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Behind-the-Scenes at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights

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Next to getting loaded at costume parties, the best part of Halloween is the haunted attractions, and Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights has long been king of the mountain. Every year creative director John Murdy and his team have consistently topped themselves, and their 2011 park boasts a record number of mazes: The Thing: Assimilation, Alice Cooper: Welcome to My Nightmare, Hostel: Hunting Season, The Wolfman: The Curse of Talbot Hall, the Mexican folklore themed La Llorona: Villa de Almas Perdidas, and the grand return of Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses.

A few weeks before the big launch, the press usually come down to Universal Studios Hollywood to get teased with video promos, dances and auditions. This year Universal decided to do things a little differently and invited us in to get a behind-the-scenes look at the park’s elaborate gore and make-up FX. As John Murdy greeted us, the doors were opened to a giant ballroom full of costumes, concept art and live make-up demonstrations.

This year is kind of special,” exclaims Murdy, “We’re working with a dream team – or scream team – of filmmakers and personalities uniquely associated with horror.” And while Murdy is excited to be working with people like Rob Zombie and Eli Roth, he tells us that working with Alice Cooper on a maze has been one of the biggest thrills of his career: “I’m a lifelong fan; I grew up on his music. Working with Alice, I get to take all the characters from his music and his stage show and create a horror movie out of them.

One of the most interesting curiosities is how Murdy is collaborating with actor Diego Luna, famous for mainstream dramas like Milk, Frida, and Y Tu Mama Tambien, on designing La Llorona – a scare zone at Horror Nights 2010 that is getting its own maze this year. He’s also been working closely with Dimension Films for Ghostface’s first Universal appearance in Terror Tram: Scre4m For Your Life: “The set-up for Terror Tram this year is our guests are going to Stab-a-thon, which is the movie-within-a-movie in Scream. And of course, like in any good horror movie, things go horribly, horribly wrong.

In addition to all these teases, Universal sent us some concept art showcasing several characters you can expect to encounter when the park opens up. Halloween Horror Nights runs September 23rd through October 31st, and tickets are already on sale at the official Halloween Horror Nights website.

Check out our epic gallery for a sneak peek of the make-up, costumes, art and more!

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Los Angeles Readers: Win Tickets to UPGRADE’s LA Premiere With Leigh Whannel in Attendance!

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Hey Los Angeles readers! We’ve got a pretty amazing contest available for you as we’re giving away five pairs of tickets to a random select few of you so that you can see the film at its premiere where writer/director Leigh Whannell and stars Logan Marshall-Green and Betty Gabriel will be in attendance! The event will be held at the Egyptian Theater the evening of May 30. To enter, all you have to do is fill out the form below!

After his wife is killed during a brutal mugging that also leaves him paralyzed, Grey Trace is approached by a billionaire inventor with an experimental cure that will “upgrade” his body. The cure – an Artificial Intelligence implant called STEM – gives Grey physical abilities beyond anything experienced and the ability to relentlessly claim vengeance against those who murdered his wife and left him for dead.

Written and directed by Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious) and stars Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus, The Invitation) and Betty Gabriel (Get Out). The film is released through BH Tilt.

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AHS 8 Will Be More Like ASYLUM and COVEN

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News has been steadily coming in regarding the upcoming 8th season of Ryan Murphy’s horror anthology series American Horror Story. It was just the other day that we let you guys know that Billie Lourd will be back for the new season, which begins shooting this June.

And today we have word via Deadline regarding just what the tone will be for this new season, rumored to be titled AHS: Radioactive.

It’s not necessarily as real and grounded as the past season,” Murphy said. “We’re sort of getting back to Asylum and Coven. That’s the tone of it.”

Personally, I really enjoyed the grounded tone of AHS: Cult and I think it helped rejuvenate the series. But then again, a return to the tone of perhaps the show’s most beloved season (AHS: Asylum) is just what the series needs in the long run.

Are you excited to hear AHS 8 will be going back to the tone of Asylum and Coven? Make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

AHS Season 8 stars Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Billie Lourd, Kathy Bates, and new cast member Joan Collins, who will play Peters’ grandmother. Murphy has revealed he’s interested in casting Anjelica Huston (The Addams Family) as well.

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Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Coming To Nintendo Switch In Japan This Week

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Although it’s already been home to a vast number of horror titles, the Nintendo Switch will finally come into the possession of the crown jewel of horror video games, as Capcom have confirmed that Resident Evil 7: Biohazard will be heading to the system on May 24. In Japan, at least.

Because of the limitations of the Switch hardware compared to both the PS4 and the Xbox One, the Switch version of Resident Evil 7 will only be playable by being streamed directly from Capcom’s online servers onto the physical console. Meaning that after the initial 45MB download, you’ll need to have an internet connection and be permanently online in order for it to work, so even though the Switch is a portable console hybrid, you unfortunately won’t be able to play Resident Evil 7 on the move.

In Japan, the Switch version of Resident Evil 7 will be known as Biohazard 7 Resident Evil Cloud Version, and will be priced at 2,000 yen (around $18). Once purchased, you’ll have access to the game for 180 days. There’s currently no word if you’ll be able to pay for a renewal once that time is up, or even if the Switch version will be released outside Japan, but Capcom have clearly come up with an ingenious solution to releasing more powerful games on less powerful systems, so we’re curious to see if their strategy of streaming games onto consoles catches on.

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