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ForeverEvil1

HHN26 Final Opinions Review

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HHN26. My fourth year of HHN. Thought this year was pretty good. Better than 23 / 24. Have to mentally revisit 25, but 25 had a few more things I wasn’t jazzing with than this year, so….

 

Gonna go over all houses, zones, and shows. Zones and shows are gonna be a little quick. Houses gonna be a little more in depth. Let’s begin.

 

Houses:

 

First off, Rankings:

  1. Tomb Of The Ancients

  2. The Exorcist

  3. American Horror Story

  4. Krampus

  5. Halloween 2

  6. Texas Chain Saw Massacre

  7. The Walking Dead

  8. Ghost Town

  9. Lunatics Playground

 

Lunatics Playground

 

I honestly don’t feel like spending too much time on this maze. They spent like $50 on it, so I’m gonna try to sum this up with as few sentences as possible.

 

Icon houses should never be 3D. An icon house should never feel like the budget house at a Horror Nights event. This is essentially a larger-scale Wonderland, except even that sorta felt like it had a beginning, middle, and end, whereas this just sort of abruptly juts you around to various non-connected scenes. One room, there’s like toy people, then it’s electric dudes, then oh look, there’s Chance again! Also, Wonderland had charm in my opinion.

 

Some of those scenes do have some cool concepts, but all together it sorta feels like they had a bunch of ideas, threw Chance in so they could have an overlying theme, and voila! Icon house.

 

Disappointing...but somewhat expected. It’s the only house that should be the worst house.

 

Slight note: Newspaper facade and queue video (Thumbs up for the queue video by the way, glad at least one house can have one.) mention terror at the events of the Carnage Returns, which I find hilarious, because I totally recall no terror from anyone watching that show.

 

Ghost Town : Curse Of Scareless Gulch

 

Wow, holy overhype Batman. I thought the overhype and real life of AVP at 24 was bad, the change here was even worse. I have two BIG problems with this house.

 

Uno. Gun scares are awful and bland and no one can convince me any different. I hope you are proud you got your guns, yeah we really beat those SJW’s. But next time I hear the complaints about how guns need to be at HHN or Horror Nights is pussying out, consider me on the opposite side and enjoy your air guns.

 

First half of the house is bland as hell due to the guns, besides the scene where you get a preview of Hurricane Matthew weather. Best scare in the maze is piano man, because he doesn't have to lug a fake weapon around and pretend to fire it. Shootout would be awesome if I already hadn’t been shot by every other resident of the goddamn Ghost Town. The cannon is almost insult to injury.

 

And I know some of you are saying “Well, it’s a Wild West town, and that’s accurate to the time.”. They had knives in the Wild West too.

 

The mineshaft portion thankfully throws the guns out the window, but unfortunately leaves the second problem. Hammy ass lines. “WHERE’S MAH GOLD” “I SAID BACK OFF” “MINE. MIIINNEEE.”. We sure this wasn’t meant as the comedy house? If it was, then hey, I may have to readjust my rankings. Since it did that well.

 

Quote from a Twitter post: “I want to like Ghost Town but it feels like a house of Scooby-Doo villains”. That sums up my feelings on this house. I’ll honestly be salty if this gets close to HOTY. Because people just be voting off pretty sets and nostalgia in that case.

 

The Walking Dead

 

I liked it, it was alright. Some well-positioned scares. But the overlying problem is that anyone who’s seen more than one previous TWD house (Maybe even just one) is gonna be like “Yep, why do we still have this at HHN?”. And that was my big dilemma. And that’s why I only went to this like twice.

 

There’s some fun scenes here. Return of the throat slit. Return of the hospital. The scene with The Wolves. But it all just feels like...you know...The Walking Dead. And that finale is a castrated version of the awesome Stormy Forest scene from End Of The Line. Some of the actors, and you can tell which ones, have that look of “Jesus, I seriously got THIS maze?”.

 

I don’t want to talk for people, but if I was working at this event for more than a year, and they put me in this house, I’d almost be a little insulted. Unless I was like a rookie, and maybe even then.

