The time is almost near for the gates of Universal Studios Hollywood to open once again with the terror that is Halloween Horror Nights. But if you can’t wait, here’s a sneak peek at two of the new mazes coming to the event this year. Below are photos from inside the mazes Universal Monsters: Legends Collide and The Horrors of Blumhouse. This is your warning: SPOILERS BELOW!
In the Universal Monsters: Legends Collide house, you’ll find yourself caught in the middle of an epic battle between three of Universal’s most iconic monsters, The Wolf Man, Dracula, and The Mummy. Their mission is to find the amulet that will break each of their curses. You will find this maze at both Universal Studios Hollywood and Florida, but they’ll both be very different while sharing a similar story. In Hollywood, the house is set in Victorian London whereas in Florida it will be set in an Egyptian tomb. Many of the props you’ll see in the Mummy scenes are actual props from “The Mummy” movie franchise of the late ’90s and early 2000s.
This cemetery scene is a perfect place to find Count Dracula. In fact, fans of Universal’s original “Dracula” movie might notice the name “Browning” in the cemetery. This is a nod to the 1931 film’s director, Tod Browning. This scene was very much inspired by research done on Highgate Cemetery in London.
Although the special effects lighting wasn’t on during our tour, we were told to take note of the moon throughout the house on show nights. Whenever you’re in a Dracula scene, there will be a blood moon. If you’re in a Wolfman scene, it will be a blue moon. And when you’re in the Mummy scenes, it will be a harvest moon.
Creative Director of Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood John Murdy, pictured here in front of the shipping & receiving warehouse entrance of Universal Monsters: Legends Collide, can be heard performing all of the voices inside of this haunted house.
We also had a chance to visit The Horrors of Blumhouse featuring two of their newest movies, “Freaky” and “The Black Phone.” The maze begins with “Freaky,” which is more comedic, and ends with the dark tones of “The Black Phone.” The façade for this house represents a video rental store. One fun Easter egg to note is the address of this video store, 1031,” meaning October 31st.
Although most of the characters you’ll see in these haunted houses will be portrayed by live scareactors, in some cases dummies are needed. I did notice that the quality of dummies seen in the mazes this year seem to be a cut above what I’ve witnessed in the past.
One of the most iconic scenes in “Freaky” is when one of the school teachers is spliced right down the middle of his body using a wood shop table saw. Here you can see Murdy in position where one of the scareactors will be sawing this body in half over and over throughout the event’s run. Fans of detail and continuity will have fun comparing the bulletin board seen in the movie with the one seen in this photo, as it was painstakingly recreated.
Given the limited locations in the movie “The Black Phone,” most of the house’s footprint is given to “Freaky.” But that doesn’t mean there won’t be some solid scares at the end of this house to make up for the laughs provided by “Freaky.”
One of the things that makes Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood completely unique is the Terror Tram, which takes guests out to the Universal Studios movie backlot. This year, it’s longer than ever as guests will be walking through the new Jupiter’s Claim sets from Jordan Peele’s “Nope.” During our tour we learned that actual costumes from “Nope” and ” Us” will be used by the Halloween Horror Nights performers. So, you’ll be walking through the real sets and seeing the real costumes. It’ll be like you actually are living inside of the movie.
Halloween Horror Nights opens at Universal Studios Hollywood on September 8, 2022 and runs on select nights through October 31st.