Well, it’s a sad time of year for me. October has ended. My favorite month of the entire year gone just like that. So much has happened this month I can’t begin to tell you everything. Most disappointing is, I wasn’t able to post a quarter of the articles I had planned. INCLUDING my annual review of Halloween Horror Nights 21. This pains me to no end. I feel as though I have failed you all..(All three of my regular readers! Ha Ha!!) So it occurred to me, does the fun really have to stop? I mean, does the horrible fun of Halloween really have to stop because of something as trivial as the month ending? HELL NO!!! If the stores can stock Christmas a week into the Halloween season, I sure as hell can extend my Haunt season! So prepare yourselves…I have every intention of extending my haunt season until Thanksgiving. The review will mark my protest against the end of October. That being said, pull your Jack-O-Lanterns back out…and buy some more candy…this season isn’t over yet. I’ve no idea how this will turn out. To be honest, I’m kind of pulling this all out of my ass! At any rate, let’s take a look back on Halloween Horror Nights 21…
Well, another Halloween Horror Nights has passed…and what a Horror Nights it was! I was absolutely blown away by some of this years houses. This year marks the hardest I’ve ever had to think when ranking them. That’s not to say this year didn’t have room for improvement. It did seem like they put so much attention into the houses and some of the newer aspects of the Scarezones, that they really dropped the ball in the Scarezone department. The easiest way I can paint a picture of this years event is to discuss it one moment at a time. Let’s start with the Houses…In Count Down order!
8) The Forsaken– This house was really the only let down of the night. I don’t think it was because it was bad. More, I just had higher hopes for it. The hype just didn’t hold up. It has a nice story, that is conveyed rather nicely. (Although, one in our group was convinced the Spanish Troops were actually Gladiators…I didn’t thinks so…but still) The Scareactors just weren’t up to par. All of them had masks with glowy green eyes…not the best choice. The ship’s mast room everyone was talking about wasn’t doing it for me. You could tell that there were dummies and actors in the room (Note: This effect was used entirely too much at the event…and it only really worked once…). Like I said though, it wasn’t all bad. In the beginning there was some pretty nice gore. The wind and rain effects were a nice touch. The best room in my opinion was the tilted room. You were kind of forced to be near the Scareactors in a narrow environment that kept you way off base. One of the coolest effects was a bungee Scareactor. Looked cool seeing him look like he was flying from way out to burst in the room. Still, it just wasn’t up to snuff when you consider the rest of the event.
7) Winters Night: The Haunting of Hawthorn Cemetery- This was another surprise! I picked this for number 2 and it dropped to number 7! This one really wasn’t that bad…It just wasn’t scary.This house had some of the best visuals I have seen. The grand cemetery facade was just breath-taking. Perfect for a HHN wedding. The cold was a nice touch, which would have been more obvious if it hadn’t been cool that night already. My favorite effect was a half zombie pulling itself across the ground. You see they raised the ground to your right and had a well hidden Scareactors top half-dressed to look like a zombie pulling itself over the ground…you had to see it! One of the crypt scenes was noteworthy as well. The mirror effect used to make a skeleton look like he was crawling out of a big hole would have looked a lot better…If it wasn’t for seeing the mirror that made the effect. The Scareactor dressed as a pile of bones was a could throw back to last years Scareactor dressed like a chair (The chair was less obvious!) I didn’t want it so low, but I just can’t rank a house higher based on how pretty it is.
6) The Thing- OK something was definitely strange about my HHN Spidey Sense…I PICKED THIS FOR NUMBER ONE!!! This house was still what I expected. Really nice creature effects, shit your pants gun shots, and cinematic scenes of sweet The Thing goodness! Really, the fact this one was so low should attest to how good the other one’s were! The animatronics were really more disturbing than I expected. It was hard to look, but then again it was hard to look away. The one hanging out of the ceiling and the one at the very end were the things (Pun intended) nightmares are made of. The gun effects were a lot better than I remember from 07′. I wish I would have seen the movie though. It would have let me know exactly how good the story was told. However, from what I know of the original, they managed to tuck a few of the iconic scenes from the original. (To explain what I mean…If you have never seen the original, there is a scene where the team of the American outpost investigates the aftermath of the Norwegian outpost.) The best of those that I hope people caught was the radio room where you see the operator kill himself. If you stayed in the room long enough, you would see him laid back in the chair wrists out, just like the movie. I also want to mention the over head Scareactor in one room. He really just made you feel nervous.
I only had a few issues with the house as a whole. Unlike the previous The Thing house, the protagonists had no interaction with you. Really it was like you were walking through the movie. You almost felt in the way…Seras waited for one of the actors to shoot in one room. I just wish they would have interacted a little better. My next issues was the “scary” Scareactors. Most of them just looked like they had a tumor growing out of their mouth. The ones toward the end did get better, but the beginning ones were a bit silly.
