Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the second year of Warner Bros Studios “Horror Made Here: Festival of Frights” event. Last year, guests had the chance to go on a tour of the studio specifically tailored to horror films and it ended up being an event that I absolutely loved, so you can imagine how excited I was when it was announced that Warner Bros would be continuing the event once again, only this time expanded so that it would be bigger, badder, and more frightful for us die-hard horror fans.
When we arrived, we were taken to our first stop, a tour of Stage 48: Script to Screen, which showcased an array of amazing set pieces, costumes, and designs from some of the biggest horror films which included IT, ANNABELLE: CREATIONS, and THE CONJURING 2. As a massive fan of the IT film, I loved being able to see both Bill Skarsgard’s Pennywise costume and Georgie’s rain slicker. However, my favorite portion of this tour was seeing the Annabelle doll rocking back and forth on a chair located in Bee’s Bedroom. Though I know that doll isn’t the real Annabelle, it’s still creepy enough to make me feel uneasy whenever I see it.
After we finished staring in awe at all the incredible costumes, props and set pieces, we were then led to the backlot where we had the chance to experience an array of different walk-through attractions starting with the infamous Neibolt House. Having had the chance to go through this when the Neibolt House was on Hollywood & Vine for the IT movie release, it didn’t deter me from once again finding the enjoyment of being immersed in the house while going through it with people who were experiencing it for the first time. This being my third time, I found myself still blown away by the amount of detail and effort put into this production and to this day, I think The Neibolt House is one of the best events ever to be put on for fans of the book and film.
Upon exiting The Neibolt House, we made our way to the IT VR experience for our chance to “float” with Pennywise. This was my first time doing this so I was excited to see what the VR aspect had in store for me. Though I’m not the biggest fan of VR, as I have yet to experience one that blows me away, I still enjoyed what this attraction offered. I also loved the fact that the experience is housed inside a decrepit looking bus as it really allowed guests to be fully immersed before even putting the VR headset on. As for the VR itself, I enjoyed it for what it was and loved exploring the sewers where Pennywise was; however, I felt like the best moment was when we finally got to “float” as the sensation of what was happening was unlike anything else I’ve experienced with VR.
When I left the IT VR Experience, my guest and I headed to a building that looked as though it was used as a high school set. Inside guests were sent through a haunted maze based around the iconic slasher, Freddy Krueger. Though this maze was short, the amount of detail put into the set was very noticeable, and the scare actors were terrific in their interactions throughout. Also, Freddy Krueger talks to you as you are making your way through which is something that you don’t get to experience often when going through a haunt. After exiting, one of the actors dressed as Freddy awaits you so that if you want that special photo op with the infamous horror icon you can have it for your collection.
After surviving the sharp clutches of Freddy, we headed towards THE CONJURING maze. Please note, I have been waiting YEARS to go through a haunt based off of THE CONJURING so to say I was elated to finally have that chance is an understatement. I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint! For the ten minutes or so that you are inside, you get to go through the Warren’s infamous occult museum then into their home where you will get to experience scenes from ANNABELLE: CREATIONS and THE CONJURING. Not only are there scare actors but also animatronics and special effects to fully immerse you into the CONJURING universe. On top of all that, the set design and the dedication of the actors really drive the point home making this haunted attraction my favorite of the night.
After we had successfully finished all the mazes, we took some time to revel in the space where all the frights were taking place. Being able to freely walk around portions of the backlot was very surreal. Throughout this space were houses used as set pieces in different films and television shows which were decorated in the Halloween spirit. One of the larger buildings made to look like an apartment building in New York, had Pennywise sneaking a glance through the top window to look down at all the guests. Another house had gremlins running back and forth behind a window, playing out different scenes throughout the night. Around the gazebo area was a bar where guests could purchase alcoholic beverages as well as food trucks for those looking for a quick bite to eat before the scares began.
After we took some time to rest and eat, we decided to hop on the tram for their Halloween inspired tour. During this ride, guests get the chance to catch a glimpse of some of the most famous sets used in films such as MONSTER SQUAD, GREMLINS, SPIDER-MAN, and more, as well as hear true stories of ghost sighting seen throughout the studio backlot. I had the chance to do the tour last year, which I loved, but this year they added some new features which I think fully enhanced the experience. If you are a fan of the show “Pretty Little Liars” or the movie WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? you will definitely love what this tour has in store for you.
Overall, the “Horror Made Here: Festival of Frights” experience was a complete success and an event that I haven’t stopped talking about since going. Not only do we get to learn about the famous studio and it’s backlot, but horror fans will love the addition of the haunted attractions and the many other experiences available. The “Horror Made Here” experience is $69 and tickets can be purchased at wbstudiotour.com but make sure to act fast as it’ll only be available Oct. 26 through the 28th. If you are a fan of horror and haunts, but want something more intimate and different from the major haunted attractions in LA, then make sure to check out “Horror Made Here: Festival of Frights”, you won’t be disappointed.