Fear Himself. Universal Orlando Resort revealed the theme for this year’s Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) XX is the embodiment of Fear. Universal Orlando has been releasing bits and pieces (no pun intended) of their new icon for HHN, Fear. Their latest video follows below.
Video Update September 16, 2010: Fear Revealed II
Original Article from August 27, 2010 follows after the break.
The iconic character for the scarefest is described by Universal Orlando as, “the Master of everything Halloween Horror Nights has ever been and will become.” Fear’s weapons include Chaos, Death, Sacrifice, Mythos, and Vengeance. Fear’s pawns include the icons of HHN’s past: a clown, a storyteller, a caretaker, a director, an usher… and you. HHN runs for 24 nights from September 24 – October 31; guests can purchase tickets in advance for $74.99. Continue after the break for more details as well as preview videos for the event.
Universal Orlando hosted a conference call for the media with Show Director for Halloween Horror Nights Mike Aiello, Show Director for Entertainment Patrick Braillard, and Director of Art and Design for Entertainment TJ Mannarino. Together they released more details, and answered questions about this 20th installment of Halloween Horror Nights. In the video below, Mike Aiello discusses the concept and backstory for the event.
Even though this is the 20th year for the event, Universal says HHN XX is not an anniversary event. The creative team was looking to pay homage to the past 20 years, but also look ahead, evolve and set the stage to scare fans for the next 20 years. In creating the iconic character for this year’s event, the team looked back at the history of Halloween Horror Nights. The common element for every event was Fear, and therefore, it made sense to create a physical embodiment of Fear as a story arc to bridge the past 20 years. In the weeks to come, more details will be released about this iconic character – Fear – how it is an all encompassing character and in control of the characters from past years of Halloween Horror Nights including Jack the Clown, the Caretaker, the Storyteller, the Usher, the Director, and Bloody Mary. Mike Aiello commented that when guests see Fear next to the icons of the past, it will become clear Fear stands above them all, has been in control for 20 years, and is the common thread across all the years. Jack instills Fear. The Caretaker examines Fear. The Storyteller speaks Fear. The Director captures Fear. The Usher shows us the way to Fear. Fear is real, and will be presented to the guests this year. The imagery released by Universal Orlando suggests that guests attending Halloween Horror Nights XX will be “consumed by Fear.”
Early glimpses and teaser images for HHN XX showed a flickering lantern with two “X’s” designating the twentieth year of the event. The lantern has now been replaced with the monstrous image of Fear. However, Mike Aiello said the lantern will continue to play a key role in this year’s event and is important to the storyline. “The Lantern is Fear, and Fear is the Lantern.” The lantern represents the physical embodiment of Fear, and Universal’s description for one of the scarezones of the event, “HHN: 20 Years of Fear”, reads, “move toward the lantern, and encounter the most frightening characters of Halloween Horror Nights past.”
Universal’s creative team developed an extensive backstory for HHN XX, and guests can learn more even before attending the event by visiting the Legendary Truth webpage and Facebook group. Universal wanted to incorporate interest in the search for paranormal activity and ghost hunting into one of the houses. The “Legendary Truth: The Wyandot Estate” does just that, and is a true “haunted house” described as the site where entrepreneur Malcolm Wyandot brutally killed 13 dinner guests and his wife Lydia before committing suicide on October 30, 1929. A team of ghost hunters known as “The Spirit Seekers” plan to investigate the house, but get more than they bargained for in the process. In addition, the Legendary Truth webpage allows fans to get involved in this story, and slowly uncover the layers of the backstory created for the event.
Altogether, Halloween Horror Nights XX will feature eight haunted houses, six scarezones and two live shows. All of the houses and scarezones are original and do not rely on any current or previous movie franchise. Universal’s creative team felt that Horror Nights was a strong intellectual property, and wanted to celebrate HHN itself without relying on any additional films or content. They have incorporated a number of new special effects and technology into these houses included, for the first time, open flames! Mmmmm, Zombie BBQ… For a detailed description of each haunted house, scarezone and show featured at this year’s event, see the dedicated Halloween Horror Nights event page on the DIS.