In 1991, Universal Studios Florida introduced a Halloween-themed special event called "Fight Nights", which only included one haunted house attraction - The Dungeon of Terror. Nearly 25 years later, the special event, now titled Halloween Horror Nights, has been expanded from a 3-night event to a spectacle spanning 30 days, which included 12 specialty-themed haunted houses in 2016. As in the past - when the event included houses themed around popular Hollywood horror franchises, such as The People Under the Stairs (1992), Friday the 13th (2007) and The Walking Dead (2016) - 2017 will see the addition of Saw: The Games of Jigsaw.
Billy the Puppet and his creaky tricycle made their first appearance at Halloween Horror Nights in 2009, making this the second time Saw-inspired plot devices will be used to scare park visitors brave enough to traverse the terror-inducing haunted house filled with "deadly" mazes and traps. The introduction of the Saw: The Games of Jigsaw maze house is set to coincide with the theatrical debut of the eighth movie in the Saw horror mega-movie franchise, Jigsaw, in late-October.
Unlike other houses at HHH, which merely immerse visitors in various thematic elements of the movies that inspired them, the Saw house will actually place visitors in the middle of the many deadly traps associated with the Saw films. The Razor Wire Maze, The Reverse Bear Trap, The Automated Scalping Machine, and The Pound of Flesh are just a few of the familiar traps visitors will come across, and in addition, a few of the traps from the upcoming Jigsaw film will be present in the form a living preview.
The horror franchise created by James Wan (Aquaman) and Leigh Whannell has grossed nearly $1 billion worldwide since its debut in 2004 and its spooky season popularity shows no signs of slowing down. Both Universal Studios and Lionsgate are equally excited excited to bring the traps of Saw to life for millions of horror fans. In a press release announcing the collaboration John Murdy, Executive Producer of Halloween Horror Nights, stated, "Saw: The Games of Jigsaw will encompass the greatest collection of traps featured in all eight Saw movies to bring to life the most twisted Saw maze ever produced, and we can’t wait for our fans to relive moments from the films." While Jenefer Brown, Lionsgate Senior Vice President of Global Live and Location Based Entertainment, added:
We’re thrilled to be partnering again with Universal Studios on an immersive experience that celebrates everything that our Saw fans love. The maze features the most terrifying traps that made the SAW franchise such a Halloween tradition, including some of the best from our upcoming film JIGSAW. What better way to complement the film’s release this Halloween than taking audiences into the over-the-top action at Halloween Horror Nights.
Even though Universal Studios already has a cemetery full of iconic horror characters at its disposal, it speaks volumes that they want to include the modern scares being produced by the Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures Saw property. The thing about this new Saw house which has the potential to be the most terror-inducing is the "live preview" aspect. Watching innocent victims go through torturous circumstances on a movie screen allows viewers to emotionally disconnect reality from fantasy. However, watching people, even actors, go through those same conditions just a few feet from them is sure to cause a visceral reaction that will stick with visitors longer than that of any jump scare.
Halloween Horror Nights 27 runs from September 15th to November 4th.
- Jigsaw/Saw 8 release date: Oct 27, 2017