Some HHN Merchandise has been found on the online Universal store. There's a few t-shirts, shot glasses, a mug and a lanyard posted. However, from attending the #HHN tweet-up, we know that black hoodies, a hat and a deck of cards will be available as well.
We attended the first #HHN tweet-up last night and was treated to some sneak peeks & a special surprise for a lucky 21 - they got to tour The Forsaken with TJ Mannarino, one of the designers. Three of the event designers/writers were on hand to do a short presentation and then a Q & A session. We saw a teaser video of the inside of The Forsaken and Nevermore houses. Gotta say, they both looked pretty freaky!
Some highlights from the night:
• Saws & Steam will be hot, claustrophobic (as usual) and will have "electricity shot at you". Oh boy.
• The 8 houses represent 8 people who have met and dealt with Lady Luck. More background on Lady Luck will be released next week.
• No icon house because they thought her story was best told in a scarezone.
• Advanced projection technology will be used on the buildings in the Acid Assault zone to make them appear to crumble. We saw them testing this as we walked out and we're very excited to see it in full effect.
• The Nightmaze scarezone will be shifting and changing throughout the night - a first for any scarezone.
• The 7 scarezone's temptresses represent the 7 sins, and each will morph over the course of the night and by the end they will be overwhelmed by their sins. For example, the pretty greed temptress has a lot of nice jewelry on, but by the end of the night the jewelry will over take her and weigh her down...but in a scary way. People will have to visit this one a few times to get the full effect.
• They claim that the 3D house The Inbetween is by far the best they've ever executed and we will all be "truly amazed".
• New merchandise this year includes a simple black hoodie sweatshirt (which got major fan approval from the attendees), a hat and themed playing cards - yes! they listened!
• Scareactors from several houses and scarezones milled about the audience and we got a good, upclose look at them. Costumes look great, especially the Acid Assault guy - ewww.
• In response to a "Why do you and HOS have so many similarities this year?" The responses ranged from 'great minds think alike' to 'we cover topical events' to 'we're surprised it hasn't happened before'. Sorry, those answers don't cut it with us. Of course the true reason will probably never be revealed.
• No VIP room this year. Not enough turnout last year to make it worth it.
Well, there's some of the main points of the event and we'll upload a few photos later.
A rather "official" looking map has been leaked on Horror Night Nightmare's facebook page. Click on the map for a better view.
The Forsaken - Parade Building (Barney/Kids Zone entrance area)
The InBetween - Pop-up Tent (Barney/Kids Zone entrance area)
Nevermore - Pop-up Tent (MIB entrance area)
Saws & Steam - Jaws Queue
Holidays of Horror - Disaster Queue
The Thing - Soundstage (NY Libarary entrance area)
Nightingales - Soundstage (Twister entrance area)
Winter's Night - Soundstage (Music Plaza entrance area)
Acid Assault - New York area
Your Luck Has Run Out - Side street by Finnegans
Nightmaze - Sunset Blvd. (Shrek exit St.)
7 - Hollywood Blvd.
Grown Evil - Central Park (by Gardens of Allah Villas)
Canyon of Dark Souls - street from Kids Zone to The Simpsons
No scarezone down the street between old Jimmy Neutron & Shrek. It's kinda tight there now with construction started, so that's most likely why. Hopefully they still decorate that area in some way.
Bill & Ted - Fear Factor Theater (of course)
Death Drums - street area by lagoon where the DeLorean sits
Also, adding a follow up an earlier rumor - we are so happy to see that Brian Brushwood is not returning like we were very sure he was earlier. Either his online schedule was from last year, or Universal changed their minds at the last minute. Either way, great!
We chatted up a team member at the Jaws queue and they said this will be the Saws & Steam house. Is that the truth or are they misleading us?
So now that the official details are out, all that's left to speculate about is the location of the houses. HR Bloogengutz Holidays of Horror will be in the Disaster queue. We suspect The Thing will be in the Jaws queue. Other than that, we'll be able to tell as it gets closer.
Official details have been released! Read all the gory info here.