5) H.R. Bloodengutz Presents Holidays of Horror- From number 7 in the prerank…to the number 5 spot…this house did not disappoint. From beginning to end was a constant onslaught of the campiest horror this side of the SyFy channel (Only it was actually good and entertaining!) I wish I would have had time to watch the que video’s outside. The que showed you clips from the H.R. Bloodengutz show. Each clip was featured in the house, but the rate you go through…you don’t have time to see them. The facade to the house was fitting. It was like you were entering through the back of the TV station. The loading dock smelled like a real loading dock (Not that it’s a hard scent to achieve, but a nice touch none the less!) The guy playing H.R. in the opening room was really into it. He kind of set the mood for the whole house. It’s really funny when you notice some of the holidays. Everything was represented from the big holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving all the way to the obscure like Presidents Day and Arbor Day. The funniest one when you noticed it was St. Patrick’s Day. Your kind of caught off guard at first, until you see the pot of gold and all of the shamrocks. The most imaginative was Presidents Day. When you walked into the room, the key effect was a nuclear bomb going off outside. You see the “Football” suitcase counting down on the president’s desk. When it goes off you hear the loud “BOOM” and the room floods with light. That’s when you notice the mutilated president corpse on the couch and the zombie Abe Lincoln and George Washington. The last I have to mention is Christmas. The only thing I can really say to describe the true epic nature of this section is…Crazy Cartoon Elves with Machine guns…with a murdered Mrs. Clause and a Santa with his head blown off.
4) Nightingales: Blood Prey- From here on in was some of the hardest decision making I’ve ever had to make on houses. All of them were top contenders and this one was no slouch. Let me first say, this had a really imaginative concept. I really didn’t know how they would pull off the trench atmosphere. It could have went either way, but they knocked it out of the park. The facade made my jaw drop. I couldn’t belive the grand scale of it all. When you first enter, you only really see German soldiers for a scene. To be honest, the Nightingales are more terrifying. One of the effects that stuck with me was a soldier trying his damnedest to protect you and move you out of the area. As he is telling you to run and stay down, he is grabbed from behind. All that’s left when she pulls him away is his bleeding legs. The rest of the house is full of some of the best gore I’ve seen at HHN. Honorable mention goes to the soldier laying out on a table just spewing “blood” into the air. Made everyone get the creeps. I was really concerned about the masks at first, but you know upclose…they work. I don’t really remember having any real problems with this house. I think I just wish it would have been longer.
3) Saws N Steam: Into the Machine- From right here just let me say, any preconceived notions I may have had this year for a house just because of the location…well now they are right out the window. The location of these top houses usually held the background starters of years past. Now they hold the best ones! I had high hopes for this house. As good as the Scarezone was last year, it had a lot to live up to. If there is one thing this house proved, it’s that you can take a really good Scarezone and turn it into an epic house! I don’t even know where to start. The whole house was done so great. You really felt as though you walked into a giant machine-made for extracting fluids. The story line was told clearly. The effects were top notch. Everything from people being mutilated on a table to canisters of meat being squished to squeeze every last drop out. The further your journey takes you…you see more and more water. One room is lined with what looks like fish tanks on all sides. Closer inspection reveals those aren’t fish in those tanks…but bits and pieces that slipped through. As you make it to the last scenes, your faced with a giant waterfall with a man in an old-fashioned dive suit behind it splashing water at you. It’s at this point you remember…the only way these people have water is to harvest it…THAT’S ALOT OF FREAKIN’ WATER!!! I really hope they use this house as an example of what to do for future years. Maybe we will see a 7 house next year…hmmm….
2) The In Between- This house set a new standard for all 3D houses…HELL..Effect houses in general. I picked this one for dead last and it nearly walked away with number one. One of the easiest ways to describe this house is a bad acid trip…A REALLY, REALLY BAD ACID TRIP!!! From beginning to end, the whole maze became an all out war on your senses. Sight, Touch, Sound, and I believe in one part Smell…It could have been someone crapping themselves come to think of it…anyway…all of these became your worst nightmare. There was one room with laser lights being sprayed everywhere. If you looked down, you felt as if you would drop off the face of the Earth. To top it all off, you had these near invisible black strings hanging down and hitting you. Giving ou the feeling you could feel the laser dot’s. The rooms that had creatures in them…you couldn’t see them until the wall came to life. AND BEFORE I FORGET!!! The spinning walkway was the worst it has ever been. I feel like I’m going to fall down when I walk through this effect when it’s normal. Add 3D and BAM! No Bueno!!! I cam close to naming this my number one. But, their was something the number one house had that this one didn’t…
1) Nevermore: The Madness of Poe- I have been a fan of Edgar Allan Poe since…well…EVER!!! I had to think on this one for a while because I wanted to make sure that it was the house that made this number one and not the little goth kid deep down inside. The whole maze painted a brilliant story and captured the very essence of Poe’s madness. The first scene you are faced with is Poe writing at his table frantically in an alcohol fueled rage. The most I can guess is this is supposed to be when the madness takes him over. As you progress you walk through the incarnations of some of his better stories. If memory serves me right, it was Tell Tale Heart, Pit and the Pendulum, and Black Cat. Tell Tale Heart was the coolest of those three. As you walked in, the same scene of the narrator tearing open the floor boards revealing the heart is recreated on every wall and even the ceiling. My first scare in this house came from the Scareactor hanging out of a hole in the wall. I loved the beating heart noise as well. The second act of this house came when you entered a grand hall. At the top of a stair case you could see Poe swaying back and forth drunk of of his mind. Beware though, the spirits of his late wife haunted the room at every turn. And I do mean EVERY turn! I can’t remember the exact sequence of events after this point but I can tell you this…Masque of the Red Death and Cask of Amontillado were the bomb diggity! Cask was creepy when you looked to the right and say a skeleton chained inside a wall. Even worst was when you looked to the left and saw Poe Bricking YOU in.
