• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

Halloween Horror Nights 2022 (Sep 2 - Oct 31)

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
What is it today?
The premier Halloween event in the world? It didn't get that way by phoning in the houses and entertainment. From designing shows to managing set design those two molded what is presented today. Note Murdy's comment that they will start work on 2023 together
 

tcool123

Well-Known Member
The premier Halloween event in the world? It didn't get that way by phoning in the houses and entertainment. From designing shows to managing set design those two molded what is presented today. Note Murdy's comment that they will start work on 2023 together
So either one is moving to Epic, moving back to HHN, or HHN is moving to Epic after opening’s
 

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
If nothing else, HHN gives Universal a chance to show it can create original, non-IP, not screen based attractions.

But that's also what kind of makes it frustrating. Imagine if Dead Man's Pier was an indoor boat ride at IoA with AAs instead of live actors. It would be outstanding, possibly better than the Florida Pirates and a good fit thematically for the park. Maybe it could even be part of a larger creepy New England seaport area with a new Jaws ride too.

You'd think the popularity of these houses would show the potential to upper management for original dark rides, but alas...

My thoughts precisely. The non-IP houses are almost always better. They go all out on them and create backstories and lore for them and jam-pack them with detail. With Disney now doing the "all IP" thing this could be Universal's time to shine with original rides. Sucks that they won't, though. Instead... Minions. Yayyy.
 

JT3000

Well-Known Member
The premier Halloween event in the world? It didn't get that way by phoning in the houses and entertainment. From designing shows to managing set design those two molded what is presented today. Note Murdy's comment that they will start work on 2023 together
So HHN didn't have shows or set design until Aiello joined? :cautious: And Murdy can take all the credit he wants for Hollywood's unimaginative use of IPs (a trend that has since infected Orlando's event for the sake of corporate synergy) but he hasn't influenced our event in any positive way. Even Hollywood's fans don't like him. I'm fine with Aiello, he's had a lot of good ideas & written some great (and not-so-great) Bill & Ted shows, but to someone like myself who's been attending HHN since before he was even involved creatively (and has met the people he used to work with), giving him full credit for HHN's existence sounds more than a little bizarre. He started out as a scareactor. That's like working the cash register at a store you "molded."
 
Last edited:

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
House rankings now that I've done everything:

1. Dead Man's Pier - easily one of the best of all time. It's beautiful and moody. It's not that scary (not that any of these ever really scare me) and I think that's intentional. I hope this makes it clear that not every house has to be "scary" and some can just be atmospheric and creepy.

2. Descendants of Destruction - IMO the "scariest" house, and second best set design. Really felt like you were underground traversing through crashed subway cars.

3. Bugs - A little let down that there weren't really like, giant bug creatures (a few I guess) and most of the performers were people with bugs hatching out of them. Still, a really original and creative concept with good and fun execution.

4. Spirits of the Coven - It's an interesting and creative concept, but it would have worked better if perhaps the witches were normal and friendly in appearance in the first few rooms and gradually got more sinister before you make your way to the catacombs or whatever. It would play out like a horror movie. Instead it's a little bit muddy in execution.

5. Halloween - It's pretty good. It would be ranked higher if it wasn't so, so similar to all the previous Halloween houses. I'm pretty sure half or more of it was reused.

6. Chupacabras - I had high hopes for this one but was a little let down. I was hoping it would feel like a Latin American village the way Dead Man's Pier feels like a real village. Instead you seem to mostly be confined to alleyways and small rooms, like it was held back in budget. I think the chupacabra puppets are reused werewolves.

7. The Weeknd - The concept kind of works, kinda doesn't, but I'll give them that they at least tried something unique here. It should have been more campy but tries to be serious which clashes with the fun "club" vibe.

8. Hellblock Horror - This would would be much higher up if the creatures weren't so generic and random and had a cohesive theme behind them.

9. Legends - It's pretty much just The Mummy/Egyptian temple stuff for most of it, Dracula and Wolfman make guest appearances at the end.

10. Blumhouse is the worst house every year that it's a house and this year is no exception.

Random thoughts:

I know people say this every year, but I think this is one of the weaker years in a while. I've genuinely thought most of the houses of the last few years were great, but this year only a few were.

This year has had only one or two "lighter" nights. Normally a weekday in September would mean short queues but this year they're already insanely packed. Doesn't help that it's become a babysitting service for teenagers. I wish they would pick one night a week for "21 and up" or at least 18 and up. I also think the Frequent Fear passes are clearly not expensive enough.

I'm noticing more and more reused sets. The average person probably won't but I've been going for a long time and a lot of them are like "yep, there's that one!" for me now. I wonder where they are stored when not in use.

I said this before too but I love this year's BGM. I heard someone say "this doesn't sound like Halloween music!" And that's because they've been conditioned to think that it should be metal or something. In reality the music is appropriate but more "Halloween party" than its been in the past, which is honestly more appropriate for the direction HHN has taken on.

