Fear strikes at the heart of “The Entertainment Capital” of L.A. as Universal Studios Hollywood employs the incomparable resources of the world’s largest movie studio, the birthplace of the horror genre, to present “Halloween Horror Nights.” Hailed as Southern California’s most intense interactive Halloween experience, the event boasts four new mazes and a new, scarier edition of the popular “Terror Tram,” which allows guests to venture on foot though Universal’s legendary back lot.
This year, “Halloween Horror Nights” will take the macabre to an all new level by incorporating three of the silver screens most notorious horror icons -- Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Leatherface--from New Line Cinema’s horror film franchises: “A “Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Friday the 13th” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
“Halloween Horror Nights” will be held on Friday and Saturday nights, beginning on October 5 and extending to Sunday, October 28 and concluding on Halloween, October 31. The event dates are: October 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-28 and 31. The event will begin nightly at 7:00 p.m.; closing hours vary.
THE GUEST EXPERIENCE: MEETING FREDDY, JASON AND LEATHERFACE
This year, Universal Studios Hollywood – the studio that invented the horror genre – joins forces with New Line Cinema’s most popular horror film franchises, “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Friday the 13th” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” to bring to life a harrowing “Halloween Horror Nights” event. Over the course of 10 days (consecutive weekends beginning October 5), guests will navigate unknown territory that has become all too familiar to the madmen of the big screen: Freddy, Jason and Leatherface.
Each of these titans of terror will wreak havoc within his own gory and disturbing maze. The mazes are designed to capture the gruesome tone of the films while eliminating the safe cinematic distance between beholder and tormentor afforded by a movie screen: here, horror is experienced at an excruciating level of intimacy. The new mazes are aptly named: “A Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy’s Nightmare,” “Friday the 13th: Camp Blood” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Back in Business” and will offer guests a very daunting level of realism.
The “Terror Tram” – a centerpiece of “Halloween Horror Nights” and unique to Universal Studios Hollywood – allows guests to venture on foot through the Studio’s legendary back lot. This year, Jack Schmidt, a.k.a. “Jack The Clown,” an inmate who escaped while doing time at the Shadybrook Asylum for the Criminally Insane, will relish his role as “Terror Tram” guide. Jack, who once basked in the glory of imitating these madmen, will now stand tall alongside his most revered idols, Freddy, Jason and Leatherface where together they will haunt the areas surrounding the studio landmarks, Psycho House, Bates Motel and the “War of the Worlds” plane crash scene and prey on unsuspecting guests.
From the moment guests enter “Halloween Horror Nights,” they’ll be struck by its raw intensity. Uniquely themed Scare Zones – carefully crafted pockets of terror – will define areas throughout the theme park, each with its own species of zombies and chainsaw-wielding brigade of “scare-actors.”
Following is a sampling of what will be experienced at “Halloween Horror Nights”:
FOUR NEW HORRORIFYING MAZES:
“A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET: FREDDY’S NIGHTMARE”
It’s been over 40 years since he slashed his last victim to death and now the “bastard son of 100 maniacs,” Freddy Krueger, is returning to the place of his conception, The Westin Hills Psychiatric Asylum, which serves as the site of this new “Halloween Horror Nights” maze. Since residing in the bowels of hell, Freddy has had decades to hone his sociopathic tendencies and has re-emerged to wreak havoc upon the residents of Springwood and to take revenge upon the mob that caught and burned him years before. Guests will weave through a dark, dank labyrinth populated by the mentally insane, discarded, neglected and grotesque inmates who have united as Freddy’s Army of the Insane. The pock-marked face of Freddy tormenting and torturing guest-victims will have them wondering if this experience is dream or reality?
“FRIDAY THE 13TH: CAMP BLOOD”
In the 1950s, after the severely handicapped boy, Jason Voorhees “accidentally” drowned, mother Voorhees vowed retaliation on the inattentive camp counselors she accused of causing his early death. A demented and very disturbed Mrs. Voorhees kept her promise, and the following year on Friday the 13th, two counselors were mysteriously and brutally murdered. Now, more than half a century later, the ruined remains of Camp Crystal Lake have become a stomping ground for curious visitors who’ll find the tables turned as they become pawns in Jason’s murderous killing spree. As guests scream though the camp’s devastation, hunted by a maniacally undead Jason Voorhees, it’ll seem only a matter of time before they meet an untimely fate…unless they can make good their escape.
“THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: BACK IN BUSINESS”
The condemned Blair Meats Factory is open for business and in search of choice cuts of prime, tender, fresh meat. Not just any meat: the Hewitt Family members are perfectionists who demand that their cuts of meat have a certain…human touch. While chowing down on “finger-licking good” human finger nuggets and char-broiled flesh cooked on an open flame, the Hewitts wear their guests to dinner. This gross-out maze will showcase a chainsaw-wielding Leatherface in all his demented glory, surrounded by his bizarre cast of cannibalistic family members, all dying to add a new, human, ingredient and a new dimension to Texas Home-Style Cooking. Vegetarians, be warned!
