Event Review: Halloween Horror Nights

By Leslie Tobon

Year after Year Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood brings to live horror films that teleport its guest's into the actual movie through their terrifying mazes. This year Halloween Horror Nights showcased mazes featuring "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "The Walking Dead", "Freddie v. Jason", "Krampus", "Halloween", "American Horror Story" and this years favorite, "The Exorcist". Last years successful theme, "The Purge", was featured this year in a walkthrough scare zone and a tunnel that connected one half of the park to the backlot.

Just as the sun started to set, excited Halloween fans poured right through the bright red gates, with the spirit of Halloween already resonating in the air so early. This year clowns played a special part in the park. The new attraction, Terror Tram, picks up people from the park and drops them off in the plane crash backlot to run through a town packed with clowns that immediately ban together and viciously chase you.

Anyone can put on a scary mask to send a good chill down your spine, but Universal Studios Horror Nights does much more than that. With the unpredictable pop-outs around every corner infused with the realistic smells of rotting flesh on the table and blood stained forest floors, each maze strikes you with panic as your surroundings begin to recreate your worst nightmares .

 The Texas Chainsaw massacre maze starts off in a kitchen displaying food with the delicious smell of breakfast but swiftly changes to a nauseating room filled with the smell of rotting corpses served on some blood stained china. Just as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre did a fine job incorporating some realistic smells, so did both the Krampus maze, filling the atmosphere with freshly baked evil gingerbread men, and the Freddy v Jason maze, striking fear in every nerve of your body with the smell of fresh pine on a forest floor. The creativity and detail put into the mazes are sure to take you far from Hollywood and right into a nightmare.

Unfortunately, some rides aren't open during this event. "Jurassic Park", "Revenge of the Mummy", "Transformers" and the "Simpsons" ride are open during the night. While all the rides remain the same, "Jurassic Park" features dark purple water and adds a scary surprise right before the 80 foot drop. Along with those rides being open to us on Horror Nights, many of the restaurants are open in the park as well with added souvenir shops and radio stands located in various scare-free zones of the park.

This year, the famous dance crew Jabbawokeez returns to Universal after they slaughtered the stage last year with their amazing choreography. They bring their Vegas spirit to Hollywood this horror nights again, and with the size of their stage, you're bound to spot them up close whether you're up front or in the back. With all the special effects and great humor, this show is not one to pass up. It will also give you're heart a break from all the screams you've made during your visit. It is a great show to catch at the end of your night.

Horror nights definitely brought Halloween movies to life and changed this family friendly park into a terrifying night to remember. Although bringing a group of friends might be your safest bet to survive this night, one brave soul can take on horror nights this year alone. Whether you're a classic horror enthusiast or just want to test your bravery, this is definitely a hot spot to hit this Halloween.