Pauloween 2015 kicked into overdrive last night as Universal Orlando held their annual Halloween Horror Nights media preview event. Anticipation for this year’s event reached a frenzy upon entering Soundstage 33, as costumes and props from all 9 haunted mazes, 5 scare zones, and 2 shows lined the walls for all to soak in.
Halloween Horror Nights marks their 25th year this season and in celebration, they have produced their largest event ever – more houses, more scare zones, roaming hordes, and the most scareactors that have ever been used.
Creative Director, Michael Aiello addressed the crowd and took us through the history of the event which started as a small test as “Fright Nights” and has since blossomed into the monster that it is today, with event icons that are as beloved to the faithful audience as the houses themselves. Through the birth and development of these icons, we arrive at this year’s event, centered around so much of Halloween Horror Nights history, with its ringleader in Jack the Clown. While Jack acts as host and central icon this year, the creative team has worked to deliver an amazing assortment of mash ups and returns of fan favorites, along with newer intellectual properties.
This year’s allotment of houses include:
- 25 Years Monsters & Mayhem – According to Mike Aiello, this is the house to hit this year. This is the largest house ever produced at HHN and includes highlights from prior years with different fan favorite houses represented as you walk from room to room. Watch for 3 different versions of Jack in this house with his appearance changing based on the years represented.
- Freddy v Jason – With the passing of Wes Craven recently, this house takes on additional sentiment with Freddy battling Jason in a struggle of epic proportions. The first third of this house is based on Jason and familiar scenes from the Friday The 13th franchise. The second third of the house is based on the surroundings of Freddy from A Nightmare On Elm Street, including 1428 Elm Street and the boiler room and the house will wrap with the battle for supremacy with the victor changing depending on when you tour the house.
- Body Collectors: Recollections – This house is a mash up of prior year favorites with the Body Collectors being placed in Shadybrook Asylum during a big blizzard. The storyline for this house takes place back in time where we will find out where body collectors come from.
- American Werewolf In London – This is the first time that Universal Orlando has brought back a house in its entirety and have done so based on fan demand. This house is a replica from the HHN 23 event and features a new wolf scare.
- Insidious – Insidious was a huge fan favorite in Hollywood previously and is being brought to Orlando this year with representation from all 3 Insidious movies. Some of the characters included are the breathing man, the red faced demon, and the bride in black. Media were treated to a full dress rehearsal of this house last night and I can safely say that this house is terrifying. Full disclosure: I did not think this property would work as a house and I have to admit that I was 100% wrong. This may be the surprise favorite of this year’s crop as there were so many scares that the group I was with actually cowered in the corners of the rooms on more than one occasion.
- Run: Blood, Sweat, & Fears – This is another mash up of 2 prior fan favorites in Run and Hellgate Prison. Although this house has been somewhat under the radar by way of promotion, it seems like this could be a sleeper favorite as you need to escape from reapers within the context of a 1987 game show.
- The Purge – Moving from being a scare zone last year to a house property this year, The Purge promises to include all of the awesome scares from the street jammed into a house.
- Asylum In Wonderland 3D – This is 3D house, which promises to be fun and is based on Scary Tales, which has been a fan favorite from past years.
- The Walking Dead: The Living and the Dead – Last year’s supersized property returns to a regular sized house and instead of building out, the creative team built up. This year’s iteration of The Walking Dead promises to be immersive and based on highlights of season 5 of the show.
This year’s scare zones include:
- Psychoscareapy: Unleashed – This zone will be the bloodiest that has been seen before and promises to be can’t miss with the escaped patients of Shadybrook Asylum.
- ICONS: HHN – The Icons in this scare zone will be demonstrating how they became icons by showing you how they kill.
- Scary Tales: ScreamPunk – Some of your favorite Scary Tales characters will be represented with a steam punk flair.
- Evil’s Roots – This traditional based scare zone will include faeries, bats, and beasts and is accentuated with jack-o-lanterns and scarecrows throughout Central Park.
- All Nite Die-In: Double Feature – This scare zone will include revolving sets of greyscale and color based characters which run the gamut of classic monsters, The Purge, The Strangers, Freddy, Jason, and Chucky.
This year’s shows include:
- Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure – The annual fan favorite show returns this year in what appears to be a battle perhaps with Kanye and Kim (based on props at the event) as well as roasting of the year’s most talked about pop culture happenings.
- The Carnage Returns – Jack’s show returns this year with Chance and will include dancers and aerialists to bring more of a circus element to the event. When asked what to expect of this show, Michael Aiello simply responded, “carnage and fun mayhem”.
Here are our pictures of the media event!
Check out videos from the media preview event and be sure to stay tuned to Ideology of Madness for all of your Halloween Horror Nights updates.
For all of our Halloween Horror Nights coverage…