Monday, September 24, 2012

Universal Horror Nights 2012 Walking Deadly Through The Night

Chills ran down my spine as I entered Universal Studios Hollywood on the first night of Halloween Horror Nights. As I passed the Eyegore Awards honoring the likes of Alice Cooper, Guillermo Del Toro (saw him get on Transformers: The Ride) and the people behind the new Silent Hill film, I re-entered a world of killer clowns, zombies and people in hoods.

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights
28, 29 and October 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 31

They park is transformed with plenty of smoke and monsters to come up and greet you. This year my favorite scares came from clowns in the Toyz scare zone. Sure, you have chainsaw wielding skull men, but for me a clown in a ballerina outfit or a bunny suit is just freaky. As I heard countless women scream, I entered multiple mazes and open late rides.

Here's a breakdown of all the activities.

Terror Tram: Invaded by The Walking Dead-

Gone is the scream franchise from this years tram ride. In comes the zombies from The Walking Dead. If you haven't been on the Terror Tram, it greatly differs from the rest of the year. You get off it and walk through parts f the back lot. This years Walking Dead style does change up the ride slightly with a few details from the series mixed in. This is probably one of the best places to be frighted as your outside and zombies can come out from anywhere. You'll pass a lovely camp site and RV reminiscent of the show. There's just something about walking about a hill at night that's so strange. A friend suggested the tram should have been devoted to Silent Hill instead and I could see it being a lot more fun that way.

* Get on early. The ride closed 2 hours, before the park did. Zombies gotta get sleep.

The Walking Dead Inside-

If your a fan of the series you my friend are in luck! This maze really captures the show and key moments from it, including the unforgettable "dead inside" doors at the hospital. Since, I've been watching the show since it started I was both randomly scared and surprised by how well they copied parts of the show. I kind of wish you were sent with a maze guide like Rick, always barking orders at you.

Welcome to Silent Hill-

Based on the video game and two films, one's coming out Oct 26, you have "Welcome to Silent Hill". I was already pumped to see this realized as a maze, being a fan of both them ovies and games. Hearing the sirens and being greeted by deformed Nurses and Pyramid Heads outside the maze were a nice touch. Just like The Walking Dead Maze, it captured the series, drawing more from the first film from anything else. I have to say I could have done without the smells of the bathroom. There is the bathroom scene with the pervert chained up in the maze and for some reason the decided to somewhat capture the smell. You don't need to got that far Universal.

I have to say for length and even though they captured the first movie quite well, Silent Hill is the weakest maze this year. The scarers might have been tired or they didn't go over the best thing to pull off, but it just left me wanting more. The ending room that night just didn't try. I even waited to see if anyone would get up for a while and nadda, try harder bunnies! Then while in line for other rides I heard no one did anything at the end for other maze goers. End with a big finish, maybe Pyramid Head outside or something.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Saw Is The Law-

I don't know who introduced smells this year to mazes, but they can stop. The massacre smells like bacon, it's odd to crave bacon while being horrified, others said it was just an annoying stench, but to me it was bacon. The maze cover many of the movies and ol' Leather-face is ready to freak out around you and maybe put you on a meat hook. There's plenty not to eat as human flesh is all around you. Just join the freaky family of psychotic murders that are also cannibals for a little while.

Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3D-

Oh, Alice I missed your voice on the escalators. That new guy is okay, but is he like your nephew? Did you get him the job this year? It's just not the same to hear Alice telling you not to sit on the escalators. Anyway, gone is Alice's face on every monster and ghoul in the maze, which was rather funny last year. Instead is the depiction of Hell, with 3D glasses. This was my favorite maze of the night as it was both colorful and changed from area to area, each being a different sin/ part of Dante's Inferno. Wearing 3D glasses made the experience more fun as did the dancing devil lady.

Universal Monsters Remix-

This is the same maze from last year with a killer soundtrack alongside the more classic monsters, such as The Wolfman, Frankenstein, and Dracula. You really get dub-step music and remix of horror songs as you go through the haunted castle maze. There's also a Egyptian tomb, mirror maze and other dark settings. It's both upbeat and scary. The mix was fun and a nice attempt at something new.

La Llorona: La Cazadora de los NiƱos-

This is a maze from last year, but for some reason it seemed improved this year around. It based on a story of a woman drowning her children. It has a lot of people getting eating kind of gruesomely, so I really enjoyed it.

What's also great is rides like Transformers, The Simpsons, The Mummy and Jurassic Park are open so you can be going on some real rides. If you haven't been on Transformers it's still a real treat. One problem, I did notice was wait times being off on the time signs around the park. It had The Simpson Ride at 30 minutes, but actual wait time was a mere five minutes towards the end of the night.

Food and drinks are going to be priced like a theme park so be prepared to be paying extra, it might be best to get the deal on the collectible sipper for cheaper refills.

You'll not want to miss the other nights this is open for some great experiences and a chance toget on some late night rides.