Tag Archives: John Murdy

What an Excellent Day – The Exorcist Maze is Finally Coming to Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando for Halloween Horror Nights

Exorcist at USH-HHN 2016Fans of Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights will tell you, John Murdy (Creative Director, HHN Hollywood) and Chris Williams (Art Director, HHN Hollywood) have wanted to land The Exorcist for a long time as an HHN maze property. At the same time, whenever the subject has been brought up in public, fans return the desire with enthusiastic cheers and applause. This week, that unholy wish has been granted, as Universal announced The Exorcist for both its California and Florida events.

In an interview I did with Chris Williams, he noted that the one IP he’s always wanted to have as a maze at Horror Nights is The Exorcist.

“I began entertaining that thought five or six years ago. I’m a very spiritual person,” explained Williams. “The more I thought about it, I would love to make it so scary on Saturday night, that you might find yourself sitting in church on Sunday morning!”

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Knott’s Berry Farm Joins Universal Studios Hollywood, Queen Mary, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Walt Disney Imagineering at Midsummer Scream

Knott's Scary FarmMidsummer Scream Halloween Festival proudly announces that it has secured the biggest names and brands in themed entertainment as partnering content providers for its debut event to be held July 30 – 31 at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Midsummer Scream is California’s premier Halloween, haunt and horror festival featuring more than 100,000 square feet of artisan vendors, live entertainment, specialty workshops, makeup demonstrations, a screening room, haunted attraction previews and experiences, a darkened scare zone and more.

Fans of all ages will be thrilled and captivated this summer by world-class panel presentations by the leaders in themed entertainment as they wow Midsummer Scream audiences with 2016 maze reveals, special guests and heart-stopping surprises throughout the final weekend in July at the Long Beach Convention Center.

Knott’s Berry Farm is the most recent major attraction to join Midsummer Scream’s world-class lineup, rounding-out the bulk of Southern California’s theme park/major Halloween events that draw millions to Los Angeles and Orange County each autumn.

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Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood 2015 Review

Horror_Nights_2015_4957It’s always a weird thing when the opening of Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights comes and goes. There’s so much hype leading up to the event – from Creative Director/Executive Producer John Murdy’s cryptic messages and hints on social media, to the major announcement he and Art Director Chris Williams make each summer at ScareLA in Los Angeles, and the sneak preview of some of the mazes that Theme Park Adventure has been privileged to attend for the past several years. It’s strange, because before we know it, we’re there, walking through the mazes, shooting video in the scare zones, taking it all in, and then – just like that, we find ourselves driving home at 3 a.m. discussing what we liked and didn’t like about the event – and how crazy it is that HHN has already come and gone for us.

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Sneak Peek of Insidious: Return to The Further at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights 2015

Halloween Horror Nights Insidious MazeOne of the hottest mazes at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights in 2013 was Insidious: Into The Further, based on the popular Insidious film franchise. While I am personally not a huge fan of the movies, I felt the 2013 maze was really well done; it certainly was a fan favorite. When this year’s Insidious: Return to The Further was announced for Halloween Horror Nights, fans reacted very positively to the news.

Recently, Theme Park Adventure was invited along with a handful of other media outlets to get a sneak preview tour of Insidious: Return to The Further by John Murdy, Creative Director and Executive Producer of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. Total transparency here – on that same day, we toured Halloween: Michael Myers Comes Home. Being a huge fan of Halloween, that was the one maze I was absolutely interested in checking out; Return to The Further was a “whatever” for me, since I am not really into the film franchise itself.

That said, after walking through Insidious: Return to The Further, I have to say that I was beyond impressed – and if the maze looks half as creepy and incredibly well-designed in the dark as it does in the daylight, this could very well be the maze of the season at Halloween Horror Nights. Without doubt, if you are a fan of the films, Return to The Further is going to make your mind melt.

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Sneak Peek of Halloween: Michael Myers Comes Home at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights 2015

Halloween Michael Myers Comes Home HHNOne of the most highly-anticipated maze of 2015 at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights is Halloween: Michael Myers Comes Home. Announced to cheering fans during ScareLA this summer, this marks the second time Myers has been featured as part of the HHN lineup here in Southern California, the first being in 2009.

Creative Director/Executive Producer of Halloween Horror Nights and Art Director of HHN here in California, John Murdy and Chris Williams, both have a long-standing love of John Carpenter’s Halloween, and have been waiting for the perfect time to bring The Shape back to terrorize the inhabitants of Haddonfield, and the thousands of guests who flock to Universal Studios Hollywood each night during the world-famous Halloween event.

After 6 years, Michael Myers has come home.

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