Here is our second video of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios in Hollywood. It begins with a brief walk through the London town scare zone, followed by a visit to Fredd Kruger’s Elm Street residence.
We like the London area, because its Victorian setting evokes memories of so many monster movies from the classic days of yesteryear. Like House of Horrors (the subject of our previous video), its style of horror is perfectly in keeping with the traditional view of Halloween, before psychos and chainsaws took over. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – we just like to see the old school approach preserved in some form.
The Nightmare on Elm Street maze, again situated in the area the houses Shrek’s castle the rest of the year, was considerably improved over 2007. There were several elements retained from last year, but there were also some new scenes, and the overall approach (replicating the Elm Street house, instead of the asylum where the “bastard son of a thousand maniacs” was conceived) was definitely the right river of blood to follow.
The problem with last year’s asylum approach was that it rather obviously had retrofitted Freddy into a pre-existing set-up: the 2006 edition of Halloween Horror Nights had featured an “Asylum” maze in the same location; although there were several distinctive Elm Street scenes in 2007, you could also see that several props and some of the look had simply been retained from the prior year.
The 2008 version of Freddy’s maze severs the asylum connection, so you really are seeing something totally derived from the Elm Street movies. Of Halloween Horror Nights’ three mazes based on “modern” horror characters (the other two being Jason and Leatherface), Freddy is by far the most interesting, because his method (attacking people in their dreams) offers the richest opportunity for surreal cinematic extravagances, which the HHN maze captures quite effectively. The “Roach Motel” from last year is a memorable justifiably renewed; even better is the image of a giant Freddy head swallowing a helpless girl in a bed (an image that did not come out on video, unfortunately).
With eight films in the franchise, there are plenty more memorable scenes. We hope Universal brings this one back year after year, each time adding something new. Maybe they should start a write-in contest for people to vote for favorite scenes they would like to see recreated live…?