Scary Tales: Deadly Ever After announced for Halloween Horror Nights 2018
Are you ready to return to the merry old land of Oz?
Halloween Horror Nights 2018’s tenth (and final!) haunted house has just been announced, and it looks like an intriguing continuation of the mythology that the event has been sporadically spinning throughout its history. Scary Tales: Deadly Ever After takes two recurring elements from across the past 28 years – The Wizard of Oz and, of course, the Scary Tales label – and combines them together to create a haunt that twists “beloved stories beyond recognition.”
The practice of utilizing classic fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and other childhood folklore in dark, demented form goes all the way back to 2001, when the very first Scary Tales haunt employed the likes of Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, and the Big Bad Wolf. Interestingly enough, characters from Oz started to factor into the HHN tradition immediately afterwards: a follow-up house – called, appropriately, Scary Tales II – arrived in ’02, featuring the Scarecrow, and Scary Tales: Once upon a Nightmare appeared in ’08, containing a scene that showed what Oz would be like if the Wicked Witch of the West had killed Dorothy and succeeded in claiming the land for herself (a memorable visual from this maze saw a scalped Dorothy hanging in a cornfield, with the Scarecrow playing with her exposed brain). This premise even spread out to the streets of Universal Studios Florida that year – the Path of the Wicked scare zone had the Witch herself welcoming guests to her domain from atop a castle spire while her henchman (including the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and, of course, the Scarecrow) prowled the streets and flying monkeys occasionally swooped down overhead.
The last appearance that either theme has made at HHN was in 2015, in the Scary Tales: Screampunk scare zone, which took the now-standard sinister versions of the various classic characters and put them against the new backdrop of steampunk visuals, including torture-machine props that were trotted out in the middle of the fog- and light-filled streets. The enterprise was meant to fit the overarching 25th anniversary vibe of that year’s event, serving as an almost-literal stroll down memory lane (with just the few new embellishments thrown in for good measure).
Deadly Ever After, on the other hand, looks to be a direct extension of the previous maze developments instead of a simple – though still fun – rehash (which might make HHN 2018 something of a 2008 revival, given the fact that Dead Exposure: Patient Zero is a prequel to another house from that year). “The Wicked Witch of the West has cursed the land of the fairies,” Universal teases, further stating that she “is tormenting treasured storybook characters in hideous and cruel alternate storylines.”
Yes, this means that Deadly Ever After won’t just be confined to the land of Oz, even though the “original” Wicked Witch serves as the main framing device – be on the lookout for Rapunzel, Humpty Dumpty, and the Big Bad Wolf, among several others, who will all be getting a villainous makeover (how villainous? How about “Hansel and Gretel salivating for human flesh” and a splattered Humpty, for starters).
Scary Tales: Deadly Ever After will join Stranger Things, Dead Exposure: Patient Zero, Trick ‘r Treat, Slaughter Sinema, Carnival Graveyard: Rust in Pieces, Seeds of Extinction, Poltergeist, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, and The Horrors of Blumhouse at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, which runs for a record-breaking 36 select nights, from Friday, September 14 to Saturday, November 3.
Find out (part of) Halloween Horror Nights’s backstory for this year in our complete write-up. Is the event not your bag? See why you should still check it out, anyway, in our HHN guide for non-horror fans.