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Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood 2017 Review


Good evening, movie goers. “I’m totally having deja vu right now...” Welcome to the Universal Palace Theatre... We’re currently having a film festival featuring what fear fears most... allowing you to RE-live your worst nightmare... again and again! You’ll wish it were just a movie! ..Buy a ticket to the Universal Palace and let me usher you into an experience you will never ever forget.. “So I’m supposed to keep dying, to find out who my killer is?...” Tickets please!..




Its that time of year again... haunt season! This was my 13th year attending Halloween Horror Nights (4th year attending Hollywood’s event). Just like in 2014, I auditioned to be a scareactor. Only this year was different, I made sure to jump on the audition times as soon as I found out they were up. I was beyond nervous, but I was ready to kill it. Somehow, I did. I actually got the golden. f**king. ticket. I couldn’t believe it. Unfortunately though, this is Hollywood not Orlando, so just because they selected you out of about 20-30 people in your audition group, it does not mean you’re actually cast for the event. Obviously, returning scareactors got their “You’ve been cast” emails first. Sadly, about 16 days before the event, I got the “All roles have been filled” email, but it didn’t mean I was NOT cast. There was still a chance they could cast me at anytime during the event. Never happened. -sobs- I really wanted to be a Purger! -sigh- So it was another year as a guest for me, but the fact that I made the cut at auditions lets me know I did impress them. So there is always next year... :rolleyes:


Now while I’d like to say I was super hyped for this year’s event, unfortunately, it took forever with announcements, so the hype was kind of lacking. Not even the annual “rumors” could really keep up the hype. Opening night left me feeling very underwhelmed, which is the exact opposite a fan of an event wants to experience. Just like all years of HHN, even the weaker years have their redeeming qualities due to the scareactors.


“Early Entry” was handled much better than it was last year. It still had a few kinks, but that's to be expected. Thankfully, due to all the backlash last year, annual passholders with an HHN ticket/FFP did NOT have to exit the park and re-enter for the event. Hollywood still doesn’t do a designated “stay & scream” area, but the way things were done this year was acceptable. However, it’d still be nice to have a physical HHN ticket rather than a printed piece of paper. Hell, HHN Singapore FFP are actual plastic tickets like a teammember ID! <_<


I’d love to say this year was as good as last year or better, but I’d be lying. It was full of IPs that have been seen many times before at HHN Hollywood. This year was like a mash-up of past HHN years (2007-2010 & 2016)... but not in a good way. Everything felt unfinished, half-assed, and/or budget-cut. Its as if they were forced to have the event this year, so they just threw whatever shit together that was in the HHN storage warehouse. The event was made up of many parts, most of them used ....a lot. Not too mention, not enough scareactors...



Okay so as always, my review will be split up into multiple parts (scarezones, mazes, shows, overall thoughts)... Sorry I've been MIA the past several months. Been busy with work/life <_< The review is done, just a matter of copying and pasting. So hang tight, its a long one for 2017 :unsure: I will admit this review is a tad more negative than usual, but I was going through stuff at the time of writing it. Just wanted to give a fair warning. -_-

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Once again, HHN Hollywood unfortunately only had three scarezones just like last year. There was also no scarezone in French Street this year due to the return of the RIP Tours. Yay budget cuts and excuses! Thankfully though, all three scarezones were a different theme so it wasn’t the same experience in the streets. The best part was, none of the scarezone themes were an IP, they were all original!.. Although my biggest complaint was that they were very understaffed.. Also, lighting.. It has been the same for the past few years.


Hell-O-Ween [Location: Upper Lot]

So while Orlando got a scarezone based on the film “Trick R Treat”, we got this “original” darker knock-off... with little to no set details outside of a few gory-esque dioramas, some lighting, and fog machines... It was rather disappointing really. I honestly found this scarezone to be kinda forgettable after opening night. Thankfully the scareactors in this scarezone ended up making this a fun street to hangout in and watch their antics. They were very interactive. They even got a few scares out of me which made me very happy since I don’t get scared in scarezones! So it was very enjoyable...


