Do you enjoy nightmares. The kind that make you wake up in a cold sweat, screaming for your mommy? Then you're in luck, because Halloween Horror Nights has really topped itself with this year's new attractions. They are introducing a lot of never-before seen mazes, heart-stopping scare zones and one Terror Tram ride that will have you running straight out of the park and back to your bedroom, where you can try and hide under the covers. But I wouldn't put it past Hollywood Harry to follow you home. Along with giving fans one of the scariest events of this or any year, they have also introduced one of the all time best horror attractions, ever. The new Poltergeist maze is literally to die for.
Poltergeist is one of (if not) the best haunted house movies of all time. It's a halloween classic from the masterminds of producer Steven Spielberg and director Tobey Hooper. It seems like a no brainer to turn the movie into a real-life haunted house. And Universal succeeds gloriously in bringing this 80s masterpiece screaming to life. You'll definitely want to wear your big boy pants, and may even want to invest in some adult diapers.
Poltergeist is just one of several new mazes the Hollywood theme park is introducing this year. Fans will also get to step into the cruel world of Trick 'r Treat. The town of Hawkins invites park goes to experience the Upside Down in all it's traumatic glory. And The Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers maze puts you directly in the middle of a shoot out between The Shape and Dr. Loomis. It's all terrifying fun on the highest level. But it doesn't really compete with the horrors that await you inside the Poltergeist maze.
If you've never been to Halloween Horror Nights, you may be struck by the fact that the studio is also keen on toying with your Olfactory receptors. Last year, the Exorcist maze smelled like puke. Seriously, it was disgusting and brings a whole new level of nausea to watching the actual movie. And the American Horror Story maze smelled like burnt bacon, which I can only assume was meant to immolate burnt flesh. Somehow, the Poltergeist maze manages to capture that off smell you experience when you go to a new friend's house for a first time sleepover. It's off, a little weird, and you never quite get used to it.
The Poltergeist maze works in pulling you directly into the movie, and that's one of the reasons it's so much fun. No other maze has quite captured this perfect mixture of magic and madness. And that might be because, like I pointed out earlier, the movie itself takes place inside a house. You feel very much like you've just entered the Freeling family home. You are greeted by little Carol Anne, as she sets resting with her hands agains the TV screen, a snow storm blinding her eyes. It's just a mannequin, but it comes to eerie life long enough to give you that ominous warning, 'They're here!'
And it's off to the races. The Poltergeist maze excels at bringing the best parts of the movie to life. Entering the kitchen, you see the chairs that Carol Anne's new friends stacked on top of each other. Crawling across the kitchen counter is that maggot infested piece of raw meat that sends one of Tangina's crew off to the bathroom. Turning the corner, there he is, scared out of his wits and pulling his face off. If this isn't enough to get your heart racing, then you are probably already dead.
The attraction brilliantly recreates Carol Anne and Robbie's bedrooms. Haunted objects fly around, a giant tree limb has crashed through the window. And be careful, there is a clown hiding under that bed and he wants to give you the willies in the worst way. As if this isn't enough to give you a heart attack, one of the best scares is saved for last.
Yes, Universal has recreated the iconic white ghost monster from the climax of the movie that appears at Carol Anne's door. It's awe-inspiring to see it in person. And is liable to send you into hysterics, or give you an out of body experience. It's literally awesome, and will leave your mouth on the floor. You'll want to stop and touch it, feel it, experience it for more then a mere minute, but chances are the couple behind you will push you out of the way as they run to escape.
The Poltergeist maze excels at bringing the movie to life quite like no other maze has ever done before. It's both scary and charming, and will fill you with equal parts dread and nostalgia. It's too bad the lines are so long, because this is one haunted house you'll want to revisit as many times as you've seen the movie. With the exception of The Walking Dead, which is a permanent year around attraction, Halloween Horror Nights hasn't really recycled their mazes and scary zones the last couple of years. If you're a huge Poltergeist fan, or just a fan of scare stuff in general, you might want to strap on your best running shows and check out what Universal Studios has to offer. You won't be disappointed. But you will be frightened to death.