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Universal Studios Hollywood presents

in association with Halloween Horror Nights


9/15 Trip Review

Saturday, September 15th, 2018.

5 PM - 2 AM


As always, this is a very detailed review. By it's nature, spoilers are abound. This is for people who have already gone and want a refresher, for people who will never be able to go and want perspective outside of just watching walkthroughs, and for people who don't mind spoilers and want to just get more excited.



Headed in at 4:20 PM and there wasn’t a whole lot of people there, we were basically the second group of people in line under the main entrance and gate. However, there were tons of day/night people going in, plus 4 PM early enters who bought the “gift” for early purchasers. My friend bought a different ticket from a discount site and they barred him from entry. Basically, they read your whole ticket to make sure you got it from the official website and determine if you can go line up. We explained there was 9 of us and he was the only one with that type of ticket, so they let him in. I don’t know if they’ll be this kind and understanding in the future, so again, only buy your tickets from the main website to be safe and make sure your whole group does too. They opened the gates at 4:45, so we headed in down the Star Way and went directly to Stranger Things and got there right at 5. The whole Transformers extended queue was already full, but they hadn’t let people towards the soundstage yet. I thought it’d be an hour or so for that line, but luckily it was half that. They started letting people more towards the maze around 5:05. And here… we… go!



Advertised Wait: Didn’t give one. I think it just said “closed.”

Time in Line: 5:00 PM

Time in Maze: 5:29 PM

Actual Wait: 29 minutes


Got into the soundstage and fun 80s music was blaring, plus the main theme. This really sets the tone and gets you excited. We were all amped for this maze by this point, including myself who thought it shouldn’t happen at all. And guess what?


It shouldn’t have. Every fear I had about this maze came true. It’s very boring, bland, and not scary. I wish I could say it at least looked beautiful with big expensive sets, but I’d be lying. It was fairly cheap looking at some parts outside of maybe the lab scene. For a soundstage maze, it wasn’t very immersive either, as there’s not too many roofs and this early in the day, light is pouring in from the giant studio doors, so the maze isn’t that dark.


The monster looks SO STUPID, it’s embarrassing. Like a giant flower coming after you. My fear that without his mouth moving, he’d look silly and he sure does. Hardly any of the kids in the maze make an appearance outside of Dustin, who’s randomly in a corner behind some shrubs, not lit at all, and merely holding a 5 watt flashlight.


Unfortunately, this is a huge cash grab just to get more people in. I’m not surprised, but I feel bad for fans looking to get scared or enter that world. And even more bad for anyone waiting anything longer than an hour for this, as it’s totally not worth it. Now, it’s not the worst maze this year, but it’s barely average. I was kind at first, saying it was maybe a B, but everyone in my group said it was a C, and that was being generous. And then after doing all the mazes, they lowered it to a D. I watched a video after too and I just have to agree. We got all the intended scares and everything, the maze is just simply lackluster.


But okay, let’s talk about some of the good. The lab set is great, the soundtrack is great, the actors they did hire to represent some of the other characters were okay, and the mannequins looked a lot like the characters. There’s little moments, like when going through some forests, where I was totally into it. When it started, some hands popped VERY far out of the wall and got me good, twice. After that, unfortunately, snooze fest. And the Upside Down is literally maybe 15 steps and it’s over. This maze needed to be twice as long. They should’ve cut their worst maze and delegated all their budget here instead to fully fill up that soundstage. Oh well.


I have a theory about this maze. I think Universal knew a lot of kids would be coming to check it out, so they told HHN creatives to tone this maze’s scares down. And they ended up just toning every element of it down. It’s a shame. Than again, I don’t think this show works as a HHN property, so I don’t know if it ever could’ve worked. Season 2 will be better, if they decided to do it.


[I also watched a video of this that was taken at night and the sets actually looked a lot better. I think my opinion of it looking “cheap” might have to do with the light bleed instead of seeing it under proper show lighting. I’ll have to hit it last next time I go and see if my opinion changes. DO THIS AT NIGHT and don’t make the mistake I did thinking the soundstage would keep this maze dark, it doesn’t (since it’s sunset during Early Entry, the sun is literally shining directly through the wide open doors). Don’t also think you could get the huge wait out of the way, as all my other lines were longer than usual after this because it breaks the usual game plan of hitting the backlot first. Just hit right before park closing, trust me!]


FACADE - 0. I won’t be forgiving here. There’s no excuse. All that budget and space and they decided to do nothing. Not even a freakin’ name placard above the entrance.

SET DESIGN - 7. Some stuff looked great, others horrible. The stuff that did look good though, looked dang good. But mostly everything was too small and too short and it didn’t fulfill the space it needed to pull things off. They hardly had any real scenes from the show.

SOUND DESIGN - 10. I really enjoyed how this maze sounded, that’s probably it’s highest mark.

SCAREACTOR DESIGN - 4. Oh God. Laughable monster. Especially when you see it just standing in a corner, full body. This should’ve mainly been puppets instead. Also, it’s way too tan.

CAST PERFORMANCE - 5. They weren’t trying that hard, to be honest. And maybe it’s hard in those giant flower costumes, but they gotta be more aggressive to make this maze work. And the lab guys who randomly pop out weren’t making it any better either.

ATMOSPHERE/TONE/IMMERSION - 5. I just kept thinking as we exited every scene, “really, that’s all we’re gonna get from that?” This maze hardly represents the show in a tonal/design form, I didn’t even feel like I was fully in it.

