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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Halloween Horror Nights 25 Speculation Part 2: A Freakshow and More

Lots more clues for this year's Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando have come about since my last post, but I'm going to stick to my earlier format: This article is going to take a look at the next three clues by Dr. Jimmy.  I will say that, as of writing this, we currently have THIRTEEN clues from the good doctor.  If only 8 of them are haunted houses, that means 1-2 could be shows, and 3-4 scare zones.  Although....if more clues are to come, this could go along with current speculation that HHN 25 is going to feature more houses and more scare zones than ever.

Anyway, let's get to the Clues 4-6:

Clue #4 - "Come Look at the Freaks" - Side Show

This song comes from the 1997 musical Side Show, which tells the story of two conjoined twins, who make a living as part of a freak show.  Everything else about this clue is pretty self explanatory...

Possibility 1: American Horror Story Freakshow

This one seems the most obvious out of every possible interpretation of Dr. Jimmy's clue.  Ryan Murphy's popular horror series, American Horror Story, has long been rumored to have a place at the event, especially when patience with The Walking Dead began to wear thin.  While it seems all but certain that we will once again be seeing AMC's zombie series, could a house based on the third season of FX's anthology series, Freakshow, be a part of the event?  It's certainly possible.  Both shows attract two different audiences, with just a bit of overlap.  Walking Dead would obviously attract more of a general public type crowd, but American Horror Story opens things up for a house to have more diverse scares.  The clown on the right would certainly provide more chills than any zombie.  But would this be over-saturation?  Not only two houses based on TV shows, but, potentially, two houses focused on clowns/carnivals?  As you'll see in my second guess, American Horror Story just feels a bit too on the nose for this clue.

Possibility 2: HHN Freaks (Scare Zone)

Admittedly, this possibility comes from a video from Sir Owen Disney, but I have to agree that this seems to be the most likely of the two.  This interpretation of the clue comes from the idea that HHN 25 will be a celebration of everything Horror Nights has done over the past two decades.  That means, acknowledging their past use of several sideshow style attractions in the park.  The most famous of said attractions would be the infamous Rat Lady (pictured), a staple of Horror Nights and most recently used in 2011 as part of HHN 21.  With all of this in mind, I think Dr. Jimmy's clue is pointing us to a potential Scare Zone of freaks from HHN's past.  While this may not have a ton of actual scares, it's not only a nice recognition of what has come before, but it gives Universal a chance to have more scare zones than normal as this one would not take up a ton of room.

Clue #5 - "I Don't Know How to Love Him" - Jesus Christ Superstar

Out of the original batch of seven clues, I found this one to be the hardest to crack.  The song comes from the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Jesus Christ Superstar and deals with the unrequited love Mary Magdalene feels for Jesus.  Once again, I have to thank Sir Owen Disney for giving some great insight through his video, allowing me to have a solid interpretation of this clue (my only solid interpretation).

Possibility: An American Werewolf in London

This is an, albeit, odd interpretation of the clue, but one that I could definitely see fitting.  According to the aforementioned video, Dr. Jimmy's choice in lyrics could be referring to some unrequited love between Nurse Alex Price and David Kessler from John Landis' horror classic An American Werewolf in London.  Price could feel that her love is not being returned as David spends much of the latter half of the film as a ravenous werewolf.  The classic film was featured just two years ago at Horror Nights (my first year to attend), and was even done just last year at Universal Studios Hollywood.  But, with HHN 25 seemingly setting itself up to be a greatest hits album of Horror Nights past, American Werewolf's return certainly couldn't be completely out of the question.  HHN fans would not have too much to complain about as the original house is often seen as one of the best the park has ever done in their long history.  A return would be welcome as long as enough changes were made.

Other (Not Likely) Possibility: Psycho

Clue #6 - "Science Fiction Double Feature" - The Rocky Horror Show

This one needs no explanation as longtime fans of both Horror Nights and musicals will no doubt be familiar with the song and its implications.

Possibility 1: Rocky Horror Picture Show (Tribute Show)

Last year, Dr. Jimmy's clue with a Rocky Horror song was indeed an indication that the Tribute Show would be returning to the event.  The film is certainly a staple of the season, and Universal's tribute show (only done during HHN) is popular...but is it as popular as it used to be?  Certainly it goes with the whole honor the past motif, but would Universal be willing to have Rocky Horror come back again if crowd reaction is mixed, making the show a glorified way to sit for half an hour without getting bored?

Possibility 2: Sci-Fi B-Movies (Original House)

If there is one thing Universal is known for in film history besides creating the Universal Monsters, it's the way the studio contributed to the 1950's genre of Sci-fi films better known as B-movies.  The campy flicks are often enjoyed today for more of their humorous nature, but, if done in an interesting way, what if these silly films became scary once again?  This is more of a literal interpretation of Dr. Jimmy's clue, but is yet again another great way of acknowledging the past in a new, original way.  Imagine, if you will, an original house inspired by films like Creature from the Black Lagoon, This Island Earth, The Thing from Another World, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  Or, also a possibility, a collection of the greatest moments of each of these films.  But how would a maze like this be different from, say, a Universal Monsters house?  I'm glad you asked.  A B-movie haunted house would be an awesome way for Universal to bring back the 3-D haunted house.  We last saw use of the technique two years ago with the mediocre Afterlife: Death's Vengeance, but, if done well, a 3-D haunted house inspired by classic sci-fi films could be a ton of fun.

So what do you think this second batch of Dr. Jimmy clues could be pointing towards?  What are YOU excited to see at Halloween Horror Nights this year?

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

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