier below Asylum and Skoolhouse, and that's pretty good.



So yeah, that's my review. As I said, I think it's about equal to 16 in terms of overall event quality. :)

Edited by OhHaiInternet95
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