Posts Tagged ‘Friday the 13th’

A Killers Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

Awww dearest Mother, Mommy, Mom, and Mama. These are the names of affection for the special lady in every psychopath’s life (and death). In the world of horror one’s mother is the one which you better not f*ck with or you’ll likely die to regret it. Many of horror’s top maniacs always have a special bond with their sweet old lady and in many cases the bloody knife doesn’t fall far from the tree. While it seems easy for them to cut up everything else the one thing they’ll never cut are the ties to their mothers. So, for this Mother’s Day we pay tribute to some of our top Killer Moms!

 

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Psycho (Mrs. Bates)
Norman claims that it’s his mother who’s off the rocker. Sitting in the window of a creepy house overseeing a motel that no one should ever check-in to, this mom goes to great lengths to make sure that no one will harm her dear and “innocent” Norman. She’s just not good at cleaning up in the bathroom after herself.

Jason Mom

Friday the 13th (Mrs. Vorhees)
Forget dad, Mrs. Vorhees is the one every boy scout will want to go camping with the. She knows how shoot an arrow, tie slip knots, and is very adept at chopping things (and people) up. Just keep an eye out for her beloved son Jason for when he goes swimming because if he drowns you won’t live to regret it.

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Carrie (Margaret White)
Carrie’s religiously devoted mom bible beats the hell out of her daughter but it’s all done in the name of the lord to prevent Carrie from getting hurt. Unfortunately when Carrie rebels against her mother’s preaching and decides to showcase her telekinesis (and “dirty pillows’ ) at the prom it turns out that mother was right all along.

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Mother’s Day (Rose Ross)
Two mama’s boys will do anything to impress Mother and what impresses Mother most is watching her sons commit acts of rape and murder. Oh, the things families did for entertainment before the internet.

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Serial Mom (Beverly Stuphin)
There’s goes the neighborhood! This mom puts the terror in PTA. Don’t you dare cross this maternal slasher and her practically perfect family or you’ll end up dead under gruesomely mysterious circumstances. Her meatloaf is also to die for.

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Frightmare (Dorothy Yates)
After spending 18 years in an institution, suburban mother Dorothy Yates is released, apparently cured of her cannibalistic urges. Yet her blood lust proves to be too much to resist and it seems it may even be hereditary. There must be a lot of limbs in her ancestry.com family tree.

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Strait-Jacket (Lucy Harbin)
This gets mom is locked up in a mental hospital for 20 years for decapitating her husband and his mistress. After she’s released and reunites with her daughter, people mysteriously (yea right) start turning up headless again.

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Mommie Dearest (Joan Crawford)
This biopic of actress Joan Crawford as seen through the eyes of her adopted daughter has become a camp classic, thanks to the over-the-top performance by Faye Dunaway.

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Scream 2 (Debbie Salt/Mrs. Loomis)
Usually after loosing child a mother will become proactive in preserving their child’s memory with charity work. However, Mrs. Loomis decides it’s better to reverse the plots of Psycho and Friday the 13th by following in her son’s murderous footsteps instead. She does wear the Ghostface dress better than Billy.

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The People Under the Stairs (Woman)
Like Mommie Dearest on crack, this fun urban fairy tale from Wes Craven features a deranged mother seeking daughterly perfection — even if she has to stab it out of her.

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Mama (Ghost)
This mama is an evil spirit who decides to adopt two abandoned little girls living in a cabin in the woods. When the girls are taken away from their serene and desolote life by some mere mortal guardians all hell breaks loose as like Sally Field, this Mama isn’t one to give up her kids without a fight.

Screaming Soon: Haunted Slumber Camp Massacre

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Summer is just about here and that means it’s time to pack up your gear and head out to a Cabin (or tent) in the Woods. A few weeks ago we shared information on the UK’s new “Horror Camp Live!” experience kicking off on Friday the 13th weekend in July.  Now here in the U.S., Haunt Stalkers can attend “Haunted Slumber Camp Massacre” taking place in  Rockford, Illinois. This camp is actually more of a haunt convention/seminar than a full out haunt experience but it still sounds like it will be a lot of fun.

R.I.P. Productions will present the “Haunted Slumber Camp Massacre” Friday and Saturday, July 13-14, in Rockford, Ill. The event will feature interactive haunted house workshops, “Gorification” (featuring gruesome gore, airbrushing techniques, and hands-on demonstrations), “The Scarezone” (featuring character development and scare techniques), “Chiller Theater” featuring Friday the 13th slasher movies, and “Frights, Camera, Action” where you become the horror star in a slasher flick.

“Haunted Slumber Camp Massacre” will begin at 5:30 p.m., Friday, July 13, and run through 11 p.m., Saturday, July 14. The camp is open to haunted attraction actors, owners/operators and anyone interested in attending (must be 16 years of age or older). Cost is $35 per person, which includes transportation on the “Camp Massacre Bus” (mandatory), workshops and supplies. Visit trailofscreams.com/events for information or a registration form, or call (815) 965-6772. Attendance is limited to the first 50 victims, and registration deadline is July 1.

R.I.P. Productions has been hosting, organizing and facilitating seminars for haunt owners and actors throughout Illinois and Wisconsin since 2005. Each year since 2002, R.I.P. has brought total fear and mayhem to northern Illinois with the Trail of Screams, Screamatorium Haunted House and Fear Asylum Haunted House. The group strives to continuously stay on the cutting edge of the entertainment industry, utilizing digital technology, Hollywood-quality props and prosthetics, hosting guest appearances by professional horror film actors and providing quality, professionalism and entertainment value to every patron.

The 2012 Fear Asylum Haunted House will open Friday, Oct. 5, at the Belvidere Park District William Grady Pool. (Because of the intense nature of the event, parental guidance is strongly recommended). For additional information, the public is encouraged to call (815) 965-6772 or visit www.trailofscreams.com.

Here’s a look at the Camp’s Weekend Agenda ( *please note,  Scare-Zone.com has no affiliation with this event for more information please visit their official website):

Haunted Slumber Camp Massacre
Agenda

Friday, July 13th

5:30 p.m. -   Bus departs from Wal-Mart parking lot (7219 Walton Street/E. State Street)

(The bus will be leaving promptly at 5:30 p.m. You may leave your vehicle parked overnight but be sure your vehicle is locked and all valuables are out of site).

Please Note:  Bus transportation is a MANDATORY part of the Haunted Slumber Camp Massacre.   You MUST arrive by 5:30 p.m. to depart on the  “Camp Massacre” Bus!

6:30 p.m. –   Arrival at Camp Site (Check-in)

(All attendees will be required to check-in Tents and sleeping bags are encouraged). Event location is approximately 4 miles south of Rockford.

 7:30 p.m. –   “Spine-Chilling” Cookout

 

(Do you hunger for flesh??? Trail of Screams will provide all the fixins’ for a “spine-chilling” cannibal cookout!  Meet fellow actors, haunter’s and R.I.P. Production’s management and staff members)

8:30 p.m. –   “Chiller Theatre”  

(Don’t look behind you….it’s a flashback to “Friday the 13th” slasher movie classics).

Saturday, July 14

8:00 a.m. –     Breakfast

(Cold cereal, donuts, milk, juice, and coffee will be available).

9:00 a.m. –    “Gorification” Seminar & Workshop    

(Learn makeup techniques to “die for”, including latex applications, gruesome gore, airbrushing techniques and hands-on demonstrations).

Noon – Lunch

(Chicago style hot dogs, chips, macaroni/potato salad & desert will be available)

1:00 p.m. –    “The ScareZone” Seminar & Workshop

(Learn scare techniques, character development, building dialogue in a haunted attraction,  how to create a frightening character, and much more!)

6:00 p.m. –    Dinner

(Pizza and chips will be available)

7:00 p.m. –   “Fright’s, Camera, Action!”

(Create your own “horror star” in your own slasher flick!  Details and rules will be provided).

11:00 p.m. –   Bus departs for Rockford  (Arrival time approximately 11:45 p.m. at Wal-Mart parking lot)

13 Haunt Stalking Destinations for 2012

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

It’s a  new year so it’s time to start planning our 2012 haunt stalking. With the haunt industry booming, there’s going to be even more ‘scare-tivities’ to endure… err enjoy in the new year. Looking at our past experiences and the highly anticipated haunt events of  the new year, we’ve complied a list of 13 haunt destinations for 2012. So count up those frequent flier miles, put in for vacation time and keep your resolutions to set out on some terrifying travels. Remember this may be the last year any of us will get to haunt stalk.

