This post contains affiliate links and our team will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the links.
Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights is back in 2022 with an all new Terror Tram and thrilling haunted house experiences. This year’s iconic “Terror Tram” expands to include a cinematic twist on Jordan Peele’s blockbuster films in a crossover experience that reimagines Us, featuring The Tethered, a revolutionary army of vengeful doppelgängers, whose uprising invades the all-new Jupiter’s Claim set from the filmmaker’s latest pop nightmare, Nope, as part of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, which kicks off on Thursday, September 8.
We had the opportunity to walk through two Haunted Houses with mastermind creative director and Executive Producer John Murdy at a special behind the scenes tour. Here are all the details and photos. ***SPOILER ALERT***
“The Horrors of Blumhouse” brings to life Blumhouse’s supernatural thriller The Black Phone and horror-comedy Freaky. In past years, the Blumhouse scare experience has relied on a movie theater motif of triple features from the latest of movie production Blumhouse’s horror film library. Spinning off from a passing joke during planning for this year’s design in the Waterworld stunt show queue, a new facade theme in the shape of an abandoned rental video store now takes hold. The first 2/3 of the maze is based on 2020’s horror-comedy Freaky starring Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton. A supernatural dagger switches the bodies of a 17-year-old girl with that of a murderous serial killer.
Trying to come up with ways to convey the slasher and comedy nature of the movie was especially a challenge for the team to find a balance in bringing to life. The Universal Studios theme park maintenance and engineer teams even wanted a hand in creating the gags to be used for the maze. Our tour didn’t see much blood or webbing as those details will come later on just before opening night. Even the walls still had color testing pallets posted to try out the evening lighting package later in the work schedule.
The set design took us from a home, to the bedrooms of our main characters, high school hallway, and the wood shop. The last third of the attraction transitioned to the world of The Black Phone. In that movie, a man known as The Grabber has been kidnapping children in the neighborhood, only for the victims to meet a grisly end. A wooden fence will have postings for the missing children and then turn to the The Grabber’s house; complete with living room and kitchen.
The distinctive floor tile from the movie’s basement was significant enough for the design team to incorporate. This is not done very often as most people would not notice the floors while walking through the dark hallways of the maze. The room with a bed mattress, victim, and kidnapped boy on the black phone concludes this part of the tour.
“Universal Monsters: Legends Collide” expands on the thrilling legacy from Universal Pictures as the most notorious horror icons, The Wolf Man, Dracula and The Mummy, come together for the first time ever in an epic battle.
Both Universal Studios Orlando and Hollywood were tasked to put on this project. Project leaders in Orlando wanted to set everything in Egypt, and Hollywood wanted a London setting. The marketing department wanted something consistent for both coasts. Finally the decision was made to do both as a two part story. Orlando will setup the monster showdown in Egypt while Hollywood concludes the match in London.
This will also give die-hard fans who travel to both coasts an opportunity to experience the theme in a unique way. What makes the Hollywood version even more special is the fact that is on a real movie studio lot. The Halloween Horror Nights team was able to dig out screen-used movie props from The Mummy (1999) film franchise out of the world-famous prop warehouse and re-use them for Universal Monsters: Legends Collide.
The “Alucard” name on the facade is Dracula spelled backward. Providing a clue that the head vampire himself is the owner of the shipping business. The terrifying trio of Dracula, The Mummy, and the Wolfman has never depicted on screen. Making this original story concept extra special and a prefect blend for both Universal Monsters movie fans and scare maze enthusiasts come to undead life. Our main antagonists are linked by their respective curses symbolized by a colored moon.
The red blood moon for Dracula’s thirst for blood. The orange moon for The Mummy’s suffering of immortality and unrest. The blue moon haunts The Wolfman into an uncontrollable beast. They are all after one object to ease their tortured souls, an Egyptian burial amulet: The Amulet of Amun-ra. Often depicted in the maze a scorching ray of light beaming out of a glowing chest.
A nod to one of John Murdy’s favorite films, “Pulp Fiction”. Guests navigate their way into the shipping warehouse on the London docks, winding through the holding room full of Egyptian artifacts from their crates, funneling past the storage racks, the ransacked curator’s office, a suspenseful graveyard inspired by Highgate Cemetery in London, and finally the museum where the high priest of Karnak meets his doom. Each legend brings with them a special surprise.
Dracula keeps pleasant company with his brides. The mummy brings to life an army of the undead. And a mistranslation reveals the Egyptian god of Anubis was not depicted as part jackal, but rather part wolf. The final scare should be a great highlight to a mesmerizing and well-detailed must-do attraction on everyone’s scare maze list for the 2022 season.
Universal Studios Hollywood has been prepping for Halloween Horror Nights leaving day time visitors a glimpse into what is to come. Decorations have been spotted in Universal Plaza, New York, Little Europe, and Animal Actors. “Sideshow Slaughterhouse” turns New York Street into a battle zone as the performers and workers from a seedy carnival sideshow are on a murderous rampage.
“El Pueblo del Terror” is an extension of “La Llorona: The Weeping Woman” as the horror continues once guests exit the haunted house and discover there is no escaping the frightening legend along with other supernatural characters from Latin America’s most frightening myths.
Halloween Horror Nights tickets can be purchased online or at the Universal Studios Hollywood front gate, providing guests with Early Event Admission to select mazes, beginning at 6pm each night of the event (subject to change). Various ticket options are available for purchase:
- R.I.P. Tour is a premium product, inviting guests to scare with a VIP treatment that includes an expert guided tour of the event with exclusive experiences along the way.
- Universal Express includes one-time express to each scare maze, Terror Tram, ride and attraction. Express access is a separate line with a shorter wait time and does not apply to food and retail locations.
- After 2 P.M. Day/Night
- Popular passes: Frequent Fear Pass and Ultimate Fear Pass, which allow guests to experience the scares again and again.
- General Admission
Halloween Horror Nights begins on Thursday, September 8 at Universal Studios Hollywood with eight frightening scare mazes. The event will run select nights through Monday, October 31. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.