Monstruos: The Monsters of Latin America maze at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights.
“Monstruos: The Monsters of Latin America” maze at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights.
Cesar Garcia

Review: Never go alone to this year’s Halloween Horror Nights

A night of terror awaits visitors in eight bone chilling mazes with some of the biggest names in horror to date.

As night falls, pulsating electronic and industrial music pierces the air. Scare actors rush the oncoming crowd as Universal Studios Hollywood unleashes their 23rd year of Halloween Horror Nights.

Since 2006, Horror Nights has been one of the premier destinations for horror fans during the Halloween season. Each year, fans of the event await excitedly for the reveal of brand new mazes. In addition to a rotating theme for the terror tram, Universal has brought some of the biggest intellectual properties in horror to this year’s festivities.

Faithful recreations of “The Last of Us” and “Stranger Things,” as well as a terrifying walk through “The Exorcist: Believer,” are certain to satisfy the needs this season requires.

Attendees will find themselves walking through some of the most iconic scenes from their favorite shows and movies. From Eddie Munson’s trailer, to clicker-riddled corridors in “The Last of Us,” fans will be rife with excitement to see these worlds brought to life.

If one thing is apparent, it is that Universal holds nothing back in order to immerse you in these worlds. Scent plays a heavy role in each house. In “The Exorcist: Believer,” you transition from the world we inhabit to that of the demons in the film. At one moment, you are taking in the comforting scent of a roadside gift shop, the next, you find yourself breathing in the very fire and brimstone of hell.

Sneaking alongside Joel and Ellie in “The Last of Us,” you are met with the smell of mildew. As they come face to face with cordyceps-infected clickers, attendees will wish they brought gas masks with them as a spore-filled haze envelopes the halls.

Accompanying these heavyweight franchises are Evil Dead Rise, Universal Monsters: Unmasked, Monstruos: The Monsters of Latin America, Holidayz in Hell, and Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count, sure to make for a long night of scares and terror. That is if you are willing to put up with the wait times.

By the first hour, most lower lot mazes had racked up wait times in excess of over an hour. While express and RIP tour pass holders zipped through the mazes, general admission would spend a great deal of their night standing in long lines.

“The fast pass is definitely worth it,” remarked attendee Alex Atanossian. “We got general and then upgraded when we arrived. I want to see everything, we’re only here for one day.”

At starting prices of $269, this hefty price tag seems the only way to be able to enjoy every maze in one night. Even if workers are trying to push people through as fast as possible.

“I really wish we could take a little more time,” said Atanossian’s sister Gabriella Atanossian, “Because they’re really short and there’s so much set production. I would love ten more seconds just to absorb the atmosphere before being moved to the next room.”

One thing that is certainly unmatched about Horror Nights is the set production. The high quality build of sets and costumes further immerses you in the mazes which makes it a shame that not everyone will be able to experience each one in the same night. This is especially when the alternative is a blow to the wallet.

If you find yourself too impatient to wait on the next maze, all attractions remain open for the duration of the night. Rides like Jurassic World and The Mummy provide an adrenaline-fueled rush sure to make up for the evening. Even if they aren’t the main spectacle.

Halloween Horror Nights puts on a great show that no scare enthusiast would want to miss. If you’re up for a terrifyingly good time, and you’re willing to put up with the price tag, Horror Nights is something that definitely should be on this year’s Halloween bucket list.

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