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Halloween Horror Nights 27 Orlando Review


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Hello everyone. This is my first time posting on Horror Night Nightmares. I just recently discovered the site and have thoroughly enjoyed reading the content and other people's reviews on this years and past years of Halloween Horror Nights. Last year was my first HHN and I fell in love with the event. I visited HHN27 three times this year, October 1st, 4th, and 5th. In my review, when it comes to the houses, my rankings will all be based on my thoughts and opinions on the facade, set design, make-up and costumes, scariness, and overall immersiveness (is immersiveness a word?). The scales will be ranked from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). And away we go...




Houses (ranked from least favorite to favorite)


9.) Horrors of Blumhouse-

I saw Sinister a few years back but have never watched any Purge or Insidious movies which could be why I didn't really care for this house. As many have noted, Blumhouse featured the Sinister and Purge sections rather quickly compared to the Insidious portion. I don't think this is why the house suffered, though. I found it pretty scary at times and they worked with what they had, there just weren't any memorable or ooo and ahh moments in it. I only went through Horrors of Blumhouse once, and that was really enough for me.


Facade: 2 (When I went, they didn't have the projections yet)

Set Design: 

Make-up / Costumes: 3.5

Scariness: 3.5

Immersiveness: 2.5


8.) Ash vs. Evil Dead-

I've never seen the show or anything pertaining to Evil Dead so just like Blumhouse, it could be why I wasn't blown away by this house. I only went through once but I wish I would've gone through at least another time. From what I recall, there were some funny moments, the sets were cool, and I got a few scares. 


Facade: 4

Set Design: 4

Make-up / Costumes: 3

Scariness: 2.5

Immersiveness: 3


7.) Saw: The Games of Jigsaw-

As a fan of the Saw movies, I thought this was a cool house. Walking in and hearing the audio how we are part of the game was a good touch. Lots of recognizable scenes from the movies and I got a decent amount of scares the two times I went through this house. I'm disappointed after reading about the interactive button things that were apparently in the house. Definitely would have made the house a little more worthwhile if I could've found/clicked them. Personally, I really liked this house, especially the recreation of the bathroom scene. By no means is this one of my least favorites because of where it's ranked on my list. The other houses were all just so strong that I placed this one here. 


Facade: 0

Set Design: 3.5

Make-up / Costumes: 2.5

Scariness: 4

Immersiveness: 4


6.) Scarecrow: The Reaping

I know, I know. I'm sure you just whispered "wtf" to yourself seeing where I ranked this house. I went through Scarecrow twice and my expectations were through the friggen roof because of how people hyped this house. I wanted to love this house. I truly wanted to feel what everyone else did with it, but sadly, I didn't. To begin, I am an easy victim to scare. Very easy. Even if I know it's coming, I'll still jump back, duck, or scream if I'm the one getting scared in a house. With that being said, I really just wasn't that scared in this house. I may have jumped a little a few times but there was never a stand out scare. I I loved walking up to Scarecrow and through it because of the facade, design, dripping of bird poop, and mirror room. The scares just weren't there for me and I really don't understand why. Maybe the two times I went through there was a cast change happening. Maybe I wasn't targeted for scares like others. I don't know what it was that I didn't experience what others did in Scarecrow. Tomb of the Ancients was my favorite house last year and I thought Scarecrow would have been at the top of my list this year. But it wasn't, and I'm sad about it.


Facade: 4.5

Set Design: 4.5

Make-up / Costumes: 4

Scariness: 2

Immersiveness: 4.5


5.) The Fallen

Walking into The Fallen has a wow factor. The facade looks very much like a run down, destroyed cathedral. Make-up was great, the flying scares were incredible, and the sets were designed very, very well. The house is marketed completely wrong, however, as many have said before. There are no angels versus demons. This is not a good versus evil house. This is simply evil and more evil. I was expecting battles between angels and fallen angels, but that's not what we got. It was a tremendous house either way, I just wish there would have been the good vs evil aspect they said there was going to be. I guess I just didn't like the whole hell thing, which is why it is so high up on the list even though the rankings are higher than most.