The lack of atmosfear in this scarezone was pretty terrible. There were like six different Halloween themed dioramas that had to be wheeled out every night because daytime guests might find them too scary or gory. God forbid we offend daytime park goers even though there are multiple signs everywhere warning them of HHN preparation. :rolleyes: There wasn’t even the iconic flame tower for this scarezone either, allegedly due to the current construction. <_<


I’m annoyed that more effort wasn’t made to make this street look and feel more like Halloween. No fall leaves, no jack-o-lanterns, no spiderwebs with giant spiders. Not even festive orange or purple Christmas lights. Only having the dioramas directly infront of the NY Street facade, it was a very empty scarezone. It was too empty for its size. Which is another major issue, not enough scareactors. The cast did a great job, but it really was too much space for such a small cast.


Toxic Tunnel [Location: Backlot Tunnel]

This scarezone reminded me of HHN Orlando’s 2003 “Toxic City” scarezone, as well as 2009’s “Containment” scarezone, only with zero themeing except for a giant sign and some randomly strobing multi-colored LED lights... This wasn’t exactly a completely terrible scarezone due to the scareactors. But it did leave me a little underwhelmed.



Even though it was thrown together last minute, 2014’s TWD tunnel is still the best out of the three years they’ve had the long trek to the backlot. This year was just like last year’s Purge tunnel, except the costumes/masks didn’t look like they came from Party City’s 4th of July section. They really could’ve made some extra effort with the tunnel. Toxic barrels! Why was there no toxic barrels anywhere!? If 2014 can have an ambulance added, this could’ve had a toxic waste truck! While I didn’t mind the strobing LED lights, I noticed that this scarezone looked the best when it was the blacklights because it’d make the scareactors jumpsuits glow.


If this scarezone had a few props and was strictly lit with blacklights, I think it would’ve been a lot stronger. I’d even say add a few more scareactors too even though the tunnel isn’t really a huge area.


Urban Inferno [Location: Metro Sets]

This scarezone changed the normal layout that is used for the Metro Sets scarezone. Of course, using the term scarezone is very loose because this is more like a highly themed one-way detour. It was so detailed that it honestly could’ve been another maze with some minor tweaking...


Gone was the normal shipping crate lined passageway into the backlot that had been the set up for the past four years. This year, it was a journey into hell... that just happened to feature A LOT of recycled props from HHN past... Despite there being a lot of mostly recycled props, it all fit into the scarezone perfectly. It looked great! Although there was a large section that was devoid of themeing, outside of red mesh netting on the walls. It wouldn’t have been so bad if there had been randomly placed strips of netting hanging from beams here/there. The scenic detail was really impressive and enjoyable. I’m glad I got to see it in the daylight on opening night, unlike all other nights it was already dark by 7pm. While the last thing the backlot needs is fire (especially after 2008), it would’ve been cool to see some flame effects used in this scarezone...


The scareactors in this scarezone were really great and very interactive. I almost wish I had gone through this scarezone more times, but most of the time I was in the backlot, it was before 7pm and I rarely made the effort to go back. A few times I had a demon chanting demonically in my ear, it was kinda hot. ^_^ Anyway, I had some really amazing experiences in this scarezone. Especially the final night, I was surrounded by a few of the demons and they started to circle around me while chanting. It was awesome. As I have mentioned before, I really don’t get scared when in scarezones, but some of the demons were able to get a few scares out of me!


This was almost like I got to experience 2009’s scarezone “Welcome to Hell”, although I will say it would’ve been cool to have sinful go-go dancers at the entrance or exit of the scarezone. As enjoyable as this scarezone was, it really should’ve just been an outdoor maze like last year’s “Purge: Gauntlet of Fear”. It could’ve easily been reworked a bit in order to have a queue.


stay tuned for the super long maze segment :wacko:

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Horrorwood Die-In:



Despite the fact that last year featured 8 mazes, this year was toting as having more mazes than ever, even though it was once again, only 8 mazes (Unless you wanted to count “Urban Inferno” as a maze, then we’d have 9 mazes like Orlando :o). This year’s line up of mazes was pretty much full of IPs that have been at the event multiple times in some form or another. That isn’t exactly a bad thing, but it does become an issue when the quality of the mazes is just not on par with previous years, especially for those returning IPs from last year...


