- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
For more than 20 years, Universal Studios Hollywood has transformed its park into a playground of nightmares for its annual Halloween Horror Nights event.
Throughout the park, creative director and executive producer of Halloween Horror Nights, John Murdy, has brought beloved horror films such as The Shining, Saw, Insidious and more to life in a series of new mazes that transport guests to familiar worlds of terror.
“I was up here at 2 a.m. last night making tweaks to the mazes,” Murdy quipped to The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet.
Horror stars in attendance for the park’s Friday night red-carpet opening included Blumhouse founder and producer Jason Blum, Saw star Tobin Bell, and It stars Chosen Jacobs, Wyatt Oleff and Owen Teague.
For Blum, especially, the night was a special affair. Two separate mazes were fashioned after his production studio’s franchises: “The Horrors of Blumhouse,” which featured scares inspired by The Purge and Sinister franchises as well as the upcoming Happy Death Day, and a separate Insidious: The Last Key maze based on the forthcoming January release of the fourth installment in the horror series.
“The feeling is good, the feeling is scary and the feeling is deeply bloody,” Murdy told THR. As for what he wanted fans to take away from his mazes, Blum was hopeful it would drive interest for his upcoming films. “I want people to walk away with a seared image of our villain in their mind a deep desire to go see our movie,” he said with a laugh.
Also on hand for the horror-filled extravaganza were Purge series star Frank Grillo and Chucky franchise stalwart, Jennifer Tilly. The latter, who stars in October’s release, Cult of Chucky, was stalked down the red carpet by a real-life version of the murderous doll, played by a diminutive actor in mask and suspenders wielding a carving knife.
While Grillo may have experience churning out the scares onscreen, in person he’s a bit more hesitant to go through the mazes based on his work. “I dig it, but I’m old,” he said. “I’m still in for a scare, though.”
As the blood-red carpet wrapped up, guests were welcomed to enjoy the park, open to the public for the opening night event. Inside, ghouls, goblins, clowns, killers and all entities nightmarish stalked guests through darkened, fog-filled corridors of the normally quaint and bright Hollywood Studios.
While waiting in lines that could, at times, be serpentine (160 minutes for the Insidious maze at one point), guests were likely to spot a glimpse of NBA superstar LeBron James in the park, followed by a large entourage that included Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian. Also spotted was That 70‘s Show alum Wilmer Valderrama and social media star Frankie Grande.
Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights runs every weekend through Nov. 3.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day