Jamie Lee Curtis, Greg Nicotero, Jordan Peele open the event with a scream – San Bernardino Sun

Universal Studios Hollywood’s annual Halloween Horror Nights got off to a screaming start in front of the Universal Cinema at CityWalk on Thursday, Sept. 8 as dozens of horror writers, directors, producers and actors walked the blood red carpet ahead of entering the theme park.

Though it was a sweaty 100 degrees on the carpet, the event marks the start of the haunting season. The talent was ready to explore what fresh frights HHN executive producer John Murdy & Co. created within eight elaborately detailed attractions based on movies like the original “Halloween,” director Jordan Peele’s films “Nope” and “Us,” Blumhouse Productions’ “The Black Phone” and “Freaky” and a maze that captures the horrors of pop and R&B star The Weeknd’s album “After Hours.” Halloween Horror Nights continues on select evenings through Oct. 31.

“Living in the TV and movie world, to be able to be a part of something that’s this immersive, where you can walk in and feel like you’re there, there’s just nothing like it,” “The Walking Dead” and “Creepshow” director, producer and special FX artist Greg Nicotero said of the event. “Horror fans go to like the Georgetown steps from ‘The Exorcist’ or they go to Martha’s Vineyard where they shot ‘Jaws’ because that’s what people want, they want to get as close as they can to it and really, nothing is closer than Halloween Horror Nights.”

Fans who had gathered around the red carpet cheered as some of the genre’s biggest names showed up. Jordan Peele made a quick appearance before ducking off to go experience his attraction on the Universal backlot, where The Tethered from “Us” took over the set of the fictional Jupiter’s Claim theme park from “Nope” with a unique twist. I won’t give that away here, but it was one of the coolest, most unnerving moments I’ve had in a dozen years of covering Halloween Horror Nights.

Also in attendance: “Child’s Play” creator Don Mancini; “The Haunting of Hill House” director Mike Flanagan; “Sinister” and “Insidious” producer Jason Blum; “Saw” and “The Conjuring” creator James Wan; “The Haunting of Hill House” actress Kate Siegel; “Freaky” star Vince Vaughn; “Insidious” actress Lin Shaye; and the scream queen herself, “Halloween” star Jamie Lee Curtis.

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