Release the Beast: Random Thoughts on This Year’s HHN Events

Posted: September 9, 2014 in Horror Blog
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Tonight was/is Halloween Horror Nights Orlando’s Media Preview night and next Friday is HHN Hollywood’s annual Eyegore Awards. After seeing the numerous images and videos already, all I can say is wow, this year looks amazing and I am totally jelly that I won’t be able to attend this year. I keep staying up late at night number crunching to see if I can swing it, but alas, it won’t happen. I just need to face the facts. The one year that collects some of my favorite horror franchises, as well as some really cool original content I won’t be able to experience. Oh, WOE IS ME!

But seriously, this year looks like it is gonna’ kick some major tail. Halloween alone is worth going in book. But The AVP house along with The Purge scarezone, and a Walking Dead house larger than any other house in history at HHN just clenches it. This year will rock, period. Plus houses like Dollhouse of the Damned, and Roanoke provide the potential to go into some pretty dark places HHN hasn’t fully ventured in recent years. I loved HHN last year when I went, don’t get me wrong. But things felt a little restrained somewhat. This year, based off what I have seen, it looks like HHN creative has just thrown everything they can at the event as a whole this year. This Purge scarezone is MASSIVE, and rightfully so. I am so glad to see the return of scarezones this year. I love Walking Dead as much as the next person, and the streets last year were amazing, but it was just all too much last year. Besides, unique scarezones are just a part of HHN’s blood. And Purge is one of those IP’s that screams potential for HHN zones. In my interview last year with Universal Hollywood’s John Murdy (director of HHN Hollywood) I exchanged words at how impressive their scarezone dedicated to the Purge looked. In fact I told him the opening scaremonies, which used the Purge’s now mildly iconic sirens and “broadcast announcing the annual commencement,” for the event sent literal chills down my spine. And that was only through videos I saw on YouTube, since I did not attend HHN Hollywood last year. I can only imagine what it is like to go through the streets with characters trying to purge.  Universal will do the property proud at the event… dare I say probably more so than the movies actually do.

When doing my research for my SI project, which I even now am still working on (I’ve since graduated) I would constantly go back to HHN and compare other houses and events to them. Universal does it the best. Through the years, yes you can see ebb and flow of interests and creativity, but no matter what Universal has always done it the best and always will. Horror is in their blood and they take pride in their work. My main critique this year is the lack of marketing and the website. Maybe it’s because fans such as myself have been so spoiled in the past with in depth characters, stories, and what not that were released over a period of months leading up to the full reveal. Last year we even got the LT game, as well as the mysterious PS giving vlog updates along the way which helped reveal houses. This year it was just house reveals via twitter and FB and the website, for Orlando at least, it just a typical scrolling site with info on it. But that is my only complaint, and it probably has more to do with the fact that since in the past when I couldn’t go I could at least always rely on the website for HHN to offer some fun and entertainment for me. This year not so much. So, once again, woe.

But really, I think this has got to be the year that I am the most saddened that I cannot go. Because marketing flaws or not, the event will rock. I want to come face to face with Michael Myers and xenomorphs dang it!


I’m going to continue watching the event though, hoping that some good videos pop up so that I can experience it vicariously through them! And I’ll also be trying to get in contact with people again, for more interviews for my paper/book.

Universal parks do it best due to their scope and quality. And I’m sure it’ll only get better year after year.

  1. firstclasshorror says:

    I was lucky to go last year and thank god I get to go again this year! Dont worry dude you will make it there again…possibly for the 25th anniversary next year?

    Liked by 1 person

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