My absence from regular updates meant that I managed to fall behind when it came to Halloween Horror Nights updates.
For more on rumors and my thoughts on HHN 28 be sure to check out: The World Turned Upside-Down, You Know Nothing Jon Snow, I Guess We’re Talking About Halloween Horror Nights, and Let the Rumors Begin
Since my last post about the event, two houses were announced along with some scarezones. Even better than all of that was the announcement that fan favorites Academy of Villains would be returning for a third year in a row!
I know from my talks with many of the cast last year as well as Phoenix and Pharside, the troupe is eager for redemption from HHN27 where Hurricane Irma damaged their original stage and set beyond repair. Not to be deterred, the group performed a couple of weeks on a temporary stage, all while creating something new from scratch to perform on the alter mainstage.
It wasn’t the show that was promised but nevertheless the group managed to capture the hearts of the crowds every night. Anyone who needed to find me on a HHN night knew to look first at the Academy of Villains stage.
So let’s talk houses real quick.
First up is the announcement of an original house which I find interesting since normally only the IP Houses have been announced in the months leading up to the event and the original houses coming later or as a surprise once the gates open that first night.
Dead Exposure: Patient Zero is actually a prequel house if you look into HHN’s history. 10 years ago during the “Reflections of Fear” or Bloody Mary’s year, Dead Exposure first came to life. The house was essentially a zombie one but with something of a twist. My understanding is that visitors to this particular maze were plunged into extreme darkness with only flashes of light to guide them along the way. Camera flashes, hence the Exposure nomenclature.
With Dead Exposure: Patient Zero we are traveling to Paris in 1982 right as the zombie outbreak is beginning. There’s a quarantine in effect for all those unaffected by the infection, and military personnel are administering a vaccination in an attempt to prevent the disease from spreading. This vaccination does have one side effect however; blindness. Visitors to the house take on the role of the vaccinated, blind survivor trying to make it through the devastated city.
I’m a little pumped because this sounds intense!
Another Original Content house was announced just yesterday- “Slaughter Sinema”
Based on B-list movie monsters from the 1980s, guests will enter the “sinema” house to the smell of popcorn and the appearance of a drive-in movie theater. While waiting in line, they will see trailers of what will happen when they officially enter the scare zone.
Throughout the house, werewolf bikers and murderous barbers will hunt down guests through rooms covered in blood and even through a “bloody, gut-strewn” pumpkin patch. Alien cannibals, a swamp yeti and creatures with too many teeth will add to the scare factor.
Next up, Intellectual Property Trick R’ Treat is getting it’s day in the sun after being one of the most stunning scarezones I have ever seen at Halloween Horror Nights.
Now, in all honesty my first time at the event was during 25 but I wasn’t the only one with this opinion and I can’t help but marvel at the attention to detail that went into this zone- not to mention all those damn pumpkins!
Trick R Treat is easily one of my favorite horror movies so I’m a little more than excited to see what the house has to offer us this year.
Speaking of all those pumpkins! Let’s talk about scarezones!
Here’s the information found on the HHN Orlando Web Site:
Remember how Central Park was decorated with over 200 jack-o-lanterns in the Trick R Treat scarezone? This year the pumpkins are back, but this time they’re a bit rotten. The description of this scarezone is rather vague so far, but our understanding tells us to expect rotting pumpkin-people and other decaying creatures.
Last year’s House of the Year award winner “Scarecrow: The Reaping” is making it’s comeback for HHN28, and this time it’s in the form of a scarezone! That’s right, the frightening characters of last year’s scariest haunted house attraction are coming back, and this time outside of the confines of a haunted house! The scarezone will be themed as a large farmhouse, decorated with trinkets from each haunted house featured this year at HHN28
Vamp ’85: New Years Eve
As another callback to a previous Horror Nights event, Vamp ‘85 is a sequel to the HHN26 scarezone, Vamp ‘55. Whereas two years ago the scarezone was a high school pep-rally and parade being over-run by vampires, this scarezone takes us 30 years into this fictitious timeline. This time, though, it’s not a high school football hype party; it’s a New Year’s Eve party! Expect lots of confetti!
It’s hard to ignore the very 80’s theme that’s going on with this year’s event starting with the announcement of Stranger Things and looking at the time periods of the return of the Vamp theme and Dead Exposure.
I’m not even mad since I’m an 80’s baby.
You can’t help but consider what this could mean for what has yet to be announced. So far we know of three of the record-breaking ten houses for the event and still have two scarezones to go.
I can’t help but wonder if we might actually be getting an IT themed house considering last year’s hit remake took place in the 80’s. Why on earth wouldn’t Universal bring everyone’s favorite killer clown to life in the form of a haunted house?
Granted Warner Brothers retains the rights to the film but I see it as nothing but a win for everyone concerned. The 2017 remake was the highest-grossing horror film of all time and the sequel, scheduled for a 2019 release promises to be a winner.
But we have a gap year.
Why not feed our fear and keep Pennywise on our minds?
Thinking back to some of the rumors I discussed back in March, I can’t help but wonder if those IPs will be making their way to Halloween Horror Nights 28.
I mentioned that the Facebook page for Universal Studios Orlando “liked” The Thing not that long ago, leading to some buzz that we would be seeing it return to HHN. Given the original film came out in 1982 it fits with the theme that is emerging for this year. The same goes for David Cronenburg’s The Fly which has been rumors for this year and came out in 1986.
Also making its way into the rumor mill is Halloween. I’ve mentioned this before and I was ready to cast it aside given the 80’s theme but some rules are meant to be broken. Trick R Treat doesn’t fall into the category of 80’s horror and The Harvest and Twisted Tradition are set in somewhat ambiguous timelines.
I’m not one for the Halloween franchise but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little excited for Blumhouse’s upcoming film which ignores the ENTIRE timelines of films, including Rob Zombie’s and had distinguished itself as a direct sequel to the 1978 original.
I don’t think Blumhouse got a fair chance last year with what was easily my least favorite house along with The Hive. Rumors swirling around those houses say that licensing issues came up that caused problems for the houses. It’s somewhat obvious walking through the Horrors of Blumhouse maze that Ouija and Annabelle: Creation were supposed to be there but were hastely replaced by The Purge and Insidious. Rumor has it that The Hive was actually supposed to be a Conjuring maze but problems arose that prevented that.
Cause that would have been epic.
So I can’t help but wonder what else is in store. With the addition of a 10th house this year, that leaves us 7 more chances for horror. Plenty of hit horror movies came out in the 80’s so who knows what we might find.
Considering The Evil Dead came out in 1981, maybe Ash will be making a return this year despite his show being cancelled. A Nightmare on Elm Street hit the theatres in 1984, Hellraiser in 1987, Pet Semetary in 1989 and often-rumors The Howling came out in 1981.
With just 84 days until opening night, the excitement is building and I can’t wait to return to one of my favorite events of the year!