 

1. Friday the 13th Haunts: Friday the 13th occurred only once in 2010 and ’11. However, this year, we get 3 unlucky Fridays in January, April and July! A few haunts will be open this month on Friday the 13th and we only hope that even more will be open during the other ‘Friday the 13th’ dates to give us some continuous mid season scares.

2. Valentine’s Weekend Haunts: More haunts are sharing the fiendish love with special openings Valentines weekend. Here are a few of  the top haunts offering Valentine’s day massacres: Sinister Pointe (Brea, CA), Moxley Manor (Bedford, TX) and Blood Manor (New York, NY)

3. TransWorld Haunt Show (March 8-11, St. Louis, MO): For the last 16 years, TransWorld’s annual Halloween & Attractions Show has been a “must attend” event in the Halloween & Haunt industries. This year is no exception! This is the only trade show that features vendors, from across the nation and overseas, that cover every aspect of the business, from ticketing to makeup and sound FX to giant animatronics. In addition, local St. Louis Haunts open their doors to attendees. If you are a pro haunter (want to become one) or a True Blood haunt stalker, you cannot afford to miss this event.

4. Monsterpalooza (April 13-15, Burbank, CA): This is an annual convention featuring Hollywood’s award winning FX Artists, Monster and Horror related art work displays, presentations and special guests from horror and Sci-Fi. For us the highlight is the Walk-thru Monster Museum!

5. HauntCon (May 3-7, Monroeville, PA *Pittsburgh): We attended this event last year and believe it’s worth a visit if you’re a haunter or stalker living on the east coast. This is the first year HAuNTcon will be in a convention center rather than a hotel in Monoroeville, PA which just happens to be next to the Monroeville Mall, most famous for its appearance in the George A. Romero horror film Dawn of the Dead.

6. Midwest Haunters Convention (June 8-10, Columbus Ohio):  This is the largest Halloween show of its kind in the US serving a primary audience of Haunted Attraction Producers, Actors, Artists and Home Haunters.  It provides regional businesses and residents the opportunity to shop for professional quality Halloween related products along with educational seminars and workshops and networking activities for haunted attraction industry professionals. Of course, the main reason to go is for the world’s largest haunted attraction bus tour.

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7.  Tides of Torture (Dates TBD): We know that seeing Kathie Lee Gifford in a bikini could be scary enough, but this Caribbean cruise promises even more terrors at sea. This cruise convention will feature a Fangoria-sponsored film festival and some of your favorite horror actors including Jason actor Kane Hodder who really enjoys being on a boat.

8. London (UK) Haunts: Last year our friends at Theme Park Tourist shared some great reviews of the UK haunts and with the 2012 Olympics taking place this summer in London we highly recommend the trip over the bloody pond to experience their renowned year round and seasonal haunted attractions.

9. New York Haunts: We now know why this is the city that never sleeps. It’s because everyone is having nightmares! NYC boasts some of the nation’s most extreme haunts and offers haunts in unique metropolitan locations all the way out to the dark woods of Sleepy Hollow in upstate. This is a “not to be missed” destination during the fall.

10. Pennsylvania  Haunts: While in NY, you might as well head down to PA as well. Pennsylvania is home to some of he nation’s most highly rated haunted attractions including; Jason’s Woods, Bates Motel, and Field of Screams just to name a few.

11. Texas Haunts: Texas is a big state which provides a lot of room for haunts. Throughout the year and especially during haunt season Haunt Stalkers can find a haunt (or two or three…) in nearly every town with the Dallas-Forth Worth area and Austin leading  the terror with their renowned haunts such as Cutting Edge, Hangman’s House of Horrors, and House of Torment.

12. Central Florida Haunts: If you’re a fan of haunts and Theme Parks then Central Florida is the destination for you. While there are only 2 major haunts, Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights and Howl O Scream at Busch Gardens; these 2 offer more than enough mazes and scares to make for a satisfying trip.

13. Southern California Haunts: From Hollywood down to San Diego; Southern California offers just about every kind of haunt experience a haunt stalker would want. There are first class Theme Park haunts, hayrides, stand alone professional haunts, boat haunts, and impressive home haunts. You’ll need to plan at least a week long visit, covering two weekends, in order to sample some of the SoCal’s top haunts.

Friday the 13th Haunted Maze and Movie

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

For our young Haunt Stalkers (under 18) living in The City of Malibu, CA; there will be a Friday the 13th Haunted Maze and Movie at Malibu City Hall (23825 Stuart Ranch Road) on Friday, January 13, 2012 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event is free and open to students 18 and under.

Teens will have the opportunity to travel through a haunted maze and watch the movie, The RingThe movie, rated PG-13, begins at 7:30 p.m. Free milkshakes, popcorn, cotton candy, and a nacho station will be available during the movie.

More information may be obtained by contacting the City’s Parks and Recreation Department by phone at (310) 317-1364   or online at www.malibucity.org.

2011 Haunt Profile: Fear Fair “Indiana’s Scariest Haunted House”

Monday, September 5th, 2011

The Fear Fair Haunted House

Uniquely situated in the former WWII US Army Barracks in Freeman Field Municipal Airport, Fear Fair is preparing for the 2011 season and to retain the title of “Indiana’s Scariest Haunted House”. Fear Fair is ranked as one of the top haunted attractions in the Midwest by Ohio Valley Haunts, City Blood Haunt Reviews, Louisvillehalloween.com, and other noted review sites. Fear Fair was also recently featured on the 2011 haunt tours for Hauntcon, and National Haunted House Industry Convention.

Fear Fair’s success lies in the fact that they take haunting seriously as every summer hopeful scareactors attend their Fear Camp to learn about the latest and greatest in haunt acting and performance. This includes  a chainsaw operating and safety class, stunt class, victim screaming class, and magic classes to name a few.  Attendees are also treated to some spontaneous  “chase” scenes through unsuspecting classes in session where a poor victim is being hunted down by a machete wielding crazy guy. You know, just the usual haunt classroom diversion.

This year Fear Fair is creating all new haunt experiences that will be even more intense and horrifying than year’s past. The terror starts in Hangar 17 which promises to have the most intense opening ever experienced at a haunted attraction with a parachute ride to hell. Once inside Hangar 17, victims come to find that Freeman Air Field is under assault and their senses will be terrorized as they’re thrown into the middle of a full on raid by mutated soldiers who were subjects of top secret military experiments trying to create the ultimate solider.

Cinema of Fear takes up residence in the second half of the haunt and features scenes from hit Hollywood horror movies such as Jeepers Creepers, Rob Zombie’s Halloween, Friday the 13th, Saw, and many others. Previous versions of this maze had received rave reviews for it’s detailed movie quality sets and talented monsters.

 

 

Finally, for an even more intense experience you can try Nyctophobia Total Darkness. On limited nights you’ll be able to experience Fear Fair in a completely new way, in complete darkness. You’ll have to navigate through the corridors of their haunts with only the illumination of a glow stick. Keep in mind all the monsters and scareactors will still be there and they’ll be able to easily see you coming!

All of these attractions at Fear Fair sound ‘terrORific’ we’re certain they’ll keep people screaming for more, or less, depending on how much terror they can endure.

For more information call or text 812-567-FEAR or visit their Website.

Haunt Review: Universal Hollywood HHN – Take 2

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Universal Halloween Horror Nights

This past weekend, we finally got a second chance to use our Killer Deal pass and returned to HHN at Universal Studios Hollywood. We decided to dismiss the bad feelings we had after the disastrous opening night and act as if this were our first time going this season. This time, we didn’t bother with trying to eat at one of the City Walk restaurants and were in line before the gates opened. We also didn’t have to waste time getting our passes processed, so it was a much less stressful event getting in, which kept us in better spirits. This time around, we wanted to first see all the mazes we missed on opening night and then go through the Friday the 13th and House of 1000 Corpses mazes again (yes, we got in only three mazes in five hours on opening night). This time, we actually made it through all the mazes in less than three hours (sans Vampyre, which we intentionally skipped). We also took some time to slowly wander through the scare zones. Now we feel that we can provide our haunt stalkers with a thorough and complete review of HHN 2010.

