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DTH316

What We Expect

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Hey guys, with this post, I wanna talk a bit about anticipation and how the creators could really take advantage of their ideas and properties to elevate them to the next level. Also, to give the creators an idea what it is the fans are looking forward to specifically in each maze. Every year, it always seem like there's that one dud in the batch. So I wanna talk about what can be done to make sure they match those expectations and how to differentiate from the usual so they can be classics of their own. In a way, this is TALKING TO THE CREATORS about what we'd like to see before the mazes even open, hopefully in advance enough so something can be done about it. Most likely, they won't take any of what we say and use it, rather waiting for opening weekend surveys as judgment, but hey it's worth talking about. Let's get started:

 

The Walking Dead Attraction
Now if this maze sucks, I won't say it really hurts the event. Nevertheless, it's apart of the event and some attention should be brought to it. It's Halloween, so the daytime attraction should get some extra tender, love, and care. Now we all know that the main thing Murdy has been saying is he designed this maze specifically in mind for Horror Nights to have more boo-holes and scareactors. This obviously would make a much more intense experience and more chances for scares, but is that enough? I haven't been through the normal version of the maze yet, but my answer is -- I guess? Granted, this is the first year the maze has been open and it hasn't been completely worn out yet for the regular passholders, but just maybe an extra something special could be added. Definitely not an overlay, or new music, or anything like that. But perhaps one extra main scary character that's only available for HHN aside from double the generic walkers. This could actually be cool in years to come when it's been open for years, and each year fans could anticipate the new appearance of a new character each year. As things grow stale around year 2 - 3, and overlays or re-hauls are taken into consideration, that's when "new rooms" or "new music" should be in mind.

 

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Blood Brothers
Alright, you already know, Back in Business is, was, and forever will be the ULTIMATE maze. This year, they have the opportunity to reach such frightening heights once more by having an original take on the series. Since this is a bridge between part 1 and 2, and there will be an appearance of ChopTop, I'm praying they don't go a campy route like they did with sequel of the film. Be dark, grim and brutal like 07 and 08. Adapting that style to the original film's aesthetic may be a bit difficult, but that's what's gonna make this gamble worth it if it can get anywhere near close to BIB. I'm talking in your face scenes, uncomfortable rooms, and the feeling of dread around every corner. That's what separated BIB from other haunted mazes -- BIB felt like you may actually die, where other mazes are kinda just fun to go through. It's time to rev the saw and legitimately scare people again. With that said, the next order of business is narrative. I want there to be a story that can be followed, heroine/final girl and all.

 

The Exorcist
This will be hard to match expectations. Luckily the fans are well aware this maze is kinda hard to pull off, and I think will be more open to some things not working out exactly as hoped, but I'm more concerned of the general public's expectations of this maze. Like the movie, they want the scariest maze EVER. I know the concept is to "possess the guests," and I think that's a frightening concept because that hits alot of people's primal fears of this franchise. However, I hope they don't forget people also just genuinely fear Reagan's mangled face. If she's attacking us a few times instead of just being a victim or yelling things at us the whole maze, that'll really get some people. Boo-hole Reagans will go a long way instead of the "theatrical experience" of watching things in every room. ATTACK US. I think another great opportunity would be to take advantage of the subliminal imagery in the movie just for some subtle scares. One of the scariest moments I ever had in a maze was in La Llorona when the scrim effect showed Maria behind the picture and her terrifying face was just snarling at me, right before she jumped out. That's what this maze needs! Also, I know a lot of this stuff with Reagan is impossible to do with a human actor, but don't rely too much on animatronics. The Spider Walk, okay, I get it, you can't get someone to do that over and over again for 30 minutes. But the head spin, I challenge y'all to find a practical effect way to do that with a human! If this maze has animatronic overload like the Evil Dead maze with all the fake Mia's, I will walk out of this one disappointed.

 

Halloween: Hell Comes to Haddonfield
I know Universal thinks last year's maze was the highest rated maze ever or some insane statistic like that, but look... I promise if the same audience of people experienced the '09 maze, they would've loved it more (also stats might not be as high for 09's maze because it was up against Saw's first year, which was a phenomenon at the time). It was more intense, more creative in scares, and more chilling. '15's Halloween, I give it that it had the spirit and look of the movie better, but it didn't have the scares. As of now, it doesn't seem the crowd is all that excited for Myers returning this year, so how do we get the underdog of the event to come out surprisingly the most scary? Now if the goal is to match the tone of the Halloween 2 movie, guests are going to snooze their way through this one. I'm hoping they amplify the tone, have not only more deaths/victims, but more creative ones than the movie, and make the scares more close in approximity. The setting is great and can really work, but it needs to take the movie and up it times 5. As for the finale, if it's just a retread of last year's finale, I'm already disappointed. Maybe they'll add fire effects or something, but it's still the same thing. It was a great moment last year, no doubt, and if it were somewhere in the middle or even the beginning of the maze, I wouldn't be too sad about it, but the end of the maze needs punch, not something we've seen before. This is what a lot of fans disliked about Walking Dead in 2014 - the beginning already was the same, but then the ending just tacked on the horde zombie effect that worked really well in '13 and made it just "meh" the next year. I'm sure Universal saw people screaming out of the maze regardless, but I urge things to stay creative and unique every year, even in the face of IPs.

