HEAT VISION

'Ghostbusters' Maze Among Most Ambitious Ever Created at Universal Studios Horror Nights

The Hollywood Reporter was given a behind-the-scenes look as finishing touches were being applied for the Sept. 13 opening.
'Ghostbusters'   |   Photofest
The Hollywood Reporter was given a behind-the-scenes look as finishing touches were being applied for the Sept. 13 opening.

This fall, visitors to Universal Studios Hollywood will have access to more Halloween Horror Nights mazes than ever before, but one of the most extraordinary is inspired by Ghostbusters.

The maze, on the backlot of Universal Studios, features an entrance that looks like the Ghostbusters fire station HQ and houses numerous scenes from the first film with ghosts from the original, the 1989 sequel and a few from the 2016 reboot.

The Hollywood Reporter was given a behind-the-scenes look at the maze as the finishing touches were being applied for the Sept. 13 opening. John Murdy, creative director for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, led the way from room to room.

"It's up there as the most ambitious we have done," he said. "Special effects-wise, it is way up there. We have done some crazy stuff through the years, but this year is particularly special effects-heavy." 

Guests will start outside the fire station HQ, where an actor playing Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) will be running around the line looking for the Gatekeeper (and a special password tweeted each night from the Horror Nights account).

Once inside, the maze begins at Janine Melnitz's (Annie Potts) desk, where an actress will lip-synch lines from the 1984 film.

Visitors will make their way farther into the station to the ghost-containment unit and then to other notable locations (sets) from the film, such as the Sedgwick Hotel and Dana Barrett's (Sigourney Weaver) apartment. The maze culminates at the film's grand finale, which is the Ghostbusters battling a gigantic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. In a maze full of impressive moments, this is special. 

Throughout the journey, just like with Melnitz, actors playing assorted Ghostbusters will lip-synch lines from the film as they attempt to save guests from the increasingly hostile ghosts (and yes, plenty of Slimer). "Casting is a big deal because we are trying to get as close as we can" to the original actor, Murdy said. 

The maze, along with all the others, including ones inspired by Stranger Things and Jorden Peele's Us, will run 32 nights. 

Murdy noted when Horror Nights first started in 1997, it only ran for seven nights with two mazes. This year, there are 10 mazes: a new record. 

Halloween Horror Nights begins Sept. 12 with a special Fan Preview night and then runs Thursdays through Sundays until Nov. 3 at Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles. For more information and advance ticketing resources, visit the park’s official Horror Nights website.

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