SAW: Games of Jigsaw [Location: Metro sets] (21 times)

I was really looking forward to experiencing a SAW maze at HHN Hollywood, however, what I experienced was total crap. Orlando’s maze from 2009 was A LOT better than this one was and THAT was plagued with issues due to its venue (The Jaws Ride queue)...


This maze honestly didn’t know what it was trying to do. It was definitely very similar to Orlando’s 2009 SAW maze, but without proper execution. There were a lot of poor design choices, as well as scareactor placement. It made for a very not-so-scary underwhelming museum of traps from the film franchise. It lacked intensity, it lacked cohesion, it lacked the quality I had expected from this coast’s event (especially compared to last year). While I got a few scares, my trips through this maze were mostly uneventful and forgettable.


One of my main issues with this maze was that it should’ve been one huge trap that we’ve found ourselves in. I have no issue with showcasing past well-known traps, but at least do it properly. There were so many plain black hallways of nothingness that could’ve had a tv screen & Jigsaw narration introducing past traps while also urging you to continue to “play the game”. Also include a time clock that is clearly counting down. The scareactor placement for the pigs was terrible except for maybe like 3 of them. There just wasn’t enough interaction with guests to make you feel a sense of despair. Its almost as if John Murdy and crew forgot maze design 101 on distract/attack.


After watching a video for HHN Orlando’s “SAW” maze from this year, I’d definitely say theirs was a lot better, especially in the scare department. Certain aspects were definitely better back in 2009 though. If you combined their maze(s) with ours, it would’ve been so much better!


Needless to say, I was highly disappointed with this maze. It was just very lazy. The worst part is, a lot of the issues were very simple fixes that could’ve and should’ve been addressed during design/construction. Like I said, I was really looking forward to this maze... GAME OVER!



The Shining [Location: Mummy queue] (23 times)

“All work no play makes Jack a dull boy”... I wasn’t really that excited for this maze. After last year’s Exorcist, this classic film just did not deliver the same amount of scares. I’d say my favorite scene was probably “The Gold Room”... and that was a mannequin filled scene with shaker-can scareactors. :unsure:


I honestly did not expect this film to become a maze because it is based on a Stephen King novel, however Stephen King also has zero ties with this film adaptation. I still did not expect it to happen, nor did I want it to. I find this movie to be overrated, long, slow, and boring.. But it just happens to have a few iconic scenes. So as I said, not at all remotely excited for this maze... :mellow:


Last year’s “Exorcist” set the bar really high for a maze based on an older movie not based on an iconic slasher. It was scary and amazing. The Shining this year did not exactly have the same result. There were definitely plenty of scares, but only if they were timed right. The set detail was well done with replicating everything, including the carpet. Unfortunately, the dreaded plain black hallways of nothingness found there way into this maze here/there. There was a lot of screen projection effects which were fairly decent, except for the iconic blood-gushing elevator scene... THAT WAS CRAP!


Now after watching a video of Orlando’s Shining maze, I would definitely say theirs is a lot better in many ways. Of course, they also have the advantage of being inside a soundstage which definitely helped. There are definitely a few aspects from our maze that were better, so if the two were combined, it would have been amazing. This maze definitely was not as bad as SAW, but it certainly wasn’t the best maze either. I’m sure if I was a fan of the movie, I would’ve loved this maze. Hopefully, like Exorcist, this will open doors for other IPs...



Insidious: Beyond the Further [Location: JPRA queue] (27 times)

The highest rated maze, said only by Murdy.... Talk about someone with a more Insidious agenda than the ghosts/demons lurking in the Further! The finale was amazing as far as scares go though...


Just like my first adventure into the Further, I still have never seen an Insidious film. However, at least this time around, I had a better idea of what to expect. While there was quite a few repeated scenes from the 2015 maze, this maze was more or less based on the new Insidious film coming out in January. It was originally meant to be released this year, but then got pushed back. Unfortunately, they did not scrap this maze for something different, which was a poor decision on their part.


Aside from a few well done scenes as far as set details go, this maze relied very heavily on plain black walls of doom. Now in some ways, it wasn’t too much of an issue considering you were supposed to be in the Further, but that's still a lame excuse. The maze layout itself was poorly done, however the finale was f**king epic with scares... especially when timed perfectly. The Further prison was poorly handled since both scareactors in the scene were on the same side, while the other side only had mannequins. A lot of the scares within the maze were the same style too, so while effective, they were kinda forgettable.