LENGTH - 5. It’s half as long as it should be.

SCARES - 3. Very low on scares. There’s no creepy vibe and the pop outs hardly work.

STORY - 10. I think for the most part it works and I caught what was going on. I could see it represented which parts of the show, but it didn’t fully fulfill them in design, but the story is fully there, just very truncated.

PERSONAL BIAS POINTS - 10. In order not to be TOO harsh here, because I enjoyed myself a bit. It was fun-ish, just not a good maze. If I waited long for it, I’d be mad, but I didn’t, so it was what it was.

59 out of 100. ‘F’

(Wow, even when I thought I was being generous, this is still shockingly low)




Advertised Wait: Didn’t say. Just said “closed,” which is annoying

Time in Line: 5:47 PM

Time in Maze: 6:02 PM

Actual Wait: 15 minutes


Alright, after that subpar performance, I was hoping we’d run into something good. But I figured, ya know what, let’s just get the bad mazes out of the way, so we hit this. And wow, I am eating some crow for this. You should be hyped, because this maze is dang good and one of my favorites this year.


The Truth or Dare segment is nothing like the movie and that’s for the better. I don’t even remember seeing that many smiley faced teens. The chuche massacre scene was fantastic. Walking in to a room and seeing a bunch of body parts every where was pretty terrifying, with a nun coming at you with an axe two seconds later. I wish they’d just cut the teens talking stuff from the soundtrack as it just reminds me of the dumb movie. This mostly works best as a semi-original portion instead of trying to copy the movie.


The Unfriended part is GOOOOD. I saw this on YouTube and even that didn’t do it justice. I felt so on edge during these scenes because of the way the walkways are designed, I couldn’t tell where the scare actors were going to come out of. And the sound bytes, distractions, and the actual scares always worked in every scene. I’m glad they found a way to make this property work, as I’m one of the few fans who actually enjoy the movie.


The Girl segment is my favorite. I was very creeped out by the music and not knowing where the hell any of this was going. I loved little moments like picture frames spinning and the girl’s look was unexpected to me. In the moment, she was creepy, but in retrospect, maybe she’s a little goofy. I loved the long hallway where she’s coaxing you forward with lots of doors down the side and you don’t know where something is going to pop out from.


For the most part, this felt like an original maze. ToD is half original, Unfriended is so creative it might as well be original, and The Girl is completely original. So even though this was at the bottom of my anticipated list, it certainly still had my interest as to how they can even possibly do it. And they surely pulled it off fantastic. Sure enough, this was the most scared I was in any of the mazes last night. As a purely creepy maze based on town, this had me the most on edge. It may not be the most beautiful or amazing, but it sure got the scares down.


FACADE - 9. So funny enough, one of the letters on the marquee were being held up by black tape and that just made me laugh, wondering if that was an intentional choice or if the letter fell off and they had no other options but to do something cheap haha

SET DESIGN - 8. This maze was perfectly designed for the mood it was trying to capture, it just wasn’t very elaborate. It also helps this maze is super dark and I literally walked into a wall.

SOUND DESIGN - 10. This is the main thing that creeped me out while being in here and it really made me feel uneasy for 2/3 of the maze.

SCAREACTOR DESIGN - 7. Unfriended ghost works, The Girl works for the most part, and the ToD stuff is limited, so I don’t have too many complaints. There’s a random devil in here though.

CAST PERFORMANCE - 10. These guys had something to prove and clearly wanted to be the best. And honestly, they did it.

ATMOSPHERE/TONE/IMMERSION - 10. After the church massacre scene, I was totally in it and creeped out by the vibe the maze was pulling off.

LENGTH - 10. I never felt any segment needed to be longer or shorter.

SCARES - 10. Some of the best scares of the night were in here.

STORY - 8. ToD’s story is stupid by it’s nature. I wasn’t sure what was going on in The Girl segment though, as I still don’t get the aforementioned random devil.

PERSONAL BIAS POINTS - 10. Super low on my anticipation list and it surprised the hell out of me. Great job.

92 out of 100. ‘A’



Advertised Wait: 60 minutes

Time in Line: 6:10

Time in Maze: 6:40

Actual Wait: 30 minutes


Purge was sporting a crazy 90 minute wait, so I opted for the shorter wait over here instead. This maze was all walking for 20 minutes straight. We finally stopped on the last zigzag before entering and this was a nightmare in of itself. Unfortunately it was still daytime so the facade didn’t have that cool little light show when we were going in. But the sound design alone was creepy as it is.


Going in, I was definitely on edge already. And this is one spot the screen with a pop out definitely works and makes sense. However, after that, things jump ahead really fast to the guy pulling off his face stuff. Like, no build up at all? Then you go in the kitchen, no scares. So now there’s two scenes with no scares in the beginning of the maze, but I can forgive the opening. Here though, give me something. And the man pulling off his face turning around isn’t much of a startle either. Then, random black hallways to transition you to another part… where the man is still pulling off his face. Why is this so predominant?! All the material this maze had to work with and 20% is spent on the man pulling off his face?! Alright, now we go into some bedrooms. The bed moving was cool, plus the giant tree branch (chronologically, I’m already annoyed, but whatever). Then the maze goes into puppet territory for awhile. Then we get YOU ONLY MOVED THE HEADSTONES! Which is definitely the best part, A LOT OF scares from the graves, I think at least 75% of those guys were real. Then another puppet, end maze. Welp… that was… okay I guess.


