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Fear Factory - Halloween Horror Night at Universal
After 14 years plus, our daughter had finally reached the age when Mickey’s Halloween celebration was not going to cut it, and it was time to venture into the horror of Horror Nights, Universal’s Halloween Horror Night – Sweet Sixteen.
We had done our research, and only realised as we were about to buy our tickets, that these horror nights had in fact just this year, returned to the studios. I gather it had been held, slightly less successfully in IOA for a few years! !
As you entered through the “evening only” erected security gates, and were frisked, I for one was already ready to run screaming, as this is done to ensure, over keen students don’t attempt to bring anything into the park which could scare other guests (that was the job of the characters Universal had provided! ! ) Once past the entrance, fiends from years past were happy to pose for photos. The atmosphere, even at this stage is, in my opinion VERY realistic! ! On all the advertising posters, we had seen 4 scare characters, which were obviously the main theme for this event, though not a follower of horror, they meant little to me. We had, The Caretaker, The Storyteller, The Director and Jack the clown. All looked suitable sinister, but we soon learnt that the main shows of the evening were to be the “Haunted Houses”. Here came our first learning curve.
Go at the very start of the evening, not fashionably late, the first, and sadly (though not for me! ! ) the only house that my family went into was called “People under the Stairs”, for the walk through of this (the least scary house, I am told) , we queued for 2 hours! ! ! My two loved it, and “Yes” everyone I saw leave, did so screaming! ! Which I assume is a success on the part of Universal. While waiting in line, which is snaked around the back of the attractions we all love in the daytime, they are surviving alcohol and showing excepts from the film “People under the stars”, so the scene is well and truly set. It was enough to make me go as far as the door, then skip out! ! The effects were all too scary for me! ! ! Though we did not venture into any other houses, mainly due to time, and fear, we had read the write ups, so the ones we didn’t manage, were, Screamhouse Resuurection, this one was apparently themed with the Caretakers’s decaying mortuary, and autopsy room! I gather the smell was particularly bad in here!
There was Psychoscareapy, in which a mostly unseen Jack (the Clown) lets loose the inmates in an asylum, nice! ! ! It was in Dungeon of Terror Retold, that the cute old lady, known as The Storyteller, got to do her bit, not entirely sure what mind you. Then, The All-nite Die in Take 2, seemed to involve an encounter with the Cenobites, which nicely delivered it’s scare factor. Psycho-Path, seemed based on the Bates motel, and involved a sort of spinning tunnel of Janet Leigh clips, all sounded a little weird, but effective , I was told by those who waited and had got through! The last , but would not have been least for me, was Run, Hostile Territory, this apparently was full of Saw-esque gore! ! Could I handle any more chainsaws, and in a confined place…ummm, not sure! !
So, what else was on offer? Well, while grabbing a drink we saw a funeral procession, a lady in a glass coffin with live rats all over her. Loads of scare zones, you know they are there, but they are STILL very effective, Vampires, Chainsaw scaring Zombies, and characters with Pumpkin heads! ! Eeewww! !
The favourite for me of the evening was surprisingly Bill and Ted’s Halloween adventure, unexpectedly funny, topical and worth the whole evening, a MUST SEE part of the evening in my opinion. At one point, we saw horror movie snips on huge inflatable balloons on the lake, cool and harmless. One other event they had going on at various times throughout the evening, which we only caught some of, involved someone supposedly seeing their end, after The Story –teller had removed his tongue (not for real of course).
Overall, I soon understood why you had to be over 13 to go, and why they did not allow costumes to be worn by guests, and why they had us all go through metal detectors! ! This is definitely NOT for the faint hearted, and NOT for young children. No trick and Treating going on here! ! The enormous queues (it was the Thursday before Halloween), to get in the houses was disappointing, and the fact that they had sold “Fast passes” to this event, seemed a little on the mean side too, but that said, will we go again? Absolutely! ! !
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