By Shari Perlstein
I know. Attending a Halloween event in September is as blasphemous as putting up Christmas lights the day after Labor Day. Yet, I still went, with the excuse of cheap tickets and an article that deserves to be written. Anyway, let me just say, Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights are something special that can only be understood through personal experience.
When you first get to the park, the employees keep everyone away from the gates until they are ready to let you enter. They shout things like, “Who’s excited for the Walking Dead?” and get the crowd of people hyped up until it’s time for the horror to begin. Fire shoots up from the gate above the park. People dressed in spooky costumes and scary makeup come charging through the crowd with clubs and chainsaws, and adrenaline starts pumping.
Most of the attractions are located on the lower lot of Universal Studios, but there are a few that are located in the back lot or the upper lot. All their normal rides, such as Jurassic Park and The Mummy, are open, but the main attractions are the mazes. Every year, Universal Studios builds about seven haunted houses/mazes based around different horror movies and TV shows. This year they had “Insidious”, “The Walking Dead”, “Crimson Peak”, “Aliens vs. Predators”, “Halloween”, and “This is the End”. If you choose to go in these hallways of horror, be prepared to have your heart race.
“It was very scary. Some guy popped out of the ceiling in Insidious,” said junior Mary Alex Daniels.
The entire park was themed around the 2013 horror film “The Purge.” They even souped up the Studio Tour tram to take you to a makeshift city where you are constantly attacked by actors dressed for the Purge. Even though the line is crazy long, the attraction is totally worth the wait. If anything, the long waits increase the anticipation and make the attraction that much scarier.
The most impressive aspect of the event is the quality of the whole production. Usually, these events are cheap looking, and frankly, seem to be capitalizing on the time of year. While Universal Studios may be doing that, they are also making sure that their customers are getting the greatest experience possible. All the actors’ makeup is professionally done and the sets are magnificent. On the outside, they look like makeshift easy-ups with black cloth thrown over them, but on the inside, they are transformed into amazing replicas of the movies they're based off of. For example, Universal Studios made a maze look exactly like an ancient victorian mansion (based off of “Crimson Peak”) and another look like an abandoned asylum (Based off of “Insidious”).
“The Walking Dead” maze was the best,” said junior Emi Prange, who has attended Universal Horror Nights 3 times this year.
Universal Halloween Horror Nights is not just for people who love horror. I, for one, do not particularly like horror, but I will classify the night I spent at Universal Studios as one of the best nights of my life. In order to truly experience the adrenaline rush that only constant horror can give you, you’ll have to attend Horror Nights yourself, but go soon because ticket prices are climbing daily.
Music. Movies. TV Shows. Student spotlights. Culture of all shapes and sizes--that's the focus of our Arts section.