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Henry14

Henry14's HHN Hollywood 2017 Review/Rant!!

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Hello ladies and gentlemen! This is Henry14 with yet another review for Halloween Horror Nights. Now before we start the actual review I just want to say a couple words about my thoughts on the lineup when it was first leaked. It mostly consisted of IPs that we've seen before and I was not completely on board with it. But I tried to be as optimistic as possible, bought the Frequent Fear Pass, and tried to walk into the event with an open mind. Just like my previous reviews I will rank the mazes from worst to best, grade the scare zones and discuss the terror tram. Without further ado, let's get right into this shall we?!!

 

8. SAW: The Games of Jigsaw aka SAW: The Reused Set Pieces and Props of John Murdy 

I'm not very much of a big fan of the Saw franchise because the movies never interest me at all. I've never been in the Game Over version of Saw from 2009 so I got to see these live action recreations of the infamous traps for the first time year. And I gotta say...this maze was garbage. I didn't even get my first scare in my first run through of the maze until half way through it. And it doesn't help that all the scares from this house are from Piggy Guy. The sets are fine...I guess, but there was nothing memorable except for the Jigsaw trap with the giant blades coming right at you. The traps are cool to look at but why are they so tame? This is Saw, the franchise that helped invent the torture porn subgenre, and there's barely any blood in this maze! Like...WHAT?! Another thing that also bothered me in SAW was how loud it was. I mean I'm used to loud audio in haunted attractions, but this maze was just too loud! I came out of that maze with my ear ringing at one point, it wasn't even funny. The one thing I can give this house props to is that it made me gag. That shit smell in the bathroom was so disgusting! It smelled so much that it made the room warmer. I haven't gagged like that since the puke stench in Clowns 3D. So although it has cool looking traps, everything else from the scares, to the sets, to the atmosphere, and even to the scare actors, failed in every single way. It was obvious John Murdy developed this house with absolutely no passion and The Games of Jigsaw was incredibly bland and fell really flat.

Final Grade: D-

 

7. The Walking Dead Attraction aka A Year-round Daytime Attraction Better Than SAW 

Yup. SAW was that bad.

NEXT!

 

6. Ash vs Evil Dead aka John Murdy vs Starz(Spoiler Alert: Starz won unfortunately) 

The Evil Dead maze based on the remake was considered to be one of the most disappointing mazes in HHN Hollywood. When Ash vs Evil Dead was announced, people were excited...only to be disappointed again. I've only seen the pilot episode of the show and I liked it. So I was pumped up yet I also had no idea what to expect. My first run through was definitely the worst. I literally walked out of that maze saying, "That's it??? That's it?" So I walked in it again and my experience has gotten better but that didn't help how bad it was. Before I talk about it's many flaws, I'm gonna talk about the things that were actually kinda groovy. The facade was simple yet effective and Ash's trailer was nicely designed and decorated. When this maze had actual sets, they were actually great and kinda detailed. The masks and costumes from the deadites also looked quite good and the Henrietta puppet isn't that bad either. The best aspect about this house was the scares, they hit unexpectedly hard and I got a few good jumps from it. Now let's talk about what wasn't so groovy about AVED. I was surprised with the lack of gore this maze had. Just like Saw, this property is known for its blood and guts flying everywhere and they're not gonna have at least one water squirt effect. This house also wasn't very funny, although it did have at least some charm, I still felt like the property wasn't done justice. I don't mind the Bruce Campbell masks because no one can play Ash Williams as well as Bruce fucking Campbell, but I just don't like how he has only one facial expression: the "I'm supposedly in battle cuz I'm fighting deadites but I'm really in a constipated state because I ate $35 worth of Taco Bell" face. And just like Saw, this maze wasn't made with much passion. John Murdy and Chris Williams both love the Evil Dead franchise, so why wasn't this made with love? Starz was probably the problem! I'm one of the people that believes in the theory that this house was supposed to be based on the original Raimi films but Starz forced them to make it like the TV series. If that is true, then it clearly shows. If it had some comedy, a few extra scenes, and more gore, Ash vs Evil Dead could've easily been one of the best mazes of the event. But unfortunately the end result was incredibly underwhelming and it doesn't have the fun vibe the show has. 

