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  1. Went last night to the EP and was lucky enough to do all the houses. The detail this year was the best I've seen in 14 years of attendance. After some thought, here are my rankings. 1. Ghost Town- Insane level of detail 2. Tomb of the Anicents- fun closed in feeling. Fantastic set design 3. Halloween- A winner once again 4. Texas Chainsaw Massacre- all around great. Huge scareactors 5. American Horror Story- Longggg 6. Exorcist- really good house but the ones in front of it were on another level 7. Krampus- Good costumes 8. Walking Dead- good sets, forgettable 9. Lunatics playground 3D- I just can't get into 3D houses
  2. So I was lucky enough to attend my first EP eventhough this is my 9th HHN. I'll try to leave this as spoiler free as possible, but i'm sure a couple may slip here and there. We were lucky enough to be the few to "test" the express passes and employees working express, so I was able to see all the houses but skipped the shows as I had to be working by 7 AM this morning. Remember, this was an EP and felt that way..things will certainly change. First, we arrived at the gates right at 7 to find the typical clusterf*** trying to go through security. This year seemed even slower than others and I would say it took us a solid 20-30 minutes before we were through the detectors. The outside contracted security staff clearly showed no urgency. I went through and beeped- despite the only piece of metal on me was the clasp on my leather belt. This was causing basically everyone to get "wanded." THE HOUSES: House of Horrors- This house felt unfinished, plain and simple. The scareactors have little to work with and the costumes kind've all ended up looking the same. The dead exposure black and white style just seemed inconsistent. My least favorite house of the night by far. The "hallway" is very uneventful and quite frankly, just kind've annoying if you are over 5'10. Alice Cooper: Welcome to my Nightmare- I had very little expectations of this house coming into it, but I have to say I left with a big smile. The sets are well done, scareactors were on points, and this house seems like it was consistently have the shortest waits throughout the event. The final room is awesome and the strobes set up for some really cool scares. I see it being a sleeper hit of the year. Penn and Teller Nuk(d) Veges- Never been a big fan of 3d houses. So its tough for me to like this one. It was just kind've decent all around the board. My 2nd least favorite house of the night. I can see where they may have a Penn & Teller cameo appearance in the finale... AMCs The Walking Dead- Never really watched the series, but this was really a good house. I imagine for Walking Dead fans, this will be an all time HHN favorite. Probably the best set design and layout I have ever seen in the Earthquake queue. Dead End- I was absolutely blown away by this house. In my opinion, this is the best set design I have seen since Ghost Town in '04 or Screamhouse in '02. Not only are the set designs great, the scares and scareactors are just as good. There was one room where I counted 4 separate scares on my group alone, 4! The house just kept seem to keep going and going.. By far my favorite house of the night and can't wait to see where it will rank in my top 10 by the end of the year. Gothic- Just as I expected, very very good sets in this house. Some also very neat creative ideas. I was unimpressed by the gargoyle costumes and the house just felt empty to me. I can see this house getting better as the event goes on, but I can't ever see it being great for scares. Good, but felt like something was missing. Silent Hill- Probably my most anticipated house of the night and I was let down. The movie is not good, but has some stunning visuals that I pictured for a fantatic house. I barely saw any ash falling and the darkness siren needs to be much more omnipotent (I think I heard it twice for about 5 seconds). I can see it getting better throughout the event, but I just feel like they missed such a great opportunity here. THE STREETS- This was a huge failure. Only the female chainsaw gang felt like a horde. The rest was just like monsters you would see scattered around basically just walking by you. For this idea to be executed properly, they really needed to flood the streets with actors. Seemed like there was only 6 or so guys in each herd. My house rankings for EP night: 1-Dead End 2-The Walking Dead 3-Alice Cooper 4-Gothic 5-Silent Hill 6-Penn and Tell 7-House of Horrors
  3. RUN started off with a maze of old mattresses narrowly stacked around and on top of you. Often, you would find yourself through a different mattress path as a previous trip through the house. You were then lead out to the 2nd part of the house which was all chainlink fences. The routes would then open and be shut off by the scareactors. The scareactors would be in sections of these fences with crowbars, etc all around you. So you couldn't get "lost" or "dead-end'ed" but you ended up changing paths multiple times and giving the house almost always a difference experience each time. The 2nd version of RUN was nothing like the original, it was such a disappointment. Honestly, probably the best HHN house concept I've seen to date, but I'm not sure if these types of houses would be possible with today's capacity.
