Universal Halloween Horror Nights opened this past Friday with six mazes and an all-new show. They were able to work around space constraints by putting mazes on the lower lot. The mazes this year have the best detail we have ever seen with Crimson Peak being a new masterpiece. Also of note was This is the End and Halloween: Michael Myers Comes Home which we found to be the scariest maze of the evening. Insidious remains a favorite for us and The Walking Dead: Wolves Not Far as well as Alien Vs. Predator both have a brand new look.
Crimson Peak is based on Guillermo Del Toro’s haunted house movie opening this October. The maze takes you through a Victorian mansion located on top of an abandoned clay mine where the floors and snow bleed red from the clay. This is a beautiful maze with elaborate set dressings where the spirit of a bride dressed in black chases you through the dark corridors. We loved this maze and went through it twice.
This Is The End
You’re invited to James Franco’s house party on the night of the apocalypse. This is a 3-D maze which actually relies more on comedy than scares. Before entering you see an impaled James Franco. Inside you’ll see things such as a Jonah Hill exorcism. Visitors will travel the boundaries between Heaven and Hell. TV clips are seen throughout the maze and Satan pops up on more than one occasion.
The Walking Dead: Wolves Not Far
Now in its fourth year, this is the longest running Horror Nights maze. This year it’s entirely revamped. Gone is the prison scene and this time you’ll walk through sets such as a cemetery, church and packing plant. There is one awesome scene that combines props, animatronics and live actors for a truly frightening experience.
Insidious is back with Lin Shaye’s voice heard talking about demons. The maze features all three movies and even features the elevator scene from the last one. You’ll enter The Further as you encounter spirits and demons all set in a spooky paranormal setting. This is still one of our favorites and we went through twice.
Alien Vs. Predator
This maze returns from last year pretty much the same except for a few differences. It remains a top-notch attraction with its attention to detail and good jump scares. We recommend doing the other mazes first, but if you’re a fan of the films you might want to revisit this one. The Alien Queen at the end is always impressive.
Halloween: Michael Myers Comes Home
This was actually the scariest maze of the evening. The beginning goes all the way back to Michael Myer’s childhood. The rest combines scenes from the rest of the movies even including the strangulation scene of P.J. Soles character and the pumpkin masked kids from Halloween III: Season of the Witch. One really cool scene was a gun toting Dr. Loomis confronting the masked killed. There’s one mirror scene that really stood out since you don’t know where Myers will jump out as well as a pitch-black walkway with a unexpected surprise.
The undead Parisian soldiers from World War I fill this gruesome street scene featuring skeletons and ghouls in a war ravaged setting. Corpz is one street over from Dark Christmas.
The Purge: Urban Nightmare
For one night each year there is no law and citizens are free to unleash their darkest fantasies. Murder and torture fill the fog filled zone where masked psychopaths unleash their chaos. One cool scene was the machine gunner shooting down guests from the back of a truck. The Purge: Urban Nightmare is located on the lower lot near Crimson Peak and Alien vs. Predator.
Dark Christmas is a dark and twisted take on the cheerful holiday. Undead carolers and Krampus rule here where bad little kids face their worst fears. Once again this was our favorite scare zone. Dark Christmas is located on the London Street Scene.
Mutant bugs revolt against humanity in this zone filled with insects, spiders and rats. Exterminatorz features some of the coolest masks and costumes and is backlit by a huge metallic structure shooting high flames. Exterminators on the New York Street Scene where Purge used to be.
This hop-hop dance crew from San Diego were the winners of the first season of “America’s Best Dance Crew”. This is a must see show if you’re into music and dancing. Featuring choreographed dance numbers as well as video scenes.