The lineup for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood skews to movies.  Mostly the terrifying kind.  This year, the classic horror film Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), and the wildly popular film and video game franchise Silent Hill are part of an eclectic mix of haunt experiences offered at this annual event that runs weekends (plus Halloween Night) from September 21st to October  31st. This past week, we were able to tour the construction site for both mazes in the park.

Please note, Universal’s mazes are famous for their realism and gore. If you are squeamish, now’s the time for you to turn away. But if you dare to read further, you’ll be rewarded with images of some of the most detailed and creepy mazes you’ll find anywhere.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Fans of Halloween Horror Nights will recall that there was a Texas Chainsaw Massacre maze based on the re-makes a few years ago. This year, Creative Director, John Murdy, and Art Director Chris Williams, take us into the original movie.

The film tells the story of a group of travelers who happen upon what they assume is an abandoned home.  They soon cross paths with an insane clan of cannibalistic hillbillies. Most notable among them is Leatherface, the iconic chainsaw wielding, mask wearing brute.  Now it is YOUR turn to venture into the home.  Will you make it out alive?

John Murdy and Chris Williams show off the facade of the new maze.

Upon entering the maze we are greeted by classic images from the original horror film.

Including the Steel Door

Halloween Horror Nights Creative Director John Murdy demonstrates a scare for us

Behind the Steel Door

Most of the iconic scenes and rooms from the film are represented. Including the sitting room which John and Chris were pleased to show off.

John Murdy (Left) and Chris WIlliams, (Right) show off the meticulous reproductions of key scenery.

Grandma Sawyer

Pelts Hanging in the Doorway

Wonder what this Sewing Machine is used for


Different kinds of pelts

The Kitchen

The props team has done a great job of adding little touches from the movie

Taking a look at the dining room while Chris and John explain just what is in store for guests

Heading outside into the gas station

Something cooking in the BBQ pit

More dishes need to be cleaned up

Finally we end up in the Graveyard

Universal Hollywood can always be depended on for delivering high-octane scares and plenty of gore.  What is most interesting about the inclusion of the classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the lack of any current release or promotion.  This appears to be a maze inspired simply out of a passion for 70’s horror.

Next up is the all-new Silent Hill maze.

The first thing HHN fans will notice is that the maze enters from the opposite area from the former Saw and Hostel mazes which previously occupied this space.

Maze designers took queues from both the Silent Hill video games and movies.

John explaining some of the nuances of the maze.

Lots of interesting effects are going to be used in the maze. Theatrical scrims that
disappear when lit from from behind will reveal hidden scares.

Heading deeper into the maze, fans of the games and films will find lots of scenes from both.

Including Midwich Elementary School, which John was more than happy to show off.

John explained that they will re-purpose many things from the park, including this
trashcan which has been repainted to fit Silent Hill.

The school Chalkboard, wonder what this will do in the show.

The teachers desk

Fans of the Games and Films should recognize this guy

One of the most memorable things about the Silent Hill games and movies are of course the soundtracks. Even though the maze only takes 7-8 minutes to walk through, the music loop is around 1:30 hours. This means fans will get a unique experience if they tour the maze more than once. Truly one of those awesome touches we have come to expect from Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights.

It’s the small touches that make HHN special.

Heading deeper into the world of Silent Hill.

Notice the awesome paint on the walls?  It’s easy to miss with over the top props in front of it.

Many props are still waiting to be put in place.

The maze will exit on the side closest to Transformers.

Silent Hill looks to be a solid new maze, the first time they’ve used a video game franchise at HHN. Fans of the franchise and even those that aren’t are in for a real treat.

A quick trip on the world famous Universal Tram Tour reveals preparations for the Walking Dead.

Terror Tram Walls are going up near Whoville

As well as across from Psycho house

Crews are hard at work preparing for The Walking Dead

The Terror Tram unloads you near the Psycho house and has a temporary loading area to get you back into the park.

Klownz are showing up near New York Street

House of Horrors is closed to install an extra scary overlay for Halloween Horror Nights

If you are interested in attending Halloween Horror Nights, but don’t want to go alone, we are having a special MiceChat Meet up on Saturday October 6th.  We plan on purchasing the $99 front-of-line tickets for that evening which gives visitors access to the front of lines once at each maze.  Prior to the event we will be having Dinner at CityWalk.

Purchase your tickets for Saturday October 6th directly from the Universal site here.  Join the discussion on MiceChat here for more details on meeting up.

Halloween Horror Nights runs September 21, 22, 28, 29, October 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26,27,28, and 31.

Thanks to Universal, John Murdy, Chris Williams and the creative team for inviting us along for a preview of the horror yet to come. We’ve got to say that even with the lights on and work still in progress, we were already creeped out and can’t wait for Horror Nights to open.

Are you ready for Halloween?