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Halloween Horror Nights 24 Discussion

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This is an important detail that a lot of people tend to forget. What someone's first experience was with HHN will forever effect the way HHN "should" be to them. For example:

The first HHN house I ever went through was Screamhouse, a record-breaking house that still holds one of the highest approval ratings ever recorded for Universal, let alone HHN (94%). Very very few houses will ever be able to compare with the atmosphere and detail they put in to Screamhouse. But, telling people about Screamhouse (or Hellgate, or Ghost Town, or the original Psycho Scareapy) will never convince the people who never experienced them that those houses are better than Gothic or American Werewolf in London. I would love to see how many people have the first house they ever went through is in people's top five. Unless their first house was a notorious bomb (Cold Blind Terror, Fear Factor, and The Spawning come to mind), I expect it would be a trend.

And that's why we will continue seeing IPs. The IPs will bring in a wider market, but that wider market is coming because of IPs. If Universal stops using IPs, those people stop coming. It's why 2008 (Bloody Mary) saw a massive drop in attendance (if I remember correctly like 10-15%) from the year prior and the year after (Carnival of Carnage and Ripped from the Silver Screen).

Funny, my first HHN house was Gothic. The time I ever heard of the event was Islands of Fear and the first back story I ever read for a HHN house was Screamhouse.

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I feel that as long as it's scary it's scary, and if it's intricate its intricate. More technology can make some houses possible now where they weren't before, but a house can still rock without any special ZANG!, just with a good bit of care put into it. Hence, halloween. It could've been just as good years ago with maybe a couple different effects to compensate for less tech.

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I disagree. Technology doesn't make a house, it's the ambiance, acting, and theme. Screamhouse, Castle Vampyr, etc weren't as technology packed as later houses, but they sure had everything else going for it. An abandoned house at night with no electronics is far scarier than anything Creative can whip up using projectors. There's a balance between it, and lately (I think) we're seeing more theatrics than fundamental horror.

Your initial argument was why are people supporting IPs. not the technology. My only point with that is no matter how Universal raises the bar in the houses that can't recapture your original experience and feelings... at least not sustainably. Every house this year (save probably G&G) was more detailed and had a bigger budget than any of the ones you mentioned. Every one is movie quality. When they are dark people complain they are too dark. When they are light people complain they are too light. It's a constant tweaking process that is not finished even by the end of the event. not only that they are constantly battling regulations and code... which has changed dramatically over the years. (Silent Hill was flat out ruined for me because the code enforcement required x amount of light in the house and it was just too bright.)

I do agree though. There is a balance... a subjective one that your prefrence dictates. Some things will just never be again (such as pulsing of the line or the neat ways they used to detain you in rooms) as the event has grown past being able to do that. I do miss ball pits, slides,rotating rooms, dual runs, etc. But at the same time I realize they just can't happen anymore.

But as I stated to the original argument. IPs have been with the event since the beginning. They are what bring in the money. They will never go away.

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Indeed and faux stone walls that crush you, rooms that trapped you in a loop, holding areas where wild cats attack you, foam playlands, etc.

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My only point with that is no matter how Universal raises the bar in the houses that can't recapture your original experience and feelings...

Not true - I loved a few houses that got me extremely excited like previous years. Probably the most notable was Leave it to Cleaver, AWIL, Halloween, Psychoscarepy: Home for the Holidays. Fascinating houses! If they're hitting it with some houses, they can do it with all houses.

Perhaps it is my definition of what constitutes movie quality, but did you do Zombie Mortuary or Deadfall at HOS? That, to me, is movie quality. It's very detailed, not just "Loud sounds, lighting, triggers, etc." I mean TWD may have been the longest house, but if you take a daytime tour you'd see how bare a lot of the rooms are. It's embarrassing. Gothic and Dead End were genuinely outstanding quality, and I doubt we're going to see that again. It seems the houses are getting more "expansive" without getting more detailed. Maybe I'm not thinking straight, either.

​And that the house wasn't detailed, way too obvious scare actors, extremely repetitive, etc. You and I could imagine a much better way to enter the house and the way they did it was terrible. HOS gets away with very dark lighting, why can't HHN?

Curiously, what are there most approved houses they've ever done?

Edited by criticalanalysis
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;-; we need these back.

Also, I think I eem going through one of those looping rooms a couple years ago. It was in the house with all the classic movies (I can't remember the name) and there was a room with a tin if mirrors but the actual exit was off to the side a ways, so you wouldn't see it at first and you would get tricked.

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Indeed and faux stone walls that crush you, rooms that trapped you in a loop, holding areas where wild cats attack you, foam playlands, etc.

Please go on! I've heard of some of these effects, like the slide and ball pits, namely thanks to Dr. Jimmy's Horror Nights History (please continue that great series, Good Doctor!) but the rotating rooms and "loop trap" are new to me. Details, details!

