Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood Photos & Video

TPR's Review Updated October 8th - Page 1!
Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest
Discuss theme parks, roller coasters, and mules!
Site Admin
User avatar
 
Posts: 45680
Joined: 01 Feb 2005
Location: Orlando, FL
Gender: Male

Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood Photos & Video

Postby robbalvey » Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:33 pm

Hey everyone!

Here is our "official" review of Halloween Horror Nights 2007 at Universal Hollywood. This is the total raw, no BS, no random sausage, straight out how you like it cooked TPR Photo & Video TR!!!

And oh, yeah, if you don't watch the video we will have Dave come over to your house and do a karaoke version of his favorite death metal band!

Anyway....

Overall, Halloween Horror Nights grew this year. And that's what it needed. This is only the events 2nd year back from the dead and I really think they did a lot of things right over last year. There were also a few things I feel they did wrong, and we'll get to that, but for now let's talk about the expansion.

First off, there were two additional mazes from last year. And all 4 mazes were brand spankin' new from last year's offerings. And they all pretty much kicked some haunted house severed A$$.

Then the addition of Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween was MUCH welcome and after last year's "disaster" of a comedy show (yeah, Lilo and Squeek or whatever those guys were called were really bad) it improved the show line up 100%!

The scare zones were on par with last year, and I think the only thing that really seemed to take a step back was the Terror Tram. But again, I'll cover that later.

Ok, so let's get chainsaw deep into some of this stuff....

The Mazes
If you read my interview with HHN Creative Director John Murdy you'll know that his comment was "It's all about the mazes....that's what people want." And I was more than happy to see the park add two additional mazes over what was offered last year for a total of four mazes in 2007.

Now granted, one of the mazes is the parks permanent, year-round maze "House of Horrors" but it's been given a facelift from last year's Halloween Horror Nights, and it was much improved.

The other three mazes were all based on very popular Horror franchises "Nightmare on Elm Street", "Friday the 13th", and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

Out of the 4 mazes, I think my personal favorite was Friday the 13th. If you are a fan at all of these movies you will recognize scenes from the films in the maze. You'll see the "sex room" where Jason impales the couple doin' it in the cabin, you'll see the guy get his spine crunched in the fold-up bed, and you'll see the girl get attacked through the roof of her VW bug. All great classic scenes from the film series.

The mazes felt more like being on a movie set and less like going through "the line ride" which is what you find at other local Halloween events. These are "movie set quality" effects and props. Nothing about HHN mazes feels cheap or homebrew. You can tell there was quite a budget here. (Well, ok, maybe other than the Terror Tram, but I'll get to that...)

One thing I would like to point out is that HHN in Florida has always made a point of being fresh and new each year. Meaning that HHN has never re-used the same maze two years in a row. Each year the entire event is "new." New mazes, new theme, new characters, new scare zones, new shows, etc.

If Hollywood can pull this off, they will be decapitated heads and shoulders above the offerings at Knott's Halloween Haunt. My #1 complaint about Knott's is the re-use of mazes year after year. When I spend $50+ at a Halloween event I do not want to see the same mazes I saw last year, or in Knott's case, for the past 5 or 6 years. I want to see something NEW! I can understand if House of Horrors comes back every year since that is an actual day-to-day park attraction, but next year it would be nice to see something completely new. Now, I would be "ok" if Freddy or Jason had a maze, but give us something new. Not the same maze over again.

Another note about the Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface mazes is that you got to see those characters...a LOT! That was awesome! When I go into a Friday the 13th maze, dammit I want to see Jason! I saw him kill so many people in those movies and I want to see him all over that maze! I got my wish! =)

Keep it up Universal, you are already BETTER than your local competition on both coasts as far as quality of mazes go!

Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure
I am SO Happy this show was brought back to Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights. Personally I didn't think the show played quite as well as it did in Florida, but that's also because it has a 17 year following there.

