Common Halloween Horror Nights Goes Bloody for ‘Freaky’ and ‘The Black Telephone’


For many people, it is essentially the most great time of the yr because the Halloween season is upon us and with it the return of many beloved annual Halloween occasions. Some of the vital is, after all, Common’s Halloween Horror Nights, which is again at each Common Studios Hollywood and Common Orlando Resort.

I attended a press preview at Common Hollywood for Halloween Horror Nights 2022, the place inventive director and government producer John Murdy took us by two mazes as they neared the end line. Learn on under to search out out what we have seen in mazes impressed by current Blumhouse motion pictures and one other primarily based on the traditional Common Monsters – and the way this yr goes even larger (and bloodier) by way of particular results.


There have been different The Horrors of Blumhouse homes on HHN earlier than, primarily based on movies from the prolific manufacturing firm comparable to Glad Loss of life Day, The Purge and Unfriended, however the brand new 2022 version focuses on 2020’s Freaky and 2022’s The Black Telephone.

In its earlier incarnations, the Blumhouse houses had a movie-themed entrance, however a change of location this yr, transferring it nearer to Common Hollywood’s Waterworld live performance area, required one thing completely different as a result of lack of peak that allowed them to construct. a correct cinema marquee. As Murdy defined, pointing above us: “We’re within the Waterworld queue, and there is this massive hanging shadow construction that is not really easy to take down. Actually, it’s extremely onerous to take down.”

Get into this yr’s retro video rental idea for the outside and entrance of the home. Murdy mentioned he is observed pop-up video shops turning into a pattern these days, together with the Los Angeles Slashback Video exhibit and a pop-up video retailer that Netflix made for the launch of its Concern Avenue trilogy.

For the Blumhouse HHN dwelling, the thought is that this video retailer mysteriously appeared in an previous, decaying shopping center (graffiti and particles would quickly be added on the time of our go to) with solely two motion pictures out there inside… Freaky and The Black Telephone.

With the ultimate props being finalized on the entrance, Murdy defined that stacks of VHS movies for the 2 movies can be on show, whereas an previous TV set alternated between the commercials for the 2 movies. As he mentioned, the thought was, “What we’re creating is a portal to hell disguised as a video retailer.

Then there will probably be a wierd crimson gentle and smoke emanating from it and naturally it’s a darkish and stormy night time. However you arrived at this video retailer and fortuitously for you, it is solely open one night time, however as quickly as you stroll by the doorways, you are transported into the world of flicks.”


Universal Halloween Horror Nights Goes Bloody for 'Freaky' and 'The Black Phone' 2

Strolling by a maze of Halloween Horror Nights, you will discover mounted props, “scareactors” and mannequins, plus a wholesome quantity of particular results, however for 2022, Murdy famous, “We’re actually making an attempt to step up our particular results and we’re doing much more with it. particular results, that are all sensible results due to the world we reside in.”

Whereas reside scares are priceless, typically mannequins are used just because a very grotesque second could be made much more graphic, as is the case with Freaky’s recreation of a sufferer who has a bottle of wine shoved down his throat by that one’s killer. film, The Blissfield Butcher, simply earlier than the body-shifting shenanigans start that energy that horror-comedy.

Murdy mentioned of this explicit loss of life: “It is horrible sufficient within the film Freaky, however we wish to make it a little bit extra horrible. So he is an animated determine that is squirming and also you hear him gasp.”

Pointing to an easy-to-miss object on the wall, Murdy added, “There is a beam sensor proper there and whenever you journey over it, it makes it puke throughout you. You bathe with it.” (Don’t be concerned people, vomiting is water! However at the hours of darkness, seeing these visuals, effectively, it may be a extremely efficient second…)

Additionally making an enormous impression is one other of Freaky’s extra memorable deaths, when store trainer Mr. Bernardi is killed by his pupil Millie (with the Butcher controlling his physique) when she actually splits him in two with a spinning blade.

Universal Halloween Horror Nights Goes Bloody for 'Freaky' and 'The Black Phone' 3

Murdy confirmed us Horror Nights’ extremely spectacular model of that loss of life and the way he (and the eventual scare enjoying Millie) might push the puppet ahead and we might see the top open earlier than our eyes. And whereas the blade itself wasn’t there but, simply seeing this reproduction of a human physique open a number of occasions in entrance of our eyes was actually one thing and garnered nice applause from passionate horror followers on tour.

Murdy mentioned this was actually one other instance of how the staff stepped up the particular impact this yr, noting that the HHN staff was. “Working with our engineers who already work right here as a part of our Technical Providers Division. These are the blokes who repair the animatronic dinosaurs in Jurassic World.

They got here to us this yr, willingly, and so they mentioned, ‘We’re large followers of Horror Nights. We might like to design some issues for you. And so they’re all like mechanical engineers. And I mentioned, ‘Sure! This is one for you. I wish to take a man and have them sawed in half and have their physique cut up open whereas they do it.” And so they discovered it!”


