The haunted houses at HHN 2012: An insider’s spoiler-free reviews

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As a huge Universal Halloween Horror Nights fan — and someone who has already been to the event five times this year — I’m excited to share my spoiler-free review of each house for you. Let’s get started…

 

The entrance to The Walking Dead at Halloween Horror Nights 2012.
The entrance to The Walking Dead at Halloween Horror Nights 2012.

The Walking Dead, Dead Inside

Spoiler-free review
This house and Silent Hill are perhaps the two houses most guests are really excited for. And while The Walking Dead has done a fairly good job recreating some of the sets from the show but, it seems to come up short from all the feedback we’ve heard. That being said, most fans of the show will probably still enjoy this house, as long as your expectations are not too high. Even if you’re not a fan of the show, it’s still a fairly good zombie house. There are a few nods to some of the show’s characters scattered throughout, and they’ve added a few easily recognizable/iconic walkers since opening weekend, which is great. That being said, the masks in this house definitely look better when you go through at night.

The real question
Worth it if the wait is more than 45 minutes? Probably not.

Learn more about The Walking Dead, Dead Inside

 

Welcome to Silent Hill

Spoiler-free review
Fans of the Silent Hill video game series have been waiting for this house a long time, and it’s finally here. Unfortunately, the Orlando version doesn’t seem to match up to it’s Universal Hollywood counterpart, but it does have some great sets, even if a few key scenes need a little work. (More nurses, and a giant sword for a certain iconic character would be nice…) There are some good scares to be found in here though, and those who aren’t familiar with the game or movie should still enjoy the house, even if they don’t quite understand what all is going on in it.

The real question
Worth it if the wait is more than 45 minutes? Yes, but barely.

View wait times and learn more about Welcome to Silent Hill

 

Penn & Teller New(kd) Las Vegas

Spoiler-free review
Just about every Las Vegas cliché you can think of has been thrown into this house, and it makes for a really fun time. But it’s not all just humor here, as there are some great scares as well. This house also give you an opportunity to get in on the scares yourself. Be sure to press the red button as you cross into the second room, pull the “don’t pull” rope in the hotel suite, and also press the myriad of buttons on the back of the buffet. (You might want to watch that last button though!)

The real question
Worth it if the wait is more than 45 minutes? Yes, but I wouldn’t wait much longer.

View wait times and learn more about Penn & Teller New(kd) Las Vegas

 

Alice Cooper - Welcome to My Nightmare at Halloween Horror Nights 2012.
Alice Cooper – Welcome to My Nightmare at Halloween Horror Nights 2012.

Alice Cooper – Welcome to My Nightmare

Spoiler-free review
Alice Cooper fans will probably find a lot to love in this house given that several of his popular songs “coming to life” within. However, if you’re not familiar with the music, you may find yourself a little lost in the imagery, so here’s a short synopsis to help you along: The main character likens himself to a spider, all these terrible things happen to him in life, and he eventually becomes “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and gets his revenge. For what it was, the house was okay, but this one probably won’t be considered an HHN classic years down the road.

The real question
Worth it if the wait is more than 45 minutes? If you’re a Cooper fan, yes. If you’re not a cooper fan, I don’t think so (although, if you bring your iPod, you could listen to 45 minutes of Cooper music while you’re waiting in line — that might help).

View wait times and learn more about Alice Cooper – Welcome to My Nightmare

 

Universal’s House of Horrors

Spoiler-free review
This house is a back-to-basics style house that contains several of Universal’s classic monsters like Dracula, the Wolfman, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. The house is done entirely in black and white, and filled with strobe lights that are used to simulate lightning flashes. The scares here can be really effective if you hit them right, but if you don’t, there really isn’t much to look at. The house is enjoyable in it’s simplicity though, and the way the final scene is set up gives the potential to provide a scare to pretty much everyone going through the house.

The real question
Worth it if the wait is more than 45 minutes? I’d skip it and try to come back when the wait time is a little less.

View wait times and learn more about Universal’s House of Horrors

 

Dead End

Spoiler-free review
A classic “haunted mansion” is what you’ll find here, although one that is in a severe state of disrepair the likes of which Disney would never allow! The house within is beautifully done though, and contains spectacular special effects, some of which may require multiple walkthrough’s to see them all. In one of the most creative scenes in all of the HHN 2012 houses, you will see a giant projection screen that is easy to walk by without realizing exactly how cool this particular haunted house set really is. With so much to look at and experience, it would be hard not to find something to love about this house.

The real question
Worth it if the wait is more than 45 minutes? Yes.

View wait times and learn more about Dead End

 

Gothic at Halloween Horror Nights 2012.
Gothic at Halloween Horror Nights 2012.

Gothic

Spoiler-free review
From my experience and the feedback I’ve heard from other guests, this visually stunning house is likely the best one for HHN 2012. Set in a cathedral where gargoyles come to life, the scareactors here have unique opportunities for scares. This house also has its share of impressive special effects, one of the best of which is in the scene where there is a railing on your left — be sure to look down! Gothic is an original concept that was wonderfully executed and should not be missed.

The real question
Worth it if the wait is more than 45 minutes?

View wait times and learn more about Gothic

 
Have you been to HHN 2012 yourself? Let me know if you agree with my reviews by leaving a comment below!

 

[sws_author_bio user=”KatSRQ” size=”105″ authorposts=”More OI posts by Kat” name_format=”About the author”] [/sws_author_bio]

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