Final Grade: D+

 

5. Insidious: Beyond the Further aka Insidious: Boredom in the Further 

Insidious: Return to the Further is my all time favorite HHN maze and no other maze has managed to be as scary. When Insidious was officially announced I was excited but at the same time I was skeptical because I was worried that Beyond won't be close as terrifying as Return. So I walked in this maze and wouldn't you know it...it was an IT house this whole time!!! Those stubborn people that we doubted were right all along!!! Murdy purposely got the rights to Insidious: The Last Key just so he could fool everyone by releasing key art and making a fake facade!!! The whole thing was just one big GAZEBO!..................In case you haven't figured it out I'm only joking. Anyways on to my thoughts to the actual maze: I was a bit disappointed. It wasn't horrible but it was sort of boring. I really didn't want to call an Insidious maze boring but unfortunately that's exactly what it was. When I stepped into Beyond the Further I didn't feel any suspense or dread that I felt in the previous incarnation. I really hate to admit this, but most of the scares in this house were weak. The weakest ones are from the films we've seen in the 2015 version. Absolutely no triggers and I don't understand why they didn't create scenes from the franchise they've never done before. They just played it safe and did the same ole stuff and thangs from its predecessors. But aside from the problems I mentioned, there were a lot of things I appreciated in this house. The sets from the new film look really good, including the facade and the doomsday bunker. The designs for the new chapter 4 characters are also creepy looking, especially the Key Demon who looks fucking terrifying. My favorite scene is the ending of course because that's where I got scared the most. My final run through was the best and the actors got me so good in those final scares. So overall, Beyond the Further wasn't as great as Return as expected. But some of the scares, sets, and costumes were excellent enough to not make me regret ever walking in this house.

Final Grade: C

 

4. The Horrors of Blumhouse aka I don't care what Murdy calls it, I'm still calling the Blumhouse of Horrors:

I thought the Purge scare zones and gauntlet was a proper send off to the franchise. But nooooooooo, Murdy and Jason Blum want to milk this property dry! Sinister isn't really relevant anymore but at least fans requested it at one point and it's not as irrelevant as This is the End. *shivers* And Happy Death Day...uhh...at least it didn't bomb at the box office. So I stepped into the world of Comcast---uh I mean Jason Blum---with low expectations. And I gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised by this house. The Purge section was just a weaker and not as memorable version of the Gauntlet of Fear with a weird hallway of hanging corpses. Then we go inside a movie theater showing two other Blumhouse films, Happy Death Day and Sinister. The transtions for each film were somewhat acceptable but it could've been pulled off much better. The Happy Death segment was okay. Not good, not bad, just okay. There were a couple of good scares and some sets were actually nice but I really didn't feel like I was invested in it. I felt like it was just a living trailer and not a haunted attraction. The Sinister section was by far the best section in this maze. The costumes were great and the sets were very well detailed. I just don't like how there was more of the shitty sequel than there was the actually good first film. The Baghuuls got me really good, except for that one static dummy that reaches out at you. Finally we are transported back to the world of the Purge I guess and Big Daddy had a machine gun but thanks to that Las Vegas fucker he just reaches out with a machete. The only redeeming quality about the ending was the distorted Let's Go To The Lobby song. The biggest positive I can give to Blumhouse of Horrors is the cast. They were always on fire every time I walked in that maze. They all really gave a 101% on this slightly below average house. Although it had some questionable design choices and its bland moments, the scare actors' costumes and stellar talent really made Blumhouse of Horrors somewhat enjoyable.

Final Grade: C+

 

3. American Horror Story: Roanoke aka AHS's Horror Story: Their Ratings

Some fans were glad that this year's AHS maze is based off one season but others would've liked to see three seasons again. I think it was very wise for the team to do only one season. One thing I didn't about last year's maze was that it had a lot of missed opportunities because each season has so material to work with and giving Roanoke a solo maze really fixed that problem. The facade, just like last year, was garbage but after that the rest of this maze was definitely superior to the 2016 one. It had great environments, horrifying character designs, and excellent hard-hitting scares. It's everything I ever I wanted in an AHS house. Although this was one of the better mazes this year, it does have its flaws. The scares can be quite repetitive and there isn't much of a variety of characters. There are a shitload of characters in Roanoke and all we got were the Butcher, Piggy Dude, Polk family, the twisty Asian girls, and the nurses. There were some victims in distress but I personally wish there were more of them. I was also disappointed with the surprise ending, John Murdy overhyped the hell out of it at ScareLA and on Twitter. And what did we get? A dark room with tall tree people. I mean it's creative...sorta. Despite its weak ending and lack of different characters, AHS Roanoke was definitely one of the better houses of 2017 and absolutely scarier than the 2016 version.

