A sneak peek at how Universal Studios Hollywood is turning the original “Halloween” films into a walk thru attraction for Halloween Horror Nights.
Creative director John Murdy and the good folks at Universal Studios invited CreepyLA back for another sneak peek at an attraction being built for Halloween Horror Nights – this time, for the highly anticipated “Halloween” maze called, “The Life and Crimes of Michael Myers.”
Fans of the original series will have the poop scared out of them be delighted as they’ll be able to literally step in Michael Myers bloody footprints as he grows from a 6-year old cuddly killer kid in a clown suit to the fully grown, and still ever so cuddly, masked killer, aka “The Shape” we all recognize today.
Visitors waiting in line will see the sillouette of a young Michael stabbing his sister Judith to death through her bedroom window, before walking into the house and following the trail of blood from October 31st, 1962, to Myers return to Haddonfield 15 years later. The graphic kills that were fans once saw safely projected on screen will now take place an arms length away, and this time Michael will be coming after them.
For those of you who plan on attending Halloween Horror Nights and don’t want any spoilers – you should stop reading here. For everyone else, here’s some of what I discovered will be waiting to scare the pumpkin guts out of you… and some tips on how to survive “The Life and Crimes of Michael Myers.”
Watch “Halloween” again and again. While Murdy has included references from throughout the “Halloween” series, the walk-thru is essentially “the linear story of ‘Halloween.'” If you’re familiar with the original you’ll have a little forewarning of the kills ahead of you, and, for example, that it probably isn’t your boyfriend Bob dressed as a ghost, and you probably won’t be getting that beer.
Don’t wear white. Michael will be butchering people mere feet from you – and Murdy promises you will get splattered with blood. Or, at least, it sure will seem like DNA (Murdy says the blood is really just harmless water. Pfft.)
Clean the wax out of your ears. The entire maze has been intricately scored with music and sound effects from the original “Halloween,” further immersing visitors into this “movie come to life.” As fans know, Michael’s appearance is always accompanied by an audio “stinger,” and there’s no exception here. In some portions of the maze, scare actors portraying Michael Myers will trip a switch to cue the “stinger” as well as lighting effects to completely disorient you while they move in for the kill.
Don’t let your guard down. Michael will be coming at visitors from trap doors, the ceiling, and anywhere else you probably won’t expect him. And he won’t be the only seemingly immortal being in the maze. Keep an eye on the headless torso of the security guard… he may have some life left in him yet.
Watch your step. The set decorators keen attention to detail includes ensuring that each prop, piece of furniture, and other dressing is authentic to the time period where each walk thru scene is from – either 1962 or 1977 – but don’t let this distract you. As mentioned, you’ll be literally following Michael’s trail of the dead, so while you’re admiring the avocado green and mustard yellow 70’s era sets, be careful not to trip on any dead bodies, including Judith’s scantily clad corpse.
Bring some Vicks Vapo Rub. Previous Horror Nights’ mazes have incorporated the scent of rotting flesh and urine to make the environments more realistic. For the Myers maze, in addition to the lovely smell of pine for the outdoor scenes, Murdy promises Smiths Grove Sanitarium will have the authentic smell of raw sewage. “Have you ever spent much time in mental hospitals? Unfortunately, I have,” he says, quickly adding it was as a 16 year old delivering meds to medical facilities, where he noticed every sanitarium shared the same raw sewage bouquet. As for the Vicks tip, do what freshman coroners do and rub some under your nose to knock out the smell of just about anything… including decomposing corpses.
Buy your tickets early. Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights runs Friday thru Sunday nights from October 2nd thru the 31st, with additional dates on October 15, 28, and 29. Murdy said last year was their most successful yet, and that that year was on target to beat it… so, to both avoid sell outs and take advantage of “early bird” discounts, grab your tickets sooner than later.