 

Hopefully this ends it. Listen, sorry to any fans of T2, but if we have to sacrifice T2 and live with a TWD perma-attraction to prevent this from taking another house slot, I will lead the charge. This was getting 80-90 minutes people, 2nd to AHS. It’s going perma, or it’s gonna be back again. Besides, minus T2 is minus one screen attraction for a practical attraction, no matter how much you hate the property. Win-win.

 

Texas Chain Saw Massacre

 

Every year, I have a “Declines over time” house. House that is GREAT the first time...but never lives up to that original run ever again. Giggles at 24, FVJ at 25, this house this year.

 

Facade is cool and accurate, but feels just generally generic when compared to the last two years. You know what would have been cool? Having the van in front with the Hitchhiker to simulate that scene. That would have been nice when you got to that final stretch, which always takes like 10 minutes because people are trying to finish their Heads Up games.

 

The first half, up to the dinner party is nice. Metal door scene is a cool little thing. The meathook scene. That hallway with the window. And after the dinner party, it sorts goes PFFT. Though the second foyer scene is neat. After that, it’s sorta unrecognizable rooms with Leatherface popping out to give you a scary time. Leatherface….is not really intimidating. Yes, I did just say that. He’s a fat dude who wears a mask and has a chainsaw. I found the Hitchhiker more intimidating.

 

The finale with the window jump is admittedly neat. And that outdoor section is awesome and caught me off guard the first time I saw it.  Honestly, that outdoor section is my favorite part, because it gets even the most manliest men since no one sees it coming the first time.

 

Overall, it just comes out as sorta boring compared to Halloween & Insidious. Based on video and reports, the one Hollywood did in 2012 looked way more fun, which I know is gonna give some people here a heart attack, because Hollywood is obviously the inferior event and a shame to HHN. Being sarcastic, if you can’t tell. However, I say all this...and yet would like to see them do TCM 2. Chop Top. The bunkers. Dual chainsaw wielding sheriff. I’d be all in for that. Put it in Parade and boom. Now that would be fun.

 

Halloween - Hell Comes To Haddonfield (AKA Halloween 2)

 

This house also sort of declined over time, but it never felt as bland as TCM felt at some runs.

 

I don’t mind the first facade. Yes, I’m calling it the first facade. Recreating the Doyle House for one scene in it is sorta pointless IMO and a waste of money, especially when we have that hospital. Sorta feels like you’re entering into the poster. But I digress. At least we didn’t enter into the pumpkin. (*Ba dum tshh*)

 

Neighborhood scene is pretty cool. Some of the Myers get real close, especially the one being shot by Loomis at the beginning. I’m glad that trick r treater got to come back, since I saw people be completely unphased except for that little fucker...and the trashcan (Which is the first time I’ve ever seen HHN replicate a “cat scare”.).

 

Michael is everywhere man. Dumpsters, lockers, behind barrels, out of walls. He wants to kill the guests real bad. The main hallway scene with the lifting kill is probably my favorite scene. The hospital explosion is awesome, though I sorta wish we got to see Loomis with the lighter. And then you leave Haddonfield to Mr. Sandman, which is nice. And I honestly find Mr. Sandman creepier than the Halloween Theme.

 

I would not mind seeing a third appearance for Mr. Myers. Perhaps a “Best of The Not As Good Sequels” (Halloween 4 - like Resurrection).

 

Quick random “The hell?” moment: Hollywood’s advertising shows Michael with a bloody knife, ours didn’t have that. Yet, in the house, our hot tub girl is topless while there’s isn’t. Thought that was weird.

 

Krampus

 

Man, I wish this was in one of the Soundstages. Robbery that Walking Dead got one and this is in the Shrek Theater. Oh well. I still liked this house a lot.

 

I wish that facade was just like five inches or so back so I could see the full thing for more than three seconds, but it seems they were trying to fill this straight to the brink, which I commend them for, since what was done in this area was really impressive, especially compared to Wonderland last year.

 

Obviously, main issue is that it’s essentially all elves, with the exception of the attic. But I honestly find those elves incredibly creepy, with their noises. Especially the more humanesque face looking ones. There was some pretty neat scares in here. The fake out scare with the elf under the Krampus hood. The in-between sections were cool, especially with the one elf that would point to Krampus on the roof.