This was definitely one of the better mazes this year, but it was also a very recycled maze as far as content goes.. There were only a few scenes that represented the new film. This was also the twitter password maze, and you would get a better quality “Spectral Sightings” business card from Tucker & Specs than what was given out in 2013 with the first Insidious maze. Somehow this maze also won "House of the Year" <_<



Ash vs Evil Dead [Location: Metro sets] (20 times)

Can I go back to HHN Orlando’s 2013 “Evil Dead” maze? It was A LOT better than this one. I was so underwhelmed... This was just terrible in almost every way, but I’m not sure if it was as bad as SAW... or worse..


While I still haven’t gotten around to watching all of the new “Ash vs Evil Dead” tv series, I was pretty excited for this to be a maze because I knew it’d be good campy fun with great scares. Unfortunately, that was not the case. This had minimal scares and a very underwhelming experience overall. It really left you with something to be desired. Some scenes had great set details, while others were kinda “meh”... and there was the god awful plain black hallway of doom section that was supposed to be the evil “raping woods”. The Henrietta puppet was kinda cool, but that's about it. I did like the multiple facades within the maze, but the layout just really didn't allow you to fully appreciate them (or get a pic).


After watching a video of Orlando’s “Ash vs Evil Dead” maze, I would definitely say theirs was a lot better than ours. If you could combine a few elements from our maze with their maze, it’d be perfect. This maze just did not live up to my expectations. Sadly.. not so “Groovy”.



Titans of Terror [Location: Waterworld queue] (56 times)

Laziest name for a maze ever and very confusing for the general public who are complete morons... So originally, there was supposed to be a maze based on The Conjuring (at least that was the “rumor”), but due to legal issues Warner Bros were dealing with in regards to that franchise, the maze was scrapped. Of course there were many rumors of what would be its replacement, one of them being “Titans of Terror”... which of course ended up being true...


I was actually excited and really looking forward to this maze, especially since it reminded me of HHN Orlando’s 2003 original maze “All Nite Die-In” (which featured Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, & Leatherface... all unofficially). It was awesome that we were going to get our own west coast version, however... Michael Myers was not going to be included (due to a new Halloween film coming out next year. See you in 2018 Michael!).. Sadly, they were very uncreative with naming this maze.. as a result, it confused guests. It didn’t help that there was also the “Titans of Terror Tram”...


So the theme of this maze was going to be pretty much an original maze. However, it was a little confusing on what exactly that theme was because it wasn’t exactly very clear. John Murdy said the facade would be a “home haunt”, which was not exactly very accurate. It was just a house facade decorated for Halloween featuring the terrifying trio. For the most part, it looked pretty good. The first scene was a huge bedroom, unnecessarily huge.. and did not have any scares at all. After the bedroom you had three sections- Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There was a final scare from all 3 slashers... the end. Its as if this maze completely forgot about the first scene with the super fan.


The bedroom, as pointless and huge as it was, had amazing set details. Murdy’s cameo as the late night tv horror host “The Screecher” was amusing, but completely pointless. Its as if this maze wanted to emulate both Orlando’s 2003 “All Nite Die-In” and 2011 “H.R. Bloodengutz Presents: Holidays of Horror” mazes. But the result fell completely flat. There was no cohesive storyline, unless you just decide that the maze is pretty much set in the dream world with Freddy Krueger. It’d almost make sense since you pass through a red/green Freddy door decoration to enter the maze...


As for the three sections.. Freddy’s section was definitely the best of the three. It was very well done and had some great scares. One of the Freddy scareactors actually scared me so good that I nearly dropped to the floor! My favorite scare was definitely the baby carriage scare because the Freddy scareactor would lunge towards you out of nowhere and get ridiculously close! The Friday the 13th section left something to be desired. It lacked in the scare department and was kinda “meh”. Definitely not as good as it could’ve/should’ve been. Then lastly, there was the terrible TCM section of recycled content from last year’s TCM maze. It was such a waste of space and very uncreative. The finale was the dreaded black hallway of doom, but did feature all three slashers and random audio of The Screecher...

