This past weekend Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood 2019 kicked off drawing in thousands of guests looking to be scared in the 9 different mazes and 4 different themed scare zones scattered throughout Universal Studios. Horror Nights went the route of an 80’s themed event this year with mazes based on movies like Ghostbusters and Killer Klowns from Outer Space. We were invited out to experience HHN 2019 on Fan Preview Night this past Thursday and were amazed at everything that Universal has to offer this season. Let’s talk about all the different mazes in short reviews and dive into what their different strengths are.
Ghostbusters: Throughout the maze we see many iconic scenes from the classic film both the comedical scenes and scarier scenes it is a great mixture of both. The 2016 remake is also featured in the maze but is the part that the mazes suffers severely from. A long stretch of black walls with creatures popping out from the remake does add a nice mixture though. Throughout the maze though we see all of our favorite ghosts and characters as well including a massive Stay Puft scene at the end.
Stranger Things 2: Although the maze itself has a couple of the shows best scenes in it, this maze was hands down the lowest ranked on our list. Stranger Things 2 suffers a ton from both black walls and scenes with black backdrops behind them. The Stranger Things maze last year was pulled off very well with different scares and scenes that were pulled off beautifully but in this one there just unfortunately not much in it at all despite it’s major popularity during the event.
Jordan Peele’s US: Based off Jordan Peele’s second hit film “Us” the maze stays very true to every aspect of the film. This was hands down one of the more scary mazes at the event with some scares coming from two different sides of guests walking through hallways. All of the cast knows how to play their characters very well in the maze and the last couple finale scenes look exactly like they do in the film. The coolest part about this one in particular is the fact that guests get to see two different facades, one being outside of the maze and one that transports them into the underground tunnels just like in the film itself.
Holidayz in Hell: This is one of the two original mazes that Halloween Horror Nights has to offer this year. Based off of the scare zone last year this maze sends guests into the major holidays throughout the year but with a little bit of a twist with their more horrifying looks. The maze perfectly fits as a great concept as many of the scenes include EDM music by ‘Figure’ and different effects such as water. After exiting the maze guests are dumped into the ‘Christmas in Hell’ scare zones which has many cool scare actors including the Nutcracker stilt walker and the fan favorite Father Time stilt walker who can be found also in the maze.
The Curse of Pandora’s Box: This is the second original maze that is at the event this year and tons of fans have given this experience very negative comments. However, we feel as if this maze is a great maze with it’s vibrant sets and various different scares throughout it. The only thing that the maze actually suffers from is the story as many are confused on what is going on throughout the full experience. Pandora’s Box has a lot of detailed sets and cool scenes in it overall though and we truly believe it does not deserve the negative feedback that it has been receiving.
House of 1000 Corpses: Rob Zombie’s masterpiece was a very interesting maze this year. The best part of the full experience is definitely the Murder Ride section which is the first 4-5 rooms in the maze, in these sections we encounter Captain Spaulding many times as well as Dr. Satan as the live actor acts as if he’s a robot which adds a really nice touch. After the Murder Ride section however the maze seems to lack a lot in the Firefly Family House but we are still able to see characters like Baby Firefly and Otis, just not in the best ways. The finale scene with Dr. Satan is great and there is one last scare from him at the end that most will not expect. Overall though the maze itself is a good maze but it’s not something that blows peoples minds. Keep in mind though this one is very gory.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space: Hands down Killer Klowns from Outer Space was our favorite maze of this years event, the maze captures the film perfectly while sending guests on both a fun yet terrifying adventure through crescent cove and the the klowns spaceship. The one thing that we wish we could’ve seen however is a more larger scale version of Klownzilla as we are only scared by his head in this maze. Overall though this has to be one of the best mazes that we’ve ever stepped foot in at Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood.
Frankenstein meets the Wolfman: Due to the popularity of last years Universal Monsters maze a few of the monsters have returned in the maze based off the classic film ‘Frankenstein meets the Wolfman’. The maze has very strong scares all throughout it and tells the story very perfectly. There’s quite a bit of reused props from last year but the way that they are structured make it feel as a different maze experience. Our favorite scene is definitely the gypsy camp scenes in the beginning as they introduce the story very well and have a couple of very unsuspecting scares. The only thing that we would change is the scale of the facade as despite its beauty it’s very small compared to most that we typically see at Halloween Horror Nights.
Creepshow: This one was my most anticipated maze for this year and it did not disappoint at all. The 5 different stories give plenty of content for a maze experience and the whole thing feels very long with scares in every corner. I love how much you encounter the creep throughout the maze as a transition into whatever the next story may be. The particular area that needs a little more work is the final story where there are only two big scares and it’s just one big room. Other then that though the maze definitely feels as if you were stepping into both the classic movie and the brand new shudder series releasing on September 26th.
Overall, Halloween Horror Nights 2019 was a huge success and we can’t wait to return in the next couple weeks. The lineup is very strong and beats 2018 as far as quality goes. All the scare zones are very well thought out and ‘All Hallows Evil’ almost feels like its own maze.
If you’re interested in maximizing your visit to Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood this year, consider purchasing a multi night Frequent Fear Pass or book an exclusive R.I.P. tour! Tickets and prices can be found at http://www.HalloweenHorrorNight.com as well as the full event overview! Get your tickets and passes today and experience more mazes then ever with The Walking Dead, Pandora’s Box, Jordan Peele’s US, Holidayz in Hell, House of 1000 Corpses, Stranger Things, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, Creepshow, and Ghostbusters!