UPDATE: Universal has finally confirmed that a maze based on the 2013 film Evil Dead will be walk through attractions at both Universal Hollywood and Universal Studios Orlando as part of Universal Halloween Horror Nights 2013 on both coasts.
As a result of this announcement, we have updated this article which first ran on July 8th, in which we speculated about the probability of this maze.
Producers Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell– creators of the original “Evil Dead” film joined Universal Hollywood maze creators John Murdy, Mike Aiello and Chris Williams to create what Aiello calls “intense and unapologetically terrifying.” The film follows five 20-something friends who turn a remote cabin in the woods into a blood-soaked chamber of horrors after awakening an ancient demon.
Directed by Fede Alvarez, “Evil Dead” opened No. 1 at the U.S. Box Office, and top 10 for all-time horror remakes. “I’m thrilled with how popular ‘Evil Dead’ has become with horror fans, and it’s exciting that it’s coming to life at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights,” said Alvarez. “Just like the film, this haunted maze is going to be over-the-top, in-your-face and completely outrageous – and I can’t wait to see it.”
“Watching ‘Evil Dead’s unrelenting horror unfold in movie theaters was undoubtedly an unnerving experience, but with Halloween Horror Nights, we’re taking it one step further,” said John Murdy, Creative Director for Universal Studios Hollywood. “Fans of ‘Evil Dead’ will feel like they’ve left the safety of the theater and stepped through the screen into a living horror movie where the film’s demonic characters are coming for them. Our incredibly immersive and highly disturbing maze experience will come to life with the same attention to detail and production value of the film and will be the ultimate thrill for horror movie fans.”
Frankly, we are truly psyched that the rumors turned out to be true. This will go down as one of the most intense mazes/haunted houses they have created. “The Evil Dead series is iconic, and this latest film has set the scare factor to 11,” said Michael Aiello from Universal Orlando’s Entertainment team. “I can’t wait for my fellow horror fans to venture inside and live the unyielding horror they’ve seen in the film.”
We were delighted to interview John Murdy about Halloween Horror Nights and the Evil Dead maze, please join us later this week for the amazing details John has to share.
Below is the article we ran on July 8th, 2013…
If the rumors are true, Universal Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights will feature a maze based on the film The Evil Dead, based on the 2013 reboot. The film, which was released back in April, was well received as a remake of the original Sam Raimi classic of the same name.
The announcement comes as no surprise to those closely following the internet rumors. What really gave things away were the inserts that will be included in the DVD/BluRay release of the film that is set to drop on July 16th.
Obviously, Universal’s intent is to make the maze announcement for both Universal Hollywood and Universal Orlando before the street date on the DVD/BluRay Release. But, with units of the release landing in the hands of fans that pre-ordered their discs, the cat is essentially out of the bag.
What will be even more interesting to see is what Universal will do with the exact same property Knott’s Berry Farm and Cedar Fair Entertainment took a crack at last year. You see, about a month before the opening of the 2012 Haunt, Sony Pictures approached Knott’s about creating a maze based on their new Evil Dead film that wasn’t due out until the following year. Despite having barely enough time to develop a concept, Knott’s couldn’t resist jumping on the offer. However, with the tight time frame, it was going to be difficult to execute during an already ambitious year that, by that point, already had them working around the clock.
Knott’s suddenly made the surprise announcement that they were theming the Timber Mountain Log Ride to the Evil Dead, after already saying that the log ride would not be a themed experience in 2012. They attempted to build hype for a film that had not yet been released by using a minimalist approach.
We gave it a polite review, thankful that at least something was added to the Log Ride as opposed to going dark for the event. But many in the haunt community found the execution lacking and without scares.
John Murdy, Creative Director for Universal Hollywood, has a long history of wanting to do something with the Evil Dead franchise. Even before the remake came out, Murdy had been quoted as saying he would love to try his hand at creating a walk through experience featuring Ash and Sam Raimi’s maniacal undead. While the approach that both parks will be taking is going to be based off of the new film, we can rest assured that fans of the original will be happy, too.
So, we look forward to more announcements in the coming weeks from Universal Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights.
You’re Invited: Join us for the MiceChat Halloween Horror Nights meet up events at both Universal Hollywood and Universal Orlando. Details will be announced soon on the MiceChat Facebook Page, MiceChat Nights of Horror Events Page and via email (Join the Nights of Horror Email List HERE for first notice).