 

Gingerbread and snowmen were fun little scenes as well. Of course the attic scene is awesome, as the non-elf scene of the house. The snowy tunnel was neat and the workshop finale was cool, but would have been cooler with an actual moving Krampus.

 

So this house does have shortcomings, but man it’s just fun. That’s the reason why I went to it so many times. Could they have done it better? Yes, for the second time, Hollywood I feel proves this. But I’m happy enough with what I saw here.

 

American Horror Story

 

Gonna split this into the three sections of the house. No Murder House facade is disappointing.

 

Murder House itself is probably my least favorite of the sections, just because it’s mostly in the basement of the House instead of being the house itself. Infantata scene was nice. Piggy Man was creepy. The duel Moiras was a neat scare. Rubberman room was sorta disappointing, especially since there’s only one real one in there.

 

Freak Show was my favorite of the sections, which surprised me. Since I was expecting this to be the Twisty Show, but no, they went out of their way to include as many fitting scenes from the season as they could. Except the chick being sawed in half, which seemed like it would be the easiest scene to do, so that was shocking. They got all the villains in there. Twisty, Dandy, Stanley, Mordrake. The opening Freak Show room with the caravans is my favorite of the section though.

 

Hotel was pretty cool as well, though it’s the season of the show I have least experience with. I felt every character was represented pretty well. Wished there was more focus on the Ten Commandment Killings, though John Lowe isn’t exactly an intimidating character to be fair. Wes Bentley in a suit...probably not terribly scary. Also, wished they had the dinner party with all the past serial killers, though I’m guessing they didn’t want to be yelled at for having people play John Wayne Gacy or Jeffrey Dahmer. They did have the list of killers in Ghost Town apparently, so I wonder if they had planned for that scene but had to scrap. Hotline Bling was hilarious and accurate.

 

Ends randomly with Twisty and mirrors...feels like there was a missed opportunity for a “Villains Unite” finale with Rubberman, Twisty, and Countess chasing you out. At least the rest of the house is strong.

The Exorcist

 

The house I was expecting to be my least favorite IP house ends up being my favorite. I’m still sorta shocked myself.

 

Best facade of the event right here. The music, the narration. If only they had the priest in the front just for that extra bit of immersion. Opening room with the desert fading in was neat effect. That black hallway was sorta weird. I get what they were trying, I think, but it just comes off as sorta random. After that though, it’s all done pretty well.

 

You visit the bedroom I believe 5 times (2 times in the “Help Me” section, Levitation, Head Spin, and Father Merrin’s death). Each time feels like a different room due to different effects or layout. And it flows shockingly nice in my opinion. Those girls are INTO their roles...like intense.

 

The finale’s cool as well with the statue and Karras, but feels sorta empty. Finales as a whole this year are sorta weird.

 

Tomb Of The Ancients

 

My House Of The Year. Second best facade of the event. The plants, the truck. The audio playing as you head in. It feels the most complete of any facade.

 

This was the only house I really felt threatened in, and it was due to one very obvious aspect. The tightness of everything. Everything’s so close, allows it all to stick with you and be very visceral...for the most part. There were a few rooms where the closeness means you can’t really get a glimpse of “the full picture”, but for the most part it all sticks pretty well.

 

The theme in this house also ended up being way better than I thought it would be. My initial thought was this was essentially going to be glorified mummies, but it ended up being more of a gods and creatures houses, which worked way better in my opinion. Obviously, there’s a bit of Central American in it as well, with those werewolf esque creatures. Crocolion at the end is pretty cool. I’m glad they didn’t have a house of puppet scares this year, because those scares need to be downplayed a bit to be as effective as they originally were.

 

This feels like it could be a franchise house, just use different mythologies for sequels. Maybe finally get into some of the Asian stuff? Knott’s did it, no excuse not too now.

