Oh, For the Love of Chucky
Hollywood Horror Nights
Written by: The Bat
Hollywood Horror Nights is infamous for its big-name haunts with their detailed sets. It is also becoming infamous for something not so good: the lines. People have said that the lines are scarier than the haunts. But I should start from the beginning.
When the Dragon suggested that we may want to see Hollywood Horror Nights during our trip up the coast, I only knew about two of the haunts: Last of Us and Stranger Things. These were both shows we had both seen and enjoyed. Then I looked further into the event and saw a name that clinched it for me: Chucky.
Both the Dragon and I are huge Chucky fans. We love all the movies (Bride of Chucky is my favorite). We also enjoyed the show and have quite a bit of Chucky merch. I’m not admitting to being this obsessed, but there may or may not be full-size Chucky and Tiffany dolls gracing one of the bookcases in my room.
So we researched ticket prices. There are normal tickets, front-of-the-line tickets, and VIP front-of-line tickets. The normal tickets vary depending on the day of your visit but are around a hundred bucks. The Front-of-line and VIP tickets are three, sometimes four times the price. We got GA tickets and told ourselves that we needed to manage our expectations. We will not get to see everything, but that is ok.
It was a very good thing that we decided to manage expectations. We saw two haunts, three scare zones, the Chucky restaurant, and Chucky store, and waited in about 5 hours of lines. To lend some context, there were four big-name haunts, as well as several smaller ones and a scare tram. So we saw less than half of the available haunts.
We chose the Last of Us haunt first, because I wanted to see the makeup on the monsters. They look very elaborate in the show. So we waited in line….for more than 3 hours. We finally got to the door and walked through an adventure full of gunshots and monsters, led by actors portraying Joel and Ellie. It was good, but was it, three hours in line good?
We decided we were hungry, so we went to the Chucky-themed BBQ. The drinks were amazing! They had floating gummy eyes and cotton candy on top and tasted amazing. The food was ok. After that was the Chucky store, and then the Chucky haunt, the goal of the entire night.
The night was a success for us, but only because we chose to manage expectations. But here is the actual Haunt Review, (including scare zones, but not restaurants or stores) of what we were able to see at Hollywood Horror Nights.
The scare zones were beautifully put together. Just the right amount of fog to make it so we could not tell what was coming at us, but not too much to see the actors. There were small themed displays in each for photo ops and even one that shot fire into the air! That one became our base point to find our way around. One of the best scare zones was a version of a set that was already in existence. We had to walk through Harry Potter Land’s Diagon Alley. It was amazingly creepy with the fog, darkness, and appropriately placed Death Eaters!
The Last of Us haunt seemed well done, from what we were able to see. The lines were not decorated, which was a bit sad. But it also made sense if they had to take the decor down every day for normal operations. The inside was post-apocalyptic perfection, with wrecked cars and blood-splattered walls. The theme of the haunt was escaping monsters, which involved them telling us to hurry constantly. While I normally like to take my time, I succumbed and rushed through fairly fast. Because of that, I honestly don’t remember too many details of the sets. I do remember the overall feeling though, and the sets lent to it.
The Chucky haunt, on the other hand, was everything I could have wished for. The outside was a Good Guy Factory, but all of the dolls stacked up were Chucky! A few of the boxes had active screens, and the dolls talked to each other! The lines were pre-recorded, and got a bit old after an hour or so, but still, awesome to see.
Inside the haunt was even better. They had Chucky, sometimes with Tiffany and Glenn/Glenda, killing people in every gruesome way you could imagine! The sets were divided into seasons and themes; the dolls were scattered everywhere! I counted four Tiffany appearances, but the Dragon says I might have missed a couple. They also added in one scene from the TV show, put together perfectly Don’t worry, movie fans, it also tied it into the haunt. You won’t even know you’re supposed to recognize it. I will not tell you which scene, as it will have spoilers for the show and the haunt. If you watched season 2, you will get it when you see it.
The scare zones were filled with actors, all of varying degrees of talent. There were some that did a short scare and then walked away. It made me wonder if they had been told to do that, or if that was all the scare they had. There were a couple that fully engaged the guests, having drawn-out interactions in character. That made me happy to see, as that is the way I believe that a good strolling character should act. The stilt walkers had beautiful costumes and moved very gracefully. I don’t remember seeing any sliders, but with the crowds so thick, I doubt they would have been able to perform safely.
The Last of Us haunt had the most actual acting. Various Joel and Ellie actors appear at different points throughout the haunt, egging the visitors on and urging them to keep up. There was also a set that acted out a pre-recorded scene from the show at the entrance. They were lip-sync acting, with the lines from the show playing over the speakers. They still did a good job with pacing and blocking, which is a challenge in itself.
I was a bit disappointed in the monsters. They were mostly wearing prefabricated masks. The masks were very well done and would be scary to anyone afraid of the mushroom monsters (Not my name for them, but I loved it, so I used it.) However, I was hoping for a bit more makeup and prosthetics blended with normal human faces. The creatures had humanoid form, but no “human” left. Maybe that is the way they are supposed to look in the game, but I admit, I have never played it.
The Chucky haunt didn’t really have actors. The dolls are the main feature, of course! You can expect to hear the voice of Chucky, voiced by Brad Dourif, throughout the haunt, but no one else.
According to the maps, the scare zones each had a theme. If you look at the costumes and props along with a list of the themes, you can match them up. They weren’t overtly spelled out unless I was missing the signs in the chaos, but still good enough.
The themes in the haunts were perfectly portrayed. This makes sense, as the studio designed or owned the rights to the original shows. That means they were able to use as much of the material and voices as necessary. The Last of Us haunt was violent, frantic, and loud. The Chucky haunt was murderously fun, with campy theme music from the show and animatronic dolls in every room. You might even get to see a Chucky of Extraordinary Size….
I would not say anything here scared me. A couple of strolling actors got me to jump by coming out of the fog at the right time, with the right scare.
While the haunts were fun to go through, they didn’t scare me. The Last of Us haunt may have been better if we had not been completely frustrated by how long the line was, but we still enjoyed it. The Chucky one was more gruesome and fun than scary. Also, it was wet! If you go last, be prepared to get sprayed a bit. I was so happy with all of the show references; those made the haunt for me.