They could’ve done a lot better. The stuff they did do, I was impressed with. There’s a random scene they do go into the ghost dimension with the clown in plain sight, which is a missed opportunity. The clown under the bed however, worked REALLY well. I think this is a mixed batch… the sets are good, some of the scares are good, the tone and sound are all good and the performances are fine… but structurally, it’s a very flawed maze. I wanted to love it, and I even went back later in the night to hit it right at closing (literally the last people out) and it worked a bit better when you’re the only one in the maze and the scares are hitting a bit harder and all focused on you. But… yeah. It’s good, but not great. I just wish they figured out how to do this better, as it can totally work a lot more.


FACADE - 9. At night time, it’s beautiful. I love how they did the whole house, including a yard. The roofing is wonky, that’s my only nitpick.

SET DESIGN - 7. I’m taking points off for that random transition that lasted too long and then just did the same-ish scare again. There was a lot of moments missing that I wish they represented as well.

SOUND DESIGN - 10. This was one of the creepier parts of the maze. This sets up the uneasy, creepy tone, it just doesn’t have the hard hitting scares to alleviate the feeling when walking out.

SCAREACTOR DESIGN - 10. What is in the maze fully reflects the movie pretty well.

CAST PERFORMANCE - 8. They could be a bit more aggressive.

ATMOSPHERE/TONE/IMMERSION - 8. Very creepy environment, but the black wall segment takes you out, and the lack of scares keeps you at bay with little release.

LENGTH - 7. The length is fine, but they didn’t utilize the space well, so it left more to be desired.

SCARES - 7. Scary, but not quite scary enough. If they added 2 or 3 more scares, it’d be perfect and more well balanced. But for now, it’s mostly puppets that you see from a mile away.

STORY - 7. It completely glosses over the girl being taken and the whole inspectors coming in. You get the house is haunted though, which I guess is the only necessary thing to know.

PERSONAL BIAS POINTS - 7. I wanted more from this. Highly anticipated and the maze in my head is better, unfortunately. It’s still good though, just slightly “meh.”

80 out of 100. ‘B’-



Advertised Wait: 85 minutes

Time in Line: 6:45

Time in Maze: 7:27

Actual Wait: 42 minutes


I really dug the facade, a bit small, but it reminded me of The Walking Dead prison years with the bodies out front and stuff. Entered the maze and the first portion is pretty decent. And then it all… goes down… hill. Black walls everywhere, no effort to do any set design, and then it ends prematurely. This was clearly either last minute, a huge budget cut, or nobody cared to do this right. Why this couldn’t be all the Purge films combined or part of Blumhouse is beyond me. Scareactors weren’t scary nor aggressive. The best parts of the maze were random tidbits, like the mannequins. I can’t think of much else to say because there isn’t much maze. It’s bare, boring, and bland. Think Fright Fest quality, not even Knotts quality.


It’s one of the worst mazes we’ve ever had. I read a review where someone said to skip it and at first I thought, well I don’t know, every maze has it’s qualities and one person might find something to enjoy about it. No, just garbage. Stranger Things was bad, but this is an abomination. I’m fine being disappointed by not being fully designed to its potential (ST/Polt), but literally not having a design is worse. If the cast performance jumps to a 10, which will than boost the scares, this could at least be a decent fun time, but it’d still be a bad maze.


FACADE - 6. You know there’s a problem where just your facade is the best part, but only by a little.

SET DESIGN - 4. There hardly is a set. The little set there is, is barren and ugly to look at. Doesn’t look like or represent a real city at all. Silent Hill did this way better back when, even in a cramped space.

SOUND DESIGN - 3. I remember nothing about it.

SCAREACTOR DESIGN - 4. Nobody was scary. Skelator looked stupid with that mask.

CAST PERFORMANCE - 4. Lazy. Sorry, nobody tried. The mannequins were great though.

ATMOSPHERE/TONE/IMMERSION - 4. Walked through it without feeling much other than disappointment after halfway into the maze.

LENGTH - 4. Ends so quick. No finale. No climactic scene.

SCARES - 2. Mannequins got me, that’s it.

STORY - 5. Chaos, I guess? This should’ve just been a compilation if they weren’t going to try.

PERSONAL BIAS POINTS - 3. I can’t believe I anticipated this maze at all, giving it a chance or thinking it could do well. What a let down, waste of space, and purposeless maze.

39 out of 100. ‘F’



I might have found my new favorite scare zone. This gauntlet has everything! So many details, it was remarkable. I’m gonna have to go through this a few more times to catch everything. I’m going to try and take this in a bit more so I can give this a full review like I would a maze, because honestly, if they slapped a tent over this, put some triggers, this would’ve been maybe the second or third best maze of the night. There were so many ideas and creativity, I was pretty impressed. Unfortunately, there are people stopping at every little vignette to take pictures. This holds up the experience, backs up the line, and makes it a really slow walk through. Not a lot of scare actors when I went through, but I see the potential. I really wish they did this as a maze instead of First Purge. This is just sad it didn’t happen.




Surprised the Jurassic Cafe was open! NOTE ABOUT THE SOUVENIR CUPS: it says unlimited refills but that’s the biggest lie. The refill machines will limit you by the hour, saying to come back in different intervals. First it says “free refills for the next 6 hours!” Then you’ll go back and says “your next refill is valid in 3 hours.” I went to get a refund but they told me just to ask the counter service people about a refill instead of going to the machines. Seems like they’re aware of the issue already, but this is just a stupid system to begin with. I hate them for this, as I’m sure many people will not even try to ask about it. And all those people are being ripped off.



