Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights event concluded a little over three months ago, and although this year’s event is still more than half a year away, it’s never too soon to discuss it. Halloween Horror Nights is more than just an event, it’s an experience that truly immerses you into horrific, incredibly detailed atmospheres. The highlight of Halloween Horror Nights is the many houses that guests can enter, many of which are themed to iconic shows and films. Michael Aiello, Senior Director of Creative Development for Entertainment at Universal Orlando, announced on his Twitter page in late January that the team in charge of this year’s event has moved forward with some intellectual properties (IPs). Knowing this, that makes this the perfect time to talk about Halloween Horror Nights, but I’m not going to analyze which IPs are rumored to come this year. Instead, I’m going to provide my input on which properties I believe could make solid haunted houses if properly executed.
1. Stranger Things
Stranger Things has been rumored to come to this year’s Halloween Horror Nights event, and I highly approve of it. As I see it, a Stranger Things house would not necessarily be frightening, but it could be visually appealing and provide fans of the show with a great way to experience the strange events that took place. Furthermore, the show’s mysterious occurrences, unexplainable situations, and distinctive, out-of-the-ordinary creatures could further improve the house’s outcome—should it come to fruition. Plus, Universal could select either season 1, season 2, or both seasons as the house’s plot.
Stranger Things has a large fanbase and has received exceptionally high ratings from various sites. The thought of being able to explore the Upside Down, the Hawkins National Laboratory, and other settings would be fascinating. Because of Stranger Things’ overall storyline and popularity, it would not only make for an extraordinary experience, but it would also be a wise investment.
About the show (IMDb):
Season one of Stranger Things revolves around the disappearance of Will Byers. When Will suddenly goes missing, the whole town of Hawkins, Indiana turns upside down. Will’s mother, brother, friends (Mike, Dustin, and Lucas), and the police chief search for him, but they realize there’s more to the investigation than originally thought. Will did not just disappear, he was taken into an alternate dimension. The first season then concludes with the rescue of Will. Throughout the show, one thing leads to another, and this is exactly the case in the second season.
2. My Bloody Valentine (2009)
When I conducted a poll on the World Of Universal Instagram page asking our followers if they’d like a house based on the 2009 My Bloody Valentine film, it was overwhelmingly turned down. Despite this, I do believe that a house based on this film has the potential to be a truly petrifying and magnificent experience (as long as it’s not in 3D), and I feel this way based on the fact that there’s a killer with a pickaxe who is murdering people. You may not like the film, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t make for a great haunted house. I must add that I actually loathed The Texas Chain Saw Massacre film, as it lacked character development and had an abysmal, dull storyline. Regardless of my opinion on the film, it made a truly excellent haunted house during Halloween Horror Nights 26. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre house was actually my favorite house that year, and I think that the leatherface-masked, chainsaw-wielding killer had to do with that. He added tension to the experience, making it enjoying and frightening. This could be the case with an experience based on the 2009 My Bloody Valentine movie.
The 2009 My Bloody Valentine film basically revolves around a gas-masked, pickaxe-wielding killer who is once again terrorizing the town of Harmony ten years after the original killing spree. My reason for selecting the 2009 film over the 1981 version is because it includes more detailed visuals and better scenes. Due to this, I see it as more fit for a haunted house, as the remake would provide for more intriguing sets that can be used.
Just imagine walking through the mine or supermarket featured in the film and being chased by a psychotic killer who cannot be identified and is carrying a lethal weapon. That could be both suspenseful and terrifying.
About the film (IMDb):
In the mining town of Harmony, a drilling accident causes the mine to collapse, leading to multiple miners being buried alive. When a rescue team is sent out, it is discovered that one miner, Harry, who is in a coma, survived the incident; however, the team learns that he killed the others to save oxygen for himself. On Valentine’s day, Harry reportedly awoke from his coma and murdered 22 people, but he is then killed by a deputy. The only people who survived the murders were Tom and his girlfriend as well as their friend and his girlfriend. After 10 years, Tom revisits the town of Harmony only to relive another massacre on Valentine’s day, but is it actually Harry who is responsible for the murders as rumored?
3. It (2017)
When I saw the 2017 adaptation of It I thought it was an overall good film. It had a solid storyline from start to finish, good character development that allowed you to relate to the characters, and a superb representation of Pennywise. While the movie isn’t frightening to watch, living it would be entirely different. Should It come to Halloween Horror Nights, I believe making guests the entity’s next target would be a good concept. By doing so, you could face Pennywise and the entity’s other forms, creating a sinister house, as you wouldn’t be watching horrific events unfold, you’d be a part of the action.
The 2017 It film completely transforms Pennywise’s appearance from the miniseries. He now appears darker, more sinister, and intimidating. He’s someone you wouldn’t want to encounter, making him a perfect choice to scare guests. Moreover, with It‘s many settings, including the sewers and the Neibolt house, and unexpected appearances of the entity in its most iconic form—Pennywise—you could walk through a house that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Universal could incorporate said settings and add sudden arrivals of Pennywise or his other forms featured in the film, combining the use of dark places with the addition of a dark entity.
It (2017) received high ratings because of its superb execution. The film also became the highest-grossing September release of all time and the highest-grossing R-rated horror movie in the U.S. This information shows that It performed exceedingly well in theaters, so with this in mind, it would definitely become a favorable haunted house at the nation’s premier Halloween event—Halloween Horror Nights. Additionally, It would be highly marketable for Universal because of its popularity. I’d see it as a big loss for Universal if the film were not to be used for a Halloween Horror Nights event.
About the film (IMDb):
Children in the town of Derry, Maine go missing, including Bill’s little brother. The disappearance of Bill’s brother prompts him and his friends to search for him; however, they discover that the killer is not a person. The killer is an entity that has the ability to shapeshift into the thing you are most afraid of. The kids, also known as the Losers Club, decide to fight and kill It.