The only part I thought was a bit silly, was the giant ravens. Not that they were bad. They were very cool…but all I could think about was the Big Horney Bird from Hell in Little Nicky. I would have just died if they would have started dancing to the tune of “Ladies Night.” That was really the only thing I found off, and even that wasn’t really off. Just more of a humorous observation.
Now that I’ve went through the Houses…it’s time to attack the Scarezones. I still have mixed feelings about the Scarezones. Some of them really weren’t the best, but I still liked some parts. However, my number 1 Scarezone this year is my all time favorite. Let’s examine shall we:
6) Nightmaze– As much as a good idea as this zone sounded on paper…it equally failed to deliver. I just felt like something could have been done to make it better. I liked the thought of a moving zone. The actors had a good idea going with no caring if you were coming or not and closing off sections to make you go back. But the way it was designed just looked sort cheap and last-minute. Really you could recreate this area at your own house if you wanted. One time out of three was decent going through it. It just wasn’t up to par.
5) Your Luck is Up- The new team that has taken over this event since Michael Roddy left has done one thing in both HHN XX and HHN XXI that I have not liked…The Icon of the event has not had a house.With Fear it wasn’t a big deal. The Scarezone was enough. For Lady Luck, we had a nice story line. A story line that was wasted because their was noting to tell it. Consider for a moment, if you will, the zone that was in Sting Ally last year. Saws N’ Steam was a great zone (My personal favorite of all time until this year!) So you can’t blame the area. The set design was OK…but it was the same thing at either end. It was home to 5 Luck Scareactors, 3 Monster and 2 Normal. This made the area very predictable. The whole distraction tactic was easy to see through. It looked cool, but it was just kind of meh…Not what I would expect after seeing last years zones.
* Editors Note: The area that they used to take pictures with Lady Luck served as a better zone for the Icon…
4) Grown Evil- This Scarezone was pretty good. It brought me back to the year they had Harvest of Souls. The creatures were pretty decent. Not sure why the Bat Stilt Walkers all had boobs that were like “Look at me!!” Maybe there are some Furries on the creative team…I don’t know! I’m not complaining about that. My complaint, and this could have just been their direction for the night, I couldn’t get not one damn picture of them! Everytime I went for one, they would cover up or turn their head. It was frustrating to say the least. So for punishment…Your at Number 4!! Ha! Now who get’s the last laugh. Also the actors didn’t try near as hard as they should have to scare Seth or Myself. On another note I did like that they used Silent Hill music in the area. It was a nice touch.
3) Canyon of Dark Souls- From the first pictures I had seen of this area, I didn’t expect much. It really wasn’t that bad in the long run. With wind blowing it made it impossible to see where the Scareactors would come out of. The costumes did a good job of blending in. The music was fierce and the fire effect was great. I also enjoyed the area being lit only by the light of the fire. Seth was dressed as Death the Kid from Soul Eater so he had ton’s of fun with the Scareactors. He kept wondering if they were all members of the Death Family. People were loving it…I don’t think this zone’s actors got it, but believe it or not there was more than once he was noticed. My only problem? This zone could have been a lot bigger.
2) Acid Assault- I liked this area and at the same time felt it had room for improvement. The effects used to make the buildings look like they were falling apart were epic. I can’t wait to see how these effects are used in future years. The music was fitting. The set dressing was spot on, and the Scareactors I did see looked good. My only issue was the lack of Scareactors. The area had next to no scares. It looked great and that’s why it got so high on my list. However, it ended up being Michael Bay…all style…no substance. You might be thinking to yourself, “Malice, it just sounds like the Scarezones this year were all awful!” Well, I still have one more to tell you about…
1) 7- Words can’t accurately describe my love for this Scarezone. This zone was able to do so much with very little. You can honestly say it was the actors that made this area. I loved that it changed as the night progressed too. When you first got there, the ladies that represented the deadly sins were rather tame. The minions still offered scares. I mean, they can’t sacrifice that just for effect. The music playing all around was a choir version of Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People.” As we progressed through the zone, the actors were very responsive, acting out perfectly what their sin was. The Lust guys were my favorites. Before we left, my friends Lenny and Seth were both molested. This spells a good time in my book.
Later on in the night, I decided I should go back through and catch anything I might have missed. I was really interested to see how the 7 zone had progressed. What I walked into was so much better than expected. The music had changed from a choir version to the real version. The girls that once looked to be temptresses, were warpped completely by their sin. The pictures and the video I’m going to include will say it all. It was like you walked into a night club gone terribly wrong. Like you were in a horror movie, and this was the big reveal. It has even inspired me for a short story. I just can’t say enough right now. Hats off to you Uni! Take a bow!
