- Last Updated: Thursday, 21 September 2017 19:09
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios launched Friday, September 15 and CineMovie made the annual trek to get our scare on. We rank the best mazes in order of scariness.
Familiar horror characters return such as Freddy Krueger, Chucky, Leatherface and so do attractions based on more current movies like Insidious and American Horror Story. Missing from this year's horror festivities were The Purge performers, smog machines and loud music that follows you around with hand saws around the entrance to Universal Studios. Instead, the killers inspired by The Purge were contained in their own maze which was similar to last year's but a bit longer.
Halloween Horror Nights runs every weekend until November 4. See below for the various offers and discounts.
Here's how we rank this year's attractions based on the scare meter and fun factor.
1. The Shining, inspired by the iconic psychological thriller.
If you love Jack Nicholson in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, then this attraction is for you. Multiple Jacks and his hatchet pop out at you. Universal Studios also recreates the iconic scene where Shelley Duvall is hiding out in the bathroom with a knife as Jack comes barging through the door with his classic line, "Here's Johnny."
At the entrance, visitors are treated to the creepy "Redrum" chanting of the boy, and carried throughout including projected scenes from the movie.
2. “Insidious: Beyond the Further,” inspired by Universal Pictures and Sony Picture’s upcoming supernatural thriller Insidious franchise including, Insidious: Chapter 4.
This maze got me so good I screamed my way into a headache. The demons of the Further are frightening and the make-up and costume were top notch. This one was definitely the most scariest.
3. “Titans of Terror Tram: Hosted by Chucky,” will transport guests into a nightmare of carnage pitting guests against these four horror icons—Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Leatherface—led by infamous serial killer doll Chucky on the world-famous studio backlot.
Chucky is always fun to hang around with unless you're his intended victim. He narrates the tram tour and drops you off at the Bates Motel to face multiple Freddy Kruegers, Chuckys, Leatherface and Jason Voorhees. Freddy Krueger is the most fun as various actors play the creepy killer in various outfits.
4. “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” based on Starz’s comedy horror television series.
You always have a good bloody time with Bruce Campbell's Ash around. Like on the tv show, Ash vs Evil Dead and the films, the maze combines horror with humor to capture the spirit of the franchise.
5. “American Horror Story: Roanoke,” based on FX’s critically-acclaimed, Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning television series.
Like the show, the maze based on the FX show is creepy and gory. Unless you're a fan of the show, you won't get some of the more disturbing symbols.
6. “SAW: The Games of Jigsaw,” based on the SAW film series and the upcoming series installment, JIGSAW.
The SAW mazes are not usually my cup of tea because of the gore and viciousness of the kills, but this attraction was a great improvement over previous years. It may have to do with the new installment which has Jigsaw's army doing his bidding this time.
“7. Titans of Terror,” which unites slasher film villains, Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Leatherface.
The triple horror threat maze would've been better if the three killers interacted with each other.
6. “The Horrors of Blumhouse,” inspired by prolific filmmaker Jason Blum’s movies, the maze features iconic and unnerving moments from The Purge franchise, Sinister movies and upcoming Happy Death Day.
The new attraction felt purely promotional as the majority of the maze promotes the upcoming new horror film from Blumhouse Productions, Happy Death Day. Without knowing the plot of the film, the baby-masked killers coming out of the dark were not as scary. You wanted to pinch those chubby cheeks instead.
The Purge section of the maze is a lot more fun, but the real thrill of The Purge is when the killers are let loose chasing screaming visitors which they didn't have this year.
9. “The Walking Dead,” Universal Studios Hollywood new permanent attraction inspired by AMC’s record-breaking television series.
We skipped The Walking Dead attraction since it's a permanent fixture at Universal Studios since last year.
10. The Jabbawockeez award-winning hip hop dance crew returns by popular demand.
We hear it's a great show, but we skipped this one as us old folks were running out of energy for the night.
September 15-16, 22-23, 28-30
October 1, 5-8, 12-15, 19-22, 25-29, 31
November 2-4, 2017
7:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Tickets can be purchases at www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com/Hollywood. Advance purchase is recommended as event nights will sell out. Below highlights the various ticket options available:
Front of Line: One-time priority access at each “Halloween Horror Nights”
maze, “Terror Tram” and theme park ride.
All-new R.I.P. Tour Groups of up to 14 can scare in style with an exclusive VIP
guide, unlimited front-of-line privileges to all mazes and attractions, a gourmet buffet dinner, drinks and valet parking.
After 2 p.m. Day/Night Combo Experience the park’s popular daytime attractions, including
“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™,” “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Fast and Furious—Supercharged” on the world-famous Studio Tour by day and remain for the terror that awaits at “Halloween Horror Nights.”
Frequent Fear Pass Visit multiple times throughout the 29-night event.
Killer Deal Nights Discounts of up to $30 on select dates.
College Thursdays Terror Pass College students, faculty and staff with a valid .edu email can
purchase this exclusive ticket to visit and revisit every Thursday night for the run of the event: Thursday, September 28; Thursday, October 5, 12, 19, 26 and Thursday, November 2, 2017.