 

Krampus
The only way this maze could fail is if they make it a comedy house. I know from a design stand point, it'll be gorgeous. But if they shoehorn too much comedy in, it'll just be silly and lame. I think some comedy can work, like El Cucuy, but the route of Clowns 3D or This is The End will be a disaster. Keep it intense and fun, with a lot of great creatures, but keep the environment 95% scary.

 

Freddy vs. Jason
Why they wanna go a more original route, I'm not sure. I feel the movie had a lot to work with. Some of it was tackled in 07/08 in both Friday and Nightmare, so I suppose I understand. With that in mind, like TCM also this year, I hope there's a narrative to follow. Unlike the movie, I'm hoping they give Freddy enough to do and to make the nightmare scenes very out there. Also, this needs to be the goriest of the mazes with the most insane kills and victims! It'd be also fun to see some old tricks reprised, like the face to the grindstone death, or the guy being split in half, headless bodies that twitch, etc.. In a way, this is the 10th year and this is a bit of a homecoming, so some reunion feels in this maze -- the IPs that brought HHN back to life -- are more than welcome.

 

American Horror Story
Three different stories in one maze and my only hope is it doesn't seem like a mess. The more they can do to differentiate each season within the maze, the better, in my opinion. Unlike some of the mazes of yesteryear when mashing all the properties into one maze, these seasons don't really gel together and wouldn't work well like that. If it can feel like three completely different mazes, each with a facade and a finale of their own, that would make this maze all the more awesome.

 

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On 8/29/2016 at 5:25 PM, DTH316 said:

The Walking Dead Attraction
Now if this maze sucks, I won't say it really hurts the event. Nevertheless, it's apart of the event and some attention should be brought to it. It's Halloween, so the daytime attraction should get some extra tender, love, and care. Now we all know that the main thing Murdy has been saying is he designed this maze specifically in mind for Horror Nights to have more boo-holes and scareactors. This obviously would make a much more intense experience and more chances for scares, but is that enough? I haven't been through the normal version of the maze yet, but my answer is -- I guess? Granted, this is the first year the maze has been open and it hasn't been completely worn out yet for the regular passholders, but just maybe an extra something special could be added. Definitely not an overlay, or new music, or anything like that. But perhaps one extra main scary character that's only available for HHN aside from double the generic walkers. This could actually be cool in years to come when it's been open for years, and each year fans could anticipate the new appearance of a new character each year. As things grow stale around year 2 - 3, and overlays or re-hauls are taken into consideration, that's when "new rooms" or "new music" should be in mind.

 

Haven't been through the old one and when I went, it was the end of the night and it seemed like everyone was on break or leaving or something. But then I watched videos of walkthroughs on Opening Weekend and it seemed consistent with my experience. I know there's double the cast, but this maze still feels very low on talent, but that's just me. If there's even less during the day time, that must be a really pathetic experience haha

 

On 8/29/2016 at 5:25 PM, DTH316 said:

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Blood Brothers

Alright, you already know, Back in Business is, was, and forever will be the ULTIMATE maze. This year, they have the opportunity to reach such frightening heights once more by having an original take on the series. Since this is a bridge between part 1 and 2, and there will be an appearance of ChopTop, I'm praying they don't go a campy route like they did with sequel of the film. Be dark, grim and brutal like 07 and 08. Adapting that style to the original film's aesthetic may be a bit difficult, but that's what's gonna make this gamble worth it if it can get anywhere near close to BIB. I'm talking in your face scenes, uncomfortable rooms, and the feeling of dread around every corner. That's what separated BIB from other haunted mazes -- BIB felt like you may actually die, where other mazes are kinda just fun to go through. It's time to rev the saw and legitimately scare people again. With that said, the next order of business is narrative. I want there to be a story that can be followed, heroine/final girl and all.

 

 

This is maybe the only one that did not meet my personal expectations. I didn't get any narrative out of this maze, no clear final girl, and I wasn't even sure what movie we were in, especially since most of the maze seemed to be based on part 1. Luckily the maze is darker than it's "part 1" counterpart.

