Deep within the halls of the Queen Mary, there is a room filled with seemingly ordinary items from the past. However, these items hold spiritual significance that allow them to be used as a conduit for communication with the spirits. These items open up the world between the living and the departed. They invite ghosts to pass over the threshold and interact with the living.
This past week, we were invited to take a behind the scenes tour of the upcoming STRANGER THINGS Maze debuting this Friday at Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood. Universal Hollywood Creative Director John Murdy gave us a room by room tour of the maze, even though most of it was still under construction. He explained to us what everything was going to look, sound, and feel like once completed. The maze will include all the iconic locations from the first season of the hit Netflix series.
If this year’s Midsummer Scream seemed busier than ever, that’s because it was. With Midsummer being one of the largest haunt related conventions in the United States, it is the place to be to unveil all the new, exciting haunt related things to the hungry crowds eager for this year’s haunt season to start. Curious fans scurried to the Grand Ballroom on Saturday, July 28th, to see and hear all the new changes coming to Six Flags Magic Mountain's Fright Fest.
The team behind Six Flags Fright Fest assembled to reveal all the latest announcements going into this year’s spooky event. If fans stayed long enough, they also got to experience a variety of frightening and strange characters from the haunted attraction roaming throughout the presentation. Of course, it wouldn’t have been a Fright Fest panel without the infamous Innocence Willoughby skulking about and scaring the panelists onstage.
This year’s Fright Fest features the arrivals of a couple of new mazes as well as new scare zone additions to the event.
Condemned - Forever Damned is a new maze this year, which focuses on an abandoned house towards the front of the park. Once you enter the home, you may never get the chance to leave. Throughout the course of your time in the abandoned home, you will run across various souls of the people who used to live there. You’ll also have to try to keep away from the soul snatchers because they desire nothing more to take your soul.
Sewer of Souls is another new maze this year that will be replacing the Dead End maze of previous years. You’ll walk into a dank, dusty sewer and make your way through the gross, putrid passageways that make up the sewer system. Along the way, you will run into dwellers who have made the sewer their home.
The panelists then moved onto discussing one of the largest scare zones that they’ve ever had at Fright Fest - The Witch’s Lair. Not only is this the largest scare zone, but it also features the biggest cast they’ve used for a scare. The Witch’s Lair will take root in the Metropolis Area and will slowly take on the form of an outdoor swampy woodland area. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled because you’ll have to run fast if a swamp hound catches your scent. If you were able to make it to the Hall of Shadows, you were able to get a glimpse of the swamp hounds in action.
The panelists did not hide in the fact that they were planning this to be the goriest year ever for the annual haunt event. The debut of the new scare zone The Shadows has emphasized gore that is sure to curl the toes of many a guest. The panelists also wanted to make it clear that the event would not be best for those with small children. This year they are completely axing the Boo Sticks, glow in the dark sticks that kids could wear to help identify to monsters that they were not meant to be scared. All kid gloves are off and the panelists emphasized that the event was really meant for patrons 13 and older.
With all of the new additions this year and with the seductive appeal of gorier attractions, Six Flags Fright Fest is sure to bring all the haunters to the yard. Tickets are on sale HERE.
Welcome witches and warlocks,
I had the great pleasure of attending the panel We Put A Spell On You: Celebrating 25 Years of “Hocus Pocus” at Midsummer Scream and figured I would offer up some thoughts for my fellow convention enthusiasts. To best describe the proceedings, I will turn to the official press release
Welcome witches and warlocks,
I had the great pleasure of attending the panel Elvira: Mistress of the Dark 30th Anniversary at Midsummer Scream and figured I would offer up some thoughts for my fellow convention enthusiasts. To best describe the proceedings, I will turn to the official press release:
Major studios are investing a large portion of their marketing budget to fund activations that are popping up all around the nation. Midsummer Scream invited major players in immersive activations to discuss their experiences. Christie Decker, of the IT Neibolt House walkthrough, David Wally, of the Westworld activation at SXSW, and Josh Randall, who developed The Strangers and Hulu's Castle Rock activation, discussed their experience producing major marketing events.
A few weeks ago we were invited to check out some of the new offerings at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood for the West Coast introduction of Butterbeer Ice Cream, new spell locations, new lunch items in the three broomsticks and high-end replica outfits available at Gladrags Wizardwear.
This past Wednesday saw the start of my San Diego Comic-Con coverage with Preview Night. As this was my first time ever attending Comic-Con, I made sure my schedule touched upon everything from activations to panels to interviews, so that I could experience all the different elements that Comic-Con was known for.
I had the great pleasure of attending Ghoula Events and The 3-D Space's recent screening of the horror film THE MASK (1962) at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater and figured I would offer up some thoughts on the proceedings. To best describe what the evening included, I will use my own description
Harry Potter has been an integral part of my life since the first book came out in 1997. I grew up with the stories and adventures that Harry Potter and his friends experienced within the Wizarding World, and although I am much older now, I still cherish the magical world that J.K. Rowling has created. Since the book's original inception, fans have now been graced with everything from movie adaptations to the creation of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at both Universal Studios Orlando and Hollywood.
The Portland Horror Film Festival is a 4-day festival of independent and international horror films that takes place in, you guessed it, Portland Oregon from June 13-16. I was lucky enough to take in the weekend with the Portland horror crew and even though I was only able to be there two days, it was definitely worth the journey!
When we were asked to cover the opening of the new Dreamworks Theater at Universal Studios Hollywood I didn’t know what to expect. I’d walked by Shrek 4D a million times but never experienced it because I can live without Shrek in my life. I was always afraid of the talking Donkey out front as well. Meet and Greets with something that can talk to me isn’t my thing, but I was excited to give the new Dreamworks theater a go…..and delighted to see that talking Donkey wasn’t there when I arrived.
Texas Frightmare Weekend 2018 terrified its way into horror-con goers hearts almost three weeks ago, so why did it take me until now to write about it? Well, I've only just touched back down in homeland Australia, and while the flight from Dallas to Sydney to Brisbane feels like it takes three weeks, it's only around 20 hours all up. So what's my excuse for unpunctuality? Well, boring stuff. My wife and I visited family and did some touristy things while we were in the US of A, and being on the road without a laptop made it hard to sit down and make words happen. But I'm making it up to you now.
This past weekend I had the chance to attend the 30th Anniversary Event of the cult horror/sci-fi film, KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE (1988). This film holds a very special place in my heart and having never had the chance to see it on the big screen, I was looking forward to finally being able to have that experience.
Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop) has been taken over by Marvel Superheroes at their newest exhibition.
The Queen Mary has become one of my favorite places to explore in Southern California. Whether it's during the Halloween season with Dark Harbor, or the many events that are sprinkled throughout the year that promise tales of paranormal activity, The Queen Mary has become my home away from home. In celebration of this past Friday, the 13th, which landed on April 13th, I had the chance to once again return to The Queen Mary to get a sneak peek into their infamous B340 Stateroom which would be opening to the public for the first time in three decades and let me tell you, it was one hell of an experience.