Final Grade: A-

 

2. The Shining aka The SCREENing

Just like the Exorcist, the Shining is a celebrated horror film that fans have been wanting for years but it's actually really difficult to translate into a maze. John Murdy finally got the rights to the horror property brought to us by the two men who's initials are S.K.(if the maze was King's Shining it would've been based on that boring mini-series) The Shining is a fantastic maze and a wonderful love letter to Stanley Kubrick's film. Everything from the sets to the scares were really great and they nailed the overall tone of the movie. Even though the house was built in the Mummy venue, it still manages to be decorated as hell and it really deserved to be visited more than once to catch all the little details. All the rooms were great and some of the creative choices are pulled off well, such as the All Work and No Play room, Room 237, the Gold Room and the hallway leading to it, the Here's Johnny room, and the snowy hedge maze facade. They managed to put everything from the film in this maze from the ceiling lights to the iconic carpet. They even included the Blowjob Bear! The Jack Nicholson masks were surprisingly good-looking and of course the Here's Johnny scene was amazing. I only found one major flaw and two minor ones. Let's start with the minor. First of all, why did Jack Torrance get mad so quickly? Murdy kept saying that the film itself was a slow burn so why didn't he do that with the maze? The load was blowed too soon and the first scare was from an axe-wielding Jack. I mean there's a projection after the Redrum door to show his descent to madness but we can't just stand around watching him slowly go insane, we have to keep walking.  Secondly, why wasn't Jack Nicholson's original dialogue used in the audio? I noticed they did the same thing with Orlando's house, but unlike hiring someone to do a cartoony parody of Nicholson Hollywood has John Murdy reading aloud the lines from the movie. Now it's time for the major flaw of this house: the blood elevator. John Murdy has kept tweeting stuff like, "Time to add blood in the elevator scene" "It involves lots and lots of blood" "OMG We're Adding So Much Blood!" "SO MUCH BLOOD!!!" "You Can Never Have Too Much In This Scene!!" And what did we get??? A giant TV screen showing clips of the movie. *cue Curb Your Enthusiasm theme*  WTF?? The Blood Elevator is one of the most iconic images in the Shining, if not, one of the most iconic images in the horror genre! And John Murdy thinks it's acceptable to recreate it in a live experience using a giant fucking screen?!?!? I guess we've all should've seen this coming, knowing Universal's love for screens. So other than that god forsaken elevator screen, the rest of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining does the original film justice with its amazing set pieces and atmosphere.

Final Grade: A-

 

1. Titans of Terror aka Killers of Conjuring Replacement 

When the lineup was first leaked, I was really looking foward to "The Big Chill" but shit happens and now we're left with "Uber Fan". I loved Freddy vs Jason and Blood Brothers last year so I was curious to see what this maze had in store. The best way I can describe this maze is that this is a horror fan's wet nightmare. I love the original concept and the facade was very heartwarming in a way. I want to live in little Tobe's bedroom! LOL! A lot of people aren't big fans of the 'rapture' transitions but I don't mind them at all. The Freddy segment was hands down the best one in this house. Sure a lot of HHN veterans were probably triggered with all the reused props and set pieces but I personally liked seeing them in person. The missing children posters were very creative and so was the way the Freddy Snake was used this year. Jason Voorhees is my favorite Titan and I was a little disappointed with his section of the maze. The scares were good and some of the sets were cool but I felt like they could have done a lot better. And why was Jason in his remake form? Did they run out of FVJ Jason costumes because of the terror tram? IDK man, as a Jason fanboy I was a tad bit bitter. Leatherface's segment was good and it was cool to see grandpa and ChopTop make their return. "GRANDPA! GRANDPA! GRANDPA!" There was only one scare in this section but the chainsaw blade sliding through the doors really gave off a TCM vibe. The face peel was also neat and I have a funny story about that scene. Leatherface was wearing the victim's face upside down and when I told him he went all berserk on me! I expected a three scare ending but I also expected more and it could have been handled a lot better. Overall, Titans of Terror takes the place of being the best maze this year because it was created with a lot of passion and the experience of walking in it was always fun.

Final Grade: A-

 

Titans of Terror Tram: Hosted by Chucky aka Titans of Terror Tram: Chucky's lame excuse to promote his new movie

I was very curious to see Chucky's involvement in the Terror Tram and I thought this could actually be better than Eli Roth's Klowngasm or whatever it was called. I was wrong. This was hands down the worst terror tram I've ever experienced. In the intro video it explains that Chucky has learned a new curse and now anybody can be Chucky. But it didn't explain why the other Titans were there. Did they bust a Hollywood Harry and stayed in the Hollywood hills after HHN 2016 was over? Whatever! Anyway we see 6 foot tall Chuckies with chainsaws and one normal Chucky reciting his voodoo spell. We then head to the Crystal Lake Motel and see camp counselors getting killed by the notorious Jason Voorhees. This was the only good part of the entire tram and I felt like the character of Jason Voorhees was done more justice here than in the maze. It's Jason doing what he does best in all his bloody glory. The only thing that kills the whole mood are the maze hosts yelling, "KEEP IT MOVING PEOPLE! LET'S GO!!!" in a very rude tone. WTF dudes? Then we head over to a crashed airplane with multiple Freddy Kruegers roaming everywhere. This is the point of the tram where I got confused. So are we in a dream now or what? If I was supposed to be in a nightmare, that would explain the Dubstep playing in the background. Our final destination was at the Sawyer Meats Rendering Plant where we see innocent people getting slaughtered by the cannibal family. "PEEL THAT PIG AND SLICE HIM THICK!" This part of the tram was the exact same thing from the maze. The ending video most definitely is in my most cringey HHN moments list. All this time Chucky joined the titans of terror just so he can promote his film Cult of Chucky. I wish I was kidding. This was a thing. This actually happened. And I thought the Walking Dead Terror Tram was just one big commercial. Ummm...I don't have anything else to say about the tram. It was a dumpster fire. I'm not giving this an F because of the Friday the 13th section but other than that, it's cancer.