This maze was definitely one of the best, even with its incoherent backstory and lazy execution. It was not what I had hoped, but it was still enjoyable for the most part. It did feel a bit unfinished and thrown together, but that is to be expected as a replacement maze. However, that is still no excuse..



American Horror Story: Roanoke [Location: Metro sets] (20 times)

While I didn’t exactly care for last year’s maze, I did find it to be a lot better than this year’s. Doing just one season was a mistake, especially when all the scares were pretty much from only Pig Men and a few rednecks...


I still haven’t gotten around to watching this season, except for the first episode. It just really didn’t grab my attention. Anyway, this maze just wasn’t exactly anything special or memorable. The set detail was really good, minus a few spots here/there. It looked like the only maze that was actually “completed” for the most part. However, it did leave something to be desired (definitely a recurring theme this year). There were a few scares here/there, but not much in variety. Now I’m sure if I was a fan of AHS and had seen this season, I probably would’ve liked and/or appreciated this maze more. I just really didn’t care for it.


Last year’s AHS maze consisted of 3 different seasons. I wish this year’s maze would have done the same because using just one season, it made the maze experience kind of dull. Not having seen this season, the maze slightly reminded me a little of HHN Orlando’s 2005 maze “Blood Ruins”, only with pigs. Although I didn’t like that maze, thinking back now, it was probably better. It’d be nice if they do bring back AHS (....again..), they just do a 3 season mash-up maze again just to feature the other 3 seasons. We really don’t need this to become the new TWD of HHN, where it comes back 4 years in a row. Ugh..



mazes continued in next post

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maze review continued


The Walking Dead Attraction [Location: Upper Lot] (49 times)

Why is this even a thing!?... Sadly they didn’t bring in extra scareactors to double the cast like they did last year. However, one weekend they did try something amazing that was completely awesome! They added more zombies to the loading dock scene... IT WAS EPIC! :wub:


While this 1 1/2 year old attraction is beyond terrible compared to the former House of Horrors attraction, it can occasionally have some slightly redeeming moments. Personally, I do enjoy when the cast is very lively and play scareactor roulette with their locations. Its even better when they have a few extra zombies on hand to utilize other areas.


Some nights definitely seemed to be better staffed than others, but nowhere near what it should be. Thankfully they did start putting to use the other scare locations to change things up a bit.



Horrors of Blumhouse [Location: Upper Lot] (69 times)

When this maze was first rumored, it reminded me of HHN Orlando’s “All Nite Die-In” (2003/2006) and “Silver Screams” (2009), only with Blumhouse films. I was amused that the local online fanboys thought a mash-up maze of IPs would be too confusing for park guests :rolleyes: (it'd be no different from them being confused by a singular IP maze :lol:). Anyway, the concept for this maze was the local movie theatre was having a horror film festival featuring Blumhouse films, but was closed for the annual Purge. Very simple concept, but was a victim of both budget cuts and poor execution. Once you entered the theatre facade that is where the movie theatre theme ended. There were no movie theatre hallways to separate the two Blumhouse films (easily could’ve had a 3rd film... like Insidious, instead of THAT being its own maze). Both films had a wall that replicated their movie poster. Sure it was neat to see it recreated as a physical set, but it did nothing to help anchor the maze concept of being a movie theatre. Despite the laziness in design, this was the best maze!...


- The Purge... So The Purge has become the new TWD for HHN Hollywood. When its announced, we all groan... but unlike TWD, it always ends up being one of the best parts of the event! This year was no different. The cast of this maze did not disappoint! These Purgers were fun, interactive and also delivered quite a few scares! They made you want to visit this maze again and again...


