Once again the streets of Universal Studios Orlandois awash with zombies and monsters. Some love it, some hate it and some just want more and more zombies. No matter how you feel about HHN, you have to enjoy the heavy theming involved. Sure the scare zones were really not prevalent at all this year and some of the houses may have had fans questioning the cohesion between them all… But in the end there were a few that really shined.
Our top picks:
A Cabin in the Woods: this was our favourite as well as a fan favourite. The step by step through the film (a theme we will see often in houses this year) was straight out of the film with little deviation. Plenty of cheap scares about but also a few first rate creepiness abound, especially once we venture into the underground facility. Cases of monsters loosed upon their victims. We were sad to not see the killer unicorn as promised but at least we got to see a real merman.
An American Werewolf in London: Another great house form another great film. Again as in ACITW, AW follows the film almost to the letter from the Slaughtered Lamb to London Tube, we are frequently surprised by Jack’s victims and attacked from seemingly out of nowhere by animatronic werewolves. Unlike many houses where if you know what to look for you can guess where the scares will come from, this house had many surprise attacks.
The Evil Dead: this fun little film wrap up had some nasty little moments that were well played out by the actors. I expected to see more prosthetics but even without them the actors really made this one shine. I was genuinely surprised by the girl appearing out of the bed as well as feeling misery for the one attacked by the trees.
Those were our favourites here at BtT, but we would love to hear yours. The general theming of the street areas was not bad though we do feel universal should wait until dark as it detracted from the experience of both the makeup on the actors and the scenes surrounding the houses. Once darkness set in and the fog machines began pumping the scene was quite unnerving at times.
We do believe that this year suffered from a lack of actors on the zombie hordes’ however we were surprised more than a few times by a sudden zombie face appearing right in front of ours in the fog or suddenly hissing on our ears out of nowhere. There we more screams outside than in many of the houses. Again this is based on great lighting, lots of fog and the amazing actors they had roaming the streets.
Our only complaint was the use of masks which while does make the makeup jobs easier, we do see it as cheating a bit and the actors that had makeup were genuinely more convincing and it showed in their performance.