Good news if you’re going to be in Florida this Halloween. There are rumours that for its 25th anniversary, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights might have as its “big bad” feature the acclaimed An American Werewolf in London haunted house from 2013.
This rumour rolled out of a Rube Goldberg machine built from hints dropped by anonymous forum posters, annoyingly obfuscated editorializing on Orlando Informer and an interesting rundown of HHN attractions on Behind The Thrills (if you only read one linked post, make it this one).
No one actually knows what haunted house experiences Universal is calibrating to ruin your 7-year-old kid’s sleep this Halloween. It’s not even May yet. Deep in the bowls of Universal’s theme park operations, people in suits are probably calling each other to talk about contracts, brand exposure, and whether people really want a fourth year of damned The Walking Dead attractions. I bet the final call will be made with the help of an Excel spreadsheet that calculates “net revenue per terrified shriek”. But if the choice is based on community enthusiasm, An American Werewolf in London is a contender.
Says Behind The Thrills:
An American Werewolf in London definitely was a groundbreaking house for Halloween Horror Nights. It was based on the 1980 John Landis Horror/Comedy of the same name, and used huge lifelike puppets, and a painstakingly recreated set. The sets were identical to many scenes in the film, including the huge Tube Station scene. The puppets moved with ferocity, and energy that you couldn’t get from an animatronic.
Now, again according to fansite Orlando Informer, the house could be making a comeback for the 25th anniversary of Halloween Horror Nights. It was definitely celebrated as one of the greatest houses in Halloween Horror Nights history, and for good reason.
There’s some grumbling that Universal ought to be featuring 100% new intellectual property in what many consider to be a flagship event, but as the Orlando Informer post says,
Should the property be making a comeback appearance, it may very well be one of the few instances in (modern) theme park history where quality over branding wins – and wins decisively.
Check out this video walkthrough for a glimpse at the 2013 incarnation of the AWIL house. Video is a poor medium through which to experience something as visceral as a haunted house, but this certainly looks like an attraction worth bringing back.