Halloween Horror Nights 29 is here and it has brought all kinds of nightmares to life at Universal Orlando. This year’s event features five great scarezones, one incredible show and, perhaps most importantly, 10 fantastically frightening houses.
Halloween Horror Nights 29 offers six houses based on popular movies and television series, like Stranger Things and Ghostbusters, as well as five based on original terrifying concepts. This year’s lineup is great from top to bottom, and I could easily see someone saying any one of these is there favorite house, but what would a Halloween Horror Nights review be without ranking the houses?
Here is a closer look at the 10 houses at Halloween Horror Nights 29:
10. House of 1000 Corpses
I’ll be honest, this house never really had a fair shot at making it to the top of my list because I’ve never seen the movie and have no desire to. With that being said though, it’s still pretty impressive. It’s located in a tent but by the time you reach the second or third room you’ll completely forget you’re not actually in this demented house of horrors. The sets are amazing and the scareactors are really giving it their all.
The reason I’m not crazy about House of 1000 Corpses is the same reason I love Us. The hit horror film from Jordan Peele is one of my favorite films of this year and this house is just like walking through the movie. It’s not the scariest house (despite the movie actually causing me to lose a few hours of sleep) but it’s still a lot of fun. If you enjoyed the movie, you’ll really like this house.
8. Nightingales Blood Pit
The first original on my list, Nightingales Blood Pit is fantastic. The facade of the house has you feeling like you’re walking into a coliseum where something has gone horribly wrong. There are some unique scares in this house that made me jump quite a bit and while it may not be the most visually stunning, I really enjoyed this one.
7. Depths of Fear
Speaking of originals, Depths of Fear was also a lot of fun. Located where last year’s Slaughter Sinema was, this house follows along that same campy line with a wave of cartoonish fish monsters (that I have dubbed “Fishman”) attacking the underwater facility you find yourself trying to escape from. This is another house located in a tent with really impressive sets and a lot of fun scares.
I might catch some heat for this being so low on my list, but like I said, any one of these houses could be at the top. The Ghostbusters house is a perfect recreation of the movie. Fans of the classic film have been left in awe of the sets, costumes, effects and everything else that has gone into his house. The casting is perfect, all the memorable moments are there and there’s even a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man! I like Ghostbusters a lot, but for really big fans this is an absolute homerun.
5. Stranger Things
And while we’re on the topic of walking right into a movie, or in this case a TV show, fans of Stranger Things are going to love this year’s house. The design is amazing, from the incredible huge sets down to the picture-perfect costuming, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the hit Netflix series. Plus, the Mindflayer is one of the best parts of this year’s events. I do wish they had separated seasons two and three as opposed to squeezing them both into one house, but it does make for one great house.
4. Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Not all haunted houses need to be really scary. I know that sounds kind of funny, but you’ll understand once you go through this house. Killer Klowns from Outer Space is just a lot of fun. Sure, there are still some scares, and a few of them even got me pretty good, but this house isn’t really designed to scare you. It’s colorful, the music is playful and the Klowns are more funny than scary. It also features some of the best moments from the movie, including the massive Klownzilla.
3. Yeti: Terror of the Yukon
Now, I know I just said not all haunted houses have to be scary. This one is. This house features a lot of really cool effects and they’re all used to terrify you. The yetis are very aggressive with their scares and the come from all angles. It’s not the most intense house I’ve experienced, but it’s not far from the top. It’s also visually fantastic. Every room puts you in either a log cabin or ice tunnels and you never know when the next yeti is coming.
2. Universal Monsters
This was the house I was most excited about going into the event and it did not disappoint. Each room pits you against a different classic Universal Monster like Dracula, the Wolfman and Frankenstein’s monster. But you probably knew that already. What you might not have known was that this house also features the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Hunchback of Notre Dame and the Phantom of the Opera. It was really cool to see so many different monsters make an appearance. This house also features some beautiful sets, but don’t get too lost in all the details because the next scare is never too far away.
1. Graveyard Games
There’s always one. On house always surprises everyone and emerges as the scariest of the event. I, like a lot of others, was looking forward to Graveyard Games but I certainly didn’t think it would be the scariest house of this year’s event. I was wrong. Graveyard Games is right about on par with Poltergeist and Dead Exposure from last year’s event in terms of overall creepiness. It gives you a lot to look at but just when you think you’re looking at the right thing, the scare comes from somewhere else. This house also tells a great story that begins with a video being projected on the outside of the house. Details throughout the graveyard continue to tell the story but again, if you’re looking for all the little details, you might miss the ghost right in front of you.
Those are my initial thoughts and rankings on this year’s Halloween Horror Nights houses but things could change a lot by the end of the event. You never know when you’re going to have a perfect run, or walk through during a cast change and see almost nothing. The best way to experience these houses is to go through them as many times as you can.
And again, this was a very difficult list to make. This lineup is so good and so well-balanced, I might as well have just picked numbers out of a hat. My number 10 might be your number one and vice versa.
Halloween Horror Nights will run on select nights through November 2. For tickets, be sure to visit the official Halloween Horror Nights website.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”