Sneak Peek At Universal’s HHN 2019. John Murdy – Has been the Creative Director/Executive Producer of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood since 2006. Prior to that Murdy had a long career with Universal Creative as a Show Writer and Creative Director, working on projects like The Revenge of the Mummy Ride and the re-invention of the world-famous Universal Studio Tour. Today we were fortunate enough to receive a glimpse of Halloween Horror Nights 2019 with an exclusive day time tour of three mazes: Creepshow, Frankenstein Versus The Wolfman, and Killer Klowns From Outer Space.
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The terror begins Friday, September 13th and on select evenings through November 3rd!
Creepshow was the first of the three mazes that we toured on a very warm August afternoon. The artwork is absolutely beautiful and creepy, the comic book was really the inspiration for this entrance. Halloween Horror Nights Creative Director, John Murdy, explains what to expect in Creepshow.
“There are five stories that you go through when you through the maze. Three from the 1982 film and two from the upcoming Shudder series which airs this September and also the Prologue and Epilogue inspired by the film.” Murdy further explains “Working with Greg [Nicotero] and knowing him for so long one of the big advantages first and foremost is that he is a makeup artist. So when we got into the new TV Series we were able to use the actual molds that Greg created for all of the creatures and monsters on his new show. So when you see the mazes what you see are the characters wearing the exact same things that were used from the television series. Part of the conversation with Greg was how to approach the maze and we both kind of landed on the same idea. Creepshow is inspired by comic books specifically DC Horror comics from the 1950s, so we decided to really embrace that comic book esthetic in the maze.”
“The very first part of the maze we are going to walk through is if you are walking through the panels of the comic book, we are using those to foreshadow the five stories that you are going to experience in the maze. The other thing that we thought that would be fun to include the kind of goofy adds that you would always find in the back of the comic books – The 99-pound weakling that gets sand kicked in his eyes, how to become a muscle man, or how to get an authentic monkey’s paw, or giant inflatable monster, so we have those re-created as well in the maze.”
The second maze was one that I did not know too much about, ‘Frankenstein Meets Wolfman.’ Murdy talks about his love for Universal Monsters and how this particular maze was important to him. So last year (2018) we did Universal Monsters I resisted doing that maze for thirteen years because I am a huge, huge fan of those films and that is the whole reason I do what I do today. From the age of four, I was obsessed with the classic monsters and I always have been. I have always been fairly realistic about my love for the Universal Monsters and I know in heart of hearts as much as I love those movies it is really hard to scare people the same way you could scare them in 1931 or in some of these cases the 20s. At the same time, I really hated the idea of completely throwing away what was iconic and classic about it for the sake of reinvention.”
The third and final maze we visited really needs no introduction, as soon as I saw the outside of the maze there was no doubt that we are going to be in for a treat – Killer Klowns From Outer Space. This maze is going to be based on the cult 1980s film and the maze will transport guests to the small town of Crescent Cove that has been taken over by a pack of murderous clowns, but this isn’t any clowns they’re from Outerspace! Cotton candy, circus tents, and ice-cream – you’ll come face to face with these sinister klowns! The production team didn’t hold back on any details, this is very evident in the photos below.
We just scraped the surface of what to expect at Halloween Horror Nights this year! And without a doubt, I am sure this event will be monumental, with practical and special effects and original ideas, guests are going to have a hell of a time!