Advertised Wait: 60 minutes

Time in Line: 8:50

Time in Maze: 9:50

Actual Wait: 60 minutes on the dot

(although, the line was stopped/moving slow for about 20 minutes and I suspect the maze shut down or something for a bit because people weren’t leaving the exit and I saw a few people leaving out an emergency exit, and once it started moving again, it was going fast)


At this point in the night, my friends and I were bummed. Were the mazes really going to be this lackluster? Was Blumhouse really going to be the best?! Are all the rest of the mazes mediocre?! Well, low and behold, from the moment we went in, this was instantly my favorite maze of 2018, and stayed that way when it was all said and done.


First scare, right off the bat, guy came running out of sheets and did not expect him and probably gave me the best scare of the night. Second follow up scare, I thought for sure the girl with the lollipop in her mouth was a dummy, and wham! The black walls moments telling you the name of the segment were really well done and always accompanied by a scare, so I never minded them once.


The Principal segment with the kid barfing I wish was a little closer and I also wish the barf was a darker color, like in the movie. The little Sam in the window is a neat touch. This is a HUGE room, didn’t know our sets could get that big, especially in the Mummy queue. By this point I was immensely impressed to see one of my favorite films come to life in such grand fashion.


Surprise Party I wish came at the end, like in the movie, but oh well. I love the giant immobile wolf… it almost tricks you with Sam just sitting there, because out comes a full human form wolf from the other side. And then maybe my second best scare of the night, the very well hidden puppet wolf which was so wonderfully placed in the dark and in between shrubs that I even didn’t suspect it was there when I went back to do the maze at the end of the night when it had no line.


The School Bus Massacre is maybe my least favorite part. The pool of water is hard to even notice and I didn’t even realize I was looking at the top half of a bus for a moment. Plus the scare actors have a long distance to travel from their hiding spots before they ever get to you, so they didn’t hit hard here, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying.


Meet Sam has another beautiful little facade. Second time in, I didn’t know there was a Mr. Kreeg scare next to the stairs and it really got me. My favorite moment is Sam on the ceiling. The whole time you’re looking at him and thinking, “okay, there’s doors on the side, someone is going to pop out.” So you cautiously move forward and keep looking up to see if he moves or anything, then BAM! Squirted in the face by him. This is the only time I’ll ever praise a water squirt because the execution was so clever and actually scared me. I wish the Sam scare in the next room wasn’t from the window, because it’s a little far from the walk way. I love the zombie kids at the end, I was terrified they would move, but they didn’t. And then the pop outs at the end where they all attack you at different times was great, so I left the maze with my heart racing.


I enjoyed this maze so much. It beautifully rendered the movie and it embodied the spirit of Halloween so well. The wait was so worth it. I hope the second movie comes soon so we can have a sequel maze. Thank you Murdy for listening to the fans on this one and taking that leap. Easy favorite of the night.


FACADE - 10. Beautiful, with the music playing too!

SET DESIGN - 10. The black walls were just transitions and used creatively. Huge set pieces and well designed rooms the whole way through.

SOUND DESIGN - 10. I felt like I was in the movie and that’s not something well executed anymore as it used to be, especially this year.

SCAREACTOR DESIGN - 9. My only issue is Kreeg isn’t exact. Everything else is on point and look like they’re straight from the film set.

CAST PERFORMANCE - 10. Everyone was aggressive and on fire the whole night, really trying their hardest and using the space they were given to provide you the best scare they can give you, from the face characters to people operating puppets.

ATMOSPHERE/TONE/IMMERSION - 10. I felt like I was in it, I was scared even more than the actual movie, and it was a dream come true.

LENGTH - 10. I read somewhere someone thought the sets were big and made it short, but I feel the opposite. This maze got all the key scary moments, plus some transitions. And those rooms were big and took an extra moment or so to walk through. It ended appropriately.

SCARES - 10. Two out of the five of my biggest scares of the night were in here.

STORY - 10. I could tell exactly what was going on, but I’ve seen the movie. Could they have done more to convey the story to those uninitiated? Sure, but maybe in the line, as the maze is already jam-packed. Hopefully they find a way to show clips or more soundytes for those way off by the Star Way in line.

PERSONAL BIAS POINTS - 10. One of my all time favorite movies becomes one of my all time favorite mazes. Bravo.

99 out of 100. ‘A’+



It’s really small. Just three little photo ops and a bus. No music other than Hell’s Harvest bleeding over. If you wanna take some pix, cool, and there’s a lot of awesome pumpkins that set the Halloween mood, so at least there’s that. But this zone in itself is almost a bit needless. I enjoyed it a tiny bit though.




Now this is a pretty cool zone and there’s a LOT of props and scenic stuff in the streets. I didn’t get to see the Bonesy Brothers though, just never got to venture that way. Music and flames going, it felt like HHN!




Advertised Wait: 30 minutes

Time in Line: 10:02

Time in Maze: 10:28

Actual Wait: 26 minutes


Was heading to Terror Tram when I saw a 90 minute wait but UM with a 30 minute wait, so I took an immediate right after the Starway. This was my most anticipated and did it deliver? Outside looking at the facade, I was pretty hyped as I noticed — the entire outside walls are designed. Instead of trash bags or just plain black walls, they went all the way around (at least the queue side) and designed it to give it some class. I’ve been asking for this since freakin 2009, so 10 years later and only on one maze, at least it’s something. The facade graffiti was beautiful, but a bit weird, so oh well. The noise bleed from Hell’s Harvest is a bit annoying but tolerable. Anyway, into the maze.


