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SpookySkeletini

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About SpookySkeletini

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  • Birthday 04/19/2000

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  1. They’re completely unscheduled, since they’re supposed to be “surprises”. That does make them hard to check out. With those and the other attractions, you definitely won’t get everything done in one night this year. Thank god for the pass!
  2. Knott’s Scary Farm is great this year. Not quite 2017 great, but still great nonetheless. Sure there’s a few hiccups, but I’m happy to say that it’s still my favorite part of the Halloween season. Okay, so where do I begin... “EXPERIENCES” How about nitpicking! The opening ceremony sucks. I hate getting stuck behind a big group, and being trampled by a bunch people behind me. Knott’s looked at Horror Nights and said “we can do that!”. Please. No. I wish they would do something similar to 2015’s ceremony, now that would be great! The merchandise is awesome. It’s a complete 180 from last year, and I love it. There is so much variety. The vintage stuff is so cool, and I like that they’re putting some spotlight on the talent. The tribute store and art show are also excellent, and serve as a great nod to the past. It’s about damn time that Knott’s acknowledges its 46 years of history, and this is the way to do it! Now all we need is the Haunt Museum back! Time Zombies is a neat overlay of Showdown in Ghost Town. It does it’s purpose pretty well; a fun, yet overly difficult money munching arcade game that just so happens to be VR. It’s alright, but nothing that I’d ever do again. If anything it serves as a nice compliment to Scary Farm’s lineup. Timber Mountain Log Ride: Halloween Hootenanny is back this year, and it’s just as strong. Sure there’s no talent this year (there was an accident), but I’d argue that it never really needed it. It was just a cool little bonus. The way that the safety speech screws with the final scene is lame though. Other than that, it’s still a lot of lighthearted Halloween fun! SHOWS Along with the scheduled lineup up shows, Scary Farm also has several “pop up” experiences and “atmos-fear” characters. These small shows include a Thriller Burlesque on top of the Saloon, stand up with a medicine man, a nightly funeral procession, and a wicker man burning at midnight. And that’s not even all of them! These add some nice touches of immersion, and really sell that the park is one big Halloween attraction. The characters, like the Train Conductor and the Grave Digger, are cool additions. I just don’t think there’s enough of them, there should be more. I love the direction that Knott’s is going with immersion, and I hope they have even more of it next year! This year the entertainment was expanded to three shows. I’m glad this happened, as it was much needed to help eat up crowds. The shows this year are- Hacks! Cutting Room Floor, Conjurers, and The Hanging: Shhh, it Happens. The Hanging has been pretty hit or miss the last couple years. It seems that censorship and creative bankruptcy are sending it to its inevitable grave. Or maybe parody shows like it are a dying art, as people just aren’t interested in that type of entertainment anymore. Unfortunately, this seasons version is indeed a miss, in fact it may be the worst iteration of it that I’ve ever seen. It’s got a decent premise, but it doesn’t really do anything with it. It completely lacks any sort of plot, and characters come on stage with no punchline or point. The jokes, which is the entire point of the show, are either tired, too obscure, or super cringeworthy. Most offensive of all, however, is that it’s a boring, dull drag. If you have to skip anything this year, even for a ride, skip The Hanging. Watching it will leave you depressed, as all it does is remind you of how edgy and topical it once was. Hacks! is a comedy improv show, which means that it can either be hilarious or painfully awful. It’s all up to the audience. Skits include ad libbing over a movie clip, acting out strangers text messages, and a cute little effect with a green screen. The team of comedians themselves are solid, but bring a volunteer up there and anything goes. Thus is the problem with Hacks, and unfortunately it’s just the nature of the beast. The venue also hurts the show, as it’s much to big of a theater for this type of experience. They have lots of trouble filling seats every night! It would do so much better in the Bird Cage. Hacks is worth checking out, just know that a