 

On 8/29/2016 at 5:25 PM, DTH316 said:

The Exorcist

This will be hard to match expectations. Luckily the fans are well aware this maze is kinda hard to pull off, and I think will be more open to some things not working out exactly as hoped, but I'm more concerned of the general public's expectations of this maze. Like the movie, they want the scariest maze EVER. I know the concept is to "possess the guests," and I think that's a frightening concept because that hits alot of people's primal fears of this franchise. However, I hope they don't forget people also just genuinely fear Reagan's mangled face. If she's attacking us a few times instead of just being a victim or yelling things at us the whole maze, that'll really get some people. Boo-hole Reagans will go a long way instead of the "theatrical experience" of watching things in every room. ATTACK US. I think another great opportunity would be to take advantage of the subliminal imagery in the movie just for some subtle scares. One of the scariest moments I ever had in a maze was in La Llorona when the scrim effect showed Maria behind the picture and her terrifying face was just snarling at me, right before she jumped out. That's what this maze needs! Also, I know a lot of this stuff with Reagan is impossible to do with a human actor, but don't rely too much on animatronics. The Spider Walk, okay, I get it, you can't get someone to do that over and over again for 30 minutes. But the head spin, I challenge y'all to find a practical effect way to do that with a human! If this maze has animatronic overload like the Evil Dead maze with all the fake Mia's, I will walk out of this one disappointed.

Luckily, this maze did a good balance of theatricality and attack. It was puppet/animatronic overload, but I felt they were all necessary. The only one I think they could do with a real person is the head spinning. Basically just use the headless victim technique but have a rotating head on top. It'd be pretty terrifying to see something look like an animatronic, spinning head and then it's hands lunge after you. Everything else about the maze worked perfectly.

 

On 8/29/2016 at 5:25 PM, DTH316 said:

Halloween: Hell Comes to Haddonfield

I know Universal thinks last year's maze was the highest rated maze ever or some insane statistic like that, but look... I promise if the same audience of people experienced the '09 maze, they would've loved it more (also stats might not be as high for 09's maze because it was up against Saw's first year, which was a phenomenon at the time). It was more intense, more creative in scares, and more chilling. '15's Halloween, I give it that it had the spirit and look of the movie better, but it didn't have the scares. As of now, it doesn't seem the crowd is all that excited for Myers returning this year, so how do we get the underdog of the event to come out surprisingly the most scary? Now if the goal is to match the tone of the Halloween 2 movie, guests are going to snooze their way through this one. I'm hoping they amplify the tone, have not only more deaths/victims, but more creative ones than the movie, and make the scares more close in approximity. The setting is great and can really work, but it needs to take the movie and up it times 5. As for the finale, if it's just a retread of last year's finale, I'm already disappointed. Maybe they'll add fire effects or something, but it's still the same thing. It was a great moment last year, no doubt, and if it were somewhere in the middle or even the beginning of the maze, I wouldn't be too sad about it, but the end of the maze needs punch, not something we've seen before. This is what a lot of fans disliked about Walking Dead in 2014 - the beginning already was the same, but then the ending just tacked on the horde zombie effect that worked really well in '13 and made it just "meh" the next year. I'm sure Universal saw people screaming out of the maze regardless, but I urge things to stay creative and unique every year, even in the face of IPs.

This one did exactly what I hoped and surprised during it's finale!

 

On 8/29/2016 at 5:25 PM, DTH316 said:

Krampus

The only way this maze could fail is if they make it a comedy house. I know from a design stand point, it'll be gorgeous. But if they shoehorn too much comedy in, it'll just be silly and lame. I think some comedy can work, like El Cucuy, but the route of Clowns 3D or This is The End will be a disaster. Keep it intense and fun, with a lot of great creatures, but keep the environment 95% scary.

Again, exactly what I hoped. Barely any comedy and just a good strong creature maze.

 

On 8/29/2016 at 5:25 PM, DTH316 said:

Freddy vs. Jason
Why they wanna go a more original route, I'm not sure. I feel the movie had a lot to work with. Some of it was tackled in 07/08 in both Friday and Nightmare, so I suppose I understand. With that in mind, like TCM also this year, I hope there's a narrative to follow. Unlike the movie, I'm hoping they give Freddy enough to do and to make the nightmare scenes very out there. Also, this needs to be the goriest of the mazes with the most insane kills and victims! It'd be also fun to see some old tricks reprised, like the face to the grindstone death, or the guy being split in half, headless bodies that twitch, etc.. In a way, this is the 10th year and this is a bit of a homecoming, so some reunion feels in this maze -- the IPs that brought HHN back to life -- are more than welcome.

Not exactly the goriest maze (maybe TCM was), but still pretty dang good. Also, not many callbacks, but that's fine. As for Freddy, they definitely gave him enough to do and there was most certainly a narrative to follow (unlike TCM).

 

On 8/29/2016 at 5:25 PM, DTH316 said:

American Horror Story

Three different stories in one maze and my only hope is it doesn't seem like a mess. The more they can do to differentiate each season within the maze, the better, in my opinion. Unlike some of the mazes of yesteryear when mashing all the properties into one maze, these seasons don't really gel together and wouldn't work well like that. If it can feel like three completely different mazes, each with a facade and a finale of their own, that would make this maze all the more awesome.

 

A nicely organized maze!

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