  4. Really excited about the Silent Hill house. One of the best visual horror movies i've seen in awhile. Hopefully they include that creppy 'darkness' horn as well as the bathroom scene at the school. Anybody have any idea where this house will be located? Think only a soundstage would do it justice.
  5. I remember way back they had a house located in new york across from Mummy (Kong back then). Although it would probably be tough to drop a queue in that area the size warranted for 2012 crowds, it was a pretty cool area for a house. Anyone know why they never used it again? Too small? I believe the last house in the location was "Superstitions" Ahhh just remembered this area is called Nazermans.
  6. I'm not a big poster, but wanted to chime in with all this negativity surrounding this year.. I, like many, only get to visit HHN once a year if that. have squeezed in 8 trips since 2001. With that said, people are focusing too much on the number of houses and scarezones. I'm expecting the most detailed set design and longest houses ever this year. These houses will eat up a large number of people with a bigger capacity. Although the Sprung tents may be limited on doing this, I don't see why making the houses longer would be an issue as the loss of house (s) + scarezones from previous years will free up a lot of the budget spent on employees, sets, etc. Why does this plan make sense? Since Comcast has taken over management of the parks, we've seen a crazy amount of new construction and revenue being put into the parks. I don't see them neglecting HHN just because they have invested in other areas. So bottom line- that budget goes somewhere; which I believe should lead to some awesome set designs for the houses this year.
  7. I still stand by my statement. I didn't say she wasn't present, just not near as omnipresent as the MAJOR icon's on the past. For us, yes she certainly has a backstory and theme, but I just feel this isn't nearly as iconic as many of the past icons. I believe many people just see her as another female scareactor. The roles that the caretaker, director, bloody mary, and jack were so much more overbearing. I'm not saying Lady Luck is on the level of FEAR, but she's pretty darn close to that and many other forgotten icons in the past (to the GP of course, not us fans) like Eddie or the Storyteller. Nothing about Lady Luck really stands out to me and I think many could agree.
  8. In regards to the icon discussion, I believe Universal needs to do a better job at making a clear-cut icon. Either we have an icon in the past like the caretaker, director, jack, etc. OR the event is just based on a "theme" (not to be confused with icon) overall. I say this because the recent years, they seem to be dancing in this fine line between. The general public is led to believe there is an icon via the billboards and commercials. However, during the actual event these icons are almost non-existent. Bad move IMO. I'm hoping next year they forego having the same character in the advertisements and what not and just go with a particular theme in general. BC clearly they are fading out having an "icon" (person you see in commercials, all over the event, and even a dedicated house). Just my 2 cents.
  9. The problem with these houses, at least was the case with Pitch Black, is people just stop walking trying to feel their way and line would always get jammed up. However, one effect was utilized in this house and would like to see again in a 'dark' style house. This was where random rooms would have really bright lights turn on thus rending everyone in that vicinity blind for some time thereafter. Freaked the hell out of me.
  10. Your post caught my eye because you mentioned the house Superstitions. Really cool house that not too many HHN fans talk about. Wish they would have done a follow-up house in one of the years after, as it looks like we'll never see another superstitions house. I also agree about another disorienting type house with the chainlink fence style. RUN executed this perfectly by closing off routes and opening up new ones for you to walk through. Although it was about ten years ago, I remember going through this house about three times and everytime was a different experience. A return of Ghost Town would also be nice. That whole theme can lead for some really cool prop design.
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