Between its “The Walking Dead,” “Cabin in the Woods” and “Evil Dead” mazes, Universal Orlando’s annual Halloween Horror Nights event is going to be a pretty terrifying experience. It’s about to get even scarier too, as the theme park is adding “An American Werewolf in London” maze to this year’s festivities as well.
Zap2it spoke to Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights Creative Director Mike Aiello and “An American Werewolf in London” director John Landis about what fans can expect. Landis, who is collaborating extensively on the creation of the maze, says that the Universal team is using the exact same technology now as his team did in 1981 for the film.
So what does that mean for Horror Nights guests? They can expect to have full werewolf puppets jumping out at them as they walk through the maze, walk through The Slaughtered Lamb and even witness David’s transformation for themselves. Other familiar locations from the movie will be the hospital, the living room, Piccadilly Circus and the Aero Theater.
While “An American Werewolf in London” walks a line between humor and horror, don’t expect the same to be the case in this maze. Aiello promises this is “definitely scary,” and Landis teases that the horror won’t just come from the presence of werewolves.
“I have to say, it’s not just the monsters. You have a couple of other surprises in there,” Landis teases, promising that David’s nightmare sequence will be recreated in the maze. Aiello adds of that scene, “That’s scary if you’ve seen the movie or if you haven’t.”
Even if people experiencing the maze haven’t seen “An American Werewolf in London,” there still will be plenty to enjoy. And, if they do like the maze enough, Aiello and Landis hope a new generation can go out and watch the classic 1981 film.
“[The maze] has to live in both realms. It has to be something that a fan is going to go through and literally, if they had a checklist as they’re walking through … we have to fill all of those boxes,” Aiello says, also noting, “We’ve got to make sure that it’s still palatable and scary to somebody that’s never seen the movie.”
A total of around 60 performers will bring the maze to life, with Landis making sure to catch anything Aiello and the Universal team might have gotten wrong. The maze will be authentic down to the fact Landis went down to the original soundtrack for the film and is having Universal use that music for their attraction. Similarly, Aiello is using designs based on Rick Baker‘s original ones to create the maze. Expect to feel like you’re in “An American Werewolf in London,” as everything from the howl of the wolf to the moment when David breaks the fourth wall will be brought to life with painstaking detail.
Halloween Horror Nights is open for select nights from Sept. 20 to Nov. 2. at Universal Orlando.