Every year Universal Studios Orlando and Hollywood have one of the most premier Halloween horror attractions in the world. This year, I am lucky enough to attend Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights. Unfortunately, I am unable to get through everything in one evening. There are nine houses and two shows to check out.
On Wednesday, I was lucky enough to attend a preview. I was only able to get through five of the houses, including one of the original ones. That leaves four more, plus the two shows. These impression pieces will culminate in what I believe is the best things to check out at Halloween Horror Nights 2016. With that said, this list, of what I believe to be the not so great houses to the best ones, will be updated once I get through everything.
5. Halloween: Hell Comes to Haddonfield
There is only so much you can do with one of the most popular slasher flicks of all time. This house is based on John Carpenter’s Halloween 2. It is one of the shortest houses of the ones I have gotten through. Fans of the Carpenter films will highly enjoy this and while the set designs are well done, there isn’t much else to it.
The only scares I encountered were of Michael Myers jumping out from behind a curtain. That grows repetitive and boring after a while. Overall, it isn’t the worst haunted house I been in, but it isn’t the greatest. Still, it was a bit fun seeing the different sets.
4. American Horror Story
This house is based on the first five seasons of American Horror Story apparently. Maybe I missed something, but I thought they skipped Covenant and Asylum. That only left Murder House, Freak Show, and Hotel. Each season you encounter is short but it has its own style.
For Murder House you see the different ghosts that took residence in the house from season one. Freak Show, you walk through moments such as Lange’s Life on Mars performance and walking through a museum of freaks. As for Hotel, you are being chased by a Lady Gaga’s killer through the hotel.
As with Halloween, fans of the show will definitely love the house. It was one of the longer ones and I thought it had a nice variety. On the downside, I wish they had Covenant and Asylum, as was advertised. Unless I missed something.
This was the first house I went through during my first evening at Halloween Horror Nights. The 2015 film was one of my favorite horror/comedies so it was nice that the house kept that tone.
With the set design, you actually felt winter weather. The fake snow and wind blowing were a nice touch. Some areas even had smell added for extra effect. Despite being short, it is definitely one of the best property-based houses at Halloween Horror Nights.
2. Tomb of the Ancients
Every year Universal makes their own original houses, with original stories. My first evening at Halloween Horror Nights, I was able to get through one of them. Expect extreme wait times (I waited up to 75 minutes, the longest wait of the evening) for this house.
The theme is ancient tombs. Personally, I believe it to be one of Universal’s best original houses in years (and I have two more to get through). For the wait, it is short, but definitely worth it. If I say too much I believe it will spoil the fun.
1. The Exorcist
One of the scariest movies of all time got a house at Universal this year. It also happens to be the best one I been in so far. Like the movie itself, it scared me. The details such as the smells and sound make you feel like you are really in the different scenes of the classic 70s film (soon to be TV show).
It isn’t a long house, but it isn’t short either. You can say it was just the right length. Classic moments such as the spinning of the head, puking everywhere, and seeing ancient Sumeria through the walls are seen. The actresses playing Linda Blair’s character looked a lot like her. The make-up artists definitely did their job. If you had to go through one house this year that is based on a property, I would say go with the Exorcist.
Overall Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 2016 is definitely shaping up to be great this year. I still have four more houses to go and see both the shows. Check back for Part 2 of this impression piece.