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Awesome / Halloween Horror Nights

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Many of the awesome moments in Halloween Horror Nights come from the sheer technical accomplishments, including some things that you rarely or never see in smaller events.

  • The puppets in "An American Werewolf in London" in 2013 are so frighteningly realistic (and with such an unusually large range of motion) that they've scared people who were standing in front of them in full light with no sound effects, and some fans initially mistook them for costumed actors.
    • The very ability to get An American Werewolf in London as a property is a CMOA for Universal Studios, as they had tried twice before and John Landis rebuffed them each time. Only after he personally attended the event did he trust Universal to do his film justice. From the very beginning of the event, the house has been the top rated one of the entire year.
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    • To make matters better, it came back in 2015, with a near exact layout to the original and improved effects, being one of the only HHN houses to be a true repeat.
  • The very large set pieces that have appeared in recent years. While large facades for house entrances date back quite some time, 2011's "The Forsaken" included a truly massive "exterior" courtyard about 2/3 of the way through the house that included wind, rain, and flashes of lightning.
    • The same house also featured a long bungee stunt, where looking out the window at the end of the house gave the view of a black, fog-shrouded sky.....until one of the Forsaken suddenly flew about 20 yards across the emptiness and landed inside.
  • "The In-Between" in 2011 was the first house to use 3D glasses as something more than a cheap funhouse gimmick. Painting three-dimensional props with the unique 3D paint caused them to shimmer, blur, and appear to be moving in multiple directions simultaneously when viewed through the glasses. Setting up actors in suits that blended in with 3D runes painted on the wall caused the viewer's brain to simultaneously view said runes as in front of and behind the demons, as impossible as that should be. Non-3D effects included a room filled with lasers reflecting and refracting off of nearly invisible glass walls (with black string hung from the ceiling to give the feeling of lasers pricking your skin) and a room that used a fogged, reflective floor to the give the appearance of walking on a storm cloud; said room eventually had several black adhesive strips placed at the entrance after too many people refused to move forward, thinking that there was no floor.
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  • "Saws n' Steam: Into the Machine", also from 2011, was one of the few truly successful houses in the former Jaws queue (a notoriously poor location due to its cramped interior and exposure to the elements). Among the many effects was a full indoor waterfall with a man in a diving suit who would crash through it to soak guests, as well as a steampunk aesthetic that reminded many of BioShock.
  • Another 2011 house, "Winter's Night: The Haunting of Hawthorn Cemetery", was one of the few houses to accurately replicate freezing temperatures indoors. Along with a well-detailed set and lighting and color choices that felt like you had walked into a desaturated Victorian film with a blue filter set over it, it included one of the very few miniature shots used at a horror event, with a forced perspective view of the rest of the cemetery off in the distance viewed through a small hole in a wall.
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  • Even the scarezones in 2011 got in on the act with "Acid Assault", set in a world where constant acid rain caused the city to crumble to dust. One of the main features of the scarezone was a series of 3D projections that made it appear that the buildings were falling apart. All set to a Nine Inch Nails soundtrack.
  • The 2013 "Evil Dead" house recreates the burning cabin from the climax of the film. Only this time, you're walking into it.
  • The Meetz Meats queue video is actually funny and quite cheerful, and less disturbing than the others. However, it seems that other than butchering criminals, drug addicts and hobos, the corporation teaches its employees how to fight with a chainsaw.
  • The Singapore event has a huge CMOA with the HHN 4 opening ceremony with their icon, The Minister of Evil, featuring a faux protest leading up to the opening, with a failed assassination attempt on the Minister Jonah Goodwill countered by the Minister showing his true demonic nature, setting an actor on fire who then falls from a nearby building for everyone to see, then flying up into the air on badass wings to cap everything off while epic music and a booming announcer mark the start of the event. Similar effects were also used in the "inauguration ceremony" that opened the in-depth HHN 4 press conference that revealed the backstory of the event by immersing the attendants in the story of the Minister's rise to power.
  • Hollywood's event featured the holy jackpot of IPs in 2016, as it had Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, and Michael Myers all together for the first time in the event, with the inclusion of Regan MacNeil and Krampus just being icing on the cake.
    • And in 2018, they one-upped themselves with the inclusion of the Stranger Things license.
    • They somehow one-upped that in 2019 by bringing in Ghostbusters.
  • Every single Academy of Villains dance show in Orlando. Their shows are so awesome that grumbling was relatively minimal when they took over the stage that the Bill & Ted show had long occupied instead of using temporary street stages.
    • In 2016, Hurricane Matthew damaged the AoV stage. Undaunted, they began performing an abbreviated form of their show right on the street nearby. Crowd turnout was almost as high as their regular stage shows and the dancers took advantage of the extremely close proximity to the crowd for more fan interaction. The dedication to the craft resulted in wildly positive reviews that kept them around for at least the rest of the decade.
    • The 2017 show, Afterlife, was virtually destroyed by Hurricane Irma only a few days before opening night. AoV showed up on a temporary stage undaunted on opening night with "The Irma Show" in a flawless performance made up of what little they could salvage, choreography from former shows, and some old costumes and makeup from a past performance. Within less than 3 weeks they had refined the show with a more elaborate stage, screens, video, and even more dance segments.
  • 2021's The Bride Of Frankenstein Lives. The basic plot is after the Monster destroys the castle the Bride finds him and has a change of heart, realizing how wrong she was just as he dies. The Bride thus begins to study Henry's notes and proves to be a genius, figuring out how to replicate his experiment. Oh, and vampires attack her but she's an utter badass who captures them and uses them to bring the Monster back to life.