Here is our Halloween Horror Nights 2018 Review Video, including clips and commentary about this year's mazes and scare zones. Our previous assessment of the theme park haunt ("Halloween Horror Nights 2018: Mazes Rated") focused solely on the mazes, so you will find more information here.
Halloween Horror Nights 2018 Review Video Transcript
Below is a partial transcript of the video's narration, including comments about the scare zones that did not appear in our maze assessment.
This year’s Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood is an improvement over the 2017 edition, but the annual theme park attraction still seems like a scaled-back version of its former self. There is too much visible plywood in the mazes and too little Halloween décor throughout the park. The latter is especially true of the upper lot. In years past, it was impossible to turn a corner without encountering all manner of Halloween treats; now there are only three mazes and two scare zones. You will encounter some monsters at the main entrance and then pass several displays, but after that you might not realize Halloween Horror Nights is even taking place.
As has been the cast past few years, to reach most of the mazes and scare zones, guests must take a long ride down the escalator and then hike a considerable distance to the back lot. Along the way there are two scare zones. The first takes place, as usual, in a tunnel, where echoing screams and flashing strobes combine to create a memorable sensory overload. The second scare zone, Hellidaze, is loaded with props and décor. It’s fun, though it’s obvious that the Christmas theme serves as an excuse to recycle leftover set pieces from the Krampus maze and scare zones seen in previous years.
This one-two combo of the Universal Monsters maze and the Monsters Masquerade Scare Zone is really what makes Halloween Horror Nights 2018 worth visiting. Otherwise, the annual event seems a bit threadbare and repetitious – like a modestly budgeted sequel to a more lavish original.
The result is not without merit, but we expect better from Universal Studios.
Halloween Horror Nights continues at Universal Studios Hollywood through November 3. Get showtimes and ticket prices here.