Greetings internet dwellers.
HHN XXV has come to an end. Another year, and another event has ceased operation. After more than a month, the fog has stopped spewing, the Scareactor's have retreated into their Boo-hole's for the last time, and daylight has once again taken over Universal Orlando.
So let's talk about this year...
One of the reasons I like to go as much as possible over time, is to see how things progress. Houses change rhythm and flow all the time. Approaches to how they scare people, tactics, and their overall impressions, tend to evolve as the event goes on.
HHN XXV, saw a LOT of changes over the course of its run. And not just in the houses. Actor's in the streets constantly changed their roles, characters were added all over the place, costumes changed... I have never seen so many things change face like this before.
Whole characters were even omitted in certain houses. This was both fun, and weird at the same time. On one hand, it offered something different each time at the event. It became a cool game of spot what's different. Over in the Icons Scare Zone, new characters were constantly being added to the line-up. From The Crypt Keeper, to Eddie; every week, seemed to reveal something new over there.
While I can't fault the event for this, it is something to note. One can speculate all over the place as to why, but I won't do it here.
Certain aspects of the event, never felt completely done. Right from the start, there were REALLY important elements missing. Example: the Freddy's in Freddy Vs. Jason, or the Jack masks in 25 Years of Monsters & Mayhem.
Perhaps this go big for the 25th anniversary mentality, kind of hit the design team in the rear a little bit. After all, the event started a week earlier than originally scheduled, but things should be ready regardless.
That being said, this year really felt like a party. I liked the whole vibe given off this year. Bringing Jack back into the picture, didn't hurt either. Despite my feelings towards him as an Icon, it was the right call for this year.
That being said, let's move on to the houses...
or me, this year saw a wide range when it came to the quality of the houses. You had a few that were awesome, a few that were OK, and a few really bad ones. Really, my top three houses of the year can be switched and moved. They were all really solid. A few just stood out for different reasons.
The majority of the houses this year, were grand. Made larger than life, for the 25th anniversary. While sometimes the "go big or go home" mentality paid off, there were a few times where it didn't. At least they put in the effort.
I did notice a few of the houses that were really solid and intense the first few weeks, lost a little bit of steam towards the end. Body Collectors dropped off a bit in intensity as the event went on. Jack Presents, was a little hit or miss as the event went on also. A few characters seemed to vanish from that house halfway through the run of the event.
Overall, when the houses were working they were working. When they weren't they weren't. A few disappointments are also a given, as it is just the law of averages.
So, without further stalling, my final house rankings for HHN XXV.
9. THE WALKING DEAD: THE LIVING AND THE DEAD
8. ASYLUM IN WONDERLAND 3d
7. AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON
6. RUN: BLOOD, SWEAT AND FEARS
5. THE PURGE
4. BODY COLLECTORS: RECOLLECTIONS
3. FREDDY VS. JASON
1. JACK PRESENTS: 25 YEARS OF MONSTERS & MAYHEM
The Scare Zones this year, were well done for the most part. One of the biggest problems facing the Zones, were crowds. Lots, and lots, of people. While the event as a whole, wasn't as crowded as it has been, I think a lot more people were just hanging out in the streets this year.
Evil's Roots, was almost always crowded, and the Carnage Returns show didn't help much. Putting the stage there was a bad idea.
Another problem facing the Scare Zones: selfies. Selfies with scareactor's should be banned in the future. Not only is it annoying (and rude) when someone just walks up to a character, ruining a photo you were already taking, it compromises scareactor safety.
The selfie opens up issues with getting too close to the performers. Especially when it is spur of the moment. And there is usually touching involved. It violates their personal space, and is a gateway invitation to problems.
5. SCARY TALES: SCREAMPUNK
4. ALL NITE DIE-IN: DOUBLE FEATURE
3. ICONS: HHN
2. EVIL'S ROOTS
1. PSYCHOSCAREAPY: UNLEASHED
The roaming hordes were a very good idea. While they were just generic chainsaw scares, they filled in some of the gaps nicely.
BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE
THE CARNAGE RETURNS
LEGENDARY TRUTH 2015
While I can't say anything really specific, I will say that the experience was really well done. The finale of this thing was INSANE. I still can't shake that final part of the investigation.
I will say this, the way in which the experience was organized, was a total cluster. And in many ways, was a slap in the face to those players who have been playing for a long time. It could leave a sour taste in a lot of people's mouths.
Making this experience so limited, and last minute, was a mistake. The entire thing took us two-hours to complete. And yes, while they warn you it could take a long time, that's a tough pill to swallow for some as well.
I had a good experience, but those who did not get to do it, after returns times went faster than a Justin Beiber concert, well...
HHN XXV, was a very big year. It felt big, and larger than life. While a few houses were not up to par, the majority of them were really fun, or way above par. While every year, there are things that could be improved, this year felt spread out.
There was a lot to do, and the strength of the Scare Zones helped a great deal. I think we may be in for a few changes next year with certain things. With the loss of one, and maybe more venue's pending, it could get very interesting. Overall, HHN XXV was a very solid year. A good time was had by all.
I really hope you enjoyed me sharing my experience this year with you guys. It's been a fun year. I was worried after my recent surgeries, I wouldn't be able to keep up. While I am exhausted, I would do it again in a heartbeat.
I wanted to keep this review a little shorter than normal. Since I ran a running commentary throughout the event, you can get a good idea what I thought of this year.
A huge thank you to all the people I hung out with this year, and to all those new folks I met, hello! Another huge thanks to HHNCrypt.com, for allowing me to get a sneak peek at all the HHN XXV goodies early.
And that closes the books on HHN XXV.
HHN XXV FINAL RATING: 4/5
HHN LEGACY OWNER