Greetings internet dwellers!
This time of year, rumors and speculation tend to fly fast and furious. We know the event is actively in full development. It's been so for quite some time. We do actually have some tangible information. For both coasts. John Murdy, has already dropped his first code name for Hollywood's event- Wisconsin.
I don't try, nor do I want to run circles around Murdy's clues. I am a patient person, but not that patient. His clues are for people much smarter, and with much more patience than me.
In Orlando, we know the first house treatment has been completed. Not too long ago, Mike Aiello sent out a picture via the HHN Twitter account, of the cover of the first house treatment being worked on. It was also revealed, that specific treatment was for an original house concept (in other words, not an IP).
Recently, a slew of tweets were given out by Mike Aiello, updating on where the even stands at the planning stages. A few interesting details may have come out of this. Perhaps Hollywood and Orlando, will share a lot more than they did last year. We know via Murdy, that Wisconsin is based on an existing property. It is also something that has been "requested" by the fans.
It could just be that Wisconsin, is perhaps Freddy Vs. Jason. Last year, HHN Hollywood fans, were not very happy with Murdy, for not bringing the property to their event.
Aiello's final tweet, caught my attention. Who are these multiple stakeholders? The first thing that comes to mind, is AMC. HHN Orlando tried this once before, to less than stellar results. Another all Walking Dead year, wouldn't be such a good idea. However, you can interpret the tweet multiple ways. Perhaps this could even be J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros.. Still, it has already started the squabbling around the HHN forums.
This brings us to the rumors. Last year, the entire event was spoiled early. For some of us, a little too early. Like, February early. Needless to say, most of the time, the powers that be already know what they want, and where they are going for the year.
Like every year though, things change and change they often do. Last year was another good example of that. It also showed just how late in the game changes can happen. This year, a few of the normal rumors that pop up every year, are indeed apparent.
This year though, some of those normal rumors, may have some truth. Let's take a look.
That old two park rumor. Every year, this is speculated. Every year, it doesn't happen. However, this year, there may be a better chance than normal to hold the event in two parks. Universal Studios Florida is once again, a construction zone. With the Twister building being a bulldozer hangout, this could cause a bit of a traffic flow nightmare. Entrances at the normal exits, exits at the normal entrances- you get the drift. Then there is the Disaster queue. That location is now gone.
With last year having nine houses, it would probably be a mistake for HHN to go backwards this year. This happened similarly in 2012. Universal Studios Florida, was a construction zone, and they ran out of space (and time), to do eight houses. They almost came close to doing six houses. Taking one house away, was bad enough, but just doing six would have been even worse.
Holding the event in two parks (or half of both), would open the door for more space to do a few extra houses. Maybe (dare I say), more than nine. The tweet about the stakeholders, may have some merit here. Maybe they are talking to J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., and the Geisel estate, to allow some Horror Nights elements over at Islands of Adventure.
Nevertheless, the problem with holding the event in two parks (or half of both), is cost. It is very expensive to do that. There is a reason they only did it once. On the other hand, perhaps the time is right for them to go back to that. With the event now bigger than it was in 2004 (and more expensive to attend), and the lack of space, it might be time to pull that trigger again.
With the successful return of Jack the Clown last year, fans want Icons to continue again. I have always been of the mind that Icons don't matter. I've expressed why multiple times. However, they do add that extra flare, and fans eat it up.
I've heard a few rumblings. Some chatter suggests a brand new Icon. Others, suggest a return of The Caretaker. With the "reboot" that Jack the Clown got last year, there seems to be a few people who believe that HHN, has an interest in doing the same for their most popular Icons. If you follow the line of Icons, The Caretaker would be the next official one.
However, in the practice of full information, we must talk about Eddie. We know that, Eddie was supposed to be the Icon in 2001. September, 11th changed that. At the end of the event last year, a rumor popped up which suggested that Eddie would join Jack the Clown on stage, for the last performance of The Carnage Returns show. Further, Eddie would fight his brother and kill him. This would pave the way for Eddie to be the Icon of HHN XXVI.
While that never happened, and was probably totally fueled by fanboy delusion, one can't rule out Eddie perhaps getting a moment to shine. If there is some truth to the reboot rumor, I would have to think Eddie would be next.
Another bit of rumbling, suggests that Dr. Oddfellow may come into play. If you are not familiar with some of Jack the Clown's backtory, Dr. Oddfellow plays a role in it. It might be fitting to bring him in somehow. You even have a gateway to perhaps bring Jack back in a house, Scare Zone, or a show.
On a personal note, I have a funny feeling there will be no Icon this year. And if there is, it could even be Jack the Clown again.
As I have said a few times in the past, "insert cross promotion house here." There are always horror films that come out throughout the year, that fans clamor and wish, HHN would bring to the event. The Conjuring, is not a new one.
