- Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 November 2013 08:12
- Written by Lupe Haas
This year, Universal Studios Hollywood tapped into film and television franchises for their Halloween Horror Nights with mazes and street themes influenced by movies and tv series such as Insidious, The Purge, Chucky, Evil Dead (2014), The Walking Dead and two original attractions; one-based on a Latino-inspired horror tale, El Cucuy (The Boogeyman) and the music inspired labyrinth set to Black Sabbath music.
When you first walk into the park, the mayhem is set with people in masks and chainsaws greeting you a la The Purge. Then you might get little Chucky coming out behind a garbage can or building with a knife. Forget the zombies and monsters, that pint size killer is by far the freakiest thing that pops out at you at the annual spook fest.
El CucuyThen it was off to the mazes. El Cucuy was our first stop. You recognize Danny Trejo’s voice immediately upon entering and narrating the story of the Latino boogeyman with a devilish voice. That was the best thing unfortunately, as the space was so tight that not even the boogeyman had enough room to lunge at you to say “Boo!” Plus it was a fairly short trip down the gory hallways. There’s familiarity with the name, but not enough story behind it to really build a theme around the child-stealing monster.
Evil DeadThe Evil Dead maze had several Mia’s coming at you and one even spewing water from her mouth. Luckily I just missed it, but my companion got some of it. It’s hilarious when it happens to others. That was the best part, watching others react to the surprise, which no other maze had.
Terror TramThe terror tram to the backlot influenced by The Walking Dead needed a little more than just zombies and survivors roaming around scaring you. The outdoor attraction should have more activities involving the spectators, like a section where visitors can participate in pretend killing like laser tagging zombies.
InsidiousThe maze inspired by the movie certainly had some good scares with paintings jumping out at you and a nicely designed maze that was a little reminiscent of Disney’s Haunted House with moving pictures and so forth. Watch footage.
The Walking Dead Maze
For both the Walking Dead and Black Sabbath, visitors are taken by tram to the New York backlot at Universal Studios where both mazes were constructed. The tram ride at the park usually drives tourists by that New York sets, but for the Halloween Horror Nights, they drop you off at the site. That alone was super awesome since the public rarely has access to that area.
The Walking Dead maze inspired by last season’s show in the prison was absolutely terrifying. An actual prison was built for this attraction and you feel the terror in walking down the hallways and zombies jumping out you from the jail cells. It was like reliving the past season of AMC’s hit show. The coolness factor was certainly at an all-time high. But the best part had yet to come.
Black Sabbath 3D
Next door, the Black Sabbath 3D maze was certainly the most popular with the wait being over two hours. Armed with my paper 3D glasses, you enter a paint splattered, psychedelic room with classic Black Sabbath tunes blaring. A phantom appears floating above your head. It both freaks me out and excites the living daylights out of me because it was so freakin’ cool. The 3D along with the music and atmosphere was superb. I’ve never seen anything like it. You get other surprises along the way, but it seems so short and you want to go again, but do you really want to wait another two hours? It’s certainly worth it, but at 1am, it’s probably time to call it quits.
WORST ATTRACTION – Beware False Advertisement
Bill & Ted’s Halloween Adventure
Now here’s one attraction that was a waste of an hour. I’ve seen Bill & Ted’s Adventure at Universal Studios and enjoyed it in the past so the addition of the word “Halloween” on the headline, drew us in. Plus there was no wait for this one.
Fifteen minutes after we sat down the show began and it was business as usual with funny dialogue from the two stoners, and characters joining them on stage in costume as they head off to the land of Oz, but then the clothes started to come off. Guys with hard abs and girls in blinged out bras started dirty dancing with each other. North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is the villain killing off celebrities such as Nicki Minaj, Kristen Stewart, Justin Bieber, etc. Superman becomes a gay superhero, donning only his cape and underwear. Huh! Did I miss something?
Ordinarily I wouldn’t mind the six packs on the males, if I were at Chippendales, but how is this related to Halloween and horror? It was certainly another type of horror to say the least.
Once the show started, we realized we picked the worst seats in the house. We were crotch view of all this with seating right next to the runway where the dancers are stomping away and rolling around in their bareness. We were trapped and couldn’t get out.
The headline outside should’ve read “Bill & Ted’s S&M Adventure.” The 45-minute show poked fun at pop culture, movies and celebrities, which at times was hilarious, but it didn’t quite fit with the theme of the night. AND I was wasting time in there instead of waiting in line out there were the good scares awaited.