When attending Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood, most horror fans go with one thing on their minds- MAZES! And yes, the mazes are the main attraction and provide fantastic frights this year. But, the park has a lot of other Halloween fun going on.
It is, after all, also “Purge Night”, and THE PURGE is happening pretty much everywhere in the park. Dark and desolate corners of the park have been filled with insane, twisted “purgers” all ready to take out a year’s worth of aggression on your tender flesh. While some of the “purge” zones are filled with sinister looking individuals bearing chainsaws, other areas are incredibly elaborate with fires, cage dancers, fog, and disorienting strobe effects.
By day, Universal’s Tram ride is designed to be a moving tour through the back lot of the studio, journeying through some active film sets as well as retired ones like PSYCHO’s house and the adjacent Bates Motel. By night, the tram is converted into a Terror Tram. Whereas in past years the tram has failed to deliver on the same scare level as the mazes, this year the Terror Tram was one of the best parts! Eli Roth helped the park design an elaborate backstory about a clown that used to be the mascot for Universal Studios before he was begrudgingly replaced. The clown continued to live in secret on the back lot, slowly going insane and amassing a legion of other mentally unhinged clowns to help him take revenge on the studio that wronged him. Of course, there are ample murderous clowns roaming about, but the greatest thing about this experience was the elaborate video that played on the tram showing the rise and fall of this clown, creating his backstory. It played out like a fantastic urban legend complete with news footage and “vintage” media. Yeah, the clowns were scary. But that fictionalized video and backstory were chilling and incredibly well done!
Every year, Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights also feature some type of theatrical performance. This year’s festivities include nightly performances from the Jabbawockeez dance troupe, made famous by their appearance on AMERICA’S GOT TALENT. Though not nearly as horror-oriented as the rest of the park, the crowds still packed in to see this unique presentation which not only included the group’s standard hip-hop masked dance stylings, but also lights, spoken word poetry, and some great theatrics.
Universal Horror Nights Hollywood is open from now through Saturday, November 5. Visit them online at here to learn more about the event and purchase tickets. This is an absolute must for horror fans in the Southern California area!
This story is part of a series done in partnership between Blumhouse.com and Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights.
Listen to our interview with John Murdy, the creative director of Universal Halloween Horror Nights, Hollywood for a behind-the-scenes chat explaining how the event comes together every year. Exclusively on Shock Waves, embedded below!