Click here for PART 1 of this article, which includes recaps/reviews of The Cabin in the Woods, Resident Evil, and more!
As you may have noticed by now, I am a giant Evil Dead fan, so yes, I was quite excited for this house, too! While I'm not a nut for the 2013 film like I am Sam Raimi's, I did enjoy the hell out of Fede Alvarez's take on the story. Like the Werewolf house, this one walks you through each memorable scene from the film it's based on. It even begins with the opening credits, strangely enough, with an impressive set design that includes the title shot and pages of the Necronomicon. I got a kick out of the sound of Professor Knowby reading passages.
Next, you walk through the cabin where Eric reads from the book and a possessed Mia leaps out. Things are a bit too dark, but look carefully and you'll see Mia's "evil half" and the tree "rape" scene. The blood puking scene is weakly re-created (too difficult to constantly pour out blood, I imagine), but the shower scene and meat carver scene are done pretty well (though both could still use more blood). Mia in her cellar shows up, but this ED fanatic was left wishing she did more chain rattling (or perhaps singing the lullaby). Sound clips from the film are used effectively, especially for the tongue-slicing bit. One of my favorite parts involves Mia in the grave.
The house climaxes with the fire and the Abomination, who is quite creepy. Sadly, no chainsaw-to-the-face here. The scene is moist, but not the rain of blood I expected. I kept hearing how bloody this house was, but I thought it needed way more, personally. The scare-actors also seemed a bit weaker here. Overall, it's a fun walk-through for fans of the 2013 film (less so for hardcore fans of the original) but it lacks the passion and atmosphere of Cabin in the Woods and An American Werewolf in London.
If you would like information about the other three houses, I recommend:
The Walking Dead Street Experience
In addition to the Safe Haven house, The Walking Dead was chosen as the theme for HHN 23's street experience. Between the rides and haunted houses, there are zombies wandering the streets to scare you, as well as Scare Zones based on scenes from the television series. You will see tanks, corpses and general chaos from the fall of Atlanta. There is Dale's RV, the message to Sophia, Hershel's farm, the well walker, and my personal favorite, Morgan's town complete with "CLEAR" on the buildings and walker booby traps.
The HHN merchandise was largely zombie-based, so fans of The Walking Dead will have plenty to open their wallets for.
Hollywood Horror Make-Up Show
This is actually totally unrelalated to Halloween Horror Nights, and it closes before HHN starts, but if you are a horror fan and spend the day at Universal Studios, DO NOT MISS THIS. Before the show begins, check out the museum of movie props and information. You'll find busts from The Thing, An American Werewolf in London, Jaws, Halloween, Jurassic Park, classic Universal monsters, and more. It's a horror/makeup FX fan's wet dream in there! Then stick around for the show itself - not only is it funny and bloody, but you will get to witness Rick Baker's change-o-head in-person and in-action. I've seen it twice and I nearly pissed my pants with excitement both times.
Sadly, the Jaws ride at Universal is no more (and it hurts so bad), but the hanging shark remains for photo-ops, and then there was this sweet poster just to rub it in:
If you plan to attend Halloween Horror Nights this month, I highly recommend this website as it is full of valuable information (including early admission):
I also highly recommend you look into the lights-on tours here, especially if you are a big fan of the movies or just generally love the details.
Thanks for reading! If you have attended this year's HHN or previous year's, be sure to tell me all about your adventures in the comments below!