Here is my “Non-Hater” edition review of HHN 29…
My wife and I did 4 nights in a row. Thursday through Sunday (Sept 12-15). Another great year! We had lots of fun! I have a few criticisms but overall a fun year! And being at HHN on Friday the 13th under a full moon was a dream come true!!!!
First lets get into the houses!
Ghostbusters – 8/10
As a 42 year old man this is pure nostalgia! I loved it! They hit all the great scenes with some cool scares and a couple epic rooms! Very fun. I loved the effects and the characters! The rooms in this are second to none! All the cast did a great job and I don’t think I had a bad run through at all. Well done Universal!
Stranger Things – 6.5
Another well done house this year. But it was missing something. At least for me personally. The opening room was blah and the transition to season 3 room… I think I saw the TV and background once in 4 trips through. Maybe I'm just ST’ed out. Its not particularly horror IMO. I think it gets kinda monotonous… still fun but not my fav house.
Us – 5/10
Haven’t seen the film so I treated this as an original…. Which probably didn’t do it any favors for my grading scale. The cast is the saving grace here. They did a great job! I also like the facades in there. Maybe my score changes once I see the film?
Yeti – Terror of the Yukon – 9/10
This house is everything I love about HHN. Awesome façade, incredible sets, bad ass monsters, and scares everywhere! I'm also a saquatch/yeti-o-phile so I was PUMPED going into this. I wasn’t disappointed. Everything was top notch! Actors were incredible and the yeti up top pointed at me every time! LOVED this house!
House of a Thousand Corpses – 9/10
Ok I LOVE this film. So, once again, I was pumped walking in. They nailed it! You really were walking into the gas station, the house, the underground. Spaudling (RIP), Baby, Grandpa, Otis, Tiny, Fishboy, DR SATAN! They were all there. I was also happy they had the Creature From The Black Lagoon wall paper up!!! Great house, with great scares! And that façade… at night…. HELL YES!!!!!
Depths of Fear – 6/10
OK now one that I liked but didn’t love. Let start off with the set…. Incredible. You felt like you were underwater in whatever you call those things. A really good looking and convincing set to walk through. I even splashed a little water on my face in that one hallway! Now the creatures….. well…. Not that good. Those costumes just looked dorky. Cool. But like cartoons or something. Kinda took me out of the zone of it all. And can we talk about that poor dog! LOL…. Fun house, epic set!
Nightingales – Blood Pit – 7/10
Love this franchise! A true HHN original idea that we’ve seen a few times now. Set was awesome and the outside facade was REALLY cool at night! I thought walking through the dungeons (or whatever they were called) was great. Reminded me of Gladiator or the Spartacus series. Good scares and an all around cool idea! I liked what the they did with the Nightingale creatures... very cool!
Universal Monsters – 9.5/10
I've said it on here a million times… I'm a Classic Monsters fan. That’s probably putting it lightly. So when this house was officially announced I had already decided this was gonna be the house of the year. Deep down inside I was TERRIFIED that this house would suck and the 11 year old me inside the 42 year old me would be devastated. Thank god that wasn't the case. This house f**king rocked from start to finish! The entry with the statues, the Wolfman, the Phantom, The Mummy, Drac, Frank, the Bride and finally we get a taste of the Creature…. Dang! I loved every inch of this house. Scares were there, costumes were rad, sets were on point! Hell the doc even looked just like Colin Clive! Such a great house. In our 4 days we hit this house 8 times. Every run was awesome!!!!
Graveyard Games – 7/10
This was an average house for me. The façade was INCREDIBLE as was the rest of the rooms. Very detailed and convincing. The reason it loses points for me it I'm turned off by the whole cell phone/facebook thing. Just seems lame. But that is strictly me and me only. Just not my taste. I cant stand films that revolved around social media. With that said it was still a great house to walk though Actors were great! You really were in a cemetery!
Killer Klowns From Outer Space – 5/10
Full disclosure… I don’t like this film and I thought the SZ last year was average at best. BUT… a fun house. I get that it is an IP Mike and the crew had on their bucket list. Some cool stuff in there but we only did this house like 4 times. ONLY!
Scare Zones –
SZ this year were average. Very average. MAybe a touch below average. Nothing stood out this year that had that WOW factor to me.
Anarcade – 5/10
I get that HHN29 was “80’s retro neon throwback etc etc etc” so this SZ definitely fit into the theme. Now with that said, the only thing 80’s about HHN29 was Ghostbusters and Stranger Things (new show but set in the 80’s). Other than that it was all the merch that made the casual fan think this was the 80 reincarnate. I did dig the zone though. Cool arcade games for those photo ops and the girls in stilts with nunchucks were pretty cool too! My favorite part of the SZ by far was use of the fog and the laser!
Zombieland: Double Tap – 3/10
I’m giving this 3 point just for the porta potties. This SZ really didn’t offer much. Seems this area is getting the same treatment with different creatures every year. Made me long for Acid Assault. And where was the bus this year??? I will say the decked out Presidential Limo was pretty cool. But really this fell VERY flat for me personally.
Rob Zombies Hellbilly Deluxe – 7/10
This was probably my favorite zone. It was loud, crazy and had a lot to look at. The Dragula was a nice touch. I didn’t mind the Living Dead Girl show. The robots were f**kin awesome. And can we talk about the blonde on the 666 stage? I don’t prefer blondes but god damn…. Te amo! The go-go dancers added a nice touch too. Almost TOO far up there. Overall I think this was good HHN scare zone. It was just fun. And I like RZ and movies and music. Met him back in the late 90's and dude was awesome to us.
Vikings: Undead – 5/10
This is my fav location for SZs. I always look forward to the pumpkins. So when I saw what was going to be here I knew they’d be missing. But the lanterns they used to replace them were pretty cool! That’s about where it ends. Costumes were okay. But I have no idea what was going on. There was a wizard/witch doing something, a lady filleting a person, creatures, Vikings. It was pretty confusing. Probably my least favorite SZ in CP that I can remember.
Vanity Ball – 2/10
This was terrible. I liked some of the costumes and it had energy. But overall…. LAME. It just wasn’t a good idea. I think something like this could have been pulled off differently maybe?
Lagoon Show – 9/10
This exceeded my expectations by several miles. What a cool show! Loved it!!!!
AOV dance show – uuuuuuuuuuh no. Saw one show their first year and that was good. While they do some incredible stuff I think a dance show at HHN is silly. I don’t see them.
Overall Event grade – 7.5/10
You can tell 100% that a bigger amount went into the houses this year. The all looked great and almost all the costumes were top notch. Personally I would like to see HHN come back full swing to horror. I know ST and GB bring in a ton of cash but its leaning towards kid friendly stuff and I'm just not digging it going in that direction. But we had a great time. This is the one trip a year that my wife and I take by ourselves and leave the kiddos at home. So we relish everything and every minute of it. Always have, even before kids. We geek out over this shit! As always, and I’ve said it here many times… If you are lucky enough to be at HHN, then you are lucky enough!