The first part of the maze was set up very similar to last year’s “Purge: Gauntlet of Fear” maze. A lot of recycled props, but also some looked new. Like last year, I would’ve loved to go through and get pics during the daytime. It was so well themed to “Purge: Election Year”. The scareactors in this section were great, especially when they’d blend in like a mannequin. I actually got scared by a damn chainsaw! So definitely a huge shout out to those ladies for being so awesome as the first scare of the maze! :wub: The one statue of liberty stilt scareactor dude would always fist bump or mess with me in some way, I liked him. The only thing that was kinda “meh” about this section was the tunnel of hanging bodies.. <_<


There was also a movie theatre facade that was “Closed for The Purge”. This area of the maze was the “Purge: Anarchy” section and was by far the best! It was an open area after the tunnel, which meant the scareactors had room to move. These scareactors would run, jump, and even slide. It was almost like a mini scarezone. Some nights the statue of liberty stilt scareactor could be found here instead of in his normal spot within the maze. As enjoyable as it was to go through the maze, it was also just as much fun to stand at the barricade and watch the scareactors in action. Each scareactor made their role unique as a blood-thirsty purger who liked to play with their victim before the kill. The nights where these scareactors actually got a scare out of me was the best.. So many fun different interactions with these purgers were had too. Nothing like having two purgers (tongue makeup & skull cage) all up in your personal space in what looked like a purger 3-way... My first thought was- “Yep. I’m totally into this” :P The tongue-mask purger was awesome (some nights there were two! Both were great). I loved when purgers that I normally didn’t see would show up too. Oh yea, can’t forget about the “god mask” purger, he was my favorite! That dude had more energy than the energizer bunny! He kept going and going. ;)


- Happy Death Day... did NOT represent the film as well as it could & should have done. The first scene (dorm room) had zero scareactors (just like Titans of Terror). Then a dorm hallway which had three scareactors. Then the same dorm room again, but at least it had a scareactor. A tiny closet sized section of dorm hallway with another scareactor. Followed by the “happy birthday tunnel”, which had a scareactor before you entered said tunnel. The tunnel itself was an excessively long plain black hallway of doom (complete with two scareactors). Lastly, a room full of 4 mannequins and two scareactors (gee.. where have we seen this set-up before?). :rolleyes:


After having seen this movie, this section was very disappointing with how lazy it was executed. Very uncreative and the weakest of the maze. It really should’ve been shorter than it was. Sure it had a few good scares here/there, but that was only IF the scareactors were able to time it right. A complete “lights on/off” power surge blackout was a missed opportunity (something Orlando did in 2006 for their “PsychoScareapy: Maximum Madness” maze). Another missed opportunity was the lack of a red velvet/birthday cake scent. I’m also disappointed that I didn’t get a pic “licking” the giant knife in the wall that looked like the poster! :(


- Sinister... I have yet to see the films, but I did read the synopsis so that I was at least vaguely familiar with what I’d be experiencing. The living room was the best excessively detailed scene with a good window scare. The best scare was definitely the “screen” scare, where the monster Bughuul would pop out through it. Sadly, Sinister suffered the plain black hallway of doom treatment too, but at least it did have three Bughuul scares (even if one of them was a mannequin after the church hallway of nothingness).. The rat scene had nice set detail, but it was a pointless waste of a scene and scareactor talent (I don’t care if people love it or find it iconic).


- The Purge finale.. sigh.. This should’ve been a strong finale, especially coming after Sinister which was the strongest for scares. Also considering how well the facade and Purge section were handled. Unfortunately, that was not the case. This ended up being a plain black hallway with multiple curtains and 3 Purgers. There were two commando purgers on either side across from each other (terrible placement- one in a doorway, the other in an elevated window), then Big Daddy at the end. Due the the Vegas shootings, Big Daddy lost his big gun, but it did allow him to be more “active” with a machete as you “escaped” the theatre. The best part of this scene was the distorted audio playing “Lets All Go To The Lobby”! I loved that. The huge disappointment was that this finale hallway wasn’t themed to look like a “movie theatre hallway”. Something so f**king simple! And the exit pathway back into Baker Street “looked” like a back alley, but the fact that they didn’t replicate the movie posters on the wall like the facade was so lame! I probably would’ve thrown one more purger right there too, even if all they had was a shaker can!


Overall, this ended up being the best maze at the event (along with Titans of Terror), even if it did clearly suffer major budget cuts. The cast is what saved this maze from being a dud. This was not a maze I was really looking forward to, but it ended up being my favorite. Although, a certain “god mask” purger giving me candy on Halloween might’ve helped influence this being my favorite :P Like “Halloween” in 2015 & “Purge: Gauntlet of Fear” in 2016, this was the maze I ended HHN with by being the last guest to go through! B)



Titans of Terror Tram: Hosted by Chucky [Location: Studio Tour] (18 times)

While I was excited for this year’s Terror Tram, it left something to be desired... It was also clearly a rehash of 2008 & 2010’s Terror Tram themes. It seemed like this was a totally easy concept theme that couldn’t fail, especially when they’ve basically done it 2-3 times already. Unfortunately, that was not the case. It was just kind of lazy in a lot of areas... Then again, it is the Terror Tram.. 


