American Horror Story returned to headline, focusing on one season instead of three, and shared the spotlight with another white whale. How do you follow the most infamous horror film ever made? By adapting a different most infamous horror film ever made. It may have seemed impossible given Stephen King’s aversion to haunted houses based on his work, but The Shining maze was further proof of the event’s newfound esteem.
Not that every licensing deal was a slam dunk. Plans to bring The Conjuring to Halloween Horror Nights™ fell through, resulting in an encore of Hollywood’s holy trinity - Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface. Between the slashers, another Saw sequel, and two mazes based on Blumhouse, the rest of the line-up was a mixtape most guests had already heard before.
Such was the cost of scope and scale. A record seven mazes were built, alongside the year-round haunted house and another Terror Tram overlay, but only three scare zones. The Walking Dead Attraction usually received an influx of actors for the event, but they were too precious a resource this year. Since its inception, Halloween Horror Nights™ Hollywood has lived and died by a necessarily tight budget. In 2017, however, it wasn’t hard to spot the corners cut.
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