 

Scarezones:

  • Chance In Hell: I’m guessing Plaza is becoming our stage area. I hope, because I think they worked better here than in Hollywood. Plaza needed some sort of theming, and this is the best it’s had in a few years. Essentially, this is lower-scaled Unleashed from last year...with Chance. Chance is good...for the first few hours...then certain lines start to repeat and it gets annoying. That also holds true with the in-park audio. Funny that Chance’s house and zone are essentially revamped versions of concepts from last year.

  • Vamp 55: Scare Zone Of The Year right here. Hollywood area finally got to show it’s stuff with a non-stage zone. Great characters, great interactions. Mini-show with the prom queen and main greaser is nice. I wouldn’t mind seeing this get a house promotion like Saws and Steam did a few years ago. Think there would be good stuff in the high school 50’s environment.

  • Survive Or Die: More cool than scary. Was better than I thought it was going to be. I was expecting a boring PG Purge. But I think it surpassed that. The warring faction element was done well I thought. And the interactions in this zone are also pretty good, though harder to come across due to the largeness of the zone.

  • Lair Of The Banshees: Stinker scarezone this year. They don’t really use the stone caverns, at least from what I’ve seen. So they’re just sorta random holes to the side. There’s some cool costumes here, though Central Park always seems to have cool costumes. Just not working for me this year. Maybe next year when they do this concept again with slightly different theming.

  • Dead Man’s Wharf: Wins on atmosphere 100% percent...which will be killed due to the crowds. Yeah, I was a little wrong. People are hitting this area just as much as last year because Chance’s house is closest to its house and you get pushed its way out of Bill and Ted. I like how the solution to most cramped and problematic zone of the year was to have a giant ship going through the middle of the zone and only have one path to go around it. I would say this could be a cool house, but they did it already, it’s called Forsaken...which seems really weird they didn’t take an opportunity to reuse costumes and story. But whatever.

  • Roaming Hordes: Meh. They fill the streets and get jump out of the more jumpy. That’s probably what they were meant for. They accomplish it well. Shrug.

 

Shows:

  • Bill & Ted: First time seeing this. It was alright. I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to see it again. It was alright, it’s just not my thing. Also, I get it’s tradition, but I find it funny this is less fitting to the Halloween theme than AoV.

  • Academy Of Villains: I expected to hate this, but liked it a lot actually. Thought it was well put together. Shocked to see it actually have a Halloween fitting theme. Liked all the acts. Just a lot of fun, kept people engaged. Seems very popular. I wouldn’t be surprised to see AoV come back as soon as next year.

And that’s HHN26. Next year is my fifth ever HHN event. Hopefully it’s as good as this, if not better.

 

Early predictions for next year:

  • AHS (Asylum / Coven / Roanoke) - Pretty sure this was in the books as soon as they signed the deal to get it this year.

  • Conjuring Saga - I’ve heard the rights may have issues. But with the James Wan connection, I’m sure something will get worked out at some point.

  • Lights Out - Box office success, easily adaptable concept. Easy to put an original spin on if needed. I wouldn’t be shocked.

  • Trick R Treat - Because why do Krampus if you won’t eventually do Dougherty's original film?

  • Saw apparently has a new film out next year. Wouldn’t be shocked if they did it on a larger scale than the Jaws Queue.

  • Other TV Show / Series: Channel Zero or Stranger Things maybe. Haven’t seen the latter, but people seem to like it.

  • House of 1000 Corpses as the only property Hollywood has done that hasn’t been done here that makes sense to do.

  • The Ring? Next year would be the best time with the new film. And it was "unofficially" used in Die In 2 back in 06 so I've researched.

  • Lovecraft? Maybe? Finally?

  • Perhaps something adapted from Singapore?

  • Predicting no Icon, but I also predicted that for this year, so who knows I guess.





 

Edited by ForeverEvil1
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Vamp 55: Scare Zone Of The Year right here. Hollywood area finally got to show it’s stuff with a non-stage zone. Great characters, great interactions. 

 

You may have enjoyed "Lights, Camera, Hacktion!" Less campy but surprisingly creative area. I hope this is their "experiment" area with zero stages going forward!

 

No Murder House facade is disappointing.

 

Out of all of the possible facades they excluded the most popular one. Shame.

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