Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Thursday Evening Trip Report
By Scottland JacobsonWe wandered into the park around 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, October 9th and found that the houses and rides were already open for HHN even though the posted opening time was 6:30 p.m. I won't give you every detail of our evening - but I will outline some key tips and opinions below:
Published: October 11, 2008 at 8:51 PM
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The Scare Zones
The Houses -
#8 Creatures - Hillbillys are not scary! And the supposed AtomiComics "Strange Tales" creatures were few and far between. It had a good set, but you could tell the crowd was not interested as the house had a 5 minute wait time all night and they were begging folks to come in. They grabbed people at the exit to complete a survey. I gave it a 'D.'
#7 Interstellar Terror - I'm never very scared by space horror with the exception of Alien and the chilling Event Horizon. Most of the "monsters" in this house were bloody astronauts. Not really scary at all. Although they had good sets and a few good effects at the end.
#6 Reflections of Fear - Psycho doctors? Kinda scary. But overall, more gross than anything. Barely scared me at all. Funniest scare was the maintenance guy vaccuming up water that had leaked from the roof. Everyone thought he was part of the show!
#5 The Hallow - Your typical horror walk-through. Some good use of strobes and a great final scene with cow skull creatures. Very creative sets but again, not really, really scary.
#4 Scary Tales - This was JT's second favorite but I rated it fourth. It's a great house taking a twisted turn on classic fairy tales. Wait until you see what Alice is doing to the White Rabit! There was an excellent hall of mirrors that scared me so bad I slammed into the adjacent wall after getting spooked and bruised my arm! Watch out for the "bear" in the Goldilocks room! I left JT in the dust after that one!
#3 The Body Collectors - This one was creepy, creepy, creepy! As mentioned earlier, these Body Collectors were exactly like "The Gentlemen" and they were everywhere in the maze. They didn't speak - just appeared out of the shadows in several inconvenient places. The sets were old England "Jack the Ripper" era. They kept playing a swinging blade sound that would make you jump every time! Really, really, really scary. Loved it!
#2 Doomsday - Surprisingly my 2nd favorite and JT's 3rd. I'm usually ho-hum on the post-apocolyptic stuff but they did really good with this house. The guys working it knew how to get you scared. One even whispered "one for me" after scaring me so bad I jumped into the air screaming. The hall with hanging heads was quite fearful. Lots of screams - incredible sets - it's a good one!
#1 Dead Exposure - JT and I agreed that this house was phenomenal! JT was so scared he was actually shaking the whole time as he clawed into my back so he didn't lose me in the dark. There was a great plot (camera pictures turn the population into zombies), a beginning and an end (you seem to end up in the same exact precinct that you entered - but things have changed!) and incredible use of the dark and occassional flashes of light. Those zombies knew how to take advantage of the surprise and both JT and I were yelping throughout, anxious to get out. The "hanging zombie" room was just terrifying. If you can only see one house, don't miss this one!
If you're short on time or don't have Express, make sure you do the top 4 above. Dead Exposure is just not to be missed!
Overall, the houses themselves are what make HHN superior. The sets are amazing and the fact that you can walk through 8 different scary adventures is incredible. Get there right when it opens and hit as much as you can before the crowds pour in. We were able to hit a few rides on the Mummy and MIB, walk through Reflections of Fear and see Bill & Ted without needing our Express Passes, but after that, Express was a lifesaver.
It's an awesome experience and I'm looking forward to returning on Sunday. If you're in the area, don't miss it!
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