I love this little outside, quick gauntlet graveyard, although I think the scare could be a bit better here. I love the part with Frankenstein and the little girl, but then again, Wolfman’s pop out is in a weird spot that doesn’t hit hard. Unfortunately, they were targeting two little girls in front of me the whole maze, so I had to observe how it happened to them. I tried to slow down and everything but it just never worked and never got any the whoooole maze to get some scares aimed at me. Hopefully next time. Anyway, I’ll keep going. Weird black wall transitional part to get to the next section of the maze.


Angry villagers could be a tad more aggressive, or maybe even chanting something so it’s clear what they’re here for. Why y’all attacking me anyway? Don’t really understand the projector room. Am I living the movies or just watching them? And AGAIN, projector screen is off to the side so the scare from there is in another awkward spot! WHO DESIGNED THE SCARES FOR THIS? Beautiful maze, but the scares are just in the worst spots!


Invisible Man is cool, but no scares here. Phantom is cool, he has a little spot where he could scare you in close distance, but probably won’t. Hanging bodies, nothing new, but it works in the context. Wolf disappearing is a neat trick. Again, the wolf that attacks is not in the prime spot, as where the TrT wolf is in one of the best spots ever.


Dracula’s dining room is pretty dang cool. Double scare from the chimney and from a curtain, so finally something with some close approximation! The Mummy room is cool, but no hard scares here. Got Igor/Fritz with a shovel next, but he has to come all the way around a corner just to get to you. The Bride is super far away. Why is this key character being cut up so far from guest view?! Random Mummy scare at the end and it’s over.


Well, I wanted to love this maze but the scares are so poorly designed. Performances are fine, they just have a hard set to work with. I fully believe this was designed and they were like, “but wait, we forgot to add some scare spots in there!” And they had to just make some up at the last second. It’s beautiful and fun even, but the scares are low. Which is odd because there’s a LOT of scareactors willing to do the work and trying hard. I hope this gets some tweaks as the months go on. Final verdict: House of Horrors was better.


FACADE - 9. I’m not a fan of the backlight stuff. Tonally just strange to me.

SET DESIGN - 9. I know, I’m sorry, but I have to dock for where the scares are located. Nearly all of them are in an awful place. The maze itself is cool to look at, but this will never win a scariest maze award with scare placements like that.

SOUND DESIGN - 9. I didn’t notice the music that much, but overall, the sound bytes from the movie helped a lot with putting me in the classic monster mood.

SCAREACTOR DESIGN - 10. These guys looked really cool and updated for our current generation. I wish the new Dark Universe would take this as a hint as to how to do it right.

CAST PERFORMANCE - 10. Everyone seemed into their roles and really going for it. Sadly, nothing landed, but they were trying.

ATMOSPHERE/TONE/IMMERSION - 9. I think this puts you in the right mood to be scared. But you end up just gawking at the sets and don’t spend much time running away from the monsters.

LENGTH - 10. I think they fit quite a lot in there for the space given. I’d love to see that projection room taken out for a Creature from the Black Lagoon aquarium next year, or something.

SCARES - 4. Now I know I didn’t get the scares aimed at me, but the girls in front of me were being aimed at and they didn’t seem all that scared either. Watching videos, don’t see much scaring going on either. Unfortunately, this is just not that type of maze.

STORY - 10. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I love it. All the monsters are mingling together and it’s beautiful. This is what Titans of Terror should’ve been.

PERSONAL BIAS POINTS - 7. Wanted to love it. Ended up just liking it. Hoping for tweaks and improvements throughout the run to get this really up there. I see the potential, but they’re really going to have to change things up.

87 out of 100. ‘B’+



What a great little companion piece. However, this part was ruined by screaming girls over acting so they were targeting them. It was beautiful and fog filled with good music and designs. Not my favorite, but it works very well.




Advertised Wait: 90 minutes

Time in Line: 10:40 PM

Time in Tram: 11:23 PM

Actual Wait: 43 minutes


This is the same exact Tram as 2016, they just replaced some characters with scarecrows or cannibals or whatever. The back up to get to the WOTW kills the mood. And then there’s a back up in there in itself just to go through two tiny rooms. They say there’s two routes also with monsters, but don’t listen. If you wanna see everything, you’ll have to stick to the left. The right side is an immediate exit of the tram with the exit chainsaw guys there.


The tram video is dumb with dumb acting and bad dialogue to set up the “nightmares” for no good reason. The Hollywood Harry clown staring at you slightly moving is exactly the same. In the queue, they just play the same video from 2016, plus the CryptTV shorts. I didn’t hate it, I had fun, but it’s so recycled, it’s not even funny. I guess the only thing missing are the few storage bins at the end of 2016 and instead gave us this new ending, which really isn’t that spectacular either.




Advertised Wait: 85 minutes

Time in Line: 12:10 AM

Time In Maze: 1:25 AM

Actual Wait: 75 minutes


Was planning on hitting Jabbawockeez, but I guess I’ll have to save that for next time, since I got out of this right at 1:32 and the entrance for the show was already closed. No big loss there though. Anyway, waited the longest wait of the night here. Painfully slow. They were letting in way too many FOTL people.


