It’s not unusual for Knott’s Berry Farm’s annual Halloween Hauntto feature a maze or two inspired by a recent Hollywood horror movie; the last few years have seen mazes based on THE GRUDGE 2, BEOWULF, and QUARANTINE (the later of which will be back this year). However, in a relatively new move, Knott’s Scary Farm 2009 will feature a new scare zone patterned after ZOMBIELAND, the upcoming horror-comedy starring Woody Harrelson.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Knott’s Scary Farm’s biggest competitor, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, will feature a scare zone based on SHAUN OF THE DEAD this year; in 2008, HHN featured characters from THE STRANGERS in a scare zone, instead of giving them their own maze. The concept of crafting a scare zone rather than a maze around a horror film concept seems rather like a way to squeeze something in at the last minute without having to build any sets. Universal Studios can get away with this because they have so many pre-existing outdoor settings, but it will be interesting to see how Knott’s Berry Farm can recreate the post-apocalyptic landscape of ZOMBIELAND in their theme park.
By the way, our friends over at CreepyLA, the Los Angeles Halloween Blog, get the facts slightly wrong, suggesting that the Knott’s Berry Farm Halloween Haunt will feature a maze based on ZOMBIELAND. This year’s new mazes are Lockdown – The Asylum, Terror of London, Dias De Los Muertos in 3-D, and Uncle Bobo’s Big Top of the Bizarre in 3-D.
UPDATE: On September 25, a reader wrote in to report that there was no Zombieland scare zone at Knotts Scary Farm on opening night. We are making inquiries as to what happened.
UPDATE 2: Knott’s Scary Farm confirms that Sony Pictures terminated plans for the ZOMBIELAND scare zone in August. As a replacement, Knotts is offering a “small scare experience” based on THE STEPFATHER, which will be arriving in theatres soon.