Now I know this review has been rather long, but I still have things to go over. Mostly I want to discuss the shows and the icon. Then I will close this mother, and let you and me have a nice nights sleep…
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure- I’m not going to lie, I get less impressed with this show as the years go by. Last year I nearly gave them an excuse, until I looked back and found they DID have a lot of funny stuff to go off of. This year had even more than last year, so that excuse went WAYYYYY out the window. I will say that it was better than last years…but that’s like saying a you have a higher IQ than the guy with a lead pipe coming out of his head. I just think they get to afraid when it comes to making fun of anything Disney has done. You don’t have to make it the same character, you can get around it and make it just as funny. Which they did do in one instance (El Capitano Mexicano anyone?) One of the funniest things of the whole night was a bit they had using Jeff Bridges’ character from True Grit. All of the things they could have used, they used wrong…I mean…COME THE FUCK ON PEOPLE!!! Man up! Rent Seth McFarland for Christ sake…OR Trey Parker and Matt Stone…SOMETHING!!! I did this one first this year…Next year, you can be sure it will be dead last on my priority list.
OH…and before I forget…Drop some of the music numbers! They add more every year…and they get less impressive every year. If I want to go to a PG-13 strip club…well I wouldn’t go to a PG-13 strip club!! So just…NO!!
Death Drums- I did not get to see this show up close and personal. No, I decided to go to Bill and Ted…*sigh*…BUT, I have seen it via the wonders of the internet. I have to say i was really impressed. It was nice to see Brian Brushwood was gone. I do hope this show comes back for next year. The drummers and dancers were all very talented…I’ll add the video for you below. It speaks louder than my words.
*Editor Note: Video is from Inside the Magic…be sure to give their YouTube channel and show some love…
I have mixed feelings about the Icon this year. Lady Luck was a wonderful Icon…the way she was portrayed in the media and promotions. When you got to the event, all of the Lady Lucks (except the Monster version) were just kind of…there. They didn’t talk…they didn’t elicit a response…you might as well have put a Royal Gaurd in a green dress! I just didn’t get how you go from the one on the advertisements and the one you met. I also really enjoyed the connections between the houses and Luck. She had a great story…the delivery just wasn’t there.
Taking everything into consideration, It wasn’t a bad night. It wasn’t the best HHN ever, but it wasn’t the worst either. I think HHN XX set that bar too high. I still see seeds that were planted this year that I’, sure will blossom into something great next year. I spent HHN with great friends. Some I just met, some I’ve been with before. HHN wouldn’t be the same without you guys. Special thanks to Seth Garner, Lenny Mosco, Amanda Rivera, Cullen Wheeler, and of course my lovely Seras Psychotik! Thank you Amanda and Bo Van Hassel for watching the Demon Seed, you helped a lot in all of this as well.
* Editors Note: I didn’t think about this until later, but I can’t help but wonder why they used so many masks this year. I hope this isn’t a new trend because some of the masks really ruined the realism. Nothing like getting into a performance…and then seeing a blatant mask line…
ALSO!!! Incase you think I forgot about us being at IOA during the day…think again! I remember the pain very well. NEVER AGAIN shall we go to the park for the whole day before doing HHN. NEVERMORE!!! It was fun…just too exhausting. I will give an update on that…but it will be later. November 12th I will be going to one day of the Harry Potter Celebration for a thus far unnamed Q & A session. So, look forward to that!
That’s all for now Freaky Darlings, stay tuned for more to come. Here’s to HHN past and looking to HHN future…
Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,
Hello, Freaky Darlings! As some may or may not know, Halloween Horror Nights released all info on the 31st. I’ve waited a bit to post this, if not only for the fact I wanted to see what else the website was going to do. The wait was worth it, because the site still has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. I’ll get to all of that in due time. For now, I want to talk about the houses and zones. This is the first year I’ve gotten around to doing so much with HHN before the event, so I think now will be the time to make my predictions for how I’m going to rank the houses and zones. I feel this early in the game with knowing only what the website says will make my opinion a little less biased. This year is going to be hard. I have like 4 houses tied for the number one spot! Alas, I will try to be fair….
(Editor’s Note: I broke my own rule in the process of doing this article. Opening night came and went and I had to sneak a peek at the scarezones. So far no videos for the houses…so it’s only a little cheat…DON’T JUDGE ME!!!)
(I’ll start in reverse. Kind of like a count down…)
8. The In-Between- This one rounds out my bottom. Not because I don’t think it will be a good house, but because I don’t think it will be near as awesome as the others. I could be wrong! This house is another 3D house, which is not really a bad thing. I believe the last I was in that was 3D was in 07′ (Jacks Funhouse in Clown-O-Vision). Even then, that house wasn’t bad, it was just more a trippy thrill ride. I tend to rank this type of house more like a fun house. The description, however, tells a different tale. According to the website, this house is supposed to be in your face terror as you step into a third dimension with terrible creatures around every corner. So you never know, this one could push its way up the list!
