It seems like every year we attend the behind-the-scenes tour for Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood, it is freakishly hot outside. Well, it was literally hell when I arrived at Universal Studios Hollywood, since it was 100 degrees at 4:00pm! That must be a record. But how fitting…I was ready to preview the brand-new maze, Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3D with Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood Creative Director John Murdy and Art Director Chris Williams.
Named after “Alice Cooper Goes to Hell”, a studio album released in 1976, the new attraction is a direct sequel to “Welcome to My Nightmare”, which was a featured maze in Halloween Horror Nights 2011. Although fans were hesitant about bringing back the shock-rocker back to Horror Nights, it was revealed that the maze will be completely brand-new and in 3D. Last year’s maze was a complete surprise for us – we aren’t huge fans or Alice Cooper or too familiar with his music, but the maze brought amazing energy, originality, and unique scares. Actually, it was a personal favorite of mine out of the 2011 line-up and it is extremely exciting to see Alice Cooper in a new form this year. What is great about Halloween Horror Nights – not matter what IP they use in video games or films – the mazes work for both die hard and casual fans. There is no absolute need to be familiar with Alice Cooper to enjoy the maze, but there are sure surprises and details that will impress the uber fan.
For Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3D, not only will the maze feature elements from Alice Cooper’s music, “Goes to Hell” was heavily inspired by “Dante’s Inferno” – a 14th century epic and classic poem that journeys through the 9 circles of Hell. In the poem, it journeys readers through the various levels of Hells and how people are punished based on their crimes/sins. You can only imagine how the Horror Nights team have managed to integrate this into their own comtemporary twist. Lust. Greed. Purgatory. Blood. Guts. 3D. Demon babies. Limbo.
When we approached the facade, everyone was stunned. I gazed at the bright colors that were lit perfectly in the sun and the gigantic snake head that serves as the entrance for guests to the maze. Murdy explained the design research for the facade as to “riff the bit of the old days of Coney Island” with inspiration from long gone carny dark rides such as Hellgate. As guests approach the maze, the 3D begins immediately as “Goes to Hell” by Alice Cooper blares through the speakers. 2012 is not the first year to utilize 3D – two years ago, John Murdy and Chris Williams successfully invented their own way to utilize 3D through LED fixtures and traditional UV black light in Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses. For Goes to Hell, the 3D will be taken to the next level by achiving movement through florescent lighting.
Once the guests enter the maze, they begin to venture deeper into Hell. Each room represents the level of Hell such as Limbo, Vanity, Purgatory, and Gates of Hell with a unique and modern twist. In each room, various Alice Cooper tunes will be mashed-up into one track that properly represents each unique area, such as “DaDa” and ““Titanic Overture”. And of course, there will many characters that will lurk in the dark.
“For choosing to be a living obscenity. You can go to Hell”
Murdy and Williams led us into the biggest room that Horror Nights Hollywood has ever done – the Gates of Hell, which will be nearly engulfed in water! The room is definitely incredible – there will be 4-5 different channels of audio featuring “This House is Haunted” mixed with the wailing of the damned, sound of a snake, water, and screaming.
Whether you are a fan of Alice Cooper or not, Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3D will be a treat for every kind of fan. Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood opens on September 21 – do not forget to venture inside the chaos of Hell!
– Johanna Atilano
Visit http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/hollywood/2012/ for more information.