Facade: 4.5

Set Design: 4.5

Make-up / Costumes: 5

Scariness: 5

Immersiveness: 4.5


4.) The Shining

What a cool house. I'm a big fan of the movie and I think they did a good job representing the big scenes from it in this house. Whether it be the bathroom scene, the Gold Room, the hedge maze with the snow effect, or the blood elevator, there was just so much to love about The Shining. I got good scares, the sets were awesome, the Jack Nicholson masks were well done, and I screamed then laughed when that bear popped out at me. I get it couldn't of been done where the house was located, but imagine if we got an Overlook Hotel facade? Probably would have been my second or first favorite house. 


Facade: 3

Set Design: 5

Make-up / Costumes: 4

Scariness: 4

Immersiveness: 5


3.) American Horror Story: Volume 2

I've watched Asylum and Roanoke but never bothered with Coven. I went through this house three times and something that really stood out to me about this year's AHS wasn't actually in the house. I loved how they made you wait in that second, dark queue before the walk through begins. The loud, and I mean loud, music that they play really prepares you for what's ahead. I don't believe any house is like this and I totally think they all should be. You can't ignore the music. You can barely talk to the person next to you because of how loud it is. Before getting into the other houses, you walk through a queue with some background music and then go right into it. Most of the time when I'm in line for a house, I kind of forget what I'm doing. I look at my phone or talk to who I'm with. I often neglect that I'm going into a haunted house because of the wait time. This might just be me, but I'm sure others reach the end of a line and are like, "Oh man. Am I'm mentally prepared for this?" This house and even last years does a great job of reminding you that you are about to step into something crazy and scary. And, indeed, it is crazy and scary. The Asylum facade was awesome, the make-up and costumes were great, the scares were very good and the Santa/mirror one was unique, the sets were pretty much identical to the shows, and the smells were nonstop. I like when smells are added to a house, but my goodness, that one rooms smell was horrific. Each time I walked through I actually told the girl in that cage or whatever it was that I was sorry she had to sit in this room all night. I could barely stand the stench walking through it for all of what, 10 seconds? No matter, as an American Horror Story fan, I thought this was an amazing house and representation of the show. That last pig got me good on my first walk through. 


Facade: 4

Set Design: 5

Make-up / Costumes: 5

Scariness: 5

Immersiveness: 5


2.) The Hive

My top two houses are originals and I love that. Universal is king when it comes to themeing and creating immersive and realistic experiences for guests and The Hive was one of those highlights this year. The Hive was the first house I went to this year. I did stay and scream in Springfield and purposely picked this as my first house because I wasn't expecting much from it. I thought I was gonna go through with my low expectations and be done with it for the year just to say I did it, but I was very pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed The Hive a lot. It was scary, it was dark, it was immersive, and it was long. I remember saying to myself the first out of four runs I did through The Hive, "is this thing ever going to end? Get me the hell out of here," (in a good way, of course). I loved the hanging vampires, the sets, the black lights, and the house as a whole. 



Set Design: 4.5 (If there weren't two dead infants in a crib, this would be a 5.)

Make-up / Costumes: 5

Scariness: 5

Immersiveness: 4.5


1.) Dead Waters

Dead Waters is an amazing, amazing, house. Coming around that corner and seeing the sunken ship really took my breath away the first time and the other three times I went through. The music that plays before entering the ship is perfect and I actually loved that there were scare actors outside of the ship. They capitalized on scaring people in the last place you would anticipate getting scared. I thought it was smart and didn't take away from the facade one bit. I loved that they used a mask from last year's Dead Man's Wharf scare zone in the crooked hallway. I loved how the floors really messed with you, either being sideways or on a decline to really make you feel like you were inside of a shipwrecked boat. The rooms and sets were beautiful in this house and it really made you feel like you were in these so called "Dead Waters". It's only flaw, and I don't know if I can even count it as a flaw, is that it is somewhat short. One extra room would have made this house even more incredible but this house still won my heart as #1 this year. 


Facade: 5 

Set Design: 5

Make-up / Costumes: 5

Scariness: 5

Immersiveness: 5




Scare zones (ranked from least favorite to favorite)


5.) Altars of Horror

Meh. Literally no design or sets whatsoever in the streets, just those big signs advertising the IP's. The scare actors did their jobs and were trying to scare people when they weren't busy taking pictures with park guests.