In Florida, as soon as they start playing "We will rock you" at the start, the entire theater goes crazy! And in the finale, the audience is rocking and dancing in their seats. I'm not so sure Hollywood quite got into it as much, but I'm also not quite sure they knew what to expect. Could also be that Florida's event sells alcohol where as Hollywood doesn't! C'mon Hollywood, at least give the crowd a two drink maximum! (BTW, I was happy to see you guys fixed the lights on the sign out front. The first show no one could find the theater!)

For those of you California locals, one thing you need to know about Bill & Ted - It is *NOT* "The Hanging." It doesn't try to be, it doesn't pretend to be, it is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT KIND OF SHOW! So if you go in expecting The Hanging, you may be in for quite a shock.

The only similarities between the two shows is that they make fun of pop culture icons. Bill & Ted is a comedy/music show where as The Hanging is a comedy/horror show. IMO it will probably be a hard sell to those So Cal folk who have 'grown up' with The Hanging, as I didn't know what to make of it the first time I saw the show in Florida. But if you go into it knowing that it's more of a "party" atmosphere not an excuse to buy a bunch of blood packs, you may really enjoy the show for what it is. Personally, I now prefer it over The Hanging. It's kind of nice to not have to stand up for one, and not have to hear nothing but Disneyland jokes over and over because Knott's knows they aren't as cool as the park down the street from them.

The last 5 or 6 minutes of the Bill & Ted show, IMO, is probably the most high-energy, most rocking, dancing in your seat, pyro-technic, party atmosphere FUN you'll see in any theme park. So be prepared!

You'll get a feel for what the Bill & Ted show like in the video we produced below! (So watch it, dammit!!!)

The Terror Tram
Ok, this is where things don't get quite as pretty.

Last year, I *LOVED* the Terror Tram. It was easily the highlight of the evening. We spent nearly an hour down in the backlot section and had the best time of any Halloween event ever!

But this year something happened....something was VERY different.

The vibe last year was that it was like the "World's biggest scare zone in easily the most incredible Halloween setting on earth." You were allowed to walk freely and mingle with the monsters at the Bates Motel, Psycho House, and War of the Worlds set. OMG, it was incredible! We got photos with Norman bates, video of monsters coming out of the plane wreckage, and watched the motel inhabitants scare the pants off people!

This year....the moment we got off the tram "PUT YOUR CAMERAS AWAY! NO PHOTOS! DON'T LET ME SEE ANY CAMERAS OUT!!!" was shouted at us by multiple people!

"What?!!? Getting to take photos in this area is what made the backlot special last year!"

And then we were pushed through this section as though they thought it was another maze. The paths were narrow and we were constantly told to move forward. It was like they tried to create a "maze" out of an open area that lent itself more to be a scare zone.

Where last year we spent an hour in this section, this year we were done in 10 minutes! It was quite a disappointment.

And on top of that, this was really the only section of the event where "shaker cans" were everywhere! Why?!?! In past years Universal has done SO much more with their scares than just giving a dude in a costume a shaker can. In fact, I remember a conversation with one of the creative directors last year who told us "We prefer not to use shaker cans. Why would a zombie have a shaker can? They'd have something they could bang or hit you with. A shaker can isn't a threat, so why should our monsters use them?" I can maybe accept one or two here or there, but the entire War of the Worlds section was nothing but monsters and shaker cans. It was the only area of the entire night that felt "cheap" to me.

Please, Universal, go back and remove those shaker cans and give your monsters something that gives a REAL scare. I expect shaker cans from Knott's Berry Farm and Six Flags, NOT the film studio that invented horror.

Now, on the plus side, the addition of "Jack" was amazing! For those of you who don't know Jack (heh, get it?) he is the clown from Halloween Horror Nights in Florida. Getting to hear the back story of Jack while on the tram was also cool. He's certainly the most popular clown of any horror event and I hope his character gets the same following here in Hollywood as it has in Florida.

And to the people who work on Terror Tram, please, PLEASE turn it back into more of a "scare zone" and let people take pictures and video. You had something REALLY amazing here. Something really unique. And it was turned into something lack-luster.