Final Grade: D

 

Scare Zones:

The scare zones last year were great, but this year was a big letdown. Barely any actors, little to no decor, lack of energy, and just overall bad! 

Hell-O-Ween: C-

Toxic Tunnel: D-

Urban Inferno: B+

 

Jabbawockeez: 

Haven't seen them this year, don't care

Final Grade: N/A

 

So that's HHN 2017 and...I have no words. I want to say this in the least harshest way possible, so here I go...

 

...this year SUUUUUUUUUUCCCCKKED!!!

 

WHAT IN THE ABSOLUTE FUCK HAPPENED THIS YEAR? THEY REALLY DROPPED THE BALL AND PHONED IT IN! ONLY 3 GOOD MAZES THIS YEAR AND EVERYTHING ELSE INCLUDING THE TRAM AND ZONES RANGED FROM MEH TO HOT TRASH! IT ALMOST FELT AS IF JOHN MURDY AND CHRIS WILLIAMS TRIED TO PURPOSELY MAKE 2017 THE EVENT'S WORST YEAR AND THEY DID THEIR JOB PERFECTLY! 

 

Okay...let me calm down for a second. I understand there were budget cuts this year and they weren't allowed to do anything big or take big risks this year. So they played it safe with IPs they already done and reused a ton props and I totally understand. But they could've at least put a little more effort. This year was the first year I bought a Frequent Fear Pass and I'm gonna be brutally honest and say it wasn't worth it and that's due to the lack of energy from most of the scare actors, the lack of passion for most of the mazes, the constant repetitive boo holes and drop panels, and of course...

 

...I didn't want to talk about this since it's been talked about millions of times in every other god damn review but I need to get this outta my chest...

 

...the black walls.

 

Why?

 

WHY?!

 

WWHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!??!

 

Just because it worked well in the Exorcist, that doesn't mean it's gonna work as well in every single maze! My biggest HHN pet peeve is dark blank transition hallways! The reason why we all loved 2016 so much was because the sets were outstanding and the movie quality set pieces are what separate HHN from all the other California haunts! But you know what's not movie quality?? BLACK WOOD WITH HANGING STRINGS! Again I understand that the budget was cut but that doesn't mean the houses should be half-assed! Every single maze had those black walls. And I'm not exaggerating! Every. Single. Maze! SAW? You betcha! The Shining? Why of course! Blumhouse of Horrors? Yes indeed! Ash vs Evil Dead? That whole maze was practically one big black hallway!!! Every single maze had at least two plain black rooms and it annoyed the shit out of me, it wasn't even funny! Black walls are the scum of HHN and mostly every single fellow Horror Nights fan feels the same way!

 

If this is John Murdy's last year, I'll be extremely happy because this creative director is losing his creativity! Pretty soon we'll be seeing Eli Roth's My Little Pony: Reign of the Black Wallz 3D Music by Figure! And John Murdy will say, "Oh we really wanted to take a risk this year so we started looking for properties that are the exact opposite of horror!! We're also glad to bring back 3D to our event because it gives us the opportunity to reuse our props!! I also have the pleasure to let my brother in horror Eli Roth to kiss my ass once again!! And since the dark walls worked so well in the Exorcist we decided to make the whole maze one giant black hallway with ponys everywhere! And Figure will score the music for this haunted attraction since our young rabid fan base loves their music!! Now who wants to hear a story of me scaring guests in the Halloween maze?!?!?" In the near future John Murdy will eventually have his brain become like poop and make us pay our left kidney to walk through practically nothing. John, if you're reading this then please do us all a favor and give us great haunted attractions unlike anything we've ever seen before! If you truly care about the fans than prove it!!!

 

HHN Hollywood 2017 gets a C-

 

I'm done here. Thanks for reading everybody and I hope you all a wonderful day!

 

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On 11/9/2017 at 9:58 AM, fvcking cvnt said:

um great review and all but how DARE you use the lord and savior figure's name in vain

Well hey man if you like Figure that's fine. It's your opinion and while I strongly disagree with it I respect it! LMAO

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5 minutes ago, Henry14 said:

Well hey man if you like Figure that's fine. It's your opinion and while I strongly disagree with it I respect it! LMAO

I love his music but I've actually never heard it at the park, do they just not play it in orlando, that's the only one I go to

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