“UNIVERSAL’S HOUSE OF HORRORS”
Universal’s classic horror films burst through the celluloid screen to send guests on a terrifying trek through a spine-chilling “House of Horrors” where too-close-for-comfort encounters with many of filmdom’s most notorious creatures are commonplace. Navigating the creepy confines of a Gothic castle’s narrow walk-ways, guests will be ushered through a dark labyrinth infused with an array of unnervingly pungent odors reminiscent of musty antechambers and decaying life. Deep within the caverns, Count Dracula, Nosferatu, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Phantom of the Opera, Chucky and his Bride, and “Psycho’s” Mother Bates will all eagerly be awaiting the next victim.
“TERROR TRAM: HORROR COMES HOME”
A new edition of the “Terror Tram” – unique to Universal Studios Hollywood and a marquee attraction at “Halloween Horror Night’s” – will add more chaos and mayhem to the event. The “Terror Tram” will once again enable guests to disembark trams and meander through a remote portion of Universal’s legendary backlot, home to such Hollywood landmarks as the Psycho House, Bates Motel and the “War of the World’s plane crash disaster scene. This year, escaped inmate from the Shadybrook Asylum for the Criminally Insane, “Jack the Clown,” knows there are few skeletons in the closet, as the location will become a “home away from home” for him and his beloved heroes, Freddy, Jason and Leatherface who’ll stalk the night. The darkness and fear of the unknown will serve to comfort these titans of terror in their quest to scare guests to…death. Ah, it’s just a movie. Right?
THEMED “SCARE ZONES”
Lurking around every corner and parading down the theme park’s cobblestone streets are countless “scare-actors” reveling in their second coming. Bubonic Plague-infected zombies in all phases of gnarly decomposition will prey on victim-guests whose shrills will fall on deaf ears. Drowned out by gunning chainsaws, lacerating machetes and flesh tearing scissor-slashing fingers, guest’s blood-curdling screams will leave them running for their lives as they try and escape the scary environs of “Zombie Invasion,” “Deadwood,” “Haunted London” and “Black Death.”
Dispersed throughout “Halloween Horror Nights” will be a selection of theatrics, high voltage sleight-of-sight magical shows, satire performance at its best, and scary twists on some theme park favorites. Highlights include:
“CHUCKY’S INSULT EMPORIUM”
Sensitive folks and those with short fuses should consider detouring their trek through “Halloween Horror Nights” to avoid “Chucky’s Insult Emporium” where they risk slander from Hollywood’s least charismatic leading man whose demented demeanor and indiscriminate insults feast on the feeble, the ill at ease and socially inept.
“THE MAGIC OF KEVIN JAMES AND BRIAN BUSHWOOD”
A modern day P.T. Barnum and a prolific magical inventor, Kevin James pairs unconventional magic with comedy to deliver jaw-dropping, sleight-of-sight hilarity for an enthusiastic audience hungry for scary fun. He’s self-proclaimed “amusingly strange and unusual” and he wields bizarre magic as effortlessly as Leatherface brandishes a chainsaw. Brian Bushwood’s unique combination of outrageous, dangerous and amazing feats is peppered with enough comedy and pizzazz to make fire-eating, breaking concrete bricks over his head and sticking nails in his eyes so believable, guests may need to see it twice just to be sure their eyes are playing tricks on them.
“BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE”
With astonishing topics torn from the pages of the today’s most salacious tabloids, the kings of comedic satire spin pop culture and, celebrity public blunders into riotous laughter. Bill and Ted, never without their most excellent time-traveling phone booth, add hilarity to the already ridiculous for sublime parody performances.
“TERMINATOR 2: 3D”
A virtual adventure ride combining the world’s most sophisticated 3-D imaging with spectacular live action stunt work and visceral special effects, “Terminator 2: 3D” gets a major attitude adjustment for “Halloween Horror Nights.” Sci-fi fans will be awed with an arsenal of terrifying creatures, heart pounding suspense while acid-tongue dialogue whips at the “Governator.”
“JURASSIC PARK— IN THE DARK”
Havoc erupts when Universal’s oldest monsters turn their ravenous appetites on unsuspecting guests thrust unwittingly into the cold, still night of the Jurassic era. Only inches from gigantic carnivorous dinosaurs, guests in fear of their lives will navigate uncharted waters before they plunge head-first down an 84-foot drop into the frigid waters of “Jurassic Park—The Ride.”
“REVENGE OF THE MUMMY— THE RIDE”
Fear of the dark, fear of insects, fear of speed, fear of heights and fear of death are served up to deliver the world’s first psychological thrill ride roller coaster. Utilizing animatronics, sophisticated motion picture technology, state-of-the-art ride, audio and robotics engineering, the ride preys upon every human phobia, immersing guests in a total multi-sensory environment in utter darkness.
“HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS”
DATES, TIME & INFORMATION
“Halloween Horror Nights” will extend over 10 nights beginning Friday, October 5 and continue on October 6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-28 and on Halloween, October 31.
The horror begins nightly at 7:00 p.m. To purchase tickets and learn more, access www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com.