We are getting close to full line-up of confirmed houses at both Universal Studios Florida's and Universal Studios Hollywood's annual Halloween Horror Nights. Today, the parks announced the return of The Horrors of Blumhouse to the event on both coasts.
Even though both parks will feature Blumhouse-themed attractions, they won't feature the same films. In Florida, fans will see scenes inspired by Happy Death Day and The First Purge, while in Hollywood, it will be Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare and Unfriended. Hollywood previously announced an entire maze devoted to The First Purge.
Here's the hyper video for and description of Orlando's house:
In Happy Death Day, guests will be transported to the film’s college town, where they will be forced to relive the last day of a student’s life over and over again…until she breaks the murderous cycle. Then, in The First Purge, guests will run for their lives as menacing citizens from the film hunt them as part of the first barbaric government experiment where all crime is declared legal for 12 hours.
And Hollywood's maze:
In Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare, guests will succumb to an ancient curse that has been unleashed by a group of unsuspecting college students…forcing them to play a game where the stakes are life and death. In Unfriended, guests become pawns to a supernatural entity that has invaded a chat room. Drawing inspiration from Blumhouse Productions’ infamous opening title sequence, the final feature will lure guests into a creepy old house to answer desperate cries of help…only to discover that they have actually entered a paranormal world where real-life nightmares threaten to trap them forever in misery.
Halloween Horror Nights begins September 14 and runs select nights through November 3 on both coasts. Both events are featuring houses or mazes based upon Stranger Things, Poltergeist, Trick 'r Treat, and Halloween 4, as well Blumhouse. Hollywood also features that First Purge maze, as well as the Terror Tram and the year-round The Walking Dead attraction. Orlando adds four original concept houses: Seeds of Extinction, Carnival Graveyard, Slaughter Sinema, and Dead Exposure Patient Zero. One house or maze remains to be announced for each park.
Update: And here's that final house for Orlando: an original concept, ScaryTales: Deadly Ever After.
The original Wicked Witch of the West has seized control of the fairytale realm and is tormenting treasured storybook characters in hideous and cruel alternate storylines. You know…the pure turned evil, the evil gets worse kind of storylines.
Orlando also has added two nights to the event: Wednesday, September 19 and September 26.Tweet
Yeah, I'm really not a big fan of these combo houses either. Last year's Blumhouse at USF was mediocre at best. Houses are far better when they stick to a single conceit/story arc, and carry it through to the end. If they really feel the need to do a "greatest hits" attraction, then they can do that in a scare zone. The problem I see though is that scare zones tend to focus detailing on individual characters, which in most of the Blumhouse movies are indistinguishable from each other. Only by creating settings can creators establish the connection between the HHN application and the original movie.
With so much material to pull from, I just don't see the need to mashup all of the Blumhouse movies. They could still call it Blumhouse if they've committed contractually to the studio, but either only use a single movie at a time, or create a clear delineation within a house/maze and limit it to no more than 2 movies with complete story arcs for each one.
I still think Purge works WAY better as a scarezone than a maze/house, especially using material from the most recent movie (I just saw a commercial last night for a Purge TV show debuting in a few weeks on USA, not sure how that's going to work). Almost all of the best action occurs on the street or in more open territory that will be difficult to translate into a maze/house. The entire conceit of the Purge is better played out in a situation where actors can roam and guests have the false sense of security provided with wide streets and corridors.
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Universal are certainly sweating the Blumhouse IPs. Some have worked wonderfully at USF - The Purge Scare Zone 2014, Insidious House 2015, The Purge Scare Zone 2017 - while others haven't - The Purge House of 2015 was short of intensity and scares and last years' amalgam of Sinister, The Purge & Insidious was a big lost opportunity as neither Sinister or The Purge elements had any scope and the Insidious part was nowhere as intense as the House of 2015, which is one of my top 3. So the question is, will this Blumhouse composite improve on last years'? With the nominated films of Happy Death Day and The First Purge, both of which I saw at the cinemas on release and enjoyed, I am struggling to see how Universal can make this House a stand-out over simply "making up the numbers". Time will tell and I hope I am wrong.