Southern California benefits significantly from having Hollywood stationed within. From the various comedy shows to the underground theatres and bars that host nightly bands, the creative talent is overflowing. During Halloween season, though, this talent is often channeled into some of the most impressive haunted attractions in the country.
At the forefront of these attractions, Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights stands near the top. Their production value is unmatched, and being connected to a studio, they get the opportunity to bring some of our favorite properties to life in their mazes. This year they introduced a slew of new mazes including three that we got to take a sneak peek at: Creepshow, Frankenstein vs. The Wolfman, and Killer Klowns from Outer Space.
Inspired by the 1982 anthology film, this year’s Creepshow maze will also feature stories from the upcoming Shudder TV series. Greg Nicotero, head makeup artist for “The Walking Dead”, has signed on to the new Shudder series and provided all of the molds from the current production to the Creepshow maze. Like an anthology horror does, the maze takes guests through the five stories being told by the Creep. The maze starts off with three stories from the original 1984 movie and finishes with two from the upcoming series.
The stories visited in this year’s Creepshow maze from the original 1984 film are Father’s Day, the story of an abusive father and his daughter, The Crate, a tale of a dangerous Fluffy creature, and They’re Creeping Up on You, a bug-filled terror that will make any creepy-crawly-hater squirm. Stories from the new Shudder series are Grey Matter, the story of how addiction can literally transform you, and Bad Wolf Down, a hairy story set in Nazi-occupied France.
Throughout the maze, guests will be visited by the Creep, as well as see if they can spot easter eggs from other horror classics. Even in the daylight, the sets are chill-inducing, so with the music, actors, and the darkness, Creepshow is looking to be a fun, but a spine-tingling maze.
With last year’s success of the Universal Monsters maze of 2018, Halloween Horror Nights is going back to its roots with Frankenstein vs the Wolfman. John Murdy explained to us more about the maze and where they were planning on going with it: “The approach that Chris, my art director, and I had for this one is to start with what was iconic about the monsters, that everybody knows and loves, the square head, the bolts in the neck, and then we were going tease out whatever was horrific about the story”. Ultimately, Frankenstein vs. the Wolfman takes guests through a story with points taken from the 1943 film, but with a Horror Nights spin on it.
Slash returns to provide music for this maze, including the music that can be heard in its opening gypsy scene where guests first encounter both monsters. Every detail of the maze means something, referencing either the previous year’s maze, or the original film. Taking guests from the gypsy camp, through the woods, to the crypts and back to Frankenstein’s castle, this maze is fraught with encounters with Universal’s favorite monsters. Frankenstein vs. the Wolfman also boasts the longest individual makeup application of the entire attraction, with the performer being almost two hours in the chair.
Moving onto the final maze that we got to see, Killer Klowns from Outer Space will be a true treat for any fans of the original movie. Iconic props have been recreated, iconic scenes will be experienced, all with the Killer Klowns coming through and scaring guests. Are you safest in the police station or on the Klowns’ ship? Only HHN’s 2019’s maze will tell.
Halloween Horror Nights begins on Thursday, September 12 with an exclusive first look Fan Preview Night, which features a limited number of tickets and the chance to explore this year’s 10 terrifying new mazes. Opening night and event dates are: September 13-15, 19-22, 26-29; October 3-6, 10-13, 17-20, 24-27, 31; and November 1-3, 2019. Purchase tickets here.
Make sure you check out our behind-the-scenes gallery below and let us know what you think.