First room is huge with a scare right away from bandaged Michael, who they use a bit more than I thought they would. The second big room, I wish the scare wasn’t in a place at the far end of the room because everyone is going to see it. There’s a cool backyard scene with a random trigger scare of Christmas like lights but no person coming out that actually works pretty good. Love the trick or treaters!


As the maze goes on, it just gets better and better. Oddly, this is the most Halloween (the holiday) feeling of all the Halloween mazes. Love the sheets portion, just feels unpredictable. I wish they did something different for the shotgun scare and placed Michael a bit closer, but oh well, he comes pretty close in the very next room. I think my third biggest scare of the night was Jamie under the bed. Did not think she would pop out so I literally leaped up.


The power plant part is SO COOL. Such a great room and innovative way to put it in the maze. After that, you get some pop out scares and the maze is over. Sadly it’s a wee bit short and I wish they figured out a way to do the roof top chase.


In my opinion, this is better than 2015’s maze but not quite 2016’s. And nowhere near 2009’s. The scares hit harder here than 2016’s, but that maze had a beautiful ending, so it takes the cake. Other than that, this would’ve beaten it by being really relentless with the Michaels.


FACADE - 10. This is oddly a big facade.

SET DESIGN - 9. Maybe one too many black transition rooms, but then again, they filled them with Michaels, so I can’t complain too much.

SOUND DESIGN - 10. These mazes always sound great!

SCAREACTOR DESIGN - 10. I mean, it’s Michael and he looks good and was cast good. They somehow always find the perfect Loomis too. Wish they would’ve included little Jamie in some capacity other than the under bed thing, but oh well.

CAST PERFORMANCE - 10. RELENTLESS. They were on fire all night.

ATMOSPHERE/TONE/IMMERSION - 10. Scary, more than it had any right to be scary! Was bouncing from one room to the next.

LENGTH - 7. Had two scenes they really could’ve capitalized on and they dropped the ball. This is a short maze, but very impactful in that time limit.

SCARES - 10. Had me jumping scene after scene in hard hitting fashion. There’s one or two spots that are meh, but the rest of the scares work.

STORY - 9. I think not including Jamie as a plot line is a mistake, as that’s almost the whole point. But Michael returned, and I guess that’s the key story element they went with.

PERSONAL BIAS POINTS - 9. This was way better than I imagined. I love Michael Myers either way and figured it’d at least be fun, and it sure delivered and then some. What a great maze, there’s no fatigue for me here. I really hope they skip part 5 and just go straight to H20 next year, if they intend to keep doing these mazes.

94 out of 100. ‘A’



Went back down to TrT and it was even better this time around. This maze is just so solid, it’s the clear best. Usually when I do repeats in the same night (especially right before closing), it’s nowhere near as strong and the scare actors are getting lazy because they’re about to get off. But these guys were going crazy all night, even for people walking through while there’s no line. Then I RAN all the way to Poltergeist and got there right at 1:59, last one’s through. The maze was better since we were the only one in there, but a lot of actors seemed to have left already.



I liked this year, for the most part. I think my night and how my friends felt at first was, “it was disappointing,” but that’s because we hit all the lackluster mazes in the beginning. It leaves you feeling sour for the rest of the night, but actually, there’s 4 mazes I’d say are really top tier, 2 that are bad, and one that’s almost good but not quite. I’m going to plan my night to start a bit better next time and that means just starting with Blumhouse, Poltergeist, then hitting Purge, and then Stranger Things last or somehow in the middle if I can. And ending on a high note with Halloween.


The talk of black walls this year is a bit over exaggerated. Only one maze is truly ripe with them and poor design in total, and that’s First Purge. Poltergeist has one section that’s randomly in there, but that’s it. TrT, Stranger Things, UM, Blumhouse and Halloween fully utilize their darkness or are really quick transitions. I know we’re a bit traumatized from 2017, but it’s nowhere near that bad.


As far as where it ranks in terms of all the years I’ve been going, it’s more towards the middle-bottom. Obviously not perfect like ’16 and not the trash fire of ’17. It’s just a regular old year, which is fine by me. Could be better in a lot of places. I’m also surprised at how much I enjoyed Blumhouse, which was way better than last year’s version. TrT, although highly anticipated for me, was way better than I expected and that makes me very happy — that was treated with the grandeur, respect and amount of love that I was expecting for Stranger Things, and even to some degree, Universal Monsters. Not that UM is bad at all, but the scares just are too far away to work. With a bit imagination, they can fix that. Poltergeist, however, I don’t think can be fixed, as the problems with that maze are built in. I’d love it if it got better, since it’s arguably my favorite property represented at this year’s event, but I can’t be too optimistic that they’ll make necessary changes.


First Purge should be a wake up call for upper management, especially with Holidayz in Hell right next to it — that we need more original mazes. With Uni Monsters and to some degree Blumhouse being so good, they came from places of the most creativity. It’s why First Purge is so awful and why a SCAREZONE IS BETTER THAN A MAZE. And I just don’t get why they neuter the Terror Tram more and more every year. This used to be a star attraction. Please, just TRY to do something a little different. I’d love that hill back too, if we can.


I’ll happily be returning at the end of the run and I’m excited to see any improvements or changes. In a few weeks, I’ll be attending WB’s event and how that’ll stack up. Fright Fest’s reviews should be rolling in and we’ll see how I feel about that. And KSF is already out of my line-up this year (unless I can somehow go for free). But with competition stacking in, next year’s HHN is going to have to break it’s odd-numbered curse. It’ll be it’s make or break year, especially since this year wasn’t exactly the world’s biggest home run. It was more like a bases-loaded, stealing-bases to get ahead type game, until something finally brought it home to the finish.






