The Zombie Apocalypse may not yet be upon us, but you would swear it has already begun if you visit Universal's Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida. Of course, the zombies aren't the only scary thing hiding in the shadows at the movie-themed attraction.
This fall, the terrifying classic “An American Werewolf in London” will become an all-new haunted house at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 23. Universal Orlando’s Entertainment team has partnered with the film’s critically-acclaimed writer and director John Landis to create a disturbingly-real haunted house experience that pays homage to one of the greatest lycanthropic stories ever told.
“’An American Werewolf in London’ is a must-see for any true horror fan,” said Mike Aiello, Creative Director for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights. “The haunted maze mirrors John Landis’ horrifying story and having him work with us in the creative process was really the only way this could authentically come to life.”
Of course, this is a logical addition to the annual Halloween event. Any visitor to the Gory Gruesome and Grotesque Make-up show can tell you that the American Werewolf in London plays a major part in the daily operation of the park. It will be amazing to see what happens when the beast is allowed to roam free, instead of being contained to a small theatre!
The iconic film follows two American college students, Jack and David, as they backpack across the moors of England. On a misty, full-moon night, the men are attacked by a supernatural creature that kills Jack and taints David with its horrific curse. When the full moon rises again, the killing spree continues, and this time, the blood is on David’s hands.
Beginning September 20, guests will step inside the film and experience a retelling of the horror classic – from the attack on the English moors to the hospital nightmares to witnessing the bone-crunching transformation of David from human to bloodthirsty werewolf. Guests will encounter David’s vicious werewolf form as he wreaks bloody chaos through London’s subway tunnel, Piccadilly Circus and more.
“It’s terrific that guests will be able to actually experience some of the scarier scenes from the film,” said John Landis, writer and director of “An American Werewolf in London.” “I had fun working with the Universal team to bring one of my more insane movies to life.”
In addition to the world of lycanthropy, video game fans around the world can now experience a surreal fight for survival first hand as the critically-acclaimed survival horror video game series Resident Evil becomes a haunted house at Halloween Horror Nights 23.
For Resident Evil, Universal’s Entertainment team collaborated with the video game creators at Capcom to create a horrifyingly authentic haunted house based on some of the popular video games from the Resident Evil series. Guests will become desperate survivors inside the viral catastrophe, Raccoon City. As they journey through the city, they’ll encounter vicious characters from the games such as Lickers, bloodthirsty zombies, packs of Cerberuses and even Nemesis himself. Fans will be completely transported inside the video game realm – to the extent that one room in the haunted house will appear as if an action-packed fight scene is paused, as if the gamer has taken a quick break before returning to the horror of Raccoon City.
“Resident Evil is a perfect final addition to Halloween Horror Nights 23,” said Michael Aiello, Creative Director for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights. “We were able to create incredibly elaborate sets that plant you right in the midst of Raccoon City’s apocalyptic nightmare, along with terrifying adversaries that will send them running.”
The Resident Evil franchise is now firmly established as a mainstay of contemporary culture with blockbuster live action movies, CG anime, manga, novels and numerous merchandising lines being produced alongside the video game series. To date, the Resident Evil series of video games has achieved global sales of more than 57 million units.
“It’s such a great delight to work with Universal on a haunted house based on the Resident Evil games,” said Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, Producer of Resident Evil 6. “The games have become synonymous with survival horror and we look forward to delivering a new way for consumers to experience the Resident Evil world we have created in the haunted house at Halloween Horror Nights."
In addition to Resident Evil and An American Werewolf in London, the event will also include haunted houses based on AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” Mexican urban legend La Llorona and critically acclaimed horror films “Evil Dead,” “The Cabin in the Woods.” Universal Orlando is also dedicating its entire Halloween Horror Nights street experience to “The Walking Dead” – making this the first time ever that all of the scare zones throughout the park will be themed after a hit television series.
Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 23 will take place select nights from Sept. 20 to Nov. 2. Tickets and vacation packages are on sale now and can be purchased online, as well as at some local supermarkets and at the box office. Due to the event’s popularity, tickets for weekend nights are expected to sell out and should be purchased well in advance. The Local Getaways Examiner is hoping to be able to share his undead adventures with you from this year's event. Keep your fingers crossed!
Remember that Halloween is a time for fun and frivolity. It is a time to come out of your shell, and to acknowledge the mischievous spirit that resides within all of us. Be sure to keep following this column for news on other spooky events and more. If you know of another local event that needs additional undead light shone upon it, please tell me about it!
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