Time for another Halloween Horror Nights announcement? We think so. A Blumhouse house featuring The Black Phone and Freaky has officially been announced for HHN 2022.
In The Black Phone (June 2022) made by Universal Pictures and Blumhouse productions, Ethan Hawke plays The Grabber – a “part time magician” that looks a little bit like an uninventive crossover between V from V for Vendetta and Nicholson’s Joker. A pre-teen boy named Finney is taken and held captive by The Grabber, who is also an established serial kidnapper in the area. The story seems to take place in the 70s (judging by the feathered hair, flared corduroy pants, and number of unsupervised young children), which is both a fixture in classic horror films and, as it turns out, an important element to the plot.
Finney must escape his captivity, and he wakes to find himself in a large, plain warehouse room equipped with two things – a bare mattress and, you guessed it, a disconnected black rotary phone that hangs on the wall. A classic rotary phone is almost a relic at this point, and many Horror Nights enjoyers today would struggle to dial out on a phone like that to get themselves out of a kidnapping situation, even if it was fully operational. But he’s out of luck – until he starts getting calls. Each call he receives is from a previous (and now deceased) victim of The Grabber, and each one gets him closer and closer to his escape. The film is based off the short story of the same name by author Joe Hill. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, maybe it’s because it’s a pen name. (Joseph King grew up in Bangor, Maine in the 1970s and was deeply inspired by his father’s work.)
The movie is a classic “escape” story, which lends itself well to a Horror Nights house. Ostensibly, guests will follow Finney’s story and do their best to escape The Grabber. One scene in particular that we think would translate well in a maze exists in the trailer. Finney has to carefully, quietly creep around The Grabber as he sits sleeping in a chair. The sheer tension from a room like this would be enough to keep thrill-seekers on their toes!
The second Blumhouse story to make itself at home in the house is a 2020 slasher comedy called Freaky – and just as the name suggests, it’s a spin on the classic body-switching trope found in Freaky Friday. If you’re wondering how that translates into a Halloween Horror Nights house, here’s the key difference: instead of a teenage girl switching bodies with her mom, she finds herself in the body of an infamous serial killer. And that serial killer is played by Vince Vaughn. Interesting, right?
In true slasher fashion, Freaky opens with four teenagers alone in a mansion discussing the urban legend of the Blissfield Butcher, played by Vaughn. Before you know it, he’s broken into the mansion, murders the group, and discovers an ancient dagger, La Dola, that he’s thrilled to use in his next attack. It’s La Dola that holds the Freaky Friday magic that drives the plot – because when he uses it to attack his next victim, a bullied high school senior named Millie, he finds an identical wound on himself. The next morning, Millie and the Butcher realize they’ve switched bodies.
The rest of the film focuses on the Butcher continuing his murder spree in Millie’s body, while Millie desperately seeks to stab him with La Dola to escape the serial killer’s body prior to the 24-hour window closing. In the process, there are plenty of scenes that lend themselves to a killer haunted house, including a mini golf course, police station, football game, and more.
Are you ready for another Blumhouse production? Halloween Horror Nights 2022 will run select nights between September 2 and October 31.
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