lot can happen that will either make you love it or hate it. Conjurers - Magic and Mirth in the Bird Cage Theatre is the show to check out this year. It can come across as just an average magic show, but the humor and personality are what make it so special. The magicians (especially Dana Daniels) are all fantastic and super funny, and give some soul back to the Bird Cage during Haunt. It’s also worth rewatching, as a new magician hosted the show every weekend in September and Chipper Lowell is supposed to bring a couple acts for October. Out of the three, Conjurers is the clear winner of the shows, and it proves that sometimes simplicity works best. SCARE ZONES Scare zones are probably what Knott’s does best. Their level of immersion and theming is unbeatable. Before I get into this years four zones, I should mention the loss of Fiesta De los Muertos. This was a massive misstep. The new dance party, Awaken the Dead, just doesn’t do the area justice. It’s too insignificant, and it feels as if, ironically, all the life has been sucked out of such a major part of the park. I know that some didn’t find Fiesta to be as good as the other scare zones, but it’s still better than an empty dance floor with some bored go-go dancers. Hopefully Fiesta De los Muertos can come back with a vengeance, and they can bring back some energy to the area as well. Ghost Town Streets is the original, and still the greatest zone of all time. Calling it just a “scare zone” isn’t doing it justice. It’s an experience, it’s what Haunt is all about. I can sit in Fog Ally all night long, watching the various creatures attack unsuspecting guests. I can’t really explain it, you have to see it for yourself. CarnEvil is a killer clown haven with some seriously entertaining talent. The sinister yet bright and colorful lighting should be a major detriment to scaring, but the awesome talent work together to deliver some great scares that are out in the open yet still very surprising. A hellish looking HangTime looms over the Boardwalk, providing a pretty nice visual and another distraction for scares. There’s also a cool light show that happens every hour or so! CarnEvil is great, and it stands with Ghost Town as a Knott’s classic. The Hollow is in its third season now, and after some experimentation last year, it’s returned to be a truly scary experience yet again. You can once again join the Witch Hunter, and help capture the amulet that gives The Hollow power, but the vocal point has now been shifted back into a terrifying scare zone. It has the perfect amount of fog and darkness to let the various scarecrows and other demonic beings scare very aggressively, and it is so awesome. This very may be the scariest part of the park, and I’m sure it’s gonna stick around for a very long time. Forsaken Lake is new for 2018, and it’s located in quite a weird spot between the little dip under Silver Bullet and the entrance to Fiesta Village. That’s a very small footprint, and it’s also my problem with Forsaken Lake. It’s just too damn small. Hopefully next year they expand the area to pass Silver Bullet and near Camp Snoopy. I find it odd that it’s in such a small and inconsequential part of the park as well. There’s no major attraction that warrants going through the zone, so you have to go out of your way to see it. Now for positives! The talent are killer and so are their costumes; they give off some cool Haunted Mansion vides. The gothic set pieces and thick fog mix into an intimidating experience, that is only elevated by plentiful scares that lunge from the dark shadows that surround you. The soundtrack is simple yet eerie, and convinces you that you’re actually walking through a sunken graveyard. Despite its problems, Forsaken Lake has got some great potential, and I’m intrigued to see how much it’ll grow throughout the years. CORRECTION: It does seem as so that talent ARE allowed to roam through underneath SB and near CS. The set pieces are just oddly bundled together near Fiesta. Why they don’t spread them out is anyone's guess. MAZES This season, there are seven returning mazes and two new ones. The great thing about Scary Farm is that they often change up their returning attractions (for better or for worse) so they feel “refreshed”, and are worth revisiting year after year. The maze talent are awesome, as usual, and deserve all the attention and praise they can get. So I can’t say that there’s one maze that’s truly awful, but there are the weaker links. Pumpkin Eater is back and it’s still pretty damn scary. Scenically and thematically, it’s very different from the other mazes, as