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Black Hallways: A Memoir


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This is my first review for HHN on this forum so I'm excited to share my thoughts in detail. Going in, I knew to not expect too much, as many longtime fans were a bit disappointed, but every single guest had at least one maze or aspect of the event that they loved, so I kept reminding myself to just have fun with my best friend and enjoy the event. 


I'll list the mazes in the order we did them and take into account the amount of time we went through them, and give a score from 1-10.


Insidious: Beyond the Further (2 times)

After running down the stairs we were one of the first 20 people in line for Insidious. I figured this would continue to have the longest line. I was pumped since most people included this one in their top rankings. I was a bit disappointed. The first time there was tons of light leak but we got the most scares, whereas the second time we had pure darkness but not as many scares. I really loved the scenes from the new film, the wire room and the jail hall. I felt actual fear walking through those two rooms. The rest was either unthemed black hallways or less detailed versions of previous Insidious films. I did get scared a ton, but felt like this was a bit forgettable. I didn't like it nearly as much as the 2013 and 2015 Insidious mazes. I understand that we were in the further and not in random black hallways but it really left an unimagined impression. The scareactors were all great though and like I said, we got scared a ton. Loved the key demon, the woman stabbing the baby, and the man choking the woman on the bed.

I give Insidious a 6/0


The Shining (2 times)

This was the only maze we were truly excited for and man oh man did they do this classic justice. The detail of every room and hallway was exquisite. I just loved the ever increasing feel of dread the maze gave off. It truly felt like you needed to get the heck out of this awful place. Every character is there, even if they're just a hologram. I'll say I appreciate the lack of black hallways in this one as I really don't even remember one. I really loved the scareactors in this one, as they seemed to have great timing and movements to mimic their character. The star of the show is Wendy, who they were able to cast perfectly. I wonder if her face hurts at the end of the night? From all the crying ya know? But she nailed it, and the Here's Johnny scene was just so perfectly recreated. I will say the projections felt...odd. The maze is in such a tiny location that the screens were the only way to create that type of visual. I wish the twins were just real scareactors coming toward you, as this would have been more impressive. Another part that felt weird was the super short hedge maze sequence. Two or three turns and you're done. I looked forward to a looooong maze feel ,just like the film's finale. But I guess there just wasn't room. Either way, I got chased by a Jack in here, which rarely happens at hhn. So props to that actor. Overall, I think Murdy did the best he could with his film and I am satisfied and happy with it. 

I give The Shining a 9/10.


Saw: The Games of Jigsaw (2 times)

AWFUL. Like holy crap, I am a huge Saw fan and this just felt so lazy. The same traps from the 2010 maze, all in less detail. Rooms that just did not feel like they were up to hhn standards. Actors having straight faces in traps where they should be in excruciating pain. Not one scare.  Admittedly, I did see people ahead of us get scared a few times, but there just were not enough scares to go around. What about bringing in some new traps from the 7 FILMS THAT EXIST? And the Jigsaw rooms? Just terrible. One room full of dummies and the ending Murdy hyped up as the guest being put into a trap gave me a chuckle. It felt like a high school haunted house with those fake saws coming at you. This maze was boring and just lazy. But I mean no black hallways so there's a plus.

I give Saw a 3/10.


American Horror Story: Roanoke (2 times)

While AHS is my favorite show, I hated Roanoke with a passion and was not anticipating this maze being good at all. But to my shock, it ended up being our top maze. We got scared 2-3 times in each room, sometimes ending up on the floor. Yes, the scares mostly alternated between pig man and butcher, but I was still scared each time. I saw so many of the characters from the show, including Evan peter's character, the Asian family, and the nurses. The scareactors were the best, and had perfect timing and energy. I loved how long this maze was, and felt like it would never end. This felt like old school, classic HHN, and I loved every bit of it. Except the ending. Murdy hyped up a surprise ending, and when I saw the trees I was super unimpressed and kinda amused by their appearance. However every other person in the room including my friend CRUMBLED and I had to drag her outta there, which only happens if a maze really truly gets to her. By the end of the event, she said it was those dang trees that scared her the most, so I guess everybody has a different opinion to the ending. Although I liked The Shining more, I believe Roanoke was the best maze.

I give AHS: Roanoke a 10/10.


Ash v. Evil Dead (1 time)

Yikes. "Where was the maze?" was my friend's response and I agree. It felt like half the maze was black hallways. I just don't get it. I'm a huge Evil Dead fan, and while the series is not the best thing ever it's fun for fans and I've seen every episode. There were so many great scenes that were not implemented into the maze. So many funny jokes that were left out. While this maze only scared me once, I didn't laugh or smile either. Bruce Campbell is my hero, I should feel way more hyped in this maze. But it just felt so empty and, like Insidious, only had some rooms that were incredible and detailed. Also it just feels like a very weirdly laid out maze and I can't describe it. Large rooms or very narrow and never ending hallways. This was seriously boring, short, and forgettable. Props to the scareactors for trying their best though because they had tons of energy!

I give Ash v Evil Dead a 2/10.


At this point we got dinner, rode some rides, and then continued on. Lines were long as the park was officially open by now. 