I've also been saying this for years, but the houses would feel more fresh if they cut the jumpscares by 50%. There's so many that you just expect them at every turn and when they happen constantly they can't startle most people.
 

JT3000

Well-Known Member
I also think the Frequent Fear passes are clearly not expensive enough.



I've also been saying this for years, but the houses would feel more fresh if they cut the jumpscares by 50%.


a christmas story GIF
 

JT3000

Well-Known Member
When they happen literally every few feet, they aren't scary or surprising, they're just redundant. Less jumpscares that are more strategically placed would be more effective.
The scares are strategically placed. If a room has multiple scares, that's by design. Sometimes they get the timing off, but every scare is supposed to serve a purpose. While it would be nice if HHN's houses could build more tension between scares, they don't really have the sort of length needed to do that. You also have to remember that with this "conga line" format, you're bound to miss a number of scares during a single runthrough. Start removing scares and you could potentially go multiple scenes without seeing any and the house will start to feel understaffed. I do think some actors have had their scare intervals shortened far too much to overcompensate for that potential for missed scares, with some of them literally doing their routine every couple of seconds, but I don't think actually removing scares is the answer.
 

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
I do think some actors have had their scare intervals shortened far too much to overcompensate for that potential for missed scares, with some of them literally doing their routine every couple of seconds, but I don't think actually removing scares is the answer.

All good points. I think you're right, and perhaps the actors should:

1. Be restrained from performing the scare too frequently.
2. Not have a really short scare effect.

There's a performer at the beginning of Dead Man's Pier that is just a quick pop-out accompanied by a single grunt/groan. It's an extremely weak and obvious scare and is so quick that you hear it every few seconds, even before and after you see the performer. That's the type of thing they should avoid when designing these houses.
 

jonnyc

Well-Known Member
Just got back from my first ever HHN - did what one could consider a 'normal' HHN and then did the first post-Ian HHN - between them managed to do every house. Lost two nights at HHN due to Ian unfortunately but still had a great time.

Have to give it to all the scare actors and staff involved in the post-Ian night - 1. Getting the park ready must have been a monumental task, 2. Whilst you could tell that a few things were missing actors (totally understandable!) mainly the scare zones, the scare actors that were on their A-game.

Here are my rankings:

1. Descendants of Destruction - Set design was amazing, was almost like they'd let the old Kongfrontation queue decay over these years.
2. Bugs Eaten Alive - Loved the campy B-Movie feel of this one.
3. Dead Man's Pier - Incredible atmosphere and interesting story (really enhanced if you've listened to the short podcast backstory they released for it).
4. Hell Block Horror - Had an amazing run through of this one - I thought they did a good job with the concept and had one of the creepiest moments for me where a small monster was just stood there chewing on a arm. Overall, reminded me a bit of that episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where the army have a load of monsters/demons locked up.
5. Blumhouse - As with Hell Block Horror, this pick may be controversial, I think the scare actors made this one and I benefitted from there being no queue.
6. Halloween - I'm a sucker for anything Michael Myers - however it felt a bit short to me. And speaking of short, I know they can't help this, but when Michael Myers jumps out and this man mountain from the film is a 'short king' it does lose its impact somewhat!
7. Legends - Classic Universal Monsters - was fun but probably didn't have the repeat factor of the higher ranked houses (despite the changing ending).
8. The Weeknd - I enjoyed this one, it was something different with some cool visuals. Could see them doing some kind of Billie Eilish collab in the future.
9. Spirits of the Coven - Agree with Tom Morrow above, that they could have drawn this one out a bit.
10. Chupacabra - This was the only one I would say that I didn't really enjoy - maybe I didn't have a great run through.
 

maxairmike

Well-Known Member
People ranking Legends towards the bottom of your list...you're just wrong. I've had a couple runs through that house, including one that was hands down the best house experience I've ever had, better than any runs through Slaughter Cinema, Yeti, or a few others that have recently been great. I don't know how I managed it, but I believe I got every single scare, every spot was filled and the scareactors were just absolutely killing it and going hard. It's a solid house from top to bottom. That and Dead Man's Pier are my top two, with Dead Man's Pier being the winner for atmosphere and sets IMO. Also, the Chupacabra puppets have gotten me a few times now, that's also a pretty good house. I've done all but Bugs (seriously may not do that at all), and the 3 tiers are, for me:
A) Legends, Dead Man's Pier
B) Everything else except C and Bugs
C) The Weeknd, Blumhouse (Never been big on the Halloween houses, that one may slip down to this tier)
 

Rob562

Well-Known Member
I haven't seen it posted here, but apparently the lagoon show suffered damage from Ian. (I'd presume an overfilled lagoon let water into places it shouldn't) Ghoulish hasn't run since the parks reopened, and it's not expected to before the end of HHN. It's unclear when any lagoon show will resume.

Kinda bummed, because we arrive next week.

-Rob
 

Register on WDWMAGIC. This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.

Top Bottom