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if the point of HHN is the sets, and the only thing that matters is the sets (which are movie quality) then It makes me wonder if they will eventually get rid of Boo holes all together, That already happened with RE, and with WD this year. maybe if the focus is on how incredible the sets are maybe they could just have the actors out in the open in each house thew way they were in RE and instead of scaring people, just have them interact with people (Kind of like Roanoke actually, that house has some of this as well)

If what matters is how movie like the sets are, and seeing how people keep complaining about how scary HHN is, maybe they should just have really big rooms where the actors talk to you?

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Lol I just imagined what people say when they "formally" say that HHN is too scary.

"Hello universal, my name is ______, and I would like you to know that your horror-themed events with tons of warnings about its fear level is too unexpectedly scary, and you need to tone it down so us fraidy-cats don't feel a slight bit uncomfortable. Also, seeing a person's insides is OFFENSIVES, and I can't believe you guys would show that in an event such as this one. We demand that you make this obviously adult event kid-friendly. Then, I can come back and be an obnoxious drunk and start fights."

-every stupid HHN complainer

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This is just my opinion, but I feel it's a lot better to come into each year and not trying to compare it to anything else, and just take everything for what it is. With prior experience you have bias, and everything else seems slightly worse because of that. Most of your love of the past years could just stem from nostalgia (this happens a LOT in the gaming community-trust me), and if the years past truly were really good, then that's ok. I just don't think you should base all of your opinions based off of memory of what it you remember it to have been like before, since people change, your view of your first years is obviously a lot better because you didn't know what to expect as much, so you came in with a fresh mind and everything would have seemed so much better before repetition of going to this event would've dulled your opinions and your whole outlook on this.

Sorry for the rant but this is a problem with a lot of things. "Genwunners " are my mortal enemies (Pokémon fans can relate)

Edit: I spent so long trying to find the right words that Legacy did it before me.... :P whoops

But we disagree. It's impossible to go in without expectations or to make comparisons. Even the simply expectation that the event will be "good" is one you have, or else why spend $100 to attend? But that's human nature. The only way to go in to HHN without making any comparison whatsoever is to have never been in a haunt at all. If you HAVE been to a haunt before, you will automatically walk out thinking HHN was better or worse than your prior experience. All you can really do is try to ignore it, but in order to do that you have to stop caring so much. That's what I've done, and it's why I can go to rinky local haunts and have more fun than I have in a long time at HHN (it's also why I'm so excited to visit King's Dominion's Halloween Haunt. I don't care how good or bad it is, as long as they're trying.

You can't go in with that mentality when Universal charges so much and touts itself as "the best" (it's not). So all the griping that comes Universal's way is unstoppable.

I don't know for sure, but I want to say it's either Scarepy or the original Body Collectors (and yes, I recognize which years those two were). As far as comparisons to Screamhouse go, the closest thing atmosphere-wise I've seen in recent memory (2009-2011, which was my last year) was actually Orfanage. It matched the unbridled creepiness of the original Cain residence. But that's not even the half of it, Screamhouse was 15 rooms (compared to 8-10 of current houses), plus transition hallways, they had sections coated in KY, areas of pure blackness, etc. Those are things Universal simply doesn't do anymore, either because of cost or safety. The house just worked on every level.

And if 2004 was your first year, you're at a massive disadvantage. What they did that year, and the general quality of the houses (minus Diso and Nightmares) were near impossible to beat.

Oh Dark Torment... the house I've never been through that will always have a special place in my heart.

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Not true - I loved a few houses that got me extremely excited like previous years. Probably the most notable was Leave it to Cleaver, AWIL, Halloween, Psychoscarepy: Home for the Holidays. Fascinating houses! If they're hitting it with some houses, they can do it with all houses.

Of which you named two very big IPs... One being this year. Which kind of negates you original argument about supporting IPS. But still if you notice the opinions on the houses they are wide and varying. There is something for everyone. I loved LITC yet a lot of people here disagree. Likewise I went through Halloween once and was fine. Didn't need to do it again because I don't care for the IP.

Universal will worry when across the board it is stated the houses are terrible. As the old Addage goes: "You can please some of the people all the time and all of the people some of the time... but never all the people al the time"

I didn't say it didn't have other issue. BUT what killed it for me personally was the light. Which I was told was a direct result of code enforcement that year by someone who builds the houses. However, code enforcement is different in diferent counties, cities, and states.

Don't understand the question.

Overall HOS and HHN are different events for different demographics. I personally enjoy both but feel HOS is not worth seeing the same houses over and over so I skip a year or three.

Either way it always falls back to the simple statement:

If you don't like what Universal is doing the best answer is to not go.

Save the money go to HOS. Heck support Shallow Grave and Petrified Forest too! I'm all for local non-commercial haunts getting some love. We need more. If Universal is doing such a poor job they will change when everyone stops going. Of course that won't happen as they are doing what makes them money... and they are making a lot.

