Happy Thursday Main Streeters. Welcome back to the final OFF TMSM blog in the series for my spooky adventure over at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights (HHN). For the last two weeks, I have been taking you through the haunted houses I was able to cover during my visit. It is now the moment you have been waiting for, the most epic review of all – the headliner of all the horror houses, the standout among an impressive and immersive 10 houses; let’s dive right into Stranger Things. This blog will contain spoilers, so stop reading now if you plan on visiting HHN and experiencing the house for yourself, or if you just aren’t that into Stranger Things, or maybe you prefer the heads up before you go into the house. Whatever path you choose, this is your last out before I dive right in.
HHN 28’s build of the Stranger Things house did not disappoint. It’s no wonder the lines for this one house have seen wait times as long as 3 hours. If you are a fan of the Netflix show, you will marvel at the meticulous details of the set construction, and you will be thoroughly spooked as you make your way through the most recognizable scenes straight out of the show. Think Joyce Byers’ iconic living room with the tacky vintage wall paper and the scribbled alphabet in black paint with chunky bulb Christmas lights strobing. Oh yeah, they full on recreated it.
You will begin the house as if you start the series, it’s flow loosely follows the order of the episodes of the breakout show. You will start with a quick walk through of the Hawkins Laboratory where you are greeted by the silhouette of the monster that lab workers are desperately trying to contain. We learn later that the main characters call this monster a Demogorgon. Turn a corner and there are the signature Christmas lights faintly lighting your way, until you get to the living room scene with the wall and the sprawled painted alphabet, an ominous ‘R-U-N’ is spelled out, before the lights strobe. Turn another corner and the monster is pushing out from behind the wall. Up to this point, you still don’t get to see the physical form of the Demogorgon, but that’s what makes the reveal oh so amazing.
Turn the next corner to find Joyce wielding an ax and a faint yelling in the distance which rings out “Will!”. As you are distracted by Joyce desperately looking around an area of her living room, the Demogorgon pulls back the blinds of the window from the outside looking in and reaches to snatch you. Turn another corner and you are now outside the house, and the creature is inside. Strobe lights resemble electrical energy glitching and you can’t really tell where the creature will go. Then you come across Castle Byers, but beware, a Demogorgon has followed you there. Next you will run into Nancy Wheeler holding a flashlight and desperately searching for Will, next to her, waiting in the shadows is the Demogorgon. Then it’s back to the lab, where Chief Hopper is pistol blazing and prompting you to “Go! Go!” as the carnage unfolds with scientists mangled and pinned to the laboratory walls.
As you continue to make your way through the house, suddenly you are in what is known as the “Upside Down”, the Demogorgon’s layer, and Will Byers is now being attacked and subdued by the creature. As you walk away from the Upside Down, you are now in the school and you finally reach the iconic scene of the show’s heroine “Eleven” using her “powers” to pin the flailing creature up against the wall. When you start hearing the shows theme music, you are very much at the end of the house, but not before you encounter the Demogorgon one final time. If you are lucky, you will get to see the monster with it’s head shut, and as you walk by, it opens to reveal the flower shape and it’s thousands of teeth ready to devour you.
In all, the house takes about 3-4 minutes to complete and the scares are well timed. I give this a solid 8 of 10 in terms of set, accuracy to the show, atmosphere, and scare factor.
That will do it for my series on five of the haunted houses featured at this year’s Universal Studios HHN 28. I hope everyone enjoyed the reviews, and if you’ve visited the park, please share with us what your take on the houses were!
Until next week!
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