Mazes

A Nightmare on Elm Street: Never Sleep Again

Universal Halloween Horror Nights

This time around, we enter the reincarnated world of Freddy Kruguer based on the 2010 version of the movie. Once again, the Freddy theme was on point. The detailed sets accomplished the illusion of being in a constant nightmare state. There was the use of black light effects, fog, music, and animatronic props, which amplified the terrors we all dreamed off. The maze actually works backwards in reference to the movie timeline, with the opening scene being the Badham preschool, where Freddy allegedly began his sinister deeds, and concluding in his boiler room. Universal does a great job of building suspense in the first room with scratching sounds, Freddy chuckles, and shadows, letting us know that he’s lurking about but uncertain as to when he’s going to strike. From this point, the scares quickly get cranked up, and we were assaulted by Freddy from every direction throughout the rest of the maze. The scareactors had high energy (it was early in the night), and even if we saw the people in front of us get scared, they still were able to startle us. They also had many rooms with more than one scareactor, which allowed for them to ambush both the front and back of the group. The highlight in this maze was the stretching walls (which really surprised us) and the live body in the room of hanging body bags. Usually the hanging body bags are always dummies…not this time. While there is some familiarity between this maze and the 2007/08 versions, the maze was effective at finding new ways to use Freddy to scare us!

Our rating: 4 skulls

House of 1,000 Corpses

Dr. Satan's lair

This was our second time through this maze, and we waited only 25 minutes (the sign said 10 minutes) as opposed to the 80 minutes we waited the last time. We still didn’t see any special effects from the 3D. We did notice that they switched back and forth between red and blue lighting, which accents those colors in each scene, but it seems that the glasses are just good for blocking our peripheral vision so it’s easier for the scareactors to “get us.” The first quarter of the maze still lacked enough scareactors, making the first few rooms though “Dr. Satan’s murder ride” fairly dull. The maze feels as if it really gets going once you enter the house itself. Instead of sudden scares, this maze mainly relies on the sets and the scareactors acting out various scenes to create the horror. For the sudden scares, they rely a lot on a loud noise effects, in which a scareactor triggers a loud sound and flash of light when they suddenly enter the scene. This is effective the first couple of times but gets predictable by the end of the maze. The underground tunnels in the end offer the best scares. This maze does a great job at telling a story that is easy to follow, even if you haven’t seen the movie. It also has great talent that is able to accurately portray the full essence of the movie’s characters.

It’s also fun to note that this is actually the second time they’ve done a version of this maze. In 2000, they also had a version of HOTC, which we remember as being more terrifying. At that time, Rob Zombie was working to get his movie distributed by Universal.

Our rating: 3.5 Skulls

Friday the 13th: Kill, Jason, Kill

Universal Halloween Horror Nights

Club Pictures

This was our favorite from opening night, and it still is a winner. This time around, we were split from the crowd in front of us, allowing us get scared in almost every scene. This maze is the most suspenseful with its open and longer spaces, in which we know Jason is coming but we just didn’t know from where and what he’s going to do. The Jason scareactors are all big guys with detailed costuming (bald heads with hair patches) who get up and personal when they appear. There were times during the maze when we forgot that we were just in a maze, and it felt like Jason really wanted to kill us!  It also seems that they’ve perfected their timing, and the pace of the maze has the same energy of the movie, with Jason’s rampage getting faster and more violent was we ventured through. We also stopped and looked the detail of the face-grinding scene, which is hands down one of the goriest and most disturbing scenes we’ve encountered in a haunt.

Our rating: 4 Skulls

Saw: Game On

Universal Halloween Horror Nights

Jigsaw is back in this obvious promotional vehicle for the upcoming Saw 3D. This maze has some very graphic scenes taken from the previous 6 Saw movies. We didn’t find ourselves getting really scared in this maze, nor did we see many people around us getting scared either. Instead, we were just fighting sensory overload as this maze packs a combo punch of sounds, smells, sprays, and other visceral effects. The noticeable changes from last year include the people competing to cut off their arms to fill a scale with their flesh and the guy who gets amputated by a contraption that twists off all of his appendages. The terror of this maze is created by the disturbing sets, and if you have a weak stomach, we suggest you sit this one out. Nonetheless, as last year’s name stated, it should be “Game Over” for this maze.

Our Rating: 2 Skulls

Chucky’s Terror Tram

Universal Halloween Horror Nights

Someone at Universal has a crush on Chucky, as he keeps coming back to HHN, even though he’s no longer scary or relevant. The story goes that Chucky wants revenge for his mistreatment in Hollyweird, so he hijacks our tram and drops us off on the studio lot, where his army of evil dolls is waiting for us. From here, we go through the familiar Psycho set with Norman’s “mother” running around. Then La Llorona  haunts the path on the hill up from the Bates Motel to the Psycho house. Due to “budget cuts” or “consideration for the neighbors,” the sheet maze was removed, but they still had it partially set up, which is a big tease. We still don’t understand how noisy or expensive a sheet maze is. Especially when it’s followed by the World of the Worlds set, which is lined with pipes shooting flames into the sky. Isn’t that more costly and disruptive? They also managed to shoot an annoying amount of water at us during the Terror Tram maze, which just seemed unnecessary (it was already drizzling that night). At the end of he trail, the tram was waiting to take us back to the studio, but first Chucky takes one more stab at trying to kill us in the spinning tunnel.

Universal Halloween Horror Nights

Universal Halloween Horror Nights

Universal Halloween Horror Nights

Universal Halloween Horror Nights

Universal Halloween Horror Nights

We understand that there is only so much they can change each year with the Terror Tram, and it is a great people eater as they manage to get nearly 200 people on each tram and the whole experience lasts 25 minutes. The scareactors do work well at trying to scare a very large crowd every 5 minutes. We just would like to see some changes to the route. Maybe drop us off at a different location on the lot and have a maze through some of the other back lot sets. There are a few scares, but it doesn’t come close to being terrifying.

Our rating: 1.5 Skulls

Scare Zones

La Llorona

Universal Halloween Horror Nights

This Scare Zone appears to have been made for the simple purpose of  marketing this year’s event to the local Latino community. The settings weren’t overly impressive, and this is a very short scare zone spanning only a few hundred feet. We also saw only three scareactors in this set, and they weren’t scary; but how scary can La Llorona, “The Weeping Woman,” be? Maybe they should have had her drowned children lurking about.

Our rating: 1 Skull

Nightmarez

This is the entrance gate “scare zone,” but we really couldn’t decipher the nightmare theme tied to Freddy, as we were just assaulted by chainsaw-wielding clowns, so we though this was the Klownz scare zone (?)

Our rating: 0.5 Skull

Klownz

Universal Halloween Horror Nights

An ultra-violent gang of killer clowns take over “The Big Apple.” These psycho circus rejects were on the attack and going after everyone they could. There are some nice set pieces, and the chainsaw clowns were relentless. The scariest part was walking by the clown barker, who was spewing out insults to guests who dared to walk in his line of sight.

Our rating: 3 Skulls

Lunaticz

Universal Halloween Horror Nights

This is a very dark and foggy scare zone featuring escaped loonies from an English asylum.The costumes and makeup were first class, and they make very good use of the park’s London street setting.  We were scared many times walking through this section of the park by the energetic and somewhat crazy scareactors. These “crazies” were even jumping out at people (including us) coming out of the bathroom, making guests turn right back around to go back inside.

Our rating: 3.5 Skulls

Freakz

Universal Halloween Horror Nights

Home Loan Interest Rates

This zone was similar to Lunaticz and Klownz, set up as a camp for cannibalistic sideshow performers rampaging through Paris. There were some scares here, but the energy wasn’t as high as the other two aforementioned scare zones.

Our rating: 2.5 Skulls

Pigz

What’s with all the “Z” at the end of the names (corny)? This is the lower lot scare zone featuring Jigsaw’s pig-faced disciples lurking with chainsaws. The scareactors are good at terrorizing some folks as they get off Universal’s Starway (the giant escalator) in the lower lot, but there wasn’t enough of them and they mainly went after young girls only.