With the success of the Insidious house last year, and The Conjuring sequel coming out this summer, the property may have a really good shot at coming to the event. It doesn't hurt matters that The Conjuring, is directed by James Wan, who also did Insidious 1 & 2, Saw, and Dead Silence: The Curse of Mary Shaw. So, he has a history with HHN.
On a personal note, while I think The Conjuring is one of the best horror films to come out in a long time, there is a part of me that doesn't want it to come to the event. I just don't see how you can do it. Especially after Insidious. What? Another generic haunted house? They just seem too similar at this point. Granted, we have not yet seen the sequel, so I digress.
The Krampus rumor, is also nothing new. It was rumored last year. Beyond the film, HHN Hollywood fueled those rumors the year before, with their Dark Christmas Scare Zone. Everyone immediately jumped on that bandwagon.
The problem here, is that Krampus wasn't that huge. It faded into obscurity after its opening weekend. Granted, it made forty-five million dollars, on a sixteen million dollar budget. However, one could say that about a lot of horror films these days. The film had virtually no buzz, outside some die-hard horror aficionados. While the Krampus legend was huge for a hot minute, it's pretty much all died down.
That being said, I think its chances might be higher than not. Maybe even more so than The Conjuring. It opens up a plethora of things for A&D to do.
THE WALKING DEAD/FEAR THE WALKING DEAD
At this point, if The Walking Dead was to show up at the event again, its very appearance has become something of self-parody. It's almost comical at this point. I would even go so far as to say that HHN, is now trolling its die-hard fans with the property.
Still, the hatred for the property at HHN, blinds fanboys to the fact that the show, is still immensely popular, and still breaking records. The same goes for the new spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead.
As much as some will hate to hear it, a return for The Walking Dead, is probably very likely. However, the real question is, will they spin it and try to market it as Fear the Walking Dead, and not the original show. My only request with The Walking Dead, is to do it in a sound stage. It belongs there.
While we are on the subject of returning properties... We all know what happened last year. If you don't, the short story is The Purge was originally Scream, which was canceled very late in the game. This could come back to bite them in the ass.
It's entirely possible that The Purge was on the docket for HHN XXVI, to coincide with the sequel/prequel thingy, coming out in July. However, the Scream fiasco may have forced their hand last year, and now they may be stuck doing it as a house two years in a row.
AMERICAN HORROR STORY
Like the two park rumor that pops up every year, so has this in recent years. Fairly certain this ship has sailed. In fact, it has sailed and sunk. And We're moving on.
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
This one is fairly new. While I get that HHN may want to ride some of that Freddy Vs. Jason wave of euphoria for this year, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. There's nothing new coming out, and it truly would just be done to ride the slasher wave started with Halloween.
Unlike Halloween though, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has been done at HHN before. I don't see any real reason to do another one this year. If a version of Texas Chainsaw was to come, it would seem a little too out of the blue. Fans asked for Freddy Vs. Jason, especially after Alien Vs. Predator. I don't recall a huge push to bring The Texas Chainsaw Massacre back.
Unless, I missed something.
A house based entirely around Hitchcock films, was rumored last year as well. To be honest, pretty sure this got really close to actually happening last year. The issue is how to do it. I'm not sure how it would work entirely, and I've read some criticisms about how Hitch isn't "horror."
To which, I won't respond because I may just kill someone.
ASH VS. THE EVIL DEAD
The new Starz show was very successful, and it's getting another season. HHN has tackled Evil Dead in the past, but it was the shitty remake, so that doesn't count. Finally having Ash in an Evil Dead inspired house, seems like a no-brainer.
To be honest, I think it's chances are very groovy.
Another one of those dream properties, that fans ask for every year. The year before last, it was "definitely happening" because it was the 30th anniversary. We all know that didn't happen. I think if HHN were to do a Ghostbusters house this year based on the new film, that may not sit well with some.
That would be like finally bringing Halloween to HHN, but basing it on the Rob Zombie version. Or finally bringing an Evil Dead house to the event, but basing it on the remake. Oh, wait...
Granted, we don't know what the new film will be like, but that may be playing Russian Roulette with the property.
Yet another one of those dream things. The Lovecraft idea gets tossed around a lot. It's nothing new. I know it's something that has been looked at in the past, but it never comes to fruition. It could be a hard task to tackle, but the prospect is intriguing.
Lovecraft, has a huge following. It might be time to finally do it.
Aside from intellectual properties, I am not hearing a lot about original concept houses. I may have heard one or two things, but I'll keep those to myself for now.
Anyway, don't be surprised if HHN Orlando, starts dangling the carrot very soon.
Hasta La Bye-bye for now.
HHN LEGACY OWNER