it’s very surreal and bizarre. The whole thing is just one big pumpkin filled nightmare, and wow is it intense. With its tight passages and dark, twisting hallways, you’ll feel an adrenaline rush of fear and claustrophobia. The scares are also very simple yet aggressively effective. There’s a couple new touches here and there, like a new scene with an animatronic, that give the maze a nice little twist. The only nitpick I have about it this year are that some great gags seem to be missing, so that detracts from the the experience just a tad bit. Potentially the scariest maze in the park, Pumpkin Eater will certainly continue to strike fear in the hearts of guests for more seasons to come. ShadowLands debuted only two years ago, and was once the best maze at Scary Farm, but it seems that Knott’s themselves are ready to move on and forget about it. While it’s still strong, looks hauntingly beautiful, and delivers some great scares, ShadowLands seems to have gotten weaker with each subsequent year. For one thing, it’s now missing the opening show moment; which is unfortunate since it now lacks its once powerful and surprising entry statement. Some other rooms, as well as the cool samurai finale, have also been scaled down to disappointing results. ShadowLands is still a great maze, but it sucks to see it become more neutered compared to its previous incarnations. I’d rather have it disappear into the fog than have it return possibly worse next year. The universally loved Dark Ride returns to Scary Farm, and it’s also come back relatively unchanged. I’m fine with that though, because I believe in the phrase “don’t fix what isn’t broken”. The amazing sets and insane attention to detail make this attraction very convincing. You legitimately feel like you’re walking through a disturbing, rundown carnival ride. The scares are really crazy and creative, and though it’s not the most intense experience, it’s still nothing to gawk at. Dark Ride still remains as one of the must dos at Scary Farm, and it’s so good that I can see it sticking around for a long time. The insanely fun Special Ops: Infected comes back this year, and still remains hugely popular. Fighting off the undead through impressive city sets with your laser gun is as thrilling as usual, and while it isn’t particularly scary, I’d argue that it’s not supposed to be. Just see it as a different “flavor” of horror. The talent here give it their all, and that’s something considering this is possibly the most difficult maze to work in at Haunt. So props to everyone there. Though Special Ops is still an awesome attraction, I also wouldn’t be too sad to see it swap out with something new. Its maze footprint is long and winding, so I’d love to see a new maze take advantage of it. That being said, if you’re at Scary Farm, you HAVE to do Special Ops: Infected. It’s a totally different type of maze that will keep your senses high and your blood pumping. It’s great! The Red Barn’s redesign is easily one of the most disappointing aspects about Scary Farm this year. Last years cool opening statement and frantic attitude are abandoned, and instead we get a strange house like first portion filled with boring, cheap looking rooms covered in plastic chains. Aside from a couple of interesting scenes, the rest of the maze is also too bland and poorly constructed compared to its incarnation last year. Not all is lost however. The talent straight up absolutely save this maze. They and are definitely the best part of the whole experience. The scares may be scarce, but the ones that work REALLY hit the mark. That’s all thanks to the incredibly talented casts, as even if they have almost nothing to work with, they still manage to shine. The new barker that was added with the facade was also a cool touch, I loved seeing him “preach” and interact with the crowd. This has to be Red Barn’s finale year, as other than its talent, no one else seems to care about this maze; not even Knott’s. After only two seasons, it’s been left as a mediocre drab, an empty shell of its former self. I want to see it put out of its own misery already. Trick or Treat: Lights Out is back once more for its second season. Or eighth, if you want to get into specifics. Either way, Trick or Treat is still a good maze that offers a very unique experience compared to its siblings at Haunt. As you travel through a dark, abandoned house armed with only a broken flashlight, the fear factor skyrockets and the scares are practically everywhere. There is some really great scenic design in Trick or Treat as well. I especially love the backyard section, where a