BY KYLE NELSON
Spoiler alert: This article contains numerous mentions of attractions in the park.
Another year of fear is now upon us as Universal Studios Orlando has launched their 27th annual Halloween Horror Nights. This year did not disappoint. With nine haunted mazes, five scare zones and two shows, HHN 27 is guaranteed to knock your socks off.
In HHN 27, developers decided to abandon the single storyline approach as used prior. In past years, developers have centered the park around one main attraction. In HHN 1-26, the park was focused on an iconic show or movie of that year; for example, “The Walking Dead” and “The Purge” franchises have been showcased in the past. With leaving out a specific “centerpiece”, this year’s park included a smorgasbord of attractions. With that said, by taking away a single storyline, the attractions did not connect when one walked through the park. Personally, with the attractions separated, it enabled each theme – whether based on a hit Hollywood production or an original concept – to stand on its own.
After walking through the ticket line, guests are greeted by mobs of people rushing to every event. Scattered are numerous “scarers” who blend in with the crowd until they are directly in front of you. When unexpected, these scarers are actually more terrifying than the haunted houses.
Here are the two most enduring attractions of Halloween Horror Nights 27.
The Shining House
As a huge fan of Stanley Kubrick’s keystone movie “The Shining,” my palms began to sweat when I saw this house on the list. Knowing that Universal Studios has been outdoing themselves year after year, I knew this house would be a hit. It definitely was.
As a guest stumbles through Overlook Hotel, they are forced to meet some of the most bone chilling characters that have been scaring people for decades. While this film is a classic, Universal Studios created this attraction to fit the opposite of that term. Over the course of its existence, HHN has moved from a series of creepy corridors and boo scares to a full blown, minute long nightmare. From the twins, the bear, the axe and the bar, the house incorporated the most frightening parts of the movie and threw them directly in your face – literally. As visitors are led through the house, they follow the main character (Jack Torrance) plummet into insanity.
American Horror Story: Volume Two
While I have not seen a single episode of “American Horror Story,” I think I might start watching after this attraction. This house was set to scare visitors through all seven seasons, giving a quick synopsis of the most gut wrenching parts. While this was the longest wait of all attractions, set at an hour and 20 minutes, it was worth the wait. In the beginning of the house, guests are met with scares that mimic the “Asylum” season. Guests are forced to walk through the deranged doctor’s operating room, which gave viewers a front row seat of how to incorrectly amputate a leg. Ending with the most recent “Roanoke” season, creators certainly outdid themselves. Being a person who is not easily scared, I felt genuine terror at the end of this house – even without seeing the series.
All in all, HHN 27 was a highly detailed, refreshed version of all your most recent nightmares.
Featured image courtesy of Halloween Horror Nights