Terror Tram: Hosted by Chucky (1 time)

I have to admit, this was a fun TT. Did they play it safe? Yes. Was it a good time? Absolutely. Chucky is the host but is practically forgotten as he only scares you once. I'm not the biggest Friday the 13th fan but Jason's section was my favorite. I felt like I was right in the middle of a Friday film and loved all the attractive camp counselors getting slaughtered right and left. Being a HUGE Freddy fan, I had a great time in the NOES section. It makes perfect sense seeing so many Freddy's and it's played for laughs more than scares. he destruction of War of the Worlds fits great. Then there's leatherface, who got the short end of the stick. Bottlenecked rooms showed the Blood Brothers maze all over again. The actors looked frustrated with the sheer tsunami of gests flooding the scene. 

I give Terror Tram a 5/10.


The Horrors of Blumhouse (1 time) 

I wasn't excited for this at all, and felt bad for everyone in the 75 minute line that was at a standstill. This maze was just a really bad science project. Whether each section was good or bad it all felt too short. The Purge outdoor opening felt recycled, cheap, and boring. The actors didn't know what to do with the conga line and kind of just gave up. Happy Death Day was surprisingly alright. It's just not the type of film fit for a maze. It's repetitive and rather bland. My friend got scared  a few times in this section. Lastly was Sinister, the only film to truly terrify me in the last few years. I enjoyed seeing the maze that could have been. The two traps they had were enjoyable and the lightning and sound design were just great. A+ to the baguls for acting so creepy and scaring me a few times. What if we were to have a full Sinister maze and have those two great rooms from Insidious in this maze? Oh, what could have been. That random ending with the machine gun and military dudes? What were they thinking? I kind of enjoyed the "let's all go to the movies" theme but like it didn't really connect at all for me. Oh, and let me not leave out that there were black hallways galore. 

I give Blumhouse a 3/10. 


The Walking Dead (1 time)

Let me just say there weren't any extra actors. Laaaame. 



We decided to give them a shot. And while the show surprised us by not being TERRIBLE, it doesn't compare to literally any spooky show to get us in the Halloween mood.


Titans of Terror (2 times)

As big of a fan of the titans as I am, I'm sick and tired of them being here and need them to request a paid leave. I was truly shocked that this was one of our favorite mazes of the night, and only had around a 35 minute wait despite the 60 minute wait time. The theme of the boy having a home haunt and the horror marathon was awesome, even if they didn't utilize this in the ending. Freddy's section was better than the 2010 maze and felt like Freddy v Jason, Pt. 2. I LOVED it. Especially the cradle/ stroller room. Such great detail despite recycled props. Jason's section felt nonexistent. Yeah, he got the short end of the stick his time around. He had about three plain rooms and both times he only appeared twice. Now Leatherface's section was better than the entire Blood Brothers maze. Super fun and scary. All in all, this maze was so much fun and we had to come back and do this one more time at the end of our night because it was just great and never seemed to have a long wait. The actors were so awesome and had great energy that flowed into the maze itself. 

I give Titans of Terror an 8/10. 


We went back down to redo Shining, Insidious, Saw, and AHS as we waited in GA for early entry. Then we rode our remaining rides on our FOL pass. Then we ate, bought merch (which kind of disappointed me this year, as most if it didn't feel like authentic merch similar to 2016) went through Titans again, and left. All in all, we had a blast but our catchphrase this year is "It ain't no 2k16"


General thoughts:

-Scarezones felt small and unthemed. The park lacked energy and literally any Halloween vibe. No one seemed scared walking throughout the park. 

-It's apparent that Universal had problems behind the scenes, including budget and creativity

-Black hallways work for some mazes, such as Exorcist and shining, but feel cheap and distracting in most others. 

-Please introduce more exclusive food options. Heard one girl ask an employee "Excuse me, where can I find food?" Donuts and Starbucks and grilled cheese can only get me so far. 

-Facades were lazy this year. No glowing suburban houses, smoking factories, or foggy straight - from the- movie houses here. 

- Create more photo ops. Friends at home asked me to snap pics but honestly what is there to take pictures of/ with?

-While universal has a signature style of scaring with the sound and strobe, it would help to gradually introduce new styles of scare. From simple actor actions to the ariel scares and stilt scares of other haunts. Last year felt innovative, this year felt one in the same.

- I can easily state that in my 7 years of attending, this was my least favorite year overall. 



1. The Shining

2. AHS Roanoke 

3. Titans

4. Insidious

5. Terror Tram

6. Saw 

7. Blumhouse 

8. Ash v Evil Dead 

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GREAT review, very detailed, and I felt like I was there with you for most of it. I agree with most of the review, but luckily I enjoyed Ash just a tad bit more and disliked Terror Tram a bit less. Everything else is pretty spot on, including Roanoke is the best maze, but Shining is my favorite. I usually go twice a year too and think one time is enough this year, BUT, I wanna see if there's any changes made, as I think that's an exciting aspect to see how the event evolves over the season. I'll be back at the very end! Make sure to write more reviews if you go to more haunts, would love to read them!

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3 hours ago, DTH316 said:

GREAT review, very detailed, and I felt like I was there with you for most of it. I agree with most of the review, but luckily I enjoyed Ash just a tad bit more and disliked Terror Tram a bit less. Everything else is pretty spot on, including Roanoke is the best maze, but Shining is my favorite. I usually go twice a year too and think one time is enough this year, BUT, I wanna see if there's any changes made, as I think that's an exciting aspect to see how the event evolves over the season. I'll be back at the very end! Make sure to write more reviews if you go to more haunts, would love to read them!

haha thank you so much for the kind words! I write horror movie reviews so maybe that's why I'm so descriptive? I feel like everyone has such varying opinions this year, like I wasn't excited for Roanoke because no one seemed to be talking about it at all. 

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