strobe lights up the entire room for only a split second, only offering a glimpse of the monstrous trick or treaters that surround you. I felt like the maze needed some new scenes, however. Trick or Treat was left completely unaltered this season, and that’s a small problem if you consider that some of those rooms are from an attraction that’s eight years outdated. Those scenes are just too familiar now, and aren’t as detailed and impressive as the newer rooms. Other than that, I’m still very happy with Trick or Treat, and so are guests (it consistently gets at least a 90 minute wait!). I’d imagine that there’s at least one or two more seasons left for the Green Witch and her minions. Paranormal Inc. may be one of the older attractions featured at Haunt, but that doesn’t matter because it’s still one hell of a great maze. It’s all around very impressive, from the incredible opening moment (that’s unfortunately been cut down) to the new surprise ending that will leave your head spinning! The scares are groundbreaking for a theme park haunt, and every room will bombard you with a sheer, terrifying intensity. The split path adds to the crazy amount of content, and makes it worth revisiting. It’s gonna be bittersweet to see Paranormal go, as I’ve stated before that it’s been around for a while, and could be considered for the chopping block next year. I’ll be excited to see something new, but I also wouldn’t mind if it stuck around for maybe one more season. Whatever fate has in store for Paranormal, it’s still astounding, and it may be the single greatest maze that Knott’s has ever had. Dark Entities is new for 2018, and offers the experience of being trapped in a space station overrun with an alien menace. The facade is weird but it works, it’s convincing as the entrance of a strange facility. It starts restrained, a sort of “calm before the storm”, tricking you into a false sense of security. Then, all of a sudden, the s**t hits the fan. Disturbing creatures creep along the walls, and horrifically mutated bodies lie everywhere. Think “The Thing” meets “Event Horizon”. The rooms will feel as if they are getting tighter and tighter, giving you some closer encounters with grotesque aliens. This maze is disgusting, darkly humorous, and will leave you in a state of claustrophobic horror. A unique use of lighting makes the maze feel more “organic”, and scarier. Speaking of scary, the scares are a sort of a mixed bag, but most of them succeed. The ending could be stronger, but it works nicely as a distraction for more scares. I adored Dark Entities, as it felt like an old school Knott’s haunt but with some new tricks up its sleeve. I’ll be anxious to see some more alien terror next year! The Depths is another new addition to Scary Farm for 2018. It tells the story of a mining crew that stumbles upon the terrible secret of an old seaport village. And damn is this maze successful. It’s the sort of opposite to Dark Entities, as instead of tight, claustrophobic corridors, The Depths is vast and open. That doesn’t make it any less scary though. You’ll start in the chaos of a panicked mining camp, and then go to a variety of different themes like a Lovecraftian temple and a den of evil mermaids. There are a lot of fantastic gags in here, like a “water” room, a man-eating shark, and a creaking, unstable pirate ship. The effects completely throw you off guard, and leave you vulnerable for some great scares. I also love how the story goes in a lot of different places, but it doesn’t feel confused or jumbled. The only problem I have with The Depths is its lack of a proper facade. The lighthouse is really cool, but it’s surrounded by these ugly black walls that don’t do it any kind of service. Having a mining shaft with a creepy old man sets the mood pretty well, but it doesn’t look good with the lighthouse when there’s a massive black wall between them. They should’ve painted some ocean or harbor mosaic on the warehouse or something. Other than that, I’d say that The Depths is nearly perfect. It’s a scary journey through the darkest reaches of the sea that’ll be around for many years to come! So that wraps up Knott’s Scary Farm 2018! Though there are problems, I think the positives more than make up for it. If it’s anyone’s first time going, or if they haven’t gone in a long time, don’t take this review as your deciding factor. Go anyways! Scary Farm is, no matter what word of mouth, something that any adrenaline junkie needs to give a chance. It’s the granddaddy of all haunts, it made the industry what it is today. It’s legendary. And after 46 years, it’s still got it!
