5 Events You Can’t Miss At Universal Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights (And 1 You Should Avoid)


Summary Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights features new houses and attractions, including The Last of Us and The Exorcist: Believer, providing an immersive experience for visitors.
Monstruos: The Monsters of Latin America offers pure scares and introduces the new Universal Studios creation Muerte, showcasing creatures from Latin American folklore.
The Purge: Dangerous Waters is a show set within the world of The Purge franchise, providing relief from walking and presenting an exciting storyline with social commentary on current strikes.
Universal Studios Hollywood has once again brought back its beloved Halloween experience, which has been a staple of the spooky season for decades, and several new houses along with it. Though Universal Orlando opened a week earlier this year, not everything is exactly the same over at its Hollywood counterpart. Since the layout and since of the parks are different, so too are the houses and attractions.
Related: Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood 2023: Guide To The Last Of Us & Stranger Things Houses
The return of Stranger Thingsto Universal Studios has created plenty of buzz around this year’s festivities, as has the newly-minted The Last of Us house. Rounding out the scares found in both locations are Universal Monsters, The Exorcist: Believer, and Chucky — but while Hollywood may be smaller, it does have a few unique features of its own. Primarily, the Evil Dead Rise house makes use of the latest horror hit and the “Monstruos” house provides some of the best shrieks courtesy of Latin American folklore, while the Terror Tram is nearly synonymous with the event. Screen Rant has ranked our top five, as well as which one wasn’t a fan favorite.
5 Stranger Things 4
Stranger Things may be a repeat IP for Universal Studios Hollywood, but it’s a brand new experience for visitors because it is squarely focused on season 4 of the popular Netflix series. More than being scary in and of itself, the new version of the house is impressive for its incredible recreation of various season 4 sets and scenes. From the starting location of Eddie’s trailer park to the climax of the showdown with Vecna, it’s clear that Universal Studios paid attention to every detail.
Not only is the Vecna sculpt gorgeously done, but so are the early moments such as Chrissy’s death. There is also plenty of variety as guests move from room to room, whether they find themselves in the lab with Eleven and witnessing Henry Creel’s transformation, or actually in the midst of battle. It may not be as frightening an experience as the theme park’s previous run-in with Strangers Things, but it’s quite possibly the most immersive house at the park.
4 Monstruos: The Monsters of Latin America
When it comes to pure scares, Monstruos: The Monsters of Latin America is the clear winner. Perhaps that’s because most visitors won’t know what to expect when they step inside, as the house is not connected to any currently existing IP. Some might have expected an experience similar to 2022’s La Llorona: The Weeping Woman, but instead, Monstruos is a cavalcade of some of the scariest beings Latin American folklore has to offer.
The scares are non-stop, the settings are grotesque, and the designs are both rich and vivid. The fact that there is no movie or television tie-in may dissuade park attendees from entering, but that should in fact be the exact they give it a try. Not only will Monstruos provide an exciting in-depth look at infamous creatures such as Tlahuelpuchi, La Lechuza, and El Silbón, but it also introduces a new Universal Studios creation: Muerte.
3 The Purge: Dangerous Waters
Though not a traditional house, The Purge: Dangerous Waters is one of the two shows playing at Universal Studios Hollywood, taking place at the Waterworld Stage. While not taking place as part of any specific Purge movie, the half-hour performance is very much set within the world of the franchise and operates by its rules Anyone tired of walking and perhaps feeling overheated after being in several hours’ worth of close quarters will find welcome relief when they sit down and get splashed by the energetic performers onstage.
Related: How To Watch The Purge Movies In Order: By Release Date & Chronologically
But beyond the physical comforts of watching the show, The Purge: Dangerous Waters genuinely presents a fun and exciting storyline complete with a twist or two that the audience visibly reacts to. It may not be the most groundbreaking plot to ever hit the Purge franchise, but it is particularly poignant to witness the greed of the upper class amidst the current WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes taking place outside studios. That last part may have not been intentional on the part of the theme park, but it is prevalent nonetheless.
2 The Exorcist: Believer
No trailer may be better at selling The Exorcist: Believer than the house at Universal Theme Parks, which revels in some of the scariest visuals possible for the upcoming horror film. The performers playing Angela and Katherine are fully immersed in their roles, but even more effective than the scares themselves is the mildly disgusting smell that pervades the attraction. As guests walk through the meaty 4-minute house, they are sure to feel like they are making a deal with the devil.
Despite being careful not to spoil the film beyond what trailers have already shown, The Exorcist: Believer makes excellent use of the demon at their disposal. It appears multiple times throughout the experience, but the fears intensify into a real (albeit non-linear) storyline rather than producing diminishing returns. You may not fully understand the story you just witnessed upon exiting the house, but it will feel like a complete narrative regardless.
1 The Last of Us
Similar to Stranger Things, The Last of Us house’s fidelity to the source material is the most impressive part. But unlike the previous attraction, a visitor’s reaction to it may differ based on whether they’ve only seen the TV show or played the videogame. The Last of Us specifically immerses guests in the world of PlayStation game, tackling the Pittsburgh Quarantine Zone in-depth. While the location is an important part of the HBO show, different aspects of it are highlighted in the game and thus in the house.
Related: 7 Ways The Last Of Us Season 2 Will Be A Totally Different Show
One such element is the various types of Infected, from Clickers all the way to Bloaters, which cross paths with Ellie and Joel and the audience multiple times. In addition to that, the Hunters provide another threat and help the complete immersion. But perhaps the best part of all is hearing the voices of Joel and Ellie’s original voice actors, Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, cracking jokes and shouting orders. Their dynamic is the heart of the story, and the new lines recorded especially for Halloween Horror Nights make for the perfect icing on the cake.
On the other hand…
Terror Tram…The Exterminatorz unfortunately did not live up to its reputation, despite the mechanics remaining the same. The Studio Tour on the backlot is always a fun experience, but it’s overshadowed by the choice of theme. The tram itself contains a silly video and role-playing segment with the tour guide, making it the most enjoyable part of the experience. But the studio tour did not offer much aside from performers in bug costumes obscuring the view of iconic sets such as Psycho’s Bates Motel or Jupiter’s Claim from Nope.
Nevertheless, the crop of offerings at Halloween Horror Nights 2023 is among the best in recent memory. At HHN, park attendees want to experience the magic of well-loved IP, preview the horrors of movies to come, or partake in an altogether new horror experience.
Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights will be running until October 31.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here