4.) Festival of the Deadliest

I walked through this zone a few times, and it wasn't a bad zone. It wasn't good, though, either. Nothing really stood out to me. The scare actors were doing their best to scare people from what I saw and unfortunately I never saw Bone. 


3.) Invasion! 

This was a very cool and fun zone. It wasn't scary, but the aliens, other scare actors, and crash landed UFO made this an awesome zone to walk through. 


2.) The Purge

The Purge scare zone was very big and very scary. Like Saw, this is a little too realistic. There are no zombies, aliens, or vampires. No, it's just plain human beings like me and you killing for pleasure. I didn't mention this earlier but even though I like the Saw movies, the torture scenes make me extremely uncomfortable. I watch the Saw movies for the interesting twists and turns in the story, not for the gory and gruesome stuff. I haven't seen any of The Purge movies, but the zone made me feel uncomfortable because of how real it feels. It gets the job done as a legit scare zone and not some photo op. The actors and auction show are terrifying. The guys on the motorcycles were getting so close to people and I just did not feel safe in that zone. One night that I went it rained really hard then stopped. It was still drizzling a bit and I thought I was safe to walk through The Purge because usually the scare actors don't stay out in the rain. Of course, I was wrong and a woman who had make-up that looked like blood on her face came right up in my face with this look of terror and sadness and fear and it scared the shit out of me. To me, that was the scariest thing I saw the entire event. It's too real. I hated this zone, but I ranked it so high because it was most certainly a scare zone. 


1.) Trick r' Treat

Trick r' Treat was a big highlight of this year's HHN because it was absolutely gorgeous and it had this awesome ambiance when you stepped into the scare zone. The puking kid, the kids with their bags that made the loud noise, and the multiple Sam's were all so accurate to the movie. This one had to be seen in person to really be appreciated. Pictures of it look incredible, but they don't do it justice. 






Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure-

Sadly, I can't really appreciate the last year of Bill & Ted's because last year was the first time I've ever seen the show. Last year, I thought the show was awful. This year, on the other hand, was funny, entertaining, and heartwarming. I wish I had gone to HHN in years past so I could appreciate this final showing and I hope someday it comes back for a fun and triumphant return.


Academy of Villains (Irma Edition)-

It sucks that the AoV stage got messed up by the hurricane and they couldn't perform the original show they had probably slaved over rehearsing for. This was not a bad show in the least. There were a lot of awesome moments, but it felt incomplete. I loved AoV last year and I have hope that they will be back next year to give us a show that isn't as condensed and is even stronger than HHN 26. 




Food and Drinks


I never got to eat any donuts on a stick, pizza fries, or any other unique food offerings at HHN this year. I did try that double wall cup drink, though. It was good, I guess. I liked the orange side more than the purple side. I didn't get a buzz off of it so gets a thumbs down from me. I only got it the one time. Even though it wasn't a specialty drink specifically for HHN, I got a few Dufftoberfest's the nights I visited and they were excellent. It's a tasty and smooth fall beer. 




Overall thoughts


Houses- I can't say that any of the houses were necessarily bad. I would gladly do Blumhouse and Ash again and give them another shot. I'm sure if I could do Scarecrow again, I'd see what everyone has ranted and raved about. The IP houses were all good design wise, especially Shining and AHS. The original houses were even better than the IP's and I hope that because of Dead Waters, they set a new standard for what the facade of a house should look like from now on.


Scare zones- Other than Trick r' Treat and Invasion, I could care less about the other scare zones. Next year I hope Universal pulls out all the stops to make them stand out more than this year.


Shows- Bill & Ted was emotional, and Academy of Villains still put on a good show with the troubles they faced with their stage. Interesting to think what will be in Bill & Ted's place next year and if AoV will return...


Event as a whole- I loved HHN 27. I had a great time each night and I wish I could come back for the closing weekend. I would give Halloween Horror Nights 27 a 4/5 as one cohesive event and I can't wait to see what Universal has in store for HHN 28.

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