AMAZING - Trick ‘r Treat

GREAT - Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

GOOD - Horrors of Blumhouse: Chapter Two, Universal Monsters

AVERAGE - Poltergeist


BAD - Stranger Things

WTF - The First Purge



Holidayz in Hell

Hell’s Harvest

Monsters Masquerade

Trick ‘r Treat


TERROR TRAM (through the years):

AMAZING - 08, 09

GREAT - 16, 13, 12

GOOD - 14

AVERAGE - 07, 18

OKAY - 15

BAD - 10

WTF - 17, 11



*PERFECT* - 16

AMAZING - 14, 08, 12, 10, 13, 09

GREAT - 18

GOOD - 15, 11


OKAY - 17



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I noticed that taped on letter on the Blumhouse Marquee and kept wondering it had fallen off or was taped so as to make it look like some sort of Greek symbol.  At least it burned five minutes of wait time.  Thanks Universal!


I'm thinking we just had an unfortunate bad trip through Trick R Treat. We are otherwise mostly in agreement with you review (except you really disliked Purge).  Since I always go alone, it was really fun to take my daughter and experience it through her eyes.  

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Thanks for stepping away from your "day job" to give us your usual thorough review of HHN-H.  Just kidding.  It has been quite empty here lately.  I definitely agree with your thoughts on Halloween and Stranger Things.  Halloween was pleasantly entertaining and Michael Myers was relentless through the maze.  They seemed to take a slightly different approach with some of the Halloween "standards" and made it seem fresh.  Stranger Things, though, felt very underwhelming.  I am glad you enjoyed TRT.  While I do not think it was the worse maze, it may have been the most disappointing one. 

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16 hours ago, themazethinker said:

what are your thoughts on orlando's versions of there mazes?

Finally gave these a watch. Only gonna comment only on the shared properties:


TRICK R TREAT - Amazing sets in Orlando. They also have an extra scene or two that we don't have. I think ours is scarier though and more intense. I think we used our space very well, while they used a lot of space and it didn't amount to a whole lot. POINT: Hollywood


HALLOWEN 4 - Again, much better sets that I think looks more like the movie. Michael seems just as relentless, however he has way worse hiding spots over there. And Orlando seems to do this weird thing where they follow the soundtrack, which dictates their movements a bit tooooo much. Ours seems more intense and surprising. POINT: Hollywood.


POLTERGEIST - Orlando's blows ours out of the water in every way. More creative and better use of space. They literally use the same exact scenes, but use every little bit to their advantage. Scare tactics here are just more innovative as well, even though I'd argue we have very similar puppet scares, just theirs are placed in better spots and in different contexts/environments that create a much scarier tone. POINT: Orlando.


STRANGER THINGS - Hollywood's is a major fail and Orlando's looks better by a good portion. Maybe not the best or scariest maze, but at least something they could be proud of, and the budget shows. Their creature costumes are way better and look the right color (grey-ish) instead of freakin' almost tan. Also their mouths move, which is a major plus. Way bigger sets and scenes seem to be recreated a bit more faithfully. The Upside Down is way cooler as well. POINT: Orlando.


BLUMHOUSE - This one is tricky because we have different properties, but the ones they have, we had last year in a portion and this year in full form. Happy Death Day I'd say is about equal -- again, better sets, but nothing all that great with the scares. The First Purge, again, better sets, and scares seem equal to ours. This is a portion though instead of a full maze. I'm willing to bet if ours was exactly the same and just got rid of all the black walls toward the end to fit into only half a maze, we'd have a very similar amount of quality. On top of that, I really enjoyed our Blumhouse maze. ToD, Unfriended, and The Girl are all top notch in terms of scares, sets, and tone. So with it being equal and me preferring ours, I guess the point goes to... POINT: Hollywood.


Hollywood wins by my personal preference of scares over sets. While neither Stranger Things looks scary, at least they did theirs "right." And there's no doubt Orlando has all the environment points in the world with their elaborate and massive sets, sometimes to their advantage or disadvantage.

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On the show, they're enhanced with CGI. They also have the benefit, when it is practical, of lighting, color grading, and angles.

And I wonder who makes the costumes for Orlando's ST, because they look WAY better. Not to be mean to anyone who works on the mazes, but that's just what I've deduced and my opinion. Regardless, everyone who works at HHN works hard and should be commended for bringing us this event year after year for our entertainment.

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On 9/25/2018 at 2:43 PM, DTH316 said:

On the show, they're enhanced with CGI. They also have the benefit, when it is practical, of lighting, color grading, and angles.

And I wonder who makes the costumes for Orlando's ST, because they look WAY better. Not to be mean to anyone who works on the mazes, but that's just what I've deduced and my opinion. Regardless, everyone who works at HHN works hard and should be commended for bringing us this event year after year for our entertainment.

The same people made the Orlando ones

23 hours ago, zombieman said:

The ones in Orlando are so superior...

They have three types in Orlando:

  • Fully open face
  • Closed face
  • Face that can open and close - and it's incredible to see

So does Hollywood lol

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31 minutes ago, bggrenville813 said:

The same people made the Orlando ones

So does Hollywood lol

That's interesting...been through Stranger Things multiple times and saw not one deviation outside of the 'killer dandelion" version.  Could it be those costumes were not ready opening weekend?