  3. So I FINALLY went to HHN yesterday and overall it was a pretty solid year. It was definitely miles better than last year, and they’re trying out new things that put them on the right path. Before I get into the attractions, a couple of broad thoughts- The black walls are back, but not as prevalent as last year. However, they will always be the ultimate pain in the a**. I hate blindly flailing around in a tight, pitch black room, with fear of walking out of an exit or walking into a plywood wall. Worst of all would be bumping or even accidentally shoving talent. Backup also happens often in these hallways. It sucks, not only on an operational level but on a thematic level as well. Three mazes suffer from this in particular, and it’s a shame that the story has to be so heavily affected by this decision. I don’t care if they exist because the budget is thin; if that’s the case, I’d rather have less mazes so that the others can pack a bigger punch. Either that or increase the budget, after all I do expect more coming from the overpriced ticket I pay and the crowds they generate. In a lot of ways they are on the right track, but when it comes to this problem, more of an effort needs to be made. Effort HAS been made to change up scares though, which is a nice surprise. Yes, the tired curtain strobe and boo window scares are still here, but there’s also some great unexpected stuff and some awesome puppets. Hope the creativity and out-of-the-box thinking is still there next year. The dubstep is also something that I’ve always disliked; I feel that it takes away some of the “Halloween aura”. They seemed to have toned it down this year though, as it’s really only in the first two scare zones. Maybe they’re realizing that dubstep was never really that cool to begin with. Decor is more common and elaborate this year, and I couldn’t be happier. THIS is a really great step in the right direction. It has always been my one of my biggest problems with HHN, that it’s never truly felt like a “Halloween park”. It felt weird walking through a thematic experience, only to be spat out next to the Simpsons or something. Something as simple as banners or jack o’ lanterns helps. Hopefully the decor continues growing, and maybe next year they’ll spread it throughout the whole park, and not have it only prevalent in scare zones. SCARE ZONES The Scare Zones are nicely done, with only one that’s pretty weak. The talent were also consistently great, there wasn’t one zone that felt low energy. Hell’s Harvest is a good opening statement for the park. It’s a little too complicated theming wise (none of the decor really goes with the costumes too), but at least it’s different. It also meshes well with the Trick ‘r Treat scare zone. The costumes are awesome; I love the unique and interesting designs of the masks. The Bonesy Brothers were a fantastic touch; this is the type of direction I wanna see HHN take, more entertainment and immersion. And of course, the chainsaws are fun and make for some entertaining people watching! Trick ‘r Treat comes up right after Hell’s Harvest, and offers traditional halloween fun. The characters all look much better than what I was expecting, and the decor and lighting is beautiful. However, it’s got its issues. The sound design is just all wrong; why is there dubstep blaring in this classic halloween themed attraction? I don’t understand why they don’t use the amazing soundtrack from the movie? It even fits with Hell’s Harvest if that was a concern! I also find it to be much to small. When you watch the movie, there’s rich, detailed design everywhere. The scare zone definitely doesn’t do that justice. I mean how cool would it have been to make the ENTIRE entrance a mock up of the halloween festival in the movie! Oh well, it’s still pretty good. And hey, the fire tower is cool! After you exit the Universal Monsters maze, you’ll find yourself in the Monster Masquerade zone. As it’s own, it’s not super impressive or groundbreaking, but as a compliment to the maze it works perfectly. The fog, lighting, and set pieces work really really well with each other, and give the talent some great opportunities to scare. The costumes are pretty cool and detailed, and that Red Death Phantom is sooo cool. It’s got a solid soundtrack as well; it doesn’t sound cheesy or too “modern”. To put it simply, it’s great! Our weakest zone comes in the form of Toxxic Tunnel. It’s not absolutely terrible, and I understand the complications with working with the tunnel. I think the costumes look alright too. However, I think the problems start from the beginning. If they can’t do fog or props, then why go with the toxic spill theme anyways? It’s those details that really sell that theme! It seems like the only things that can be done in the tunnel are strobes and maybe some posters(?) If the tunnel is this difficult to design, and needs so many sacrifices, then maybe it shouldn’t even be a scare zone. The lighting also sucks, as it’s just the Purge