It’s that time of year again – time for skanky costumes, candy, pumpkin spice lattes, boots, The Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland, crisp weather, crunchy leaves, and being terrified out of your mind in Haunted Houses. The Animal Style Hurricane team boasts an impressive knowledge and taste for Haunted Houses, Mazes, Scare Zones and Experiences. Does it come from braving these ghoulish and frightening places of horror? Or perhaps from us paying a yearly visit to the Scare Zones of various Amusement parks?
Hell no. We are Certified Chickens. Shit, there are movie trailers that give us nightmares (I’m looking at you, The Conjuring, and your stupid clapping game.) Jen and I have scoured the internet for spoilers, poopers, explanations, walk-throughs, behind-the-scenes videos, and TV specials covering every detail of these Horror Experiences. We are then able to watch from the comfort and safety of our own living rooms, under blankets, while Skyping with each other (so we’re not alone, duh) to critique and evaluate.
We’ve done this tradition ever since we met – having a fascination with Haunted Houses that were offered around New York City, but were way too scared to actually visit one. This brings us to our first annual Top 6 YouTube Horror Experience Walk Throughs. Jen and I have each picked 3 of our favorite walk throughs and bring them to the rest of you fellow chickens out there. So turn all the lights on, grab a blanket (and maybe a stuffed animal), snuggle up on your couch and let ASH bring you the best scares of the 2013 Halloween Season.
We’d like to say a special thank you to those awesome filmmakers who have made this list possible. We don’t know how you made these videos without jolting the camera once.
Village of the Damned – Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA
Sydney’s Pick – This haunted walk through gave a great variety of scares. I rather enjoyed the use of the outside space, using clotheslines hung with bloodied sheets as a way of utilizing the cover of darkness and the wind to trick victims – was that the wind or is someone there? I also liked the sudden change of scenery from the dark creepy corners to the stark white of the mentally unstable rooms. It gave you a chance to see the amount of work and detail that goes into creating this haunted house.
Cabin in the Woods – Universal Studio, Orlando, FL
*SPOILERS FOR CABIN IN THE WOODS BELOW*
Jen’s Pick – Full Disclosure: I am a huge giddy fan of the movie Cabin in the Woods, and, when I found out they were doing a house as part of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal this year, I almost bought a ticket. Sadly, the rational adult part of my brain caught up before I made any rash purchases so I must satisfy myself with a YouTube walk through. If I’m honest with myself I wouldn’t have actually made it into the park much less through the house, but the movie was just so damn good. The walk through is really well done. (Inside the Magic really is a pro and you should subscribe to his page if you haven’t already.) I loved the set up: the events of the movie have happened, the ceremony has failed and you are walking through the wreckage. The details are insane from Jules’ decapitated body as you approach the cabin to the dismembered by trowel remains of a Buckner in the elevator. They went all out and they got it right. All of your favorites are there from Fornicus, Lord of Bondage and Pain and the Sugar Plum Fairy to the Doll Masks and the Surgeons. If you can brave Haunted Houses and can make it out Orlando GO, if not then do what I did and watch the video six times.
Forevermore Maze – Knott’s Scary Farm, Buena Vista, CA
Sydney’s Pick – I really enjoyed this maze, and not just because I’m an English Literature Major. They used Poe’s writing as a jumping off point for original sets and costumes, paying close attention to details and conveying an actual mood. The lighting is fantastic – I hate it when haunted houses just put you in the dark with no established ambiance, it’s boring and unoriginal (and we can’t see anything in the YouTube video). The props all made sense and the costumes kept the foreboding image of the Raven throughout the entire maze. The white bird masks kinda reminded me of Eyes Wide Shut…now that would be quite the walk through experience.
Evil Dead – Universal Studios, Orlando, FL
Jen’s Pick – I actually watched both the Orlando and the California versions of the Evil Dead Haunted House and found the Orlando one to be vastly superior. I loved the close up details of the Necronominon as you approach the cabin. Again there are great details in the recreation. The first scare actually made me jump. The actors seem very close which allows for some very clear line readings (or perhaps they were playing those over a sound system, I’m not 100% sure) that accentuate the experience.
Haunted Mansion – Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL
Sydney’s Pick – This (lengthy) video captures every detail of the Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. It’s much longer than any of the other videos on the list (it runs about 45 min, but I warned you), but it looks at the outside architecture, in-line details, tombstone engravings, hallway wallpaper, lighting fixtures and the happy haunts themselves. Since I live in California, I get to appreciate Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion whenever the Husband allows me to run wild in the park. It might not be frightening, but it is a haunted house and is a great look at an attraction that pays attention to the little things.
Insidious – Universal Studios, Studio City, CA
Jen’s Pick – The first scare of this house is very lame, but I promise it gets better from there! There are plenty of creepy half naked actors made up like demons to give you nightmares for a week. I heartily approve of their use of scrims to create the Further’s atmosphere. I also hate/love the use of live actors hidden among mannequins.