Overall
Halloween events are a crowded market in Southern California. Knott's Haunt has been the standard for years. But if John Murdy means it when he said "I want to bring what made Florida's HHN a success to Hollywood" then I really think Knott's should be more than just a little bit scared.

Universal's Halloween Horror Nights has already nearly doubled in content this year (which was really our only complaint about last year's event) and the quality is already far above what all the others offer.

You just can't get the same "movie set quality" mazes anywhere else. If you're only going to do one Halloween event this year, we recommend Halloween Horror Nights!

Now onto some photos!

All photos by Robb & Elissa & Jahan!

UPDATE! 10/8/2007 -
I have just recieved an email from John Murdy, Creative Director at Universal in response to our comments about HHN and the Terror Tram. Here is an excerpt:

Wanted to let you know that I thought your criticism of Terror Tram
was right on. We already started tweaking it by Sat. I didn't realize the attraction hosts weren't allowing pictures...that's just wrong and we'll correct that immediately. That's part of the experience, the chance for the fans to see these amazing sets up close. I'm going to spend a lot of time tweaking Terror Tram this week....


I'm VERY happy with Universal's response and this makes me look even more forward to the growth of their event!

--Robb
hhn200703.jpg
Yeah, we're at Universal Studios. Just in case you weren't sure...now you know! ;)
hhn200703a.jpg
HHN brought to Hollywood "Jack." The most awesome creepy clown ever! And as you can see he has friends. These people are NOT to be f**cked with. Trust me, they will kick your A$$!
hhn200703aa.jpg
We were an invited member of the "media" and just so we knew what event we were at...there was a sign. (Media people aren't usually very smart!)
hhn200703b.jpg
Universal really knows how to throw a party! Rob Zombie was there, that chick from Medium who is a sister of the chick that was Desperatley Seeking Susan, and they had mini-hamburgers....mmmm..... (They know media people also like to EAT!)
hhn200704.jpg
Jahan found himself the woman of his dreams! "What, don't make fun of her! At least I know she can cook!"
hhn200705.jpg
"Hey lady, that's a real nice snake you got there!"
hhn200706.jpg
"Watch out for that other lady, she might eat BOTH of you!"
hhn200709.jpg
Out on the streets of Universal there were plenty of chainsaw dudes, sliders, severed heads, and other random things to scare you with.
hhn200710.jpg
Friday the 13th was the first of the "New Line" character mazes we did, and it was my personal favorite of the three.
hhn200710a.jpg
If you are a fan of the movies, you will recognize scenes from them. Like this dude that gets crushed in a fold up bed....
hhn200710b.jpg
And the "sex room" where Jason double impales a couple who are 'doin it!"
hhn200710c.jpg
"Oh Jason...your pole...it's so big!"
hhn200711.jpg
Nightmare on Elm Street was the 2nd maze we did. Complete with the nursery, the roach motel, and many other scenes you'd remember from the films.
hhn200712.jpg
Yeah, we'll forgive you that it still says "Asylum" from last year because the new maze was so good...but don't think we didn't notice! ;)
hhn200713.jpg
Freddy was just hanging out with this dude...you know...just seeing what's been cookin....
hhn200714.jpg
The Roach Motel included these little beauties.
hhn200719.jpg
The scare zones were littered with blood, guts, and random body parts. "Meat Cow" would be proud!
hhn200730.jpg
We headed on town to the Terror Tram, our most anticipated part of the evening after how awesome it was last year.
hhn200731.jpg
This is the only photo we have to show you from Terror Tram because as soon as we got off the tram we nearly had our own cameras impaled in our heads by the "camera nazis." Please read my rant above about Terror Tram. It was the only disappointing part of the event this year, but it was quite a disappointment to be honest.
hhn200732.jpg
House of Horrors - This is the parks permanent horror maze that is open all year round. I had not seen it since it was made over last year and it's really great! It includes many of Universal's "Classic Monsters."
hhn200733.jpg
There are a lot of random dead dudes in here.
hhn200734.jpg
Chucky was here. He was pretty sexy.
hhn200735.jpg
The maze itself is VERY impressive. It really is more of a collection of 'sets' and less about being a 'maze.'
hhn200736.jpg
Frankie goes to Hollywood.
hhn200737.jpg
MMMmmmmm the ride was back! Yay!
hhn200738.jpg
Dude, Jahan has seriously gotten more action tonight than he EVER has! Now, they are all dead and scary chicks, but damn, when it's dark who's counting the scars?
hhn200739.jpg
And now for the highlight of the evening! The Hollywood return of the "Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure!"

