Photo Gallery: Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights 2010

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Full report from the Hollywood opening

An unbearably hot afternoon in Los Angeles paved the way for another year of the Eyegore Awards, Universal Studios Hollywood’s annual ceremony, recognizing talent in the horror genre, that kicks off the opening of Halloween Horror Nights. A punishing sun beat down on the red carpet of the event Friday night where journalists lined up like cattle to speak to the likes of Rob Zombie, Sid Haig, Christopher Lloyd, tall horror titans Derek Mears and Tyler Mane (Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers, respectively), Bill Moseley, Eli Roth, Tobe Hooper, True Blood‘s Mariana Klaveno (who, in fact, did not want to be hate-f**ked Bill Compton-style until her neck was broken, go figure) and Saw‘s Costas Mandylor.

Three years ago, the red carpet was a quiet avenue, with only a smattering of journos standing by, upon which the stars could walk to the park’s main theater for the Eyegores. Friday evening, however, reflected the event’s severe growth in popularity as Shock was unfortunately sandwiched in, and competing for quotes, with Access Hollywood and other major entertainment news players. But as the sun went down, the evening really kicked off inside the well-designed and appropriately macabre Eyegore theater with food, libations and curious entertainment on hand.

Following a show intro from the night’s host Corey Feldman and Lost Boys co-stars Jamison Newlander and Chance Michael Corbitt, Eyegore organizers set loose dancing vampires (?!) in a Dancing With the Stars-inspired routine. Puzzling. The rest of the Eyegores played out with folks like Haig and Halloween Horror Nights short film contest winner, Elizabeth B. Schieffer (“Jasper” – watch her film here), receiving their kudos in the form of the Eyegores gargoyle award.

When the ceremony came to an end, the theater doors open and attendees were allowed to pour into the park to check out the latest mazes headlining Halloween Horror Nights. Folks screamed their way through faves Saw, Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street – which were outfitted to reflect their franchise’s latest sequels or remakes.

Saw saw some mild changes this year, with a few new traps added to the mix – the “scents” in each room are still nauseating. Meanwhile, between Friday and Nightmare, the former won the battle for best maze in this writer’s opinion. There was more material to draw from and better scares. Nightmare was a tepid mix of highlights from the remake which simply wasn’t exciting to begin with.

This year’s newcomer, House of 1000 Corpses, a maze based on the Rob Zombie film of the same name, was the true winner this year with its 3D presentation. Combining LED light technology and a vibrant paint scheme, Zombie and the Halloween Horror Nights team faithfully recreated the film’s madhouse antics, pushing visitors through both Captain Spaulding’s Murder Ride and favorite sequences from the movie. Baby, Otis, Spaulding and Dr. Satan were all in attendance, eviscerating and torturing their victims against garish backdrops.

Once again, the Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights team knew how to kick off the season in style. Although, as much as I love my familiar bogeymen like Freddy, Jason and Jigsaw, I think the addition of the House of 1000 Corpses maze proved that a yearly maze overhaul with some fresh film properties is in order and will deliver just the trick to compliment the park’s treats.

Click below for our full photo gallery! We’ll update that spot with more hi-res stills as they come in later this week…

Also, for a peek at the Friday the 13th maze, check out our preview.



Source: Ryan Turek, Photos by: Dominique Lee & Universal