Using the website as a tool to imagine what we will be dealing with, I can’t tell much. On the HHN Facebook page, they have released a picture from inside the house. It didn’t seem really “scary”…more it looked like something out of a black light painting. This house was represented by the Green Card in the backroom (“Certain Rune”). There really isn’t much that you can figure out from that game. Although now the Carnival of Carnage ferris wheel makes a lot more sense! Maybe when the second game goes active and I can unlock the special pages, I will have more to add to this article. I will note that this house is in the newer Parade building, and that spot does have a tendency to yield very pleasing houses.
(Editor Note: Since I have started writing this, a few things have been said about this house. Uni is claiming that this house will be like no other 3D house to date. They also promise there is a scene in this house so epic, they need not tell you what it is. You will know it when you see it. And when you see it, you will talk about it for years to come…)
7. H.R Bloodengutz presents Holidays of Horror- This one pulls into my number 7 only because I know this one is going to be a hilarious house, not a frightening one. Not to say that it is bad, but again I just don’t think it will hold up to the others. Keep in mind, the funny house from last year nearly took the number 1 spot. Don’t count it out! The story is of a horror host at the end of his career, and he is going to make sure you never forget him. The house boasts that it will be a collage of various B rated holiday horror films. (Home for the Holidays ala 2007 anyone?)
From what I have unlocked on the site, the story behind the house is pretty tight. H.R Bloodengutz is a failed theatrical actor that had to turn to Horror Hosting to stay in the biz. Now, years later, he finds himself canceled and out the door. This doesn’t sit well with him. After delivering so many years of faithful service, he deserves a grand exit…and he’s going to give it to you. There is a piece of a police report detailing an assault on the station manager. Also, there is a recording from H.R’s answering machine. You really get the feeling that this is something he didn’t want to do, Horror Hosting. He wanted a position in a more theatrical environment. I’m not sure if it will be important that his uncle was a taxidermist, and he was going to work with him…but it was mentioned. Incase you want to know how to unlock it, you will have to play both Yellow card games. Last, I will mention this house is going to be in the Disaster que. Houses in this area have been pretty good, but so far I belive there has only been one that really blew me away. We will see.
6. The Forsaken- I picked this as my number 6. I do believe that this house has potential to move further along up the list. The concept is really cool and I enjoy any house that is mixed with real history. Gives it a bit of a realistic element. Also, this house is firmly planted in the parade building. So far, I have yet to see a sour house come out of that building. INFACT…the last two years Encyclopedia Psychotika has went to HHN (2008 and 2010) that building has housed my favorite house for that year. Not that the location really matters, but if it did, that would set the bar pretty high.
The story follows the fate of the doomed 4th ship of Columbus’ Voyage. With the flip of a coin, the captain and crews fate was sealed. Years later, the crew still haunts their final resting place. Filled with rage from a terrible death, you will feel their wrath. Looking to the website for clues, their isn’t a whole lot more than what I’ve mentioned. The back of a picture frame on the desk establishes the ship as a member of Columbus’ fleet. A piece of parchment shows you a decree by the Queen. This decree says the leader of the voyage should be decided by a coin toss. The last piece of paper is a decree, seems to be written in blood, that states that 4th ship should be erased from history. That no one is to ever speak of the captain or the crew ever again. I’m guessing this has pissed them off. I’m curious to see what the actual house will tell us.
5. Saws N’ Steam: Into the Machine- I toiled over this one. The next houses in this series are very hard to rank. Mostly because they all look awesome. This is the first year I have had this big of a tie for number one!! Usually it’s only between 2, but this year…just wow. Back to the maze, this is the first time HHN has ever taken a past Scarezone and turned it into a house. Last year Saws N’ Steam got my number 1 for Scarezones. The only reason it is further down on the list is because of the sheer number of great looking houses. I have extremely high hopes for this one. The only check I see so far, is the location. The house is located in the Jaws que. Not that every house that comes out of this area is bad…I’ve just not had a favorite yet. The area is limited with what you can do. I’m just hoping the area doesn’t clash with the Steam Punk atmosphere.
From what I can tell from the info available, it seems this houses back story involves a fake cult. The people who were featured in Saws N’ Steam the zone need people to take water from. I’m guessing that they have created a cult or some sort of community that promises a better life if you give everything to them. So as you might have guessed, once you get in…your not leaving. At least not with all of your bodily fluids. Last I checked, water in your body was a good thing.
4. Nevermore: The Madness of Poe- This spot nearly went to Saw N’ Steam: Into the Machine. However the little goth kid in me would have slashed my insides until I bled out! I love Edgar Alan Poe and am thrilled to see a house built around him and his books. I especially love the tie in to Lady Luck, and can’t wait to know more. I’ll get to that in a minute, for now allow me to get giddie. Some of you may ask yourselves in a Canadian accent, “Why didn’t he put this at number one if like’s it so much, eh?’ Well, from here on out, these houses are all tied for number one!!!They are just all so damn good! The only thing I find disappointing about this house is it is in a Sprung Tent. I would have loved to see this house get the Soundstage treatment.
