Much like everything else in 2020 due to COVID-19, Universal Orlando and Hollywood have both decided to cancel Halloween Horror Nights this year as Orlando stays open with limited amount of people allowed and Hollywood staying closed ever since February. Of course with Orlando reaching the event’s 30th anniversary, it is disappointing but is better to play it safe than have everyone catching it while still going with it (even though Orlando opened back up and has two mazes for the park). With that in mind, it is still curious to wonder what the parks had in store for the event this year and everybody interested likes to come up with ideas for what would be there. That being said, I decided to share what things I would like to see for the event at either Orlando or Hollywood.
Eddie Schmidt as an Icon
As mentioned last year, Eddie was originally set to be the icon of their 2001 event but soon got the shaft, replaced by re-using Jack and was only used for houses and scarezones in later years of the event. I think it’s about time that he got the chance to come back and be the icon for one of the future years for HHN. It would be a nice comeback to the icon-driven years of the event’s history and would hopefully lead to more originality again for the majority of houses.
31st Year centered on Halloween
Given that the event takes place during Autumn, why wouldn’t they go with this theme for it? They could dive into the folklore and legends surrounding the holiday with doing houses and scarezones dealing with Samhain, Pagan/Satanic themes, Witches, Ghost Stories and you could throw in Michael Myers and Sam from Trick ‘r Treat for some IP’s for good measure. While using it for any given year would work regardless, I think doing it on the 31st would be a nice touch to it…even though it’s more than likely they’ll push back their 30th Anniversary plans to next year instead.
1950’s Style Slasher House at a Drive In
While the 1950’s gave us mostly giant bugs and radioactive monsters in terms of horror movies, they weren’t really known for diving into the graphic stuff until the 1960’s kicked in. With that in mind, I think it would be a bit of fun to mix it up the atomic age of horror films by adding in a killer going around at a drive in and living it up like a bloody 1980’s movie. Would be a odd but fun mix-up.
Haunted Corn Maze
You can’t get any more simple than this. Having a backstory to a corn maze in the Mid-West while visitors come through the fields and getting scared by actors running around and hiding in the corn. They’ve used this idea before for a couple scare zones in the past, but I would love to see it used for something bigger.
Hell House Gone Wrong
Before most of these events ever existed, one of the closest things people had outside of amusement parks and people doing it in their homes are Hell Houses that people made as a way of warning weary souls of the evils of sin. Little did they know these would serve as inspiration for the massive yearly Halloween event that exist today. While this idea could be something that could cause controversy (which these events probably do anyway), it would be interesting for them to revisit the source of their ideas and have them take a turn for the worst.
Legendary Truth: The Collective
One thing I did love about the events in the late 2000’s was that they established their own fictional paranormal investigation group and decided to create some lore for it by having it revolve around Bloody Mary in 2008 and later having its own maze in 2010. With that being said, I would love to see them re-use the group to make another haunted location based house and maybe take a spin on parodying paranormal reality tv shows like “Ghost Hunters”.
The Dungeon of Terror
Back when the event first began in 1991, the only house they ever had was The Dungeon of Terror. It was heavily re-used throughout the event’s early years until they decided to come up with more houses and original ideas for them. The last time they revisited it was in 2006 for the ‘Sweet 16’ event and hasn’t been touched since. Given that the 30th anniversary was originally supposed to happen, it would be more than fitting for them to go back to their roots and do a revamped version of the original maze for the event.
The Early Years Retrospective House
While the park frequently brought back the icons that they created specifically for this event throughout the early 2000’s, one part of the event’s history that doesn’t get touched very much is the first nine years. While it was originally more show heavy and had very few houses going with it, it’s still an important part of the event’s history and I think it would make for a unique house to explore them by bringing back the old ideas and characters used in the time before the icon era happened.
Bloody Mary House
Considering how I talked about her in detail last year, it’s fairly obvious she is one of my favorite icons for the event and her year as an icon ended up as one of my favorites so far. Given the fact that she’s a copyrighted character, there’s no sign of her returning any time soon unfortunately (I don’t know how you can copyright an urban legend but apparently it happened). While it’s not going to be easy, I still would love to see them bring the character back and make her have another house. Might not happen, but it’s just wishful thinking on my end.
While I do enjoy seeing more of the original ideas being used for houses, there are some Intellectual Properties that I think could make for some fun houses.
While Universal Hollywood used ideas and concepts from Clive Barker many years ago, none of the parks have really touched any specific work in great detail. If they would touch any of his work, it would easily be Candyman or this (which is also heavily requested). Given how unique the lore of the first two movies was when Clive wrote them, they could use the lots of the ideas presented in both of them and create a unique experience with Pinhead and the Cenobites for the event.
The Phantom of the Opera
Seeing as how both parks frequently revisit the classic monsters that helped establish the horror genre for movies, especially with how they do individual monsters for houses as well, I would love to see them revisit one of their earliest monsters: The Phantom of the Opera. While he has been used in various houses in both parks, I think that he should deserve a chance at getting an individual house and would be nice to get people re-acquainted with the character’s horror routes instead of being remembered in recent light from the musical (regardless of the fact I enjoy the musical).
George A. Romero’s “Of The Dead” Films
For me, the classic Romero zombie movies are an easy choice to go with for picking an IP for the event. The original three movies would make for some pretty cool mazes on their own separately or, what would be a pretty cool idea, making it cover all of the movies in one massive house celebrating the iconic movies that helped shape the zombie sub-genre into what it is today.
The original movie happens to be one of my favorite Horror films and I love when the park revisits Norman and his unfortunate guests at the Bates Motel. They used him frequently in the early years of the event as well as their ‘Sweet 16’ event and have Norman himself appear in scarezones throughout the years but has never received a house in a long time. He may be frequently used but I would love to see them bring him back.
Before he ever touched the Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson what is easily one of my favorite horror movies: Braindead (or Dead Alive if you’re in the States). It’s an incredibly gory and goofy movie that’s an absolute blast that would make an incredibly entertaining house to be done. I could see it being done in a similar fashion to Cold Blind Terror where they could add some effects in there to improve how fun it could be…and by that I mean getting sprayed with some fake blood (believe me if you haven’t seen it, this movie is a blood bath).
GWAR Themed Scarezone
Given that both parks have meddled with using music for scarezones and mazes, I think one of the most entertaining and fitting choices for it would be using elements of the metal band GWAR. The band’s frequent unique live shows and stage presence would make a highly entertaining scarezone that would be a welcome addition to the event (plus I would to see someone dressed as Oderus Urungus go after people).
The Hills Have Eyes
Given that the film takes place in just one location throughout the during of the film, I think that it would make for a pretty solid scarezone rather than a traditional house for an IP. Having the scareactors dressed like the cannibals in the film in torn up RVs and trailers would be pretty fun to experience and would be a nice way to revive interest in the franchise that doesn’t get much attention as it use to (even with the remakes coming out in the late 2000’s).