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The return of Halloween Horror Nights

Posted on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 4:39 pm




This year, filmmaker Eli Roth – acclaimed director of blockbuster horror films such as Hostel and Cabin Fever – makes his commercial directorial debut with Universal Studios’ new “Halloween Horror Nights” television spot, entitled “The Mourning After.”

By Peter Covino

A&E Editor

Let the fright begin — Halloween Horror Nights returns to Universal Orlando in just one week.

Central Florida’s most popular scarefest, and one of the nation’s biggest as well, returns to the resort with new mazes, scare zones and more, Friday, Sept. 15.

As usual, Universal releases information about the big event, a little at a time, and there are probably still a few more surprises before opening day arrives, but some of the announced highlights include the debut of The Shining, a new haunted maze featuring some of the most memorable moments of the classic horror film from Stanley Kubrick.

This one should be one of this year’s more popular mazes, with its Overlook Hotel setting and caretaker Jack Torrance’s descent into madness.

On the more  contemporary side of horror, Universal has also announced  The Horrors of Blumhouse, bringing new horror master Jason Blum’s films to their own haunted setting. Based on The Purge, Sinister and the soon-to-be released Happy Death Day, this new maze will feature all three twisted films at one location.

In The Purge, guests will attempt to survive the night as they are immersed in the film’s depraved world, where all crime is declared legal as part of the government’s annually sanctioned 12-hour Purge. In what can be described as a living trailer for Happy Death Day, guests will experience a deja-vu scenario as they are forced to relive the last day of their lives over and over again in an attempt to escape a masked killer. The final nightmare will unmask itself in Sinister, where guests will encounter an ancient pagan deity who is determined to trap them in the sordid shadow world of the dead…for all eternity.

“It’s a privilege to collaborate with Jason Blum and his team at Blumhouse Productions to create ‘The Horrors of Blumhouse,’” said John Murdy, Creative Director at Universal Studios Hollywood and Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights.”  “The decisive, inventive way in which he interprets underlying issues plaguing today’s society into his films provides us with a plethora of content to create truly captivating, one-of-a-kind modern horror experiences for our guests.”

Other haunted mazes include Saw, based on the popular movie franchise and American Horror Story.

Almost as popular as the haunted mazes, are Universal’s street experiences, the scare zones filled with scareactors stalking unsuspecting guests.

This year’s scare zones include:

Trick ‘r Treat: Inspired by the iconic horror film from Legendary Pictures and directed by Michael Dougherty, guests will be thrust into the traditions of Halloween with an authentic showcase to celebrate the haunted holiday. Surrounded by jack-o’-lanterns and door steps awaiting trick-or-treaters, the infamous Sam will be lurking in the shadows to strictly enforce the rules of Halloween – and those who disobey will pay the price…

The Purge: An American tradition returns to the streets of Halloween Horror Nights with the annual Purge set to commence. This gory “scare zone” will feature the return of fan-favorite characters from the film saga and the notorious victim auction whose bidders want nothing more than to exercise their right to Purge.

INVASION!: Guests will become the grotesque human experiments of fearless alien scientists who continue to plan the preeminent destruction of planet Earth.

Altars of Horror: Guests will come face-to-face with some of the most horrifying characters found in this year’s assemblage of haunted mazes – based on iconic horror films and terrifying hit TV shows.

In addition to the haunted mazes and scare zones, this year’s Halloween Horror Nights also will include two live shows. This will be the final year for the Excellent Halloween Adventures of Bill and Ted. After 26 years, Bill and Ted are bringing their Farewell Tour to Halloween Horror Nights.

Returning for a second year with an all-new show is the  Academy of the Villains. This year’s show is called Academy of Villains: Afterlife and it will incorporate fearsome elements from this year’s Festival of the Deadliest “scare zone.”

Go to for the latest information on the big show as well as buy tickets, express passes, vacation packages and more. One of this year’s special Coca -Cola deals features a two-night package including hotel, starting at $229 per person, available with UPC code. Go to  for details.