For those of you California locals, one thing you need to know about Bill & Ted - It is *NOT* "The Hanging." It doesn't try to be, it doesn't pretend to be, it is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT KIND OF SHOW! So if you go in expecting The Hanging, you may be in for quite a shock.
hhn200740.jpg
"This seems so weird to NOT be seeing this show in Florida!"
hhn200741.jpg
"...and together we're WYLD STALLIONS!!!" (C'mon, everyone here has seen Bill & Ted, right? If not...GO RENT IT NOW!!!)
hhn200742a.jpg
The only similarities between the two shows is that they make fun of pop culture icons. Bill & Ted is a comedy/music show where as The Hanging is a comedy/horror show.

Here is one of the dudes from 300 and the cheerleader from Heroes checking each other out.
hhn200743.jpg
Some gay pirates gave us a nice song and dance.
hhn200743b.jpg
Turns out Bill & Ted's phone booth is a Transformer! "Optimus Booth!"
hhn200746.jpg
Some of the jokes were hilarious! The battle between Rosie and Donald kicked some serious A$$! (And check out the size of that A$$!)
hhn200745.jpg
The Grindhouse chick now had a cannon for a leg!
hhn200746b.jpg
It's a lot of high-energy rockin' music with comedy and pyro!
hhn200747.jpg
There's a good amount of hot chicks too! (Although I did think this version of B&T didn't have quite as many half-naked chicks as I've seen in previous Florida shows.)
hhn200749.jpg
The last 5 or 6 minutes of the Bill & Ted show, IMO, is probably the most high-energy, most rocking, dancing in your seat, pyro-technic, party atmosphere FUN you'll see in any theme park.
hhn200749d.jpg
Optimus Booth was rockin' out in the aisles!
hhn200749c.jpg
The show always ends with a BANG!
hhn200751.jpg
Yay! Since we weren't allowed to take pictures with Jack on the Terror Tram, we were lucky enough to find him wandering the main entrance area! Elissa was so happy that she found her man! =)
hhn200754.jpg
We found it interesting that it looked like they were using some merchandise on both coasts. Did Hollywood's version actually carry the "Carnival of Carnage" moniker?
hhn200755.jpg
Turns out Jahan is a Friday the 13th virgin! "I gotta watch ALL these movies?!?!"
hhn200752.jpg
And finally, it wouldn't be a Universal update with out a little sneak at the Simpsons area coming in 2008!

Halloween Horror Nights was a GREAT event. We highly reccomend it, and if you only do one So Cal Halloween event this year, do HHN!

Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood 2007 Video. This gives you a glimpse of what the Bill & Ted "Finale" is like as well as some of the best moments from this years mazes! It's all high energy and totally awesome Enjoy the video! (NOTE: The video is dark...it's a nighttime event after all...but you should be able to SEE everything...you may need to adjust your monitor settings)

(Zipped version below!)

hhn_2007_640.wmv [ 23.45 MiB | Viewed 53113 times ]

hhn_2007_640.zip
Zipped version of the HHN Video!
(23.27 MiB) Downloaded 1559 times

Keeper Of The Carnivorous Bees!
User avatar
 
Posts: 14033
Joined: 12 Feb 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Gender: Male

Postby Meteornotes » Sun Oct 07, 2007 1:03 am

Awesome report. A shame about the Terror Tram, as what they had last year sounded amazing. Not sure why they didn't keep going in that direction. Hopefully they'll get a lot of negative feedback and change it back.

