Monday, September 16, 2013

Halloween Horror Nights XVIII: Reflections of Fear - 2008

Reflections of fear was held for 23 nights September 26 - November 1. It  included eight houses and six scarezones, making it the largest Halloween Horror Nights in the event's history. Bloody Mary was introduced on the Halloween Horror Nights website as the years icon, with her back story being expanded on up to and during the event. With Bloody Mary as icon, fears, fairy tales, and urban legends formed the theme to the event. Although there was no elaborate Opening Scare-emony featuring Bloody Mary , she made  numerous appearances throughout the event.

Halloween Horror Nights XVII had one of the most interactive websites ever created for the event. Universal creative invented a world based on phobias with a psychopathic psychologist as ringleader. The website showed a detailed list of her treatment and murder of patients and finally her own demise.

"Noted Psychiatrist Dr. Mary Agana believed that if a subject was constantly forced to experience what they feared the most, then over time they would become numb to the idea of actually fearing it. Unfortunately for us, Dr. Mary's fear is that of death and the only way for her to cure herself is to watch the light leave your eyes as your soul leaves your body."

Reflections of Fear was Bloody Mary's feature haunted house, where guests stepped into her experiments. Scary Tales: Once Upon a Nightmare was the third of the "Scary Tales" houses (the other two being Scary Tales in 2001 and Scary Tales II in 2002 in 2002), this house took guests through wicked versions of fairy-tales. In Creatures! guests traveled through the Butchered Buck Roadhouse as demonic creatures attacked its backwoods inhabitants. In Interstellar Terror guests boarded the NSO Columbus 1492, a spaceship that had disappeared for several years and has now returned to the orbit of Earth's moon with a mysterious artifact on board. Dead Exposure allowed guests to witness a zombie invasion as seen through the lens of a Private Investigator's camera. Doomsday was based on Universal's film Doomsday, where guests must survive a post-apocalyptic Scotland ravaged by a deadly virus. In The Hallow  guests traveled through an ancient ceremonial ruin haunted by the servants of the Lord of the Underworld. Body Collectors: Collections of the Past was a follow-up to the 2005 Body Collectors house, took guests through the back streets of Victorian London, where the Collectors are using Jack the Ripper as a cover-up for their deeds.

The houses this year were pretty hit or miss, but when they hit they knocked it out of the park. Dead exposure is by far the scariest house I've ever been in with a group of people and still remains my favorite Horror Nights house thus far. The last room featured wall to wall zombies that moved in closer to you with every flash of the strobe light, it really made you feel like there was no way out. The Hallow was pretty decent house but it was the giant animatronic Lord of the Underworld that made it great. Scary Tales and Body Collectors absolutely delivered and I can't wait for the Universal team to bring them back for another round. The rest of the houses were complete misses, with the Reflections of Fear house uprooting Camp Blood as the most disappointing house I've been in. It wasn't the worst house that year, just disappointing. Interstellar Terror grabs the title for the years and possibly even all time worst house.

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