strobes but with a flash of green. A simple “red alarm” strobe would be more effective. Even the name is dumb, why add that unnecessary “X”? I have so many questions. The talent absolutely saves the zone, as without their energy, this could’ve been much worse. Our final zone we come across is also the best: Holidays in Hell. This is the greatest scare zone that HHN has ever done, period. It’s pretty much perfect. It’s scary, super fun, and carries a twisted sense of humor. The scenes are also very long, but it doesn’t get tiring at all. Every character looks fantastic, especially the Turkey-Man and Father Time. The colorful, chaotic environment is wonderfully done; the plentiful set pieces are creative and the lighting and fog give off an appropriately garish appearance. This is one of the best scare zones anywhere, and it’s definitely one of the highlights of the event. That’s it for the scare zones this year. Some really solid stuff here, and while not all of it works, their attempts with immersion are admirable. I hope they keep trying different ideas, and let’s see if they can somehow top Holidays in Hell next year! MAZES The first maze of the night was Stranger Things. Classic 80s music rang through the air outside the soundstage, setting the perfect mood for the experience. Thank god for that soundtrack, for the disappointing lack of a facade certainly didn’t get anyone pumped. Like seriously, not even a banner for the show? On the other hand, the maze itself is gorgeous. It is a perfect representation of the show; you can tell that a lot of love was put into this. I really liked the Upside Down and the Lab. This is a dual-edged sword, however, as since it is so faithful to the show that the scares feel like an afterthought. Like they felt almost inappropriate. I knew that it wouldn’t work to well as a “haunted house”, but as more of a passive “walkthrough experience”. There are a couple good scares, like the wall gags, but the rest are lazy, obvious, or just don’t work because of the clunkiness of the costumes. The Demogorgons do look super impressive, but do I feel bad for the poor bast*rds inside of them. The face characters look great too, and I’m so happy they didn’t go with Winona Ryder masks or anything. All that I felt was really missing scenically was a room highlighting the kids. The scares are beyond weak, and maybe it should’ve had more characters, but the fantastic visuals and sets save Stranger Things from being a drag. Trick ‘r Treat came up next, and wow what a great entry statement. The facade was absolutely wonderful, and I loved how it blended with the next scene. Speaking of scenes, the sets were absolutely awesome, and had some really cool scares (I especially liked the werewolf puppets and Sam on the ceiling). I also liked how spacious the rooms were, like the rock quarry. The characters also looked really solid, and the talent were awesome as usual. So it’s a shame that the experience is hampered by some god awful transitions. They tried to do something different, and those glowing titles did look neat, but the dark hallways lasted for waaay too long. Why not some cool “comic book” walls or something? And of course, every hallway had the predictable box scare. This left the maze feeling really choppy and repetitive, and thus it didn’t flow well at all. The lack of a finale room was also disappointing. It’s definitely not perfect, but Trick ‘r Treat’s strengths are noteworthy and keep the maze afloat. When Poltergeist was announced as another maze, I had my hesitations. Having the opportunity to go through it now, I can safely say that it’s my favorite maze at HHN this year. Maybe my favorite out of any year! An amazing facade greets you with a false sense of security, and then drops you into terrifying chaos. If I had to describe the maze in one word, it would be “intense “. The scares are the strongest here, as well as the most creative. The puppets look incredible, and are very startling. The talent were merciless, those damn clowns got me too many times! Scenes depicting the house are spot on, and the Other Side is gorgeously dream-like as well. The coffin finale is a great finisher, and those corpses looked gnarly! It’s a nearly perfect experience; the only gripe I have is an unnecessarily long black hallway with a couple of face-peeling Martys. It doesn’t add or take away anything for the maze. Other than that, it’s flawless. Definitely hit up Poltergeist. It’s a can’t miss and is probably the best maze of the year! The First Purge is not only a mediocre maze, but also an extremely disappointing one. There was so much potential here. The glowing contacts, exploding teddy bears, apartment invasion; it was all fumbled so badly. Even the facade is poorly done and halfhearted. The scares are kinda serviceable, but they could be so much more intense. What doesn’t help are that the rooms are just way too big; it should be much more claustrophobic. The worst sin of all is the ending, or the lack