Our rating: 1 Skull

Overview

Universal Hollywood deliveres an above-average haunt experience with top-notch productions, strong talent, and high levels of terror. They’ve come a long way from offering the event in only random years in the 1990s and early 2000s. They also have significantly improved their haunt offering since their relaunch in 2006.  2007-2009 were notably accomplished years for them. In fact, in 2007, Hollywood and Orlando had similarly themed mazes, and Hollywood’s were by far much better. This year, Universal seems to have fumbled with its ability to manage its growing popularity. The park’s infrastructure is now operating above capacity, which means big bucks for them but a diminished quality experience for guests. They haven’t increased their offerings to match the demand, which translates into longer lines and rowdy crowds. The mazes also suffer, as they become full, and after waiting 80 minutes, there is no way they can provide any full satisfaction in comparison with the time the guest spent waiting to get in. In order to truly get the best experience, guests have to pull many tricks (e.g., front-of-the-line passes, getting to the park at least a half-hour early, running to the back of the park first, etc.) and really plan ahead, which takes away from the joy of just going to experience the event.

If they want to stay in the game and give Knott’s more competition, which they are doing already, they need to get more mazes and think about branching out from their “movie only” concept, which seems to be limiting in the long run as the pains of securing the rights to different horror franchises isn’t a constant guarantee. They’ve already had to bring back Jason, Freddy, Chucky, and Saw for repeats. We think a combination of a few movie-based mazes with the addition of original terrors, like Orlando has, would help them grow the event. They have started in that direction with this year’s Castle Vampyre maze, and we hope they expand in that direction. One final thought, the La Llorona concept was an obvious marketing ploy and did not come across as genuine. She was featured on all the marketing materials, but many people were disappointed to find out she is featured only in a small scare zone and on a short portion of the terror tram. A maze devoted to her might have been more exciting.

We now know Universal can make some of the best mazes around, but they need to improve their overall operation in order to make this the premiere event it sets out to be.

Our overall event rating: 4 Skulls

Theatres of Terror – Oct 15th

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

We’re 18 days from Halloween, and horror movies can now be found everywhere, from theatres, DVD/Blu-Ray, and TV. This week, there are no major horror movie titles coming to theatres, but never fear as we still have the goods on the frightening film offerings for the coming week.

In Theatres

HiSss: Bollywood gets bloody in this limited release international thriller. The film follows a ruthless American, fascinated by the ancient folklore of the mythical creature, who travels to the jungles of India to discover the truth. He finds and captures the nagin’s mate for the magical powers of its nagmani, a mythical gem embedded in its hood. The nagin then transforms into a gorgeous femme fatale and follows him back into the modern world to track down her lover and wreak revenge on his captors and all who stand in the way of their reunion. Huh? The trailer looks slightly better than it sounds, and this movie is written and directed by David Lynch’s daughter, Jennifer Lynch. It also looks like it would be a good setting and theme for a haunt.

DVD Releases on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Night of the Demons: This a remake of the 1988 movie. Angela Feld is throwing the Halloween party to end all Halloween parties at the infamous Broussard Mansion in New Orleans, where dark events transpired almost a century ago. But when the packed party gets busted by the police, Angela and her friends Maddie, Lily, Suzanne, Colin, Dex and Jason are the only ones left behind. Soon Colin and Angela make a grisly discovery in the basement and inexplicable events start to take place. With the mansion gates mysteriously locked, the seven find themselves trapped for the night…and soon they’re fighting ancient demons for their very souls.

Mirrors 2: The obvious sequel to the 2008 Alexandre Aja film, which starred Kiefer Sutherland. For the 2 people who saw that movie, this sequel’s for you. After losing his fiancee in a car crash, for which he blames himself, suicidal Max Matheson (Nick Stahl) reluctantly takes a job as a night watchman at his father’s Mayflower Department Store. When his co-workers are killed off in gruesome and horrible ways and Max begins to see a mysterious young woman in all the store’s mirrors, desperate to communicate with him, he fears he’s losing his mind, or that he may be the next victim.

Giallo: This straight-to-DVD flick stars Adrien Brody. He replaced Ray Liotta, who was originally attached to this movie; time will tell who made the best career move. An American Stewardess and an Italian Detective team up in a race against time to find her sister who has been abducted by a maniacal serial killer known only as “YELLOW,” who has been disfiguring and murdering beautiful women on the streets of Milan.

The Lost Tribe: After a boat crash, a group of friends are stranded on an uncharted island where they encounter an ancient tribe of humanoid creatures. Sounds like Predator on Gilligan’s Island.