Now…about the house. The Madness of Poe is supposed to be a trip into one of the darkest literary minds known to man! From the website you can see there was a choice that Lady Luck had influence over. He was on the wrong end of that choice, thus giving a reason to his mysterious death (I love you Universal Creative!!). Not much is clickable on the hints for this house. There is a news article establishing the winner of the game of chance gone wrong. There is also a nifty poem written by Poe about Lady Luck. I’m assuming there will be more of a story told within the house. I might also add that a preview video spread around online revealed a few books used as scenes in the house. I was able to pick out: “Tale Tell Heart,” “The Raven,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” “Fall of the House of Usher,” “Pit Pendulum,” and “Masque of the Red Death.” I can only hope there will be more! Moving on…
3. Nightingales: Blood Prey- I love that Universal has elected to add so many real-world elements into some of these houses. This is the third I have mentioned so far that is actually based in history. Might I also add how cool it is they chose WWI instead of WWII. I always love what they do with soundstage houses. Even if they aren’t great, they look fantastic. The house setting win’s me over as well. Trench warfare is terrifying to think about in general. So many hiding places…I’m giddy with delight!
The story behind this follows a victim of Lady Luck that decided to go overseas instead of helping his family business back home, (See kid’s…Family First…they keep you from being mauled to death by fanged blood-sucking freaks!!) Following the hints given, you can tell the soldier in question has become injured. His crossing of paths with Nightingales comes from his stay in the military hospital. You see by night the nurses have a deadly secret…they aren’t nurses at all (I wonder if his HMO knows this?!) You see the Nightingales stalk their prey when they are injured until they are at their weakest. Unfortunately for our soldier, I think he is at that point…and what do you know….He’s just in time for supper. Fortunatly…so are we…or unfortunatly depending on how adventurous you are!
2. Winter’s Night: The Haunting of Hawthorn Cemetery– Seras and Myself have very high expectations for this house. It has an interesting back story, it’s in an old style graveyard, it’s winter time, AND it’s in a soundstage. A few F/X have been released. Of course there is a cold effect. To top that off there is supposed to be real snow! I’m curious as to whether they are going to handle the scareactors as zombies or ghosts. I’m hoping both!! I want the type of ghost F/X they used in Wyndott Estate from last year.
Lady Luck sinks her teeth into a victim here with a choice. That choice was as simple as where a newly wed couple wanted to pick the land for their new home. Apparently, Mr. Hawthorn chose wrong, because his wife died of mysterious circumstance. After her death, he turned the land into a cemetery. Now there is a legend saying that the dead come back to life once every hundred years…and what do you know…Happy Anniversary!
1. The Thing- One of my favorite houses from 2007 is back with a vengence…sort of. This one is based off of the new prequal coming out soon and this time it get’s the soundstage treatment. So what happens when one of Malice’s all time favorite movies get’s the treatment it deserves? It makes me bounce of the walls with excitement! They also manage to tie it in pretty well to the Lady Luck theme.
Apparently one of the characters from the movie (or so I am guessing) is flying a Helicopter and needs some gas. She has the choice, either land in a village close by and take longer to get back in the air or land at a research facility and barely make it. You guessed it…that research base is the one with the copycat alien running amok. Judging off of the last Thing house, Uni knows what they are doing. Taking what they already know they should be able to kick it up another notch. Keep in mind this house is tied with three others, so you never know it may end up lower down. Time will tell.
Okay, when ranking these, I’m not going to go to far into the description. More I’ll give you a short summary as to what I’m looking forward to from what I have seen online.
6. Canyon of Dark Souls- I put this one last only because there wasn’t anything that really blew me away in the videos I have seen. Then again, camera angles are everything. In person it could be completely different.
5. 7- I would like to put 7 higher, but the main draw is going to be the outfit changes. There are three outfit changes through the night. Seeing all of them together may paint a better picture and make me love this one more.
4. Nightmaze- As much as I would love to put this higher, you really can’t see much here. Yes, I’m aware that’s the point…but still. I didn’t see any scareactors in the area, but then again you really just couldn’t see much! It could be really good in person.
3. Grown Evil- Every picture I’ve seen from this zone intrigues me. The characters look very cool and the scenery looks even better. I must add, I also gave it kudos because they use a main theme from Silent Hill in the area! It’s just one of those themes that add an extra air of eerieness.
2. Your Luck Has Run Out- I have to put the Icon Scarezone high up. I love this years Icon and her back story. I love the 20’s speak easy feel and am expecting a lot out of this zone. Maybe I’m setting myself up for disappointment? I don’t know…
1. Acid Assault- From everything I have seen, this Scarezone looks like hands down the best. The effects in the zone look top-notch. My only concern is lack of scareactors. It’s still to early to tell though. That zone is really open, and the opening nights rained out. Taking that into account, the scareactors may have not been so active. Still, the acid damaged building falling apart look great.
That’s pretty much all I can say at this time. The website looks really nice in all of its entirety. This year looks like it’s going to be legendary. It just seems like the 19th isn’t coming soon enough…THAT REMINDS ME!!!!
ATTENTION ALL FREAKY DARLINGS!!!
