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I ran into JIGSAW at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando last night. We had so much fun that we’re going back for more before it’s too late!

Halloween Horror Nights, the nation’s premier Halloween event, puts you right into some of the most heart-pounding moments in horror history. On select nights now until November 4th, 2017, the streets of Universal Studios Florida theme park come alive with hordes of horrifying mutants, monsters and maniacs. With over 25 years of experience to draw from, nobody creates a more nightmarish Halloween event filled with truly original scares and authentic horror movie moments. You can explore terrifying haunted houses, make your way through multiple scare zones where creatures lurk around every turn, enjoy outrageous live shows, and experience many of the park’s most exciting rides and attractions.

In sunny Orlando Florida, it can be quite difficult trying to capture that special Halloween feeling. But every fall, Universal embraces the frightening side of All Hallows ‘Eve with a special event called Halloween Horror Nights! Chainsaws, werewolves, specters and all the horrors that accompany my favorite time of the year are all brought to life by the film studio that started it all back in the early 1920’s; Universal Studios.

When it comes to scares, the art & design team at Universal Orlando Resorts are the professionals. This is the event’s twenty-seventh year in a row throwing the ultimate Halloween party for horror fans! With each passing year, the-the park annually outdoes itself by breaking out all the best tricks & treats in their arsenal. For this year’s event, a handful of major properties from film and television were acquired that instantly transport you into your darkest fears. Along with our favorite horror franchises, Universal also cooks up their own original stories brought to life in some of the most breathtaking haunted houses you have ever seen. The streets are filled with maniacs & madmen stationed deep within their own specific zones ready to attack without second thought. Truly nowhere is safe from frights once you enter through the iconic Universal archway.

Halloween Horror Nights Orlando kicked off with nine haunted houses, five scare zones, and two live shows this year, delivering all the scares and thrills the attraction has become known for, not to mention a few laughs along the way.

Five of the houses were based on horror movies or shows, including American Horror Story, Ash vs Evil Dead (responsible for the aforementioned laughs), Saw, The Shining, and the Blumhouse Productions flicks Insidious, The Purge, and Sinister. The other four were original concepts, featuring possessed Scarecrows stalking an abandoned farm, Nosferatu-style vampires so horrific it’s like they’re out to restore the reputation Twilight ruined for their kind, a Voodoo Queen and her human-sacrificing minions who have taken up residence in a wrecked steamboat, and warrior demons slaughtering angels in a battle between heaven and hell.

Enter a pestilent swamp that oozes evil, the hellish realm of the Voodoo Queen. If you fail to escape, you’re in for a gut-wrenching sacrifice.

You’re about to be caught in the crossfire of the eternal war of light versus dark and no one will be saved.

At a long-abandoned Depression-era farm, vengeance takes root, and the only harvest that will be reaped is you.

The crumbling house on 19 Hemingway Lane harbors a nest of bloodthirsty vampires. If you awaken them, you will face a savage, bestial hunger.

The streets of Universal Studios Florida theme park come alive with hordes of horrifying mutants, monsters and maniacs. Make your way through 5 nightmarish scare zones where gory and grotesque creatures lurk around every turn. Don’t let your guard down or it just might be the last thing you ever do.

The Purge has returned to Halloween Horror Nights™ and overrun New York. No one is safe. Be a part of a proud American tradition. United we purge.

Break the rules. Pay the price. That’s the murderous moral of the five twisted stories in Trick ‘r Treat, a darkly hilarious tribute to Halloween.

The dead are throwing a hell of a Hollywood party and you’re invited. Your spirit will fuel the frenzy of this ghoulish gathering.

The year is 1955, and a UFO has crashed onto the wharf. Their goal: to conduct experiments upon you to prepare to invade Earth.

Enter the nexus of evil, where all the most fearsome characters and nefarious creatures from each of the Halloween Horror Nights™ haunted houses lie in wait.

In most years there was a general consensus of what the best houses are and which ones weren’t so good, but this year many guest’s best list is wildly different than others, which shows the high level of quality throughout. Universal’s own houses have been killing it in recent years and this year is no exception with Dead Waters and Scarecrow: The Reaping being visually incredible and having some really great scares inside. While The Shining house may not deliver on the scares like others, it more than succeeds on bringing you into the story of the film, which is always what I wanted as a fan of movies such as An American Werewolf in London, The Cabin in the Woods, and Krampus at previous HHNs.

Across the board, the everything was spectacular, each bringing its own twisted form of terror. Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, the returning American Horror Story and The Horrors of Blumhouse were all standouts. The scare zones featured some of the liveliest cast of characters we’ve encountered — Trick ‘R’ Treat and The Purge were our favorites. Great scares!

One of my favorite houses ended up being SAW. After seven films and a new one on the way at the end of the month, James Wan’s classic comes to life including traps from each of the film series.In the settings that you are provided, SAW looks great! There are interactive elements to this house that I have never seen done before, which proves Universal is always trying to reinvent their frights. There is even a trap from the newest entry in the series at the very end. Definitely keep an eye out for that. Play the game. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

JIGSAW (out Oct. 27) is the eighth SAW film and picks up a decade after the original reign of terror overseen by Tobin Bell’s titular homicidal maniac. “Bodies are turning up, and they’re linked to Jigsaw — or a Jigsaw copycat,” says Peter Spierig, who directed with his brother Michael. Bell’s character actually died in Saw III, and the actor is not listed in the official credits. Does he appear? Spierig dodges: “The DNA of Tobin Bell is all over this film,” he says. Well, that sounds — appropriately — disgusting.

JIGSAW features plenty of the deadly traps for which the franchise is famous. “We’ve got some pretty wild traps in the film — we don’t shy away from the gore,” says Michael Spierig. “It’s such a perfect Halloween scarefest. It’s perhaps not quite as vicious and more fun, which is something we tried to inject into it. But it’s still full of good fun gore, that’s for sure. And, on top of that, it’s got a really great mystery, and there’s very interesting twists. It’s Saw for 2017.”

JIGSAW stars Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Clé Bennett, Hannah Emily Anderson, Laura Vandervoort, Mandela Van Peebles, Paul Braunstein, Brittany Allen, and Josiah Black. The film is written by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger and is produced by Oren Koules, Mark Burg, and Greg Hoffman. Im looking forward to seeing this in a few weeks!

All in all, Halloween Horror Nights 27 was an absolute treat this year! You can absolutely see the love and hard labor that the entertainment department puts into this event all year long, and it passes with orange and black colors! I want to thank Universal Orlando again for having us for this event, and I look forward to the horrors that await next year. I’ve already heard the wheels are in motion after all.

This is a one-of-a-kind event that can be even more fun in a big group. If you need to get into the Halloween spirit, if you love Halloween, if you love horror movies, or if you’re simply looking for a unique time with friends or (age appropriate) family, check out this year’s event. We truly enjoyed ourselves. I can’t wait to be back for more!

Click here for your tickets! This is the best event of the year people!

About The Author

Mike Marchant

80's baby • Born and raised in Miami, FL • 15+ years in radio, television, and entertainment • I like most geeky stuff...but I love Taco Bell • Favorite Movie: Top Gun •SPLASH REPORTERS podcast •

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