On Terrorvision

While the new Jason is terrorizing visitors at Universal’s HHN, AMC will be airing all of his classic adventures in sequential order from parts 1 through 9 during their annual Monsterfest beginning next Monday, October 18th. The schedule is listed below, and you can check out AMC’s website for more information on the 2010 Monsterfest.

Friday the 13th Mon Oct 18 @ 8:00 pm | 7:00 pm
Friday the 13th, Part 2 Mon Oct 18 @ 10:15 pm | 9:15 pm
Friday the 13th Part 3 Tue Oct 19 @ 8:00 pm | 7:00 pm
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter Tue Oct 19 @ 10:15 pm | 9:15 pm
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning Thu Oct 21 @ 12:15 am | 11:15 am
Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives Thu Oct 21 @ 6:00 pm | 5:00 pm
Friday the 13th Part VII — The New Blood Fri Oct 22 @ 12:45 am | 11:45 am
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan Fri Oct 22 @ 5:45 pm | 4:45 pm
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday Fri Oct 22 @ 8:00 pm | 7:00 pm

Universal Hollywood HNN has SOLD OUT!

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Reports state that once again Hollywood’s HHN was packed over the weekend, with both Friday and Saturday nights selling out. Not only are they sold out, but it also feels as if they’ve sold out their haunt fans, as this year’s haunt seems to have really missed the mark by exchanging a once-great haunt experience for a quest of higher profits. It appears that Universal’s goal for 2010 is to squeeze as much money (and life) as it can out of its visitors, without caring if they have a satisfactory experience or not. In fact, on their Facebook page, Universal even boasted about being “Sold Out” as if it’s a good thing. However, what it really means is long lines, crowded walkways, and fewer scares. Many fans agree and have posted their disdain on Facebook about the overcrowded experience at this year’s haunt.

One obvious problem is that Universal has been open only two nights of the weekend. What’s up with that? They won’t add Thursday or Sunday nights to the schedule until later in the month. With haunt season in full swing and the three-day Columbus Day holiday weekend coming up, it would’ve been smart to at least be open this coming Sunday (October 10) as all other So Cal haunts, large and small, are.

It also doesn’t help that Universal has fewer than half the number of the mazes as Knott’s but similar-sized crowds, so everyone is packed into the five mazes (and Terror Tram). The only way to enjoy Universal’s haunt is to pay a surcharge for the Front of the Line Pass (FOLP). So essentially, if you want to enjoy it all, you have to pay! Perhaps if Universal Hollywood followed the procedures of Orlando and allowed only one trip through the maze with the FOLP, that would help, as the FOLP is a contributor to backing up the lines.

While we know that John Murdy and the creative team are very passionate about and good at producing innovative mazes with fully immersed environments, these efforts are long lost after one has to endure an evening battling the crowds. Perhaps they should raise ticket prices slightly and have a lower threshold for admittance and also add Sundays to their schedule to mirror their competition. In addition, they can pull back on the discount offers, which seem overly generous this year.

So if you’re planning to go/return next weekend, plan to arrived early (can’t stress this enough) and cough up the money (maybe with a lung) for a FOLP or be prepared to wait in some excruciating long lines, which is really what “Fear Fears Most”.

In case you don’t want to wait in line, here’s a video of a partial walk through of this year’s Friday the 13th: Kill, Jason, Kill maze.

Jason Returns to HHN?

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

I’m not sure if this sounds right? An unconfirmed source at Bloody Disgusting says Universal Studios Hollywood’s Horror Nights will host a maze based on the 2009 remake of Friday the 13th. I could see them doing this using some of the old My Bloody Valentine props (which were the old Friday 13th props) and recreate Jason’s underground lair. We’re hoping that this year’s Hollywood HHN  isn’t going to be a bunch of remake mazes….

HHN 2007

The 2010 “Halloween Horror Nights” event at Universal Studios Hollywood will offer up scary new mazes based upon horror’s most twisted inhabitants. Many people within the industry, including Rob Zombie, are working hard in partnership with Universal Studios Hollywood in the creation of new, terrifying and exciting attractions for the Halloween season! When there is more news on this, we will be sure to let you know!