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Tuesday, July 24th 2007

9:12 AM

First rumblings of Halloween

  • Posted by: Steve Biodrowski

We're still in the middle of summer, yet plans are already underfoot for this year's Halloween extravangazas.

HauntWorld magazine mentions a big PR push that's being planned here, and the also post a press release from Universal Studios regarding this year's Halloween Horror Nights:

  • UNIVERSAL STUDIOS AND NEW LINE CINEMA PRESENT JASON, LEATHERFACE AND FREDDY KRUEGER

    For the First Time Ever: Three Of The Most Frightening Characters In Horror Film History Join Forces With The Nation’s Most Intense Halloween Event

    Orlando, FL and Universal City, CA (June 28, 2007) – Universal’s U.S. theme parks and New Line Cinema have agreed to bring the legendary horror film series, “Friday the 13th,” “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights events in Orlando and Hollywood.

    Universal’s legendary Halloween events have been horrifying guests for 17 years. Jason, Freddy Krueger and Leatherface have haunted horror fans and phobes alike for more than 25 years. This year – for the first time ever -- they come together to create the most extreme Halloween Horror Nights event in history.

    Halloween Horror Nights is the country’s largest and most elaborate Halloween event. Universal’s “scream team” of designers create a month-long fright-fest where guests are confronted with their most terrifying nightmares. Specially designed haunted houses, thrilling shows, inescapable scare zones, and hundreds of street performers invade Universal’s theme parks on select nights throughout the months of October and November.

    “Each year we take this incredible event to new levels,” said Jim Timon, senior vice president of entertainment for Universal Parks & Resorts. “Our partnership with New Line gives us the opportunity to truly immerse our guests in the Halloween experience and put them face-to-face with characters they aren’t used to seeing off the movie screen.”

    New Line’s films and characters will be integrated into all aspects of Halloween Horror Night’s creative content giving guests a chance to meet – or run from – Jason, Freddy and Leatherface in person.

    Added David Imhoff, Senior Executive Vice President, Worldwide Licensing and Merchandising, New Line Cinema, “ The ‘A Nightare On Elm Street,’ ‘Friday The 13th,’ and ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ series are arguably the most frightening and frighteningly popular in movie history. We’re excited to be able to allow fans to step in to the horrifying worlds of Freddy, Jason and Leatherface via Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights.” 

    Halloween Horror Nights will return to Universal Studios Hollywood for 10 select nights running from Oct. 5-6 through Oct. 12-13, 19-20, 26-27, 28 and 31.

Although I'm happy that Universal will be hosting another Halloween event this year, I'm mystified about the inclusion of Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface.

Not that I have anything against the trio, but Universal has its own legacy of movie monsters that includes Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon, so it's not as if they need New Line's monsters to fill a vacuum.

I guess the idea is that vampires and mummies are old-fashoned, so you need something fresh to draw a younger audience, but really... Jason, Freddy and Leatherface are all pretty long in the tooth themselves at this point, and they're probably not much more beloved by the youth audience than Norman Bates.

I hope Halloween Horror Nights does something intersting with the characters, but it would be nice if Universal would stay true to its own impressive legacy.

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