As we all know, the Covid-19 pandemic kept Halloween from entertaining us in 2020 so we are very excited to see the return of some of our favorite haunts. One of our favorite entertainment experiences takes place at Universal Studios Hollywood – Halloween Horror Nights! This event is scheduled to return select nights September 9th – Halloween Night October 31st this year. To say we are DYING to see this is an understatement.
We were invited to attend Midsummer Scream – Awaken the Spirits at the Pasadena Convention Center, where we were treated to a sneak peek of this year’s offerings for Halloween Horror Nights (HHN). Our host was none other than the Creative Director of HHN, John Murdy. While not too much was revealed, we did get an in-depth discussion of one of the newest mazes to come to Hollywood – Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein LIVES. This maze (or house for all of you on the East Coast) will be featured on the Parisian Street on the Upper Lot of Universal Studios Hollywood and will be one of the 5 announced mazes for the event this year.
The others include The Exorcist, The Curse of Pandora’s Box, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House. We also learned of a new Scare Zone and the return of a fan favorite – only available at Universal Studios Hollywood!
John took us through a detailed account of the new maze all about one of his favorite female monsters while reminding us all “The Monster always LIVES”. While this maze will differ from the one in Orlando for 2020, (and returning this year at Orlando’s HHN), there are some similar scenes, sights, and smells we are told. The goal of this maze is to immerse you in the finale of the Bride of Frankenstein movie where we last left off.
The setting of this maze is influenced by the classic tale and we will enter this maze through a large book featuring all-new artwork. John described this entrance as the precursor for what was to see as each scene would feature a new chapter and with each new chapter, a twist we may not expect!
WARNING – SPOILERS AHEAD!
The Prologue: Something Survived
The end of the Bride of Frankenstein film ends with the castle crumbling around Frankenstein’s Monster and the Bride. This scene will feature the Bride trying to rescue the monster from the rubble of the castle by lifting a beam of burning wood. She screams in agony “Deeeaaaaaaaaaad” and we move into the next chapter of our story.
Chapter 1: Saving the Monster
The Bride is being stalked by 3 shadowy figures while carrying the body of her loved one through the woods towards an unknown location. It is revealed the 3 figures are actually the Brides of Dracula coming for the Monster and his Bride. Make sure you look for the distinct differences between all three of the Brides of Dracula, according to John. They will each feature a special identification or marking. The Bride of Frankenstein is able to evade these creatures by retreating to our next location.
Chapter 2: The Hunted becomes the Hunter
After evading the Brides of Dracula (possibly by using you as bait) she finds herself in the Blind Man’s Cottage from the original Frankenstein movie. This cottage has long been abandoned but you’ll notice a familiar object is missing from the wall: a cross. This cross is now being handled by the Bride to fend off the Brides of Dracula.
This prop was described by John as a cross on fire with embers emitting from it. The rest of the cottage will have signs of the fire as well. The Bride is now a Vampire Huntress and will make sure to end the lives of the other Brides – or maybe harvest the blood of the vampires to bring The Monster back to life.
Chapter 3: The Creation becomes The Creator
We now move forward in our story and the Bride of Frankenstein is attempting to reanimate her beloved Monster through transfusions of human and vampire blood. We see a church transformed into a laboratory filled with vials and jars of what we can only assume is fresh human blood as well as the fresh “kill” of one of the Vampires. Trying to piece together her loved one she knows she will need to find the rest of the Vampires.
Chapter 4: The Blood is Life
We now enter another area of the church/lab where the Bride has compiled more Vampires and other creatures to experiment on. The only issue is to keep them alive – they need blood! To feed their lust, the Bride needs to find humans to feed to them. You will walk through this feeding cage before heading into the next area of the story where somehow a second of the 3 Brides of Dacula is stabbed through the heart.
Chapter 5: Live Again!
We are in another portion of the lab and upgrades have been made throughout to assist with the vampire blood transfusions. Frankenstein’s Monster once again will be featured in this scene with some new modifications according to John. We will see his brain exposed and catheters where his bolts once were. all of this will be happening while the Bride frantically attempts to restore her loved one to live. The other fun fact from John is the Monster will be a stilt walker 8 feet tall! We will also hear the classic line “It’s Alive” – this time uttered by the Bride herself.
Chapter 6: The Monster Reborn
There is still one more vampire left. The Bride (and Monster?) hunt down the final remaining Bride of Dracula to end the torment and protect themselves. John didn’t want to ruin the ending for us but did let us know the third vampire will be finished. Although he did end with saying “The Monster ALWAYS Lives” so who really knows…
After you exit this maze, you will be entering the first announced Scare Zone for HHN Hollywood – Universal Monsters Silver Scream Queenz. This area will feature some of the famous women of the Universal Monsters including Anuk-Su-Namun from The Mummy Franchise, The She-Wolf of London, and Dracula’s Daughter. While we were told there will be two versions of each character throughout the Scare Zone meaning it will not be the same throughout the evening’s festivities.
The last announcement from John is one we all loved to hear – the return of the Terror Tram! This Universal Studios Hollywood exclusive is unlike any haunt experience you are used to. If you are familiar with the Studio Tour during the day, this will be similar except at one point you’ll have to get off the tram and find your way (fight your way?) back to the park. We know from previous HHN experience, we will be walking past the Bates Motel and the War of the Worlds set. No other details have been announced… yet. Stay tuned for more info as we get it!
Tickets are now on Sale for Universal Studios Hollywood “Halloween Horror Nights.” Kicking Off on Thursday, September 9, and Running Select Nights through Sunday, October 31. Click Here to Purchase Tickets.