The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Halloween Horror Nights review

When trick-or-treating without looking completely ridiculous becomes a thing of the past, there are more ways to get the Halloween experience. At Universal Studios Hollywood, Halloween Horror Nights intensifies scary movies like never before.

The park transforms from a standard theme park during the day to a feeding ground of creepy characters by night. They come to life solely for the purpose of scaring all who dare to enter designated scare zones.

Jurassic Park in the Dark is one of three rides operated at Horror Nights. Though the herbivores did seem a bit more menacing in the dark the ride is essentially the same as it is in regular operation.’ For those who have already experienced this ride, skip it and opt for the new Simpsons or Mummy ride.’ The wait is long for the two latter attractions after 8 p.m., about 60 minutes, so factor that in when mapping out plans for the evening.

The best thing about Horror Nights are the mazes. Scary movies come to life allowing patrons to experience them firsthand.’ This year, Freddie from the Nightmare on Elm Street series is on the back lot, chasing people through Elm Street, a bloody high school hallway, an asylum, and a boiler room.’ Those in search of a good scare can also get chased around by Jason of the Friday the 13th series at Camp Blood where the ground is littered with corpses.

Rated as their best, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre maze is back this year and creepy as ever.’ The wait for this maze is slightly better than the others and is probably due to it previously having been offered. Slightly better’ is defined as a 45 to 50 minute wait, even at the very end of the night, but is still good compared to 60 to 70 minutes for Freddie and Jason.

Universal Studios takes full advantage of their backyard movie lot for this event.’ Not only do they transform old sets into mazes but they also recreate old movies on the top of a hill.’ A ride on the Terror Tram isn’t just a nice drive through the dark woods.’ The tram stops at the top of the hill where passengers are left to fend for themselves as they walk the path through the Bates Motel, which winds further up displaying a gruesome plane crash (the set of film War of the Worlds).’ Here, victims are still strapped to their seats, but don’t be fooled.’ Not all are dead… yet.

The tram doesn’t have a very long wait since people are dropped off at the top of the hill before returning quickly to pick up a new batch of victims, I mean, passengers.’ This should be one of the first things to experience before anything else.

Universal Studios also puts on a few shows as an alternative to navigating more mazes but they are okay to miss.’ They only run about 20-30 minutes but the wait is an additional 20 minutes for a decent seat. This calculates to spending nearly an hour not being scared.

‘ Scare zones are unavoidable.’ A mass of crazed clowns wielding chainsaws greet guests at the entrance but weren’t really that scary.’ The noises from the chainsaws were very loud and the smell very real but it was obvious that the blade was not moving an inch.’ The best thing to do to avoid getting chased is to act brave.’ Walk straight down the middle rather than sneaking by on the sides.

Other scare zones were equally tame, from the Strangers to pig faced creatures bent on revenge (for what though, is hard to tell.)’ The military scare zone was just as lame; a bunch of people dressed in camouflage yell into loudspeakers about evacuating quickly.’ However, tame the costumes were, some employees did a great job slinking silently into dark shadows while they waited to spring out at the next passerby.

With the amount of people that attended on a Saturday night, it was tough to get scared simply because someone close by would get scared first and alert others of the surprises. An ideal scenario would be a large expanse of space with a limited amount of people where startling could be more effective.

The park closes lines off at 2 a.m. but getting there 20 minutes before’ secures a spot for that attraction.’ Just because the park is closing doesn’t mean that the employees are off the clock.’ Clowns, strangers, and pig faced creatures still wait as you make your way toward the exit, even after 2 a.m.

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights is a great place to go because it’s only about 30 minutes from CSUN and is attached to Citywalk, which offers a variety of places to dine before living your own horror movie experience.’ The theme park keeps the Halloween spirit alive, granted, it is not quite as scary as expected but is still fun.

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