Universal releases original HHN house and scare zones

If you thought we were excited about the Krampus announcement for Halloween Horror Nights, then consider us downright giddy for the latest from HHN – original houses and scare zones. That’s right! They were finally revealed and the results are promising.

We already knew from an Annual Passholder mailer one of the original houses – Tomb of the Ancients. Also, we knew Chance would have a house this year when she was announced as the icon – Lunatics Playground 3D – You Won’t Stand A Chance. Now we know the third original house is Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch. Chances (no pun intended) are you’ve probably already heard about these houses, but what about my opinions?

Lunatics Playground 3D – You Won’t Stand A Chance

Typically, 3D houses at Halloween Horror Nights are visually impressive, but weak on scares. This one actually has a lot of promise though. Blending the real world with the 3D “theater of her mind” sounds like the 3D will do a lot of the leg work in warping Chance’s dimension and could be a truly effective way of using 3D. The fact that it also will tell Chance’s story is perfect for HHN who look for these little details year after year.

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Tomb of the Ancients

Tomb of the Ancients is supposed to be a beautiful, yet claustrophobic house that will explore cultural mythologies from South America, Asia and Egypt and that is thrilling. The potential for scenic design in this house is overwhelming. One of the creatures in this house will be Amut with the face of a crocodile and the mane and paws of a lion. How bizarre? If this ends up looking like the queue for Revenge of the Mummy with creatures from Indiana Jones’ nightmares then this house has some serious potential.

Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch

I am a fan of western films as well as horror films. Mix them together and you have one heck of an experience. As appealing as Tomb and Chance  are, something about Ghost Town feels perfect. The story says, “when lighning strikes, the curse of Lightning Gulch comes to life and this ghostly town appears. These doomed souls – who once went search for gold – found death and destruction. And now they seek others to join them.” There is not a bit wrong with that description. The only thing that can go wrong here is bad characters inside the house, but I trust the minds behind Horror Nights to do it right.

Also announced were the five scare zones. A Chance In Hell will feature Chance and will most likely be located somewhere outside of her house. Her cellmates will be doing a lot of the scaring in this one, but who isn’t afraid of overly beastish people. Let’s assume this will be somewhere around the Shrek 4D area.

Survive or Die shows the Earth after catastrophe where our atmosphere has been destroyed. Factions are fighting over a machine that provides clean air and need you to help get control of the machine. It sounds interesting, but I’m not sure where the scares will come here. Almost sounds more like a show oriented scare zone, much like last year’s Psychoscareapy. In fact, it will probably be in the New York area of the park.

Dead Man’s Wharf sounds like it would be a shoe in for the San Francisco area of USF. A strange fog rolls into a village and the lost souls of fishermen from a missing fishing vessel seek to punish the town that left them would be a perfect fit for the area that already has that theming. It just needs some fog and some salty old men.

Vamp 1955 will be Hollywood High School’s 1955 Homecoming Parade where everyone is just vampires and we are their victims. I think its safe to say where this will be located, but score one for vampires.

Banshee’s Lair will most likely be in the walking path between Hollywood and Kid Zone in which you’ll travel into the forest where evil spirits and horrific creatures of the ancient world roam free. Honestly it doesn’t sound that different from last year’s Evil’s Roots, but we’ll see.

Let’s wrap this up with this year’s shows. Of course Bill and Ted will be back in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure, but we will also see a new show – Academy of Villains: House of Fear. Academy of Villains is a dance and specialty act troupe that appeared at Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood last year and it looks… interesting. If it’s anything in person like the videos I’ve seen, the only show that matters this year is Bill and Ted’s.

So, Halloween is quickly approaching and we now have ALL but one of the houses announced as well as the scare zones and shows. Hopefully the final house will be announced soon, but it could be delayed for a number of reasons. Don’t consider us shocked if it ends up being The Purge, but only time will tell. Get ready to scream!

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