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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Halloween Horror Nights 25 Speculation Part 1: Walking Dead AGAIN?

It's that time of year again!  While Halloween is not for another 6 and a half months, the people over at Universal Orlando are already working hard on Halloween Horror Nights!  This year is going to be very special for Universal Orlando as it is the 25th anniversary of the theme park's annual haunted house event.  With it being such a monumental year, expect this to be Horror Nights' biggest year ever....it is already taking place on more nights than ever.

With such preparations come speculation, and that means Dr. Jimmy is back with more clues as to what we will be able to expect.  I'll be breaking down each of his musical clues across multiple articles (hopefully I do better than last year!), so be on the look out over the coming days.  Without further ado, let's tackle the first three!

Clue #1 - "You'll Never Walk Alone" - Carousel

Our first clue is "You'll Never Walk Alone," a song from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel.  With Dr. Jimmy's clues, it's not always clear if the clue is in the lyrics, the song title, or the source of the song.  Below are a few possible interpretations based on fan consensus as well as my own feelings.

Possibility 1: The Walking Dead

Many HHN fans are hopeful that this is not going to be the case for such an auspicious year for this event, but it seems ever more likely that The Walking Dead will be making its reappearance at Horror Nights this year.  The hit AMC series undoubtedly draws in huge crowds, even if the haunted houses have become a bit lackluster in their scares (zombies aren't scary anymore....sorry).  This is more a literal interpretation of Dr. Jimmy's Clue as the song is called "You'll Never WALK Alone," meaning some walkers could be going along with you.  To further add fuel to this rumor, HHN Orlando Creative Director Mike Aiello was in a Season 5 episode of Walking Dead, meaning the park's partnership with AMC is still going strong.  It remains unseen if this could instead be the upcoming spin-off Fear the Walking Dead...such a thing would have to come from official confirmation.

Possibility 2: Jack the Clown (Original House)

At the very end of Halloween Horror Nights 24 last year, we got confirmation that, yes, fan favorite icon Jack the Clown would indeed be returning for HHN 25.  Jack has been featured in several years of Horror Nights since his debut at HHN 10 in 2000, but this will be his first time back at the event in 5 years.  If Jack is indeed our Icon for this year, it seems highly likely that Jack would have his own haunted house at HHN.  This is where the song comes in.  While Carousels do not necessarily bring up the mental image of a clown, a carousel would not be out of place at a carnival.  Many HHN fans know that 2007's theme was Carnival of Carnage, which was a horrific carnival which featured, you guessed it, Jack as the ringmaster.  So, with all of this in mind, it seems quite possible that You'll Never Walk Alone...because Jack is right beside you.

Other (Probably Unlikely) Possibilities: It Follows, Halloween II (John Carpenter)

Clue #2 - "Never Never Land" - Peter Pan

Our second clue comes from the musical adaptation of JM Barrie's Peter Pan, which many will either know for the filmed version with Mary Martin, or the recent NBC broadcast with Allison Williams.  With these lyrics, Jimmy pays close attention to the dialogue which leads into the song, where Peter promises the Darling children to tell of this secret land that only he knows the way to, a place that dreams are made of...

Possibility 1: Universal Monsters 

Admittedly, my feelings about this first guess come partly due to the shirt Dr. Jimmy wears in this video (surely not a coincidence, right?).  I think that it is possible that this could be a reference to a house involving Universal's Monsters.  The opening line of the song is: "I have a place where dreams are born"...a sentiment which brings to mind a bygone era...old Hollywood perhaps?  Universal Studios practically invented the horror movie, and they are always proud to acknowledge their legacy as creating some of the most iconic monster movies of all time (even starting up a new cinematic universe featuring them).  What if, at HHN 25, Universal wants to send us back in time to their Golden Age?  Once again we get to experience the horrors of Dracula, the Mummy, the Wolfman, Frankenstein, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc.  It could be really fun, and a nice tie-in to the anniversary year.

Possibility 2: Vampires (Original House?)

This one seems like a bit of a stretch, but fan consensus on Dr. Jimmy's comments section seems to be that "Never Never Land" could be a vampire house of some kind.  The evidence of this possibility are certainly there.  Vampires are typically known for taking people to strange places they have never been, even if they are not necessarily physical (although the occasional gothic castle is also possible).  You also have the connection to Peter Pan through the hit vampire flick The Last Boys, so, sure, vampires COULD be the case, but...that just seems unlikely.  For one, we had TWO vampire themed houses last year: From Dusk Till Dawn and Dracula Untold: Reign of Blood...the latter was significantly worse.  Would Universal really want to tread vampire ground AGAIN just one year later?  I'll leave it as a possibility, but I'm not convinced.

Other (Not Likely) Possibilities: The Lost Boys, A Nightmare on Elm Street

Clue #3 - "Bosom Buddies" - Mame

Our final clue for this installment uses the song "Bosom Buddies" from the 1966 musical Mame, which famously starred Bea Arthur and Angela Lansbury.  The song involves two friends bickering between bits of singing what dear friends they truly are...and it seems to have the left the fans a bit divided over what this could possibly refer to.  But I think I've got it figured out....

Possibility 1: HHN Icons (Original House)

With this clue, we have a song that is dealing with people who have known each other for a long time, but may not necessarily like each other.  With this being the 25th year of Halloween Horror Nights, we cannot honestly expect Jack to be the only Icon returning.  So, what if "Bosom Buddies" is a reference to a house featuring ALL of the icons from HHN's past.  From the Crypt Keeper to The Director to The Storyteller to Fear, there are quite a few possibilities for Icons and other creatures which could show up in such a house.  With the somewhat confrontational nature of "Bosom Buddies," perhaps this is a house where we see our favorite Icons at war with one another...The Usher and The Director would certainly be an interesting pairing for such an event.  Even if it ends up being just a journey into the horrific past of this event, I just have a gut feeling that "Bosom Buddies" is our Other Icons house for this year....though I've been wrong before.

Possibility 2: Jack versus Eddie (Original House)

Another guess which comes more from fan consensus than my own feelings.  With "Bosom Buddies" involving a bit of a rivalry and Jack making his triumphant return this year, what if Universal had a house featuring their two dear brothers going at it?  Eddie, an unused Icon from HHN's past, is indeed the brother of Jack the Clown.  The chainsaw-wielding maniac is a huge fan favorite, so his inclusion in this year's event would be a huge, welcome surprise for many.  What if this house featured our Icon having his throne challenged by the brother who never got the spotlight?  It certainly makes for an interesting concept...one that would definitely provide more back story for the super fans who are dying to have more depth given to the world of HHN.  I'm not so convinced by this one, but I am definitely in agreement with many of the fans that this clue is to an icon-centric house.  Eddie will probably be at HHN 25, but fighting his brother or the two of them splitting a house? I'm not so sure...

Other (Not Likely) Possibilities: Alien vs Predator, Freddy vs Jason

What do you think Dr. Jimmy's first three clues could be pointing us to?  Are you already becoming excited for HHN 25?  Let us know in the comments below!

Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights will take place on select nights from September 18 - November 1

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