Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights

Every year Universal throws the fabled Halloween Horror Nights.  These nights have a different theme and take inspiration from different movies each year, this year’s being Stranger Things. The event this year consisted of 10 haunted houses, which were Stranger Things, Halloween 4: The return of Michael Myers, Poltergeist, Trick’r Treat, The Horrors of Blumhouse, Carnival Graveyard: Rust in pieces, Dead Exposure: Patient Zero, Scary Tales: Deadly ever After, Seeds of Extinction, and  Slaughter Sinema. It also featured the so-called “scare zones” in which you would face nightmarish creatures on dark and scary streets. The “scare zones” were Revenge of Chucky, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, The Harvest, Twisted Tradition, and Vamp ‘85 New Years Eve, and there was a show called Academy of Villains, which was a dance show.

The Stranger Things haunted house takes you deep inside the haunting world of the show. The Demogorgon is hunting in our world now. Personally, this was my favorite haunted house because of the details of the house; it made you feel like you were a part of the Stranger Things universe. It highlighted the most important aspects of the series, like the Byers’s house, Will’s room, the Demogorgon, the Upside Down, and the protagonists(Will, Steve, Joyce, Hopper, Mike, Dustin, Eleven, and even Barb). It was simply chilling and totally amazing. The Demogorgon costumes were tridimensional and interactive, the faces opened and closed. It also had siren sounds, flashing lights, and anything you could imagine from the series.

The Halloween 4 haunted house, where evil has returned in an all-new house and with nowhere to hide the masked maniac is unstoppable, was also extremely good. All of it had to do with how the set was made. The structure of the haunted house represented the movie so well, it made it feel like a summarized version of the movie. It also took every important aspect of the movie such as the asylum where the “dead” Michael Myers lies. The stress kills you because it's like you’re going to be the next target of Michael Myers.  

The Poltergeist haunted house, in which restless spirits have overrun the infamous house atop a cemetery, will lure you into a place between life and death. Don't get lost in the light! This house was expertly mounted. It wasn't necessarily scary, but it was intriguing since you get to experience the movie like you're a part of it. The sounds of the little girl calling her mom are so loud that they make you feel that you're living at the moment. The effects in this house were simply amazing and well done.

Trick 'r Treat—this terrifying maze is breaking all the rules of our Halloween tradition. I had doubts about it before entering this house since I’m not a fan of the movie. The only problem with the movies was that it was written with the male gaze. However, I have to say that I was pleased with the haunted house because it was more chill and had a little more action.

The haunted minds behind Happy Death Day and The First Purge have spawned another horror house. Will you live to see tomorrow? This is the description behind the Horrors of Blumhouse haunted house. Let me tell you that this was the worst of them all. Sure, it took you on a loop like in the Happy Death Day movie, but when you wait in line for two hours, you expect something to blow you off your feet. This house was really bad; it was cheap. The house took you on a loop and a baby kept coming out of nowhere, this was all.

The caramel-coated carnivals of yesteryear have died, but something sinister has festered, waiting to torment those who trespass upon their salvage yard. Carnival Graveyard’s haunted house was plain fun. It takes you through an old, rusty carnival where you face creepy clowns carrying weapons from the old carnival rides.  

Fear will infect you, plunging you into darkness against a plague of swarming, fast-moving zombies. This house is disorienting since it starts bright and later turns dark, with only a few spots of light.

The Wicked Witch of the West has cursed the land of the fairies, twisting beloved stories beyond recognition. There are no fairytale endings here. When you think of fairy tales you think of sweet, innocent things, but this house was way different than your typical fairy tale, which is no surprise considering it’s a haunted house. The house was very gory. At the start of the house, you walk right into the witch eating Gretel, her organs all over the place. So, as you can see, the house gave a dark and gory twist to the fairy tales we all know and love.

Humanity is extinct, wiped out by a cataclysmic meteor. In its wake, something monstrous has taken root. The Seed of Extinction haunted house was one of the best in terms of scare factor because the characters were well hidden and camouflaged, so you didn't know what to expect.

It’s showtime at the local drive-in. Here, you don’t just catch a movie, the movie catches you. When the credits roll, heads roll. This house wasn't the best, but it was kind of nice. In the maze, you come upon various movie posters hanging on the walls, just like in a drive-in movie theater. Also, it has an 80’s vibe to it.

Chucky, the world’s deadliest doll, has brought a toy fair to gruesome life on the streets of Hollywood, twisting childhood toys into nightmares. You’ll be dying to play. The Chucky scare zone is filled with possessed toys that roam around the streets and creep on you.

An Interstellar circus tent has landed on the streets of Universal Studios Florida. At this circus of fear, the joke's always on you. The Killer Klowns from outer space was the worst scare zone for me because clowns creep me out. It was very well made even though it was a very short piece of street, so you don't get to enjoy it much. What you do get, gives you the heebie-jeebies. The street is very dark, very creepy, and the smoke gives the perfect touch to it.

An old barn holds horrors from each house. Foul creatures lurk between the hay bales, ready for a harvest of blood and screams. The street for this scare zone was very well decorated. It had pumpkin lights hanging from tree to tree, it also had tall pumpkin monsters, and witches roaming the street.

An ancient evil has been reawakened and transformed Halloween into an abomination. As the ball drops in New York City, this New Year’s bash is about to bite. Literally. This was my personal favorite since the streets were filled with dead artists like Elvis Presley, Freddie Mercury, etc… They were also performing songs and it just gives you an amazing 80’s music vibe.

The Horror Night experience was pretty cool. I think it's kind of overrated because the haunted houses are not that scary. But they are amazingly well built, created, planned, and the sound effects make you feel part of the story. When you roam the streets you are listening to the theme songs of the movies, which is a great touch. The lines are super crazy, though, and you wait too much for five minutes inside the house. There are workers inside the house that tell you to hurry up, so you can't really live a full experience and be able to enjoy every detail.   Also, not all streets are eerily decorated. Besides those minor details, it's a really fun experience, especially if you are with your friends and family.

 

*Some of the haunted houses and scare zones description are the descriptions you can find at the official Universal site*

 

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