I’m a huge fan of Chucky, so his return to HHN made me a very happy fanboy. However, despite being the “host” of this year’s Terror Tram, he was terribly under used (He was slightly used more for 2010’s Terror Tram). It was cool that they got to use one of the actual screen-used Chucky puppets this year, as well as have Brad Dourif reprise his role as the voice of everyone’s favorite killer doll, but it was almost a waste of the character. Chucky’s role as host was very minimal when it came to the on-board tram video to/from the backlot. And the lack of extra Chucky footage to squeeze in between the different “Crypt TV” videos for the queue was a missed opportunity. The fact that Chucky and an army of life-size chainsaw wielding Good Guy Dolls were what welcomed you when you got off the tram was cool, but still a little awkward.


Enter the terrifying trio... now I had no issue with the Bates Motel becoming the “Crystal Lake Motel”. It made sense. Unfortunately, this section was just lame as f**k. I don’t know which year was worse for this area- this year or last year. Having Jason do multiple “kill scenes” was stupid. The only kill scene for Jason that actually made sense was the Freddy vs Jason “bed folding kill”. The other 3 “show scenes” were just a waste of scareactor talent. There really should’ve been some shadow silhouette kills in the motel room windows. Hell, there was a tent/campsite on the hill... yet no “sleeping bag kill”! The worst part of this section was that it featured a bunch of Crystal Lake counselors running around serving no real purpose other than to populate it with scareactors. Some had make-up effects that just made no sense, especially since they would be dead if certain wounds were real. Also the lack of Pamela Voorhees was disappointing.


Texas Chainsaw Massacre had two sections because sure, why not. It was completely unnecessary for TCM to be featured twice. Especially when it was recycling the characters from last year’s “TCM: Blood Brothers” maze and the same damn victim scenes as the Titans of Terror maze! It was pointless. The worst part was having more than one Leatherface within 5 feet of each other. The first TCM section lead into the War of the Worlds section, the other was exiting that set to get to the tram return load area. I didn’t mind the first TCM section as much, but there definitely was no need to feature this film twice. <_<


Nightmare on Elm Street inhabited the War of the Worlds set itself (yes.. it was very awkward being between TCM). The ONLY scareactors found here were ALL Freddy Krueger, but considering Freddy is a supernatural dream demon, it works. Especially since he was wearing different outfits. Now I do wish they would’ve made a little more effort into adding some extra set details (never did see an actual “Elm St” sign), but I did like the “Officer Krueger” audio coming from the one police car. It would’ve been nice if there had been something letting people know the airplane was “Krueger Airlines” (might’ve been audio, but I don’t remember hearing it). I loved the one night where I was the only one going through this area because of all the extra attention. :wub: A few Freddy’s actually got a few scares out of me! Also, I did see “Log Bunny” one night!.. B)


The annual Norman Bates photo-op at the Psycho House was fun this year because one of the Normans was totally hitting on/flirting with me since I saw him the most. Great interaction, as well as unique photos some nights. He even let me hold his knife on the final night!


As I said, Chucky was terribly under used. I feel like he should’ve made an appearance after the Friday the 13th section causing you to fall asleep and end up in the dream world with Freddy, instead of having TCM featured here... OR Chucky should’ve been the finale section before the tram return load area instead of TCM again. Terror Tram was not completely terrible, but like the mazes this year, it was executed very poorly.


next up... show review and overall thoughts

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Jabbawockeez [Location: Castle Theatre] (19 times)

Thanks to all the backlash from last year’s “not-so-new” revamped show, the Jabbawockeez created a legit ALL NEW show! Complete with a pre-show queue video! Now last year’s show was not god-awful, but it was just a much better version of 2015’s show, which was forgettable. When you have a dance troupe as famous as Jabbawockeez, you expect something new rather than a rehash, thankfully... they delivered this year...


