You're invited to James Franco's house for Halloween Horror Nights this year
Now we're talking.
I admire the team at Universal Studios Hollywood and their dedication to making each year's Halloween Horror Nights experience brand-new for the audiences that sell out something like two solid weeks every single year.
In general, I like Halloween. I will enjoy it more when my boys are old enough for me to actively scare the living shit out of them. Right now, I have to be very careful not to traumatize them. I'm a fan of scary Halloween more than slutty Halloween, and I accept that there are several different versions of the holiday being celebrated in different ways on that same night. Right now, we celebrate little-kid Halloween, with the door-to-door walk and the parties with friends and the handing out candy. That's it.
But at Universal, they do it right. They rotate in new mazes every year, and they take chances with the kind of things they'll try. Here's their summary of what they've already announced:
Recent maze announcements include “Guillermo del Toro Presents Crimson Peak: Maze of Madness,” based on Legendary and Universal Pictures’ much-anticipated "Crimson Peak" film directed, co-written and produced by celebrated filmmaker Guillermo del Toro; “The Walking Dead: Wolves Not Far,” based on season 5 of the critically-acclaimed, Emmy Award®-winning television series, “Insidious: Return to the Further,” based on the bone-chilling "Insidious" film trilogy, and “Halloween: Michael Myers Comes Home,” based on director John Carpenter’s cult-classic horror film. This year’s event will also feature the global phenomenon and multi-talented dance crew, Jabbawockeez, direct from Las Vegas in an all-new original show, performing multiple times per night throughout the run of “Halloween Horror Nights.”
That's a pretty great line-up so far, and in particular, it's the mix of something as classic as Carpenter's film and something brand new like Guillermo's haunted house movie and then an out-of-left-field choice like the Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg film "This Is The End" that makes this such a fun event for horror fans.
Here's the announcement video they just released for "This Is The End." It seems like September 18th is very soon, and they've got a really full schedule from that first preview to the end of their season. If you've never done one of these 3D mazes, it is a truly hallucinatory experience. You're seeing a mix of live -actors, real sets, and digital 3D effects that only exist in the glasses you're wearing, and it feels very disorienting. I visited the set of "This Is The End" when it was shooting in Louisiana, and the house that is "James Franco's house" in the film is a perfect environment for people to explore like this. It's a hell of a choice, and I look forward to going through this one in person.
"Halloween Horror Nights" happens in Hollywood, in Orlando, and in Singapore.