A look inside the expanded holiday event at Universal Studios – San Bernardino Sun

Bloody guts dangle from the ceiling, swaying as we make our way through a maze filled with bodies, scarecrows and towering corn stalks. Through the darkness, beams of sunlight creep in. It’s an unnerving scene, even though it’s daylight outside.

Halloween Horror Nights creative director and executive producer John Murdy cracks a smile as our crew collectively reacts with an “ewwwww” as we brush by what appears to be human entrails. Of course, it’s all an elaborate illusion pulled off by the folks responsible for some of the most terrifying modern horror films and from a studio that gave life to the original Universal monsters.

We were deep in the heart of one of Universal Studios Hollywood’s annual scare-a-thon’s newest attractions, Scarecrow: The Reaping, where Murdy’s crew were feverishly putting the finishing touches on scenes in an already elaborately detailed maze. He gave us tours of the attractions ahead of the event officially kicking off on Thursday, Sept. 8 and running select evenings through Oct. 31.

HHN was shut down in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but returned for a smaller event in 2021.

“This feels more like us,” Murdy said. “For so much of last year, we were asking ‘Is it going to even happen?’ Things were changing every week, as far as the regulations, and there was just less content last year than we typically do. Now we’re back to doing eight houses, the Terror Tram — where we’re adding a whole new section — plus our three scare zones.”

Things do look and feel a bit more normal throughout the theme park as we head into the haunting season and there are quite a few new additions to the seasonal event. Here’s what’s coming in 2022.

Fresh terror

Each season, HHN produces walk-thru attractions based on popular horror films, television shows, video games, original concepts and even collaborations with big-name music acts like Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper.

This year, Murdy and his team worked with longtime HHN fan and pop star Abel Tesfaye, who is professionally known as The Weeknd. They had no idea the 32-year-old had been coming to their event for years, until he approached them with the idea to turn his 2020 “After Hours” album into a real life horror story.

“He comes at things very cinematically and he had an interest in being a film director when he was younger,” Murdy said of Tesfaye, who was very hands-on in the creation of The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up directing a movie at some point.”

Though the attraction is based on songs like “Blinding Lights,” “Escape from LA,” “Heartless” and “Save Your Tears,” Murdy was more interested in bringing out the thoughts and emotions that were in The Weeknd’s head during the writing and recording process.

“It goes to some very dark places,” he said. “We want fans to feel like they’re living it, so while it takes its inspiration from the songs and the music videos, we take that and turn it up to 11.”

Other new attractions include Scarecrow: The Reaping, a maze that cropped up at Universal Orlando in 2017. It’s set at a Depression-era farm where extreme drought and inexperienced farmers ravaged the land.

“I see it as an ecological horror story,” Murdy said, noting that the scarecrows, crows and Mother Nature are the biggest threats within. “We grounded this story in the ’30s with the Dust Bowl, which was the biggest ecological disaster that ever befell America up until that point. So it seemed, in this day and age, very much a hot topic, so we’ve made it a cautionary tale for our times.”

There’s also an original maze dubbed Universal Horror Hotel that is set inside a 1920s Hollywood hotel, which was once the hunting ground of a notorious serial killer. His ghost still lurks inside and guests must try to check-out before it’s too late.

Returning favorites

An attraction based on the 1988 cult classic film “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” will return to HHN this year with alien clowns, colorful environments and the best scents, as the cotton candy aroma fills the air throughout the maze.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *