Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood - A Review of the Haunted Attractions! - Dread Central
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Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood – A Review of the Haunted Attractions!



It just wouldn’t feel like Halloween if it wasn’t for Universal’s annual Halloween Horror Night. The horror behemoth may have had a rough time creating its Dark Universe this year, but it’s never had any problems with its theme park, which you can always depend on for quality horror thrills year after year. This writer was lucky enough to be invited out for his twelfth year (!) to the opening festivities – a wonderful night where all the people in the horror industry come together to drink, mingle and check out the latest mazes from creative mastermind John Murdy and his team.

It’s downright magical.

After some terrific booze and hors d’oeuvres, and some high fives from the Loser’s Club, the Dread gang were first invited to check out Insidious: Beyond the Further with franchise stars Lin Shaye and Leigh Whannell. This series has always seemed tailor made for a haunted attraction and Universal has continually knocked these out of the park. Set pieces from all four films are on display, as you navigate the dark, foggy regions of The Further and encounter all its iconic inhabitants – as “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” plays through loud speakers. One particular stroke of genius comes at the end, where multiple jump scares piled on top of each other don’t even give you a moment to catch your breath. Another terrific job by Murdy & crew, and the perfect way to start off the night. Here’s hoping we get more Insidious films and more mazes for years to come.

Next up, Saw: The Games of Jigsaw. We’ve seen several of these mazes from Universal in the past, and while the last few have seemed largely recycled from previous years, this one has stepped up the game considerably. Traps from all 8 (!) films in there series are executed in full gory detail (probably the bloodiest of any Horror Nights maze to date), and the special effects seen here are particularly impressive (highlights include the infamous reverse venus fly trap, Saw 3‘s limb snapper and a few set pieces from the upcoming Jigsaw). One room even has animatronic saw blades coming out of the walls for added effect!

“American Horror Story: Roanoke” is based solely on last year’s season of the FX series. This writer has not caught up with the show, but from what we gather in this maze, “Roanoke” had a lot of guys in pig masks. And I mean a lot. Not a whole lot of variety to this one, but it should be fun for die-hard series fans.

It’s both surreal and heart-warming to live in a world where Evil Dead‘s Ash is now a pop culture icon, and easily one of the highlights of the evening is Universal’s “Ash vs Evil Dead” maze. Stepping foot into a lovingly recreated version of our hero’s trailer, attendees get to see a variety of set-pieces the last two seasons, visiting Ash’s house in Elk Grove and finally returning to the infamous cabin. In true Evil Dead fashion, every monster “pop out” is quickly followed by Ash appearing to kick its ass, and we even get an extremely cool animatronic version of Ted Raimi’s Henrietta. This one is worth the price of admission.

The other big highlight (and this season’s main draw) is The Shining. It’s kind of a shock that one of the all time greatest horror films – which literally ends in a maze – hasn’t received this kind of treatment yet, and Universal has done a magnificent job bringing the Overlook Hotel to life. Every iconic image from the film gets its due here, from holographic versions of the creepy twins, to the interiors of the dreaded Room 237, to the chilly snow-covered hedge maze. Multiple Jack Torrance’s pop out with axes to attack parkgoers and even the infamous bathroom scene is acted out in front of you. It’s great to see Universal give love to the classics instead of just promoting the newer horror titles and we sincerely hope they never lose sight of that.

The Terror Tram returns once again, this time hosted by Chucky (complete with the voice of Brad Dourif) who drives tourists onto the backlot to encounter all our favorite 80’s boogeymen. Walking up through the Bates Motel (now converted to the Crystal Lake Motel), and through the War of the World‘s set (which is now Freddy’s dream world), we encountered multiple grisly set pieces involving Jason, Freddy and Texas Chainsaw’s Sawyer family. A lot more set pieces and detail have been added to the backlot, which is incredibly cool, but the one drawback was severe bottle necking with the crowds in a couple of areas.

The final two events of the night were The Horrors of Blumhouse and Titans of Terror, each taking you through a “trilogy” of mazes. Starting out in the world of chainsaw and mask-sporting world of The Purge (always great Horror Night fodder), Blumhouse then features set-pieces from their upcoming Happy Death Day and then into the world of Sinister. Titans brings the baddies from the Terror Tram out for a reprise, as old school Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface recreate the classic scenes and sets from all their original films. One particular stroke of genius is this maze’s first room – a bedroom lovingly created to look like an 80’s horror fan’s wet dream. We could’ve easily hung out there the entire night.

Halloween Horror Nights 2017 has done a terrific job of keeping the tradition alive and starting off the fall season in perfect fashion. This writer can’t help but imagine what’s in store for us next year: IT? Blumhouse’s Halloween? “Twin Peaks: The Return” (“Got a light?)… Whatever happens, we can’t wait to see what Murdy and his awesome creative team come up with next. Tickets for Halloween Horror Nights are currently on sale and if you want to see everything the park has to offer, we suggest a front-of-the-line pass in order to skip the brutal wait times. It’s well worth it. See you next year!


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Ryan Schifrin’s Abominable Gets a Sasquatch-Sized Blu-Ray



A recent scientific study concluded that since the year 2000 there have 4,374,139 killer Bigfoot movies. 2006’s Abominable is one of the better Sasquatch-ploitation flicks of the era. Now this creature feature is getting a collector’s edition blu-ray complete with a brand new cut of the gruesome flick.

MVD Rewind Collection has announced they’re planning a special edition of Ryan Schifrin’s gory Hitchcock-influenced Bigfoot flick Abominable, which cast Matt McCoy as a wheelchair bound man who begins Rear Window-ing a psycho Sasquatch terrorizing his hot-blooded cabin neighbors that then turns his big foot towards him. Lance Henriksen, Dee Wallace, Jeffrey Combs, Tiffany Shepis, Haley Joel, Karin Anna Cheung, and Paul Gleason co-star.

It has been sighted 42,000 times in 68 countries, a vicious creature of myth and legend called Sasquatch, Yeti, and perhaps most infamously, Bigfoot. It’s been hunted it for years. But what happens when it decides to hunt us?

After recovering from a horrific accident, paraplegic Preston Rogers (Matt McCoy) moves back into the remote cabin where he and his now-deceased wife once lived. When his new neighbor Karen, is attacked by a gigantic creature, Rogers contacts the local authorities. But after the police and those around him dismiss Rogers as a delusional widower, he sets out to stop the abominable creature himself.

This won’t be your typical collector’s edition as not only will be getting a new high definition transfer of the film originally shot on 35mm, this will also include an all-new cut of the film with improved CGI-effects overseen by filmmaker Schifrin and editor Chris Conlee with enhanced color timing and correction.

As if two cuts of the film weren’t enough, MVD’s Abominable release will also boast a ton of extras both new and ported over from the original DVD release:
-Brand New 2k Remaster of the Film from the Original Camera Negative
-Brand New Introduction from Director Ryan Schifrin (HD)
-‘Basil & Mobius: No Rest For The Wicked’ (16:28, HD) – New short film written and directed by Ryan Schifrin featuring a score by legendary composer Lalo Schifrin and starring Zachari Levi, Ray Park, Malcolm McDowell and Kane Hodder
-Audio Commentary with writer/director Ryan Schifrin, Actors Matt McCoy and Jeffrey Combs
-‘Back to Genre: Making ABOMINABLE” featurette (SD)
-Deleted and Extended Scenes (SD)
-Outtakes and Bloopers (SD)
-“Shadows” Director Ryan Schifrin’s USC Student Film (SD)
-The original 2005 version of “Abominable” (Blu-ray only, 94 mins, SD)
-Original Theatrical Trailer
-Poster & Still Gallery Storyboard Gallery
-Collectible Poster
-Audio: 5.1 Surround Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)

The MVD Rewind Collection release of Abomimable stomps its way to blu-ray on June 12th.


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Horror Retro Caps Boasts Hats Featuring The Lamp, The Video Dead, Rosemary’s Killer and more!



Yesterday I was stumbling around on Instagram and I came across this killer account called @horrorretrocaps. They make horror movie-themed hats and I felt the need to share their work with you guys today.

It’s not so much the hats (which are cool), or the quality of the product (which looks sound as a pound) but it is the obvious love of horror by the guys behind the scenes that gets me all warm and fuzzy.

I mean sure there are products like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But they also have hats celebrating such classics as The Outing, The Lamp (hell, yeah!), The Gate, Zombie Lake, and The Video Dead.


On top of that, the product that sealed the deal for me was their Rosemary’s Killer hat. As some of you might know, Rosemary’s Killer is the alternate title of Joseph Zito’s underrated slasher The Prowler. That alone just earned them horror-cred for days.

You can check out some of their choice caps below and then head on over to their account to purchase some product: @horrorretrocaps.

All caps are $15 plus $4 shipping in the U.S., and he also takes requests for $20.



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Jurassic Park T-Rex Stomps Through Ready Player One Trailer #3



Is that the f*cking T-Rex!?

It was only earlier this week that we brought you guys the new “pure 80’s nostalgia” poster (to the right) for Steven Spielberg’s new action-adventure film Ready Player One.

And if all the promotional materials we have seen thus far haven’t done anything to raise your interest in the film (including trailers which featured Freddy Krueger, Chucky, Christine, and King Kong) then today’s new might not help matters much.

But all the same today we have a new trailer which features the mighty T-Rex from Spielberg’s own Jurassic Park and a bunch of new character posters for good measure.

I’m just going to come right out and say that as impressed as I am with the trailers for this film, I can’t help but feel someone watched theImaginationland episode of “South Park” and thought, “Mother of God… call Steven Speilberg!”

You can check out the character posters and the new trailer below and then let us know what you think of the film thus far.

Ready Player One is directed by Steven Spielberg from a script by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline, based on the novel by Cline. The film stars Tye Sheridan, Mark Rylance, Olivia Cooke, Simon Pegg, and Ben Mendelsohn.

The film hits theaters March 29, 2018.


When the creator of an MMO called the Oasis dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all Oasis users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune. Wade Watts finds the first clue and starts a race for the Egg.


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