So it's almost Halloween and I wanted to post some final thoughts before my last night in attendance. This year has had some of my favorite houses ever. Surprisingly for the first time ever my list really didn't change from most anticipated to what turned out to be my favorite. The only exception was Nightingales briefly, but what a comeback they had!
A couple of people have commented that this year seems 'weird' or 'off'. I think a better term for this year would be experimental. There are some amazing houses that really clicked with what I wanted from the event. In addition US, Ghostbusters and Killer Klowns were amazing film-to-house adaptions. In my personal opinion an issue some of the fans had with these houses were not with their quality but their scare factor - that's not anyone but the IPs fault if that was an issue. Quite frankly Ghostbusters, US and Killer Klowns are not scary films - especially when compared to IP houses such as Halloween or Poltergeist which achieved being the best adaptation and one of if not the scariest houses in their respective years.
I now understand one of the reasons why we've gotten Halloween 4 times over the past few years. Michael Myers is scary and the character works regardless of the quality of the film it's based off of. One of the reasons the originals ended up being so much scarier than other houses is the same reason Nightingales went from a rough house to a worthy sequel. The actors could find their groove and intensity to develop an already scary creature and environment into frightening experience. No matter how good a Ghostbuster is at filling his role, he will simply never get scarier. Ghostbusters (and Stranger Things last year) are some of the best theme park attractions Florida has seen in years but are only decent Haunted Houses. A final note on the issue of IPs: Us is so different and ridiculously good at the end of the night/ when it's empty. The scare actors are incredibly creepy and its unlike anything I've seen at HHN.
With all of the above said, adaptation preference is simply that - a preference on what elements the event has. The REAL issue this year was the scare-zones. This is where the experimental issues were the most present. It's like every different zone had different testing elements. I do truly feel that they're trying to figure out how to proceed with scare zones now and into the future. I expect them to eventually hit the mark, after all, HNN does this event better than anyone else. I still don't like a single thing about Vanity Ball though (and I really don't like saying anything like that about a part of the event. I know A&D and the actors work very had to make the event so fun).
I had a great time so far this year and can't wait to go back for a final trip. I loved hearing everyone's experiences and stories and I appreciate all those who post who keep me coming back to this forum. Happy Halloween everyone! Make sure to follow all the rules and avoid a visit from Sam because it's almost speculation season again!