The ominous fog, dim lights, monsters roaming, and screams from guests can only mean one thing. It’s horror season. Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights is back for its 22nd year, bringing a set of new mazes and a twist on returning ones.
The mazes at this year’s HHN are “Stranger Things,” “Us,” “Ghostbusters,” “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man,” “Killer Klowns from Outerspace,” “Creepshow,” “House of 1000 Corpses,” “Curse of Pandora’s Box” and “Holidayz in Hell.”
Each maze is aimed to trigger a different type of fear for guests. In “Killer Klowns from Outerspace,” the bright decor may seem like a break from the rest of the dark elements of the event, but one may find themselves jumping in terror from a clown that popped out of the wall.
One of the most highly anticipated mazes this year is the one styled after Jordan Peele’s “Us.” The maze places guests in the storyline of the movie, following young Adelaide Wilson as she wanders through a mirror funhouse at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The path makes its way through the unnerving labyrinth of underground tunnels that stretch from coast to coast across America.
“Us” was probably my favorite mazes at HHN. I thought that the maze followed the storyline perfectly and made me feel like I was actually in the family’s nightmare. The energy from each character made people all around me scream and try to escape them. I wanted the maze to end because I was so scared, but I also wanted it to keep going because of how amazing the set and characters were.
One maze that returned this year is “Stranger Things.” This year, “Stranger Things” picks up where it ended last year, where an “upside down” entity terrorizes the city of Hawkins.
Although many people were excited about “Stranger Things Season 3”and the return of the maze, I thought it didn’t live up to the hype. There wasn’t any type of character that came out during the first half of the maze, which caused it to seem empty. It wasn’t until near the end where I finally was scared. The set design also didn’t live up to what I thought it would be. There were times where I found myself walking through multiple long, dark hallways with nothing to scare me.
This year’s HHN is one that many people will remember. With the mazes being based off of both older and newer movies, guests of all ages can enjoy what the event has to offer.