On September 10th, we were invited to a behind-the-scenes tour of another new Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood maze, WELCOME TO SILENT HILL. Based on the video games and films, the maze will feature iconic characters from the franchise, details that will impress the hardcore fans, and the haunting sounds that music composer Akira Yamaoka has mastered. I have to admit, I am a Silent Hill junkie. I won’t call myself a huge fan, since I haven’t played all the games or beat them, but the premise, originality, and darkness has always intrigued me. I suck at playing video games, so when I did play Silent Hill, I would always get stuck in one room or get too scared that I’d run in circles and eventually die! When the film came out in 2006, I think it introduced many new fans to the franchise and it validated my love for it. So, once it was announced on the Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood Twitter, I jumped up and down with joy! In previous years, I’ve tweeted John Murdy on Twitter, “DO SILENT HILL! DO SILENT HILL! DO HELLRAISER! SILENT HILL!” I always assumed that it didn’t have a big enough franchise, so it was never considered. But now with a new film “Silent Hill: Revelations” opening this October, it is a perfect match for Halloween Horror Nights.
Once you approach the entrance of the maze, you are immediately transported into the world of Silent Hill. While you begin to gaze upon the famous Silent Hill sign, the music (“Magdalene” by Akira Yamaoka) is what really sets the mood before entering the maze. One of my favorite elements of Silent Hill is the beautiful music. Written by Japanese music composer Akira Yamaoka, he has created hundreds of unique tracks for the video games and John Murdy has definitely taken advantage of that. When designing the music for the maze, Murdy listened to all of the Silent Hill soundtracks and even asked the fans on Twitter for their favorite song. Murdy was extremely overwhelmed with the recommendations – there were so many responses! When the team was done mixing the audio in the studio, the track was over 1 hour, 10 minutes! A typical walk-through of a maze at Halloween Horror Nights is 7-10 minutes, but with over an hour of music, the experience will be different every time a guest walks through the maze. It’ll definitely be a treat for those who can brave Silent Hill a second time!
Where will you be? Throughout the maze, you will be venturing back and forth through Fog World and Otherworld. What distinguishes these two “worlds” is that Fog World lies between the “Real World” and Otherworld – in other words, the “safe zone” or “less dangerous” area. In the parallel universe Otherworld, you are entering the nightmare – where all the creatures and monsters of Silent Hill come to play. As shown in the film and video games, the siren is a good indicator of when the horrible transition is ready to transpire. The siren still gives me chills because you know something bad is coming. Other locations you will be visiting is Midwich Elementary School, the town of Silent Hill, the sewers, and Brookhaven Hospital. And who will you meet? The most intriguing element of Silent Hill is the characters. When John Murdy asked the fans on Twitter who they would like to meet in the maze, everyone answered with PYRAMID HEAD and the NURSES. And you bet there will be many of them inside the maze. Perhaps 5 Pyramid Heads? Oh hell, he is really scary (I will run when this 9 foot tall creature comes after me). Or what about the Boogeyman? Alessa Gillespie? Colin the Janitor? Robbie the Rabbit? You will face all these characters in the world of Silent Hill. It’s going to be amazing. But will you smell anything? That’s a question that only Halloween Horror Nights fans understand. In every maze, scents are pumped throughout different scenes. In past mazes, there have been good, but truly awful scents. In SAW: Game Over, one particular room had the scent of…poo and pee. Yep. And it was so strong that the team at Horror Nights have decided to never use that scent again! But it isn’t too bad in Silent Hill…you’ll just be smelling pee. But it gets better. In the amusement park scene where you encounter Robbie the Rabbit, it will smell like cotton candy! (I told you it gets better).
By the end of the tour, I was exhausted by the excitement. This is something that I’ve always wanted to see at Halloween Horror Nights – when it came to surveys, I always suggested Silent Hill. No fan will be disappointed. Every casual fan will love it. Come see the madness at Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood when it opens on September 21st.
Universal gave us a unique opportunity to provide a 90 second clip from the maze tour – take a look at the video above where you will see various props, rooms, and hear John Murdy talk about Welcome to Silent Hill!
Visit http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/hollywood/2012/ for more information.