there of. This maze doesn’t end, it just kinda stops with endless black hallways. Absolutely inexcusable. It gave me AvED flashbacks. The only positives that I can think of are an okay mannequin scene and the Twitter password brochures. That’s it. If you had to skip anything, skip this. It had a lot of potential, but it became obvious that they just didn’t care about The First Purge. Hopefully this will be the last we see of this worn out property. Horrors of Blumhouse: Chapter Two wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t good. It sits right in the middle, like in a limbo. The sets aren’t that impressive, but they’re totally “passable”. The Truth or Dare section was kinda just a bunch of crap piled together, and Unfriended had some normal looking bedroom sets. The scares were also just alright; there were some decent ones in ToD, but Unfriended got too obvious. What really holds this maze back is the last “story”, The Girl. It starts off promising with a cool first room, but then it devolves into you guessed it; black hallways. Repetitive. Boring. Predictable. Hallways. It suffers from the same problem as The Purge, as these hallways serve as the ending too. It sucks. Horrors of Blumhouse could be a cool experience, but the boring execution and last third sink it into mediocrity. It was obvious that Universal Monsters had to have been good; it was Murdy’s passion project after all. And yes it’s good, FANTASTIC even! It’s neck and neck with Poltergeist for best maze. First of all, it’s absolutely beautiful. Everything looks great; from the sets, to the characters, to the facade, and the scare zone. The soundtrack is appropriately restrained. I was worried when Slash was announced to provide the music, but I was happy to find that it was more orchestral than his signature style. Now here’s where I nitpick, but it’s not necessarily a problem. I didn’t find it really scary, but I suppose they were going for more of a theatrical experience. There were a lot of rooms where talent were acting out scenes, like The Phantom and Dr. Frankenstein’s lab. They’re really cool, and it’s different from what HHN usually does. So I would call it a very different type of maze. So in what they were going for, they’re super successful. A lot of love went into Universal Monsters, and it shows. It’s one of the best mazes this year, and probably in HHN history! Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is the gazillionth rendition of a Halloween maze at HHN Hollywood. Can you tell I’m burnt out with Michael Myers? I think Horror Nights is as well, as Halloween 4 just isn’t that great. Don’t get me wrong, it does have a gorgeous, massive facade with some neat projection effects, and there’s one or two scenes that stand out. However the most impressive thing about Halloween 4 is how unremarkable it is. I’m legitimately having trouble remembering what goes on in this maze. And why Halloween 4? It doesn’t help that the source material is weak in content as well. One of the biggest disappointments is the finale. The past Halloween mazes were also kinda repetitive, but they also ended with an awesome, dreamlike finale. This version has a bizarre power plant finale that comes across as disjointed and out of place. Halloween 4 isn’t completely terrible, but it definitely is one of the weaker parts of Horror Nights this year. Check it out, but don’t expect anything special. The mazes this year are a pretty mixed bag, but I wouldn’t call any of them atrocious. Even Purge isn’t as bad as something like This is the End 3D. And the ones that are good are REALLY good, so I’d call the lineup a success overall. If I HAD to rank them, I think I’d go- Poltergeist Universal Monsters Trick ‘r Treat Stranger Things Halloween 4 Horrors of Blumhouse The First Purge TERROR TRAM: HOLLYWOOD HARRY’S DREADTIME STORIES Hollywood Harry makes his return to the Terror Tram this year, to some surprisingly okay results. Yeah, it’s all reused props, but for what they were going for, I think it works. It seems like the path was also well populated, as I felt that there were no dead spots like years prior. Funny enough, I think the best part of the experience was the video. I wish that creativity was worked into the Tram itself, instead of the comic book covers being randomly plastered on facades. My true wish for the Tram though, is that they pick a theme that actually fits with the environments. Something like a movie mash or an alien invasion would be great. In the end, Hollywood Harry’s Dreadtime Stories was an alright effort for the Tram. Maybe in the future we can see a theme that works even better. So that’s HHN Hollywood 2018! It’s by no means a perfect year, but it’s still one hell of a good time. Some new ideas are beginning to surface, and if they keep at it, I can see it finally breaking out of its creative turmoil and becoming the Halloween experience it should be. Here’s hope to the future!
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