Get ready for the most immersive and groundbreaking Ghostbusters experience ever made. Halloween is just around the corner, and amusement parks are gearing up for the extravagant events it brings. Universal Studios Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights is setting a new record this year with 10 mazes all running for 32 nights. The event first started modestly in 1997 with two mazes open for seven nights. And the Ghostbusters are coming for the first time ever.
This year, there will be, among others, one inspired by Stranger Things and one modeled after Jordan Peele's Us, but none are expected to be as epic as the one inspired by Ghostbusters. During a visit with The Hollywood Reporter, the creative director for Halloween Horror Nights had this to say about the new attraction.
"It's up there as the most ambitious we have done. 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."
The special effects are helping to pull at the nostalgia strings as fans are thrust through a series of scenes and ghosts from the first film, the 1989 sequel and the 2016 reboot. Welcoming visitors is an entrance modeled after the Ghostbusters fire station HQ and an actor playing Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) searching the long line of guests for the "Gatekeeper" and the special password that is tweeted each night from the Horror Nights account.
Inside the Halloween Horror Nights Ghostbusters maze, each set will offer a captivating experience as actors playing various Ghostbusters lip-sync lines and fight off the hostile ghosts. First, they step through a set with Janine Melnitz's (Annie Potts) desk, where an actress will repeat lines from the original film. Then, as they wander through the maze, they will traverse many other memorable locations from the franchise like the ghost-containment unit, the Sedgwick Hotel and Dana Barrett's (Sigourney Weaver) apartment, all while being treated to a show of special effects and reenactments. Ultimately, fans will arrive where all Ghostbuster fans would hope to arrive: a battle with the gigantic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Murdy assures that he took great care casting the actors for the experience, so they could get as close to the original characters as they could. The studio behind Ghostbusters learned the hard way how important casting the right characters in the supernatural comedy is when the 2016 reboot had fans divided while the upcoming revival featuring the original ghost-busting crew has them ecstatic.
Director Jason Reitman has kept details of the upcoming Ghostbusters 2020 under wraps for the most part, but is expected to remain true to the original two films, even using unused footage from the original shoots. Much of the original cast will be returning as well including Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray. Lovable funny-man Paul Rudd will be joining the cast.
Immersive attractions based on movie franchises seem to be on the rise in recent years. As tentpole budgets grow, so do the products they advertise. At the recent D23 convention, Disney announced new resorts and rides coming to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Avengers Campus, as well as the park-wide transformation planned for Epcot. You can check out images of Universal's ambitious Ghostbusters maze from senior staff writer at The Hollywood Reporter, Ryan Parker's twitter, and our inside look comes from The Hollywood Reporter.