And oh, yeah, if you don't watch the video we will have Dave come over to your house and do a karaoke version of his favorite death metal band!


Trust me, you do not want this. You think those death metal guys can't sing? You haven't heard me. Yet. WATCH THE VIDEO!

dt
Always trying to keep YOU entertained! Now with more Ice Bat!
Image
The world would be a better place if Dave programmed our iPods - Derwood

Slightly racist and terrible at poetry
User avatar
 
Posts: 1906
Joined: 17 Jul 2007
Location: Washington
Gender: Male
Age: 24

Postby Team Thriller » Sun Oct 07, 2007 1:24 am

This is on my must see events now. Great pictures, makes me want to go there, because it acually LOOKS scary. Most of them aren't that scary.

Thanks for the update! :b
Image

We Ride with Pride

I Guess Donkeys Are Okay
 
Posts: 6
Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Gender: None specified

Postby trevler » Sun Oct 07, 2007 2:50 am

Awsome video.

Im really happy to see some clips from the mazes and bill and ted. Since I'm in a scarezone there, I haven't (and probably won't) have a chance to check out the rest of the event.

"Excuse me, miss, may I pound my large rooster into your donkey?"
 
Posts: 1100
Joined: 21 May 2006
Gender: None specified

Postby thefitness » Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:59 am

It looks like it was a good decision to "follow in the footsteps" of Orlando's event this year. Hopefully it’ll get them back on track!

Beware of the freeze-dried donkey!
User avatar
 
Posts: 1349
Joined: 15 Jul 2006
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Gender: Male
Age: 31

Postby Zen Coaster » Sun Oct 07, 2007 7:07 am

Looks incredible. I really like that House of Horrors when I visited at the end of July. It's a shame the Terror Tram wasn't as good but I'm sure yours won't be the only negative feedback they'll receive so can see them changing it back.

Bonafide Donkey Expert
User avatar
 
Posts: 1087
Joined: 01 Jun 2006
Location: Somewhere in England...
Gender: Male
Age: 27

Postby IceDragon » Sun Oct 07, 2007 7:28 am

Meteornotes wrote:Awesome report. A shame about the Terror Tram, as what they had last year sounded amazing. Not sure why they didn't keep going in that direction. Hopefully they'll get a lot of negative feedback and change it back.

And oh, yeah, if you don't watch the video we will have Dave come over to your house and do a karaoke version of his favorite death metal band!


Trust me, you do not want this. You think those death metal guys can't sing? You haven't heard me. Yet. WATCH THE VIDEO!

dt


You should hear me giving it a go :P

I prefer to mate with donkeys over humans!
User avatar
 
Posts: 2267
Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Location: New York
Gender: Male
Age: 26

Postby odene497 » Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:27 am

That video was awesome! The Bill and Ted Show looks like it kicked a$$! I really wish I lived closer to something like this. Looks like I'm stuck with "Fright Night" at the mall. :(

This 16 year old puts you to shame
User avatar
 
Posts: 6641
Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Gender: Male

Postby socalMAN123 » Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:53 am

Aw man, I really want to go hit this up. It looks awesome! I should probably watch all the movies before I go though. This looks like a great event and a bunch of fun.
Brent "wishes he was old enough to drive himself there" Shenton =)
Disobey

That random nerd
User avatar
 
Posts: 2378
Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Location: Houston, Texas
Gender: Male
Age: 23

Postby Vekoma Fan Boy » Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:06 am

Nice TR! I really loved the video! Except the part with Welcome to The Black Parade, they completely f*cked that song up the way they chopped it. :roll: (Well, unless you had to chop it Robb, then I'd understand...)





Vekoma "Coincedentally, I'm actually wearing my MCR shirt!" Fan Boy

Next

Return to Theme Parks, Roller Coasters, & Donkeys!

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest

These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment,
Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.

All onride photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by a professional ride photographer.
For yours  and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at parks without proper permission.

Disclaimer!  You need a sense of humor to view our site, 
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back now!
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER!
There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13."
Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.

cron