Enyclopedia Psychotika will be at Halloween Horror Nights October, 19th 2011! We will be there all day. I’m currently planning a few things to tell you all where we will be and when. If you are going to be in the area, come out and say hi! Anybody I see that day will have their picture taken and used on the review for the event! DETAILS COMING SOON!!!
Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,
Hello Freaky Darlings! I hope you all enjoyed my last update for Halloween Horror Nights 21…I’m sure it should keep all of your mouths wet until the 31st. This update is not really an update…but more an after thought to the last one. I rushed the last update out, so there was no time to discuss possible house themes for this year. I’ve done some searching, and I’ve found what others have suggested. Taking what they have said into consideration I do have my own notes as well. The way I will break it down is by the game on the site with corresponding color…Here’s what I think:
Red Card- The Horizon- When you start this game you are given an unfinished questionnaire. The questionnaire is asking you about a new utopian society known as The Horizon. At the end your asked a True or False question…if you answer True, you are allowed to play the game. The game is a steam punk matching game. You have to pull the levers, it will reveal a picture and you match it. Standard matching game…however you have a count down clock on the left and on the right you have a tube of water that moves down the more levers you pull…so you have two things working against you.
I think this game points to the rumors of a Saws and Steam house. Last year that was one of the best Scarezones and it really deserves a proper house. Everything about it points to that. The background throws you off with an air of a school house…and the fact it looks like you are sitting at a school desk. However the art for the play card has a saw…and if you look closely…there is a saw drawn on the table…My vote is for Saws and Steam….
Orange Card- Loose Cannon- To get into this game you have a coin toss. Select heads and it will take you to the game. This game focuses around stopping a cannon from rolling all the way to either side of the ship. As the ship moves back and forth you have to move your cutlass in the opposite direction…while you do this…you have to focus on cutting a line on either side. You have two chances to get the right ones to balance it out…prepare to pull your hair out trying to win this one…
As far as the theme goes…this is hard. Most think it is going to have to do with a Pirate Ship…more specifically…Screamscape seems to think a Spanish Pirate Ghost Ship. I actually think that this is a sound theory. There is really nothing to throw you off. It is a pirate ship…and if you pay attention the coin you flip is a Spanish gold coin. My Vote? Spanish Pirate Ghost Ship it is!
Pink Card- You’re Toast- The choice you have to make to get into this game revolves around landing a helicopter. You have two choices…left takes you to a Norwegian base the right takes you….OK I don’t know where just don’t go right….When you get to the game you have a flame thrower and 5 dark figures are coming closer to you. Three of the are “Things”, Two are human…don’t shoot the humans…
Obviously this house points to The Thing. The Thing has already been released as a house..so there really is no guessing here. Like I said, it’s very obvious….
Blue Card- Don’t Judge a Book- To get into this house you have the choice to ship off to Boston.(Like the Drop Kick Murphy Song) or take a ship to Baltimore. Pick the land of the Raven…Baltimore and you enter a game where you have to choose 5 books. Be careful though, bugs have eaten two of them…and if you find thse…it’s game over. Choose carefully…
Rumors say this one points to a Edgar Alan Poe house. Strange thing is, HOS was rumored to have one of those as well…could it all be a rouse? Uni has been known to mess with us around this time of year…But the evidence is there…You take a trip to Baltimore…All of the books you find are from around Poe’s time period…What does this psycho think? I actually am going to go against the popular rumors here! As much fun as I think it would be to have a Poe house…I almost think they are screwing with us…Maybe a possibility would be a more classical literary version of Scary Tales? Well, we only have a couple more days untill we find out…I vote Classic Literary Scary Tales….But I’m not ruling out Poe…
Dark Purple- Enlist- To gain access to this game you are presented with two posters. The one on the left that says “Fight” is the one you want. The object of the game is to pick the boxes that don’t explode. If you hit three explosions…your done…
This seems to point to a World War II house, and the rumor mill points to the same. Old WWII posters, the game looks like a the car is 1940’s military, it’s in a trench. It doesn’t really point to anything else. Now I did have some theory’s as to what type of WWII scene it would be. Two films had scenes dealing with that very same war this year. One was Captain America: First Avenger. The other was in Sucker Punch, (There is a scene that seems to be a steam punk version of either WWII or WWI…And i have to say Steam driven zombies would be cool…but it would be a gross over use of Steam this year)…So my vote for this will have to stick with the World War II theme…I’m just curious as to the execution of it…
Yellow Card- Channel Surfing- To access this game, you have to choose the right line on the telephone. Line 2 is a Taxidermist…ad Line 10 is the cable company…Pick Line 10! This game you are faced with nine TV’s…of these three are bad…pick the good 6 and you win.
I belive rumor mill is a bit off on this one. Some are saying they have pictures to prove this one. They say this one should be a holiday haunt…but I don’t know. Using what you have, you seem to be more in a security office. BUT all the TV’s are playing old black and white horror movies. To me this suggests maybe a house dealing with old movies coming to life? Maybe I’m not looking far enough into it, and the security office is in a mall and it will be set around the holidays…I think that would be stretching. Then again, the whole thing could be irrelevant! Seras seems to have a gut feeling (or more a fan girl want) for there to be another Psychoscarapy…maybe it’s a psyche ward security room…Hmmm I kind of vote against the norm on this and say Old Monster Movie House….