Universal Halloween Horror Nights Goes Bloody for 'Freaky' and 'The Black Phone' 4

As for the second half of The Horrors of Blumhouse, which focuses on the current hit The Black Telephone, it seems to be a cool and appropriately macabre distillation of the movie, which Murdy famous is taking you in reverse film order. In The Black Telephone, after younger Finney is kidnapped by the person the press has referred to as the Grabber, he wakes up in a basement and we solely slowly see extra of the home he’s being held in.

The HHN home begins on the high of the home – full with proof compiled from the Grabber’s personal brother searching for a kidnapper he does not understand is underneath his roof – and within the kitchen, recreating one of many scariest scenes within the film.

Whereas it is not the primary time it has been essential to recreate a particular scene, Murdy famous that they needed to ask potential Scareactors if they’d be okay with sitting shirtless to play the Grabber sitting within the chair, ready for Finney to return upstairs. . Murdy demonstrated how the scare would play the character as asleep, as he did within the movie, earlier than leaping out of the chair onto a visitor, serving to to ship him into the following room.

A key factor of The Black Telephone is that the Grabber has many alternative masks that he wears all through the movie, which is mirrored within the HHN home, the place he’s seen together with his varied seems to be all through. HHN homes usually have one final shock scare, however the Black Telephone home is especially massive on this regard, as we have been proven a hallway with a number of cut-out sections that can enable one Grabber after one other – all with completely different masks – to leap in the direction of the who stroll by.


Universal Halloween Horror Nights Goes Bloody for 'Freaky' and 'The Black Phone' 5

For a number of years now, HHN has been making homes with up to date variations of the traditional Common Monsters, however this yr, as in 2021, they’re taking them in a decidedly new route by ideas that basically hint motion pictures we by no means had.

In 2021, Common Monsters’ dwelling was The Bride of Frankenstein Lives, which instructed a sequel story to the long-lasting Bride of Frankenstein film, that includes the Bride and Frankenstein’s Monster. This time they’re even larger with Common Monsters: Legends Collide, which focuses on three characters: Dracula, the Werewolf, and the Mummy.

As Murdy identified, these three characters particularly by no means shared the display screen collectively, regardless of all of the crossovers that befell over time for the Common Monster motion pictures.

Universal Halloween Horror Nights Goes Bloody for 'Freaky' and 'The Black Phone' 6

Legends Collide is an idea that can be being made as a house at Halloween Horror Nights at Common Orlando Resort this yr. It’s typical for the homes within the two occasions to be fairly completely different, even when primarily based on the identical film or idea,

however Legends Collide will take it even additional. As Murdy recalled, though the three central characters have been chosen, the Common Orlando staff actually wished to set the story in Egypt, whereas Murdy was pushing for England.

Lastly, Murdy instructed that everybody make the state of affairs they wished “and we

and we are going to do an amazing factor.” So whereas each homes could be loved on their very own, for HHN fanatics who go to each parks yearly, know that Half 1 is taken into account the Common Orlando model of the story, with the setting of Egypt, whereas Half 2 is in England by way of the Common Hollywood model.


Universal Halloween Horror Nights Goes Bloody for 'Freaky' and 'The Black Phone' 7

Being a part of Common Studios has its perks, together with entry to used on-screen props. Murdy recalled collaborating with Stephen Sommers on the attraction The Mummy’s Revenge, primarily based on the Brendan Fraser movies directed by Sommers. Sommers then gave Murdy and his staff props from the movies that may in any other case have been destroyed and which had been in an offsite warehouse for all these years.

Now, with the Legend Collide home, there was nice alternative to make use of these props, with a number of remarkably massive statues filling the home, all hailing from the flicks.

These aren’t the one “made for a film” objects you may see, because the Highgate Cemetery set in a single space included crosses created for one more Sommers film, 2004’s Van Helsing, whereas one other room – inside the set of the British Museum that makes up for the home’s completion – has props that come from the 2002 Mummy spinoff The Scorpion King.

Universal Halloween Horror Nights Goes Bloody for 'Freaky' and 'The Black Phone' 8

Murdy additionally famous that they respect the chance to have the ability to reuse objects created in earlier years, but it surely’s even higher when it could possibly function a form of crossover. That is the case with Legends Collide, which at one level has the Brides of Dracula attacking you – with all three figures getting used final yr in The Bride of Frankenstein Lives, the place that very same trio have been enemies of the Bride of Frankenstein.

O Halloween Horror Nights 2022 begins September 8 at Common Studios Hollywood (Orlando version begins September 2).

CHECK OUT: Halloween Kills 2021: Jamie Lee Curtis talks about Laurie and Michael’s evolution

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