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7 hours ago, bggrenville813 said:

So does Hollywood lol

Now this is just a bold face lie. Unless, again, they weren't ready for opening weekend (or worst case scenario, scareactors didn't know how to operate their costumes).

But in my own personal walkthrus, every report I've heard from someone who has gone (including after opening weekend) and every video I've seen of the maze, these are absolutely not in the maze.

Now I don't know if I can quite believe you on anything...

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7 hours ago, DTH316 said:

Now this is just a bold face lie. Unless, again, they weren't ready for opening weekend (or worst case scenario, scareactors didn't know how to operate their costumes).

But in my own personal walkthrus, every report I've heard from someone who has gone (including after opening weekend) and every video I've seen of the maze, these are absolutely not in the maze.

Now I don't know if I can quite believe you on anything...


I hope that was tongue in cheek.  Let's keep it civil, please.  

bggrenville813 has had a ton of exclusive access.  Heck, has been through with the cast of ST.  Just because we didn't see it in our pass through doesn't mean it didn't happen.


I'm going again in a week or two and will let you know what I see. 

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Keep a close eye on the last demogorgon in the classroom. You’ll see it’s mouth open and close, albeit not as intensely as the Orlando one. But it does open and close


Unless they moved that costume to another part of the maze, but on opening night it was in the classroom 

Look guys, I don’t know why anyone would think that I’d lie about something that’s pretty much impossible to lie about!


I had a very close family member work on this maze for an extremely long time, step by step by step, so yeah I’m a little defensive about it because I want it to get the credit it deserves and for all the facts to be straight. I even confirmed with this family member about the open and closing demogorgon before I responded to Zombieman to make sure I wasn’t confusing it with Orlando’s. 


I don’t know if they’ve moved it or removed it completely or why you haven’t seen it, but all I know is that it was designed and created for Hollywood and was used in the maze opening night. 


DTH, I respect you and usually really value your opinions on this forum, so please do me the same courtesy and respect by not being rude and calling me a liar. 

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Um... going to step in here and say that there is no Demagorgon capable of opening and shutting its mouth deliberately.


This may have been an intended effect/feature of the costume at one point, but it did not make it to the finished product, for any of the costumes.


I say this with 110% confidence. Any "opening and closing" you're seeing is the flaps of the costume moving unintentionally as the performer does an abrupt or severe movement.

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22 minutes ago, Fallow said:

Um... going to step in here and say that there is no Demagorgon capable of opening and shutting its mouth deliberately.


This may have been an intended effect/feature of the costume at one point, but it did not make it to the finished product, for any of the costumes.


I say this with 110% confidence. Any "opening and closing" you're seeing is the flaps of the costume moving unintentionally as the performer does an abrupt or severe movement.


In Orlando there is a Demi that pops out of an irregularly shaped hole about 2/3 of the way through on the left.  The face moves form partially open to fully open.  I saw it four times.  I hear what you are saying, but if the face was fully open, it would not make it through the hole.  I was so amazed by this effect that I paid close attention on two walkthrus.  I wanted to see if the flaps were attached to black fabric that made it appear to open as the actor's face pushes through the hole.  I did not see any evidence of this.  And when I went through the UTH tour, the hole was just a hole.  The guide said there were three costume variations of the Demi - one closed, one articulated, and the rest open.


I'm not doubting what you have seen, Fallow, but I'm not doubting what I saw four times.  If it's not a mechanical effect, then it's a damn nice artifact of motion.  


In any event, one of the Demis in Orlando is much cooler than the others.

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13 minutes ago, zombieman said:


In Orlando there is a Demi that pops out of an irregularly shaped hole about 2/3 of the way through on the left.  The face moves form partially open to fully open.  I saw it four times.  I hear what you are saying, but if the face was fully open, it would not make it through the hole.  I was so amazed by this effect that I paid close attention on two walkthrus.  I wanted to see if the flaps were attached to black fabric that made it appear to open as the actor's face pushes through the hole.  I did not see any evidence of this.  And when I went through the UTH tour, the hole was just a hole.  The guide said there were three costume variations of the Demi - one closed, one articulated, and the rest open.


I'm not doubting what you have seen, Fallow, but I'm not doubting what I saw four times.  If it's not a mechanical effect, then it's a damn nice artifact of motion.  


In any event, one of the Demis in Orlando is much cooler than the others.


To be clear, I'm referring exclusively to Hollywood. Orlando has some puppeted and I think one costume capable of doing the mouth open/shut. None of that ever made it to Hollywood, for whatever reason.

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1 hour ago, Fallow said:


To be clear, I'm referring exclusively to Hollywood. Orlando has some puppeted and I think one costume capable of doing the mouth open/shut. None of that ever made it to Hollywood, for whatever reason.

My family member must have gotten the information wrong then and what I saw was what you explained. If that’s the case, I apologize for any incorrect statement I’ve made, I was going off of what I (thought) I saw and what my relative who helped design the maze and characters told me

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Cool beans.  In summary:


Orlando: Three Demi costumes, one articulated that can open and close, one (maybe two) closed, and the rest all open.  A tiny little Demi statuette that is used to cast a shadow on sheets, and a full size static statue in classroom.

Hollywood: None that are articulated.  Open face prevalent.  Closed I don't think we talked about, so maybe exists.  


Good house.  Good costumes.  Peace in the world.

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