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Curiously, what are there most approved houses they've ever done?

Are you asking what is the best house HHN has ever done? That's not measurable.

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Are you asking what is the best house HHN has ever done? That's not measurable.

I think he's asking for approval ratings, which is the closest metric there can be to "best" houses. Like I stated, Screamhouse was rated 94% at the end of the run. The only reason I know that was because I was in that house, and the number was so ridiculously high management raved about it to us every week. I remember hearing that Body Collectors and Scareapy were close, but I have yet to hear about someone beating it.

And when I say, the number was ridiculously high, I mean. A "popular" theme park attraction typically runs in the 70s. Most HHN haunted houses, if I remember correctly, run hang in the 60s (meaning 60% of the people going through an individual house have a positive opinion of the house).

As far as what the numbers are for other houses, I can't tell you.

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Please go on! I've heard of some of these effects, like the slide and ball pits, namely thanks to Dr. Jimmy's Horror Nights History (please continue that great series, Good Doctor!) but the rotating rooms and "loop trap" are new to me. Details, details!

Since JDW isn't biting on this, I'll try to explain them.

The rotating room was exactly what it sounds like and existed when HHN could still pulse the line. A group would enter a room (of doors, actually) and the door would shut behind them. The walls of the room would then begin to spin around them, the idea being that it would "mix" which door you would go through. The room would stop spinning, and you would continue on.

Loop Traps, I honestly hated, but I'll try to explain it. Again, it's something that only works in pulses. You enter a (typically rectangular) room with a wall in the center. That room has an entrance and an exit. When you enter, scareactors either close both doors or stand in the way, forcing you to walk in a circle (trapped in a loop) until they open the exit and you can get out. Build them out of chainlink (or mirrors) and add a strobe and things get insane really quickly.

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I wonder if DotD will get that near that high?

....just a thought

Dawn of the Dead? Or do you mean Dungeon of Terror?

It's doubtful, especially now. 2002 was a bit of a perfect storm. The IP houses that year were good but not exceptional, which made Screamhouse stand out during an event that was greatly approved anyway because it was something different. Neither of them were "traditional horror" IPs anyway, which made Screamhouse even more special. Throw in the Caretaker and it's a lock.

Now, though? Just look at the boards and you can see how approval ratings would be damn near impossible to get in to the 80s, let alone that high. People who love IPs will downgrade the approval of originals... people who love originals will downgrade the approval of IPs.

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I've been 3 times and have enjoyed the event overall this year, but I feel like there could be a bit more themed environments around the park. the scare zones are decent, but it would be nice to have the lagoon show & projection on MiB back and just more creepy music around the park in general.

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Since JDW isn't biting on this, I'll try to explain them.

Sorry busy day at work but you explained it how i would have.

The wall that crushed was a wall in the original DOT (I believe they all kind of blend together could have been the second year... or both) Long hallway. One wall was a spongy faux stone. The other was a normal wall. The faux wall had holes in it and light shown through. As you walked through the wall started moving in... Eventually you became trapped between the two walls. As it was spongee it didn't hurt but not being able to move is a definite panic moment.

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I meant dollhouse of the damned lol and do they still do those ratings anymore or

Ah. Yes, they still do the ratings and I doubt it.

Again, a large segment of attendees are there for the IPs and IPs only. That sways things immensely. The fact that the only continuity in the house appears to a loose connection to anything "doll," and it's highly unlikely it'll get to the 80s.

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The word to keep in mind here is ‘juxtaposition.’ When you walk into the house, you find yourself in this old-time morgue. But this little girl has set up shop and now it’s her playhouse. She’s torturing people in there. So you’re taking the sweetness of the dollhouse and childhood and combining it with something completely sinister.

Not that the story is portrayed other than people being tortured. I like the house a lot but would a cue audio clip (to explain things) have killed them?

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Always thought they should add some context to the story within the queues. It can only add to the experience; whether it's audio, visual, or simple imagery.

I would love for HHN to use the skeleton key concept for us die hards next year.

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Always thought they should add some context to the story within the queues. It can only add to the experience; whether it's audio, visual, or simple imagery.

I would love for HHN to use the skeleton key concept for us die hards next year.

As much as I would love to see that. Express would get the crap end of the stick and would miss out on the story. Maybe audio would work with speakers throughout the queue lines. That's what the videos used to be for. Done for the Penn & Teller and H.R Blood N' Gutz queue very well. Now we have Giggles and Gore..

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Always thought they should add some context to the story within the queues. It can only add to the experience; whether it's audio, visual, or simple imagery.

I would love for HHN to use the skeleton key concept for us die hards next year.

My dear friend, could please explain what in the world a skeleton key could do with a haunted house? What is yhe concept and how would it be utilized?

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