This year’s show was about the Jlienz crash landing their Wocketship at Universal Hollywood and needing to repair it so they can return home. So yes, it had a cheesy sci-fi theme, but it worked. There was even a pre-show queue video of a news report about multiple Jlienz sightings around the world. Between the news reports there was clips of Jabbawockeez performances/musicvideos. There were also snippets of them in different locations on the USH backlot. It was cool to see this much effort put into the show just to set up the plot..


As for the show itself, it was very well done and enjoyable. Some great humor and a lot of energy. The dancing was top notch. There were only some very minor repeated things from last year’s show, but it didn’t hurt the quality. Although, as much fun as the interaction is, I really do hate the “pull a girl from the audience” sequence. Its just so unnecessary. Speaking of girls, the female Jabbawockee “Alize” was showcased nicely, especially with the laser segment! It was very similar to “Laser Man” during Disney’s former “ElecTRONica” event at DCA. I actually wish I had made the effort to watch this year’s Jabbawockeez show more times because it was that enjoyable! I even got to meet one of the original Jabbawockeez (“Phi”) on Halloween! (Nothing more amusing than the B&T fanboy dressed as BILL getting a pic with B&T's replacement). :lol: If they can create another show as amazing as this year’s was, I’d gladly welcome their return next year at HHN!




Another year of Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood has come to an end. While I’d like to believe the best nightmares never end, they always do for another 300+ days... This year was definitely the weakest out of the four years I’ve experienced on this coast. I’ll come right out and say it, part of the reason this year suffered was because of John Murdy. Yes, he brought the event back to Hollywood in 2006 and has definitely created some amazing things over the past several years, but its time for him to move on. Last year’s event was damn near perfect, but this year suffered immensely because he didn’t commit his full attention to the event due to living in Ireland for a good portion of the creative process. This year saw a lot of laziness. As Creative Director of HHN, he failed to deliver. Yes there are always issues behind the scenes, especially when dealing with IPs and of course, the USH higher-ups wanting to budget cut everything to hell. The event needs fresh blood in regards to the creative team, it needs people who will fight for a better quality event. Yes the park is evolving, but that doesn’t mean the event should suffer because of it. Also, its sad when teammembers say another haunt event is better (its true, Knott's was praised). This is Universal.. the home of horror.. Stop letting the whiny easily offended twats dictate HHN, an adult event. <_<


Anyway, back to this year.. It very much reminded me of 2009’s event due to Chucky and SAW being featured. In 2007 & 2016, the big draw was the terrifying trio- Freddy, Jason, & Leatherface. The following year (2008), the big 3 returned... just like this year. (of course in 2010 there were mazes for both NOES/F13 remakes & TCM returned in 2012 as well). That wasn’t the only deja vu going on this year. The Terror Tram was hosted by Chucky just like 2010. Insidious was back for the 3rd time. The Evil Dead franchise was present again due to the current series “Ash vs Evil Dead” (Although 2013’s maze was based on the new sequel film). AHS was back featuring another season. The Purge was present for the 5th time. The ONLY IPs that were actually “new” were The Shining, Happy Death Day & Sinister. While the returning IP’s wouldn’t have been an issue, the fact that everything this year felt very phoned-in made for a less than desirable event. This year definitely did NOT have the same pull as last year. There were a total of 8 “sold out” nights (according to the event site & entrance sign), while last year nearly almost every night was “sold out”. So that right there shows you how poorly handled this year was. Also, the commercial directed by Eli Roth was cool, but it was NOT good for an event commercial. Then of course the marketing poster was- AHS, Shining, ASH vs ED, & SAW... but at the park, the Studio Store & park entrance gate overlay was ”Titans of Terror Tram”. Talk about having an identity crisis..


Despite the mediocre quality with this year, I did enjoy my 16 nights at the event. However, there were many nights that I actually just stayed on the Upper Lot because I couldn’t be bothered to make the effort to do the mazes on the Lower Lot/Backlot. Of course, some of those nights I did get to the park late due to work and/or it was a busy night. This year definitely did not live up to the past 3 years, but hopefully there was enough backlash from guests to ignite the fire allowing next year to be as good, if not better, than last year!


....THE END....

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