The cat's out of the bag and a Burger King employee is to blame. A poster advertising their special discount offers went up at a BK location the other day that shows the icon for the event. Lady Luck has shown her face...well, half of it. (Reminds me of Johnny Depp in Alice in Wonderland). The photo is on the official HHN Facebook page if you want to read what others are saying about it.
This afternoon Universal officially responded to the sneak peak by saying on twitter & facebook: "To those of you who think you have seen the face of HHN 21: You haven't seen anything yet."
They haven't removed the photos, so maybe they're enjoying the spike of excitement for the event. We assume the other side of her face will be a mutilated mess - a la Two-Face from Batman.
All we have to say is that Universal better have themed playing cards for sale. Now that's a souvenir we'd buy!
They've added 2 more cards to the tray. One of them goes to a "true/false" letter that you are asked the last question if you want to join "The Horizon". This looks like a house name & storyline behind a house to us.
HHN has updated their website with some games of chance...after you register for the site. Rather off-putting to hit you with a register screen as the first thing you see. Anyhoo, once you're in you are shown a tray with 3 playing cards on it and you have to pick one. They either lead to a game of chance that you have to play, or you immediately lose "tokens".
With them pushing "chance" and "luck" it leads us to hope there might be a house where you "choose your destination" in the house, as in pick this hall or that hall and have a different experience in each one. That would be a unique spin on house design. (Universal you can have that one for later-wink, wink!)
However, after playing the games for a few minutes I quickly ran out of tokens and was greeted with a "you are banned from the game for 1 hour" message. Really? You sent me away from your website?? Huge marketing fail there. Guess who didn't come back in 1 hour. Me. Still, it'll be interesting to see how this progresses...
We finally have a teaser shot from a house (or a scarezone?) thanks to HHN's new twitter feed. Follow @UORHHN for official event info. Also be sure to follow HHN writer & show director @Michael_Aiello as well.
Here's what UORHHN said, along with the photo:
"For 25 nights at Universal Orlando’s HHN 21 screams will fill the air, here’s a sneak peek at why…"
For better or worse, it looks like Brian Brushwood will be returning to HHN XXI. His schedule on his website for late September through October lists "Amusement Park" for the weekends - they coincidentally coincide with every HHN weekend. Will he be doing the exact same show as the last three years? Most likely yes, and, we will be seeing Mr. Happy Pants again...wait, we won't be, unless he can promise some new material, there's no need to sit through the same jokes and simple magic act again. By the way, when I say new, I mean NEW, not "new" like last year's "new" which was the old show just split into 2 shows.
Also, Steve & Tango from "Ghost Hunters" will be returning to HHN on October 6. You can see them the next day October 7 at the Spooky Empire horror convention in Orlando.
Disaster House: It looks like there will be a Christmas themed house this year. We spied some decorations, presents and what might be a bloody Christmas tree? So does this mean a return of Psychoscareapy with another Christmas theme? We're excited about that idea - the last Psycho Xmas house was a winner in our book. Check out our photos here.
Over in the Jaws Queue, the only new thing we were able to see was a large air compressor set up in the house.
After perusing Universal's audition web page it looks like we may be in for the return of a stage show! Universal says "Appointments are being accepted for male and female dancers with an athletic build to be part of a new high energy show for Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights" It's entirely possible these are just the dancers for Bill and Ted's show, but, it does say "new high energy show". Cross your fingers.
We have our first house announcement! A house based on their new movie "The Thing" will appear at both Hollywood & Orlando HHN events. This movie remake will hit theaters on Oct. 14. Back in 2007 they did a house "The Thing: Assimilation" and we remember thinking it was one of the worst ones of the event. Hopefully this new "Thing" somehow gets scarier.
Here's the movie trailer from Universal for The Thing:
Universal has officially released a teaser website today! It looks like the theme for this year will be based around gambling/casino thanks to the teaser video showing playing cards with a severed hand and saying "Be careful what you wager, because nobody beats the house". We're wagering our own opinion that it might have an old west flair because of the Big Band music playing in the background and the style of the fonts. Take a look at the video at HalloweenHorrorNights.com