UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS 2015 – HAUNT REVIEW

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Hollywood’s premier Halloween Attraction event opened Sept 18th to unleash six mazes (3 returning and 3 new), the Purge Terror Tram and the live Jabbawockeez show. If you’re a longtime fan of Halloween Horror Nights, you know the drill and will have a good time. The mazes are mostly solid and stick to the HHN “scare” formula.

The Mazes:

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Insidious-Return To The Further is an improvement over last year’s maze. More detail and scares have been added to cover all three movies in the franchise.

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Halloween-Michael Myers Comes Home is the second time around for Michael and it’s a mostly welcome return capturing many classic moments from the Halloween movies. The maze’s depiction of Michael is spot on thanks to the masks created by Boneyard FX. Watch out for nods to the Michael Myers-less Halloween 3: Season of The Witch.

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The Walking Dead-Wolves Not Far marks TWD’s third maze at HHN. Mostly representing season five, the 2015 maze is longer and more intense than last year’s incarnation. Highlights include Terminus and one of season five’s most brutal death scenes.

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AVP: Alien Vs Predator returns with basically the same maze from last year. It’s not a bad thing though. Lots of fun.

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Crimson Peak is based on the upcoming Guillermo del Toro film. The maze is beautiful to look at but light on scares.

This Is The End is based the Seth Rogen black comedy set during the Apocalypse. It’s an unusual choice for a maze that will hopefully pay off. Thoughts this one are coming soon since I skipped this one opening night.

Tram Terror-Survive The Purge is a complete yawn. The tram has been recycling the same scares for nearly a decade now with only the theme changing.

Scare Zones-The Purge: Urban Nightmare, Exterminatorz, Corpz and Dark Christmas scare zones are definitely a highlight of the 2015 event. Three out of the four scare zones are original concepts and you can see the spark of inspiration that is sometimes lacking in the licensed themed mazes.

Overall Experience- The overall HHN experience definitely takes a hit this year because of construction of an “attraction-that-must–not-be named” (HARRY POTTER!!!!). With only one maze (HALLOWEEN) on the first level and five on the lower level, the distribution of attractions seems uneven. The lower level was never meant to be focal point of the park, but because of the overload of mazes it was extremely crowded and devoid of scare actors around the Jurassic Park ride.

RATING: B-

OPEN SELECT NIGHTS SEPTEMBER 18th-NOVEMBER 7ST

http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/hollywood/2015/index.php

Review by Phil Crain.

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Phil Crain is an animation professional and independent producer from the Los Angeles area. He is a self professed lover of Halloween, ghosts and Star Wars.

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