Is It Too Early to Talk About Halloween Horror Nights 2023?
If you’re a self-respecting Halloween Horror Nights fan, you know the deal here.
For more than 30 years, Universal Orlando Resort has hosted the grandest of all Halloween events, Halloween Horror Nights (HHN). The short of it is that Universal started something in 1991 that has become central to the park’s overall fate and public perception.
Fans didn’t like that Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood closed during the pandemic. But they absolutely HATED the ripple effects on HHN.
When the event returned, Universal employed social distancing and other tricks to protect guests while maintaining the legacy of this event.
From its humble origins, HHN has evolved into the signature event, so much so that Universal has licensed a permanent event in Las Vegas. (see the article following)
In two or three years, guests can always live out an HHN experience in Vegas. It’ll remain secondary to the ones in Hollywood and Orlando. What’s so special about them?
Universal hosts several thematic houses, each providing a claustrophobic backdrop for guests. Simultaneously, the park segments some sections as Scare Zones, places where anything goes, thanks to the Scare Actors. That’s the name Universal uses for its specially trained event workers. They’re live performers capable of improvising on the fly to intensify the moment.
Let’s just say that if a Scare Actor runs at you, absolutely anything could happen in the moment…and it’ll get your pulse racing.
Finally, while we mentioned that we’re not halfway to Halloween, the 2022 HHN event started on September 2nd. And that is six months from now!
Anticipating new Houses has proven easier during the pandemic. Since few films earned theatrical releases, you could safely bank on any horror film that did. For example, the 2022 HHN event included a Blumhouse joint House that joined The Black Phone and Freaky.
Since HHN ended, Blumhouse Productions has released arguably its most buzz worthy title in recent memory, M3GAN, a story about a child-sized robot doll. The story’s title references a Model 3 Generative Android, and it’s a sizable hit. Blumhouse spent $12 million on a film that has earned $170+ million in box office. You can watch M3GAN on Peacock right now if you’re interested. As you might imagine, a doll-based House wouldn’t cost much to design, which is why Chucky from the Child’s Play franchise appears so frequently.
In fact, we can go ahead and add that we already know one House for sure this year. The day after HHN 2022 ended, Universal announced a Chucky House for 2023.
Last year, the only hot rumor that paid dividends was the least likely one, a House starring The Weeknd.
Still, one House this year feels obvious. The Last of Us is unquestionably the hottest thing on streaming right now. It’s also an apocalyptic zombie drama.
Presuming that Universal can work out the licensing on a Sony video game produced by Warner Bros., this House should happen. And it’ll be incredible.
As usual, we can also expect a Classic Monsters House based on the beloved Universal Pictures characters from the halcyon days of yore.
What would you like to see in this year’s HHN line up? Classics or something new? We will have to just wait and see..
Universal Parks Blog: Spokesmayne