Turquoise Card- The Key- To get into this game you are presented with 3 graves. The one on the far right is the one you’ll need. From there, you are taken to a game where you have 3 crypts and 5 doors. Get all three and the lanterns light and you win…get them wrong and you sacrifice tokens…
This one everyone says leads to a graveyard house. I’m not real sure about to tell you the truth. They don’t give you a lot to go off of…maybe if I knew more about famous cemetaries…I don’t know. Some think the name on the right tombstone may be Lady Luck’s real name…thus hinting that one to be the Icon house and thus have nothing to do with a graveyard…Only time will tell. As far as a vote, I really don’t have one so I will just go with the Graveyard theory I suppose…
Green Card- Certain Rune- This one is a thinker…and the answer key is right in front of you. Select the block of runes to start the game. When you get there, you have a board you have to place the rune pieces on. Simple…right? WRONG!! Supposedly you can write down the runes and put them into that position…the catch is which way is going to follow….clockwise or counter clockwise…either way the odds are stacked against you.
What do I think this game represents? I think it’s the Icon House! Rumor mill will simply tell you that this house is just something about Runes. I beg to differ…it may have something to do with Runes…if that ties into the Icon! If you look on the shell in the lower right hand corner there is a sphere that looks like a weird crystal ball. If you look closely you will see Lady Luck’s reflection in it. I was looking at it today after seeing all of the Lady Luck Pictures and noticed it First her hair…then her Ace of Spades card…it fits…so you know what my vote is! Let’s see if I’m right….
Well, those are my guesses. We will see how right I was (or Wrong) August 31, 2011…I can’t wait!
Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,
Hello my Freaky Darlings…It’s that time of year again. When Universal pulls all of their ghouls out of the warehouses and letting the monsters out of their cages. All in preparation of this years Halloween Horror Nights 21. The rumor mill has been pretty tight-lipped as compared to years before. A trend that does seem to get worst as the years go by. There are three sites that I have found reliable info while sleuthing the web: Screamscape, HHNRumors, and Behind the Thrills. Now I warn you this isn’t much, but at least I have saved you the trouble of searching yourself! So let the milling begin!
This late in the game normally there is at least an inkling as to who or what the icon is going to be. I think it has been pinned down three likely candidates, with one being the more likely than the other two. One rumor is a gambler, and I’m not fond of this rumor. I just don’t see this as a workable angle. I mean the only way it could work is if his back story involved him losing too much to the house (being the event itself), and now he must draw in as many souls as he can to help pay his debt. Sort of interesting, but not as good as the other two. The Dealer I see being fun! Cut out the middle man of the gambler and go straight for the most feared person at a casino. The Dealer represents a person that can influence you to keep going and keep going until in the end he takes everything…in this case including your soul. The last and most likely is Lady Luck. Lady Luck is interesting in itself because again like Universal is taking a mythic concept and giving it new life (Bloody Mary anyone?) Making this even more likely is what the writer over at Screamscape points out. Did you know Jack wasn’t the original idea for HHN07′. Instead it was a fortune-teller, Lady Luck. I do remember hearing this but it wasn’t until he mentioned it I remembered. Taking this into consideration, I do see Lady Luck as more likely, but then you never know time will only tell…
Belive it or not there is one house that was announced already and I’m as excited as ever for it. Universal announced last month that Halloween Horror Nights would once again be the home to an attraction based on The Thing. Only difference is this one is more based on the newer movie which is promising it will be more terrifying than the original. They better deliver on that promise, as that’s a pretty tall order! Still I’m glad to see this concept coming back. When the The Thing: Assimilation was announced, I was one that back tracked and found the history of the house. Finding out it was slated to be a house way back when in 02′. All the things I found about the house made me giddy, (The Thing is one of my all time favorite movies.) So the fact they are bringing it back with the promise of it being MORE terrifying than the last…That’s enough to make me want to go.
As for other houses, I’m really kind of stumped. If you go to HHN Rumors they have a casting list for some of the roles cast. I really can’t pick much from it. The only things I have seen yet point to maybe and Alice in Wonderland/Through the looking-glass house and maybe something to do with a prison. Feel free to look at that casting list here. If you have any theories, be sure to let me know and I will post them here, giving you credit of course.
All I can say is “Wow!” The website has some rather interesting games going on with it. These games are able to win…regardless of what some have reported. The one with the Tv’s is the easier of the two. There really isn’t a way to cheat them either as in times past. The only one I belive people can help you with is the key game, but I have yet to crack that one as well. I’m curious as to how many games are available. All I can say is wager carefully. Lose against the House and you are banished for an hour. Really I think the development team has done a good job starting out. Anything is better than 09′! Check it out here!
Thats all I have so far. At the very least I will attempt to keep you updated once a month, but somehow I feel they will come a bit more frequent than that. Hope this get’s your mouth-watering!
Until Next Time. My Freaky Darlings,
P.S Check out the very same sites I get some of my info from at the links below: