Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights Partners w/ Eli Roth & Crypt TV to Unveil an All-New “Terror Tram” Experience
Horror auteur Eli Roth (“Hostel”) and his digital network Crypt TV take the helm of the infamous “Terror Tram,” marking the first time ever that the signature attraction comes to life through the twisted mind of the filmmaker, as part of this year’s “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood, which kicks off Friday, September 16, 2016.
“Eli Roth Presents Terror Tram” will expose guests to the fabled legacy of serial killer clown “Hollywood Harry,” the story of a former jovial celebrity clown turn depraved murderer, and the minefield of carnage he left behind.
“I’m thrilled to be part of ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ again,” said Eli Roth. “We wanted to completely fabricate an original story that brings together our absolute freakiest, scariest most disturbing ideas. The ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ team is the best in the business. Their production and execution is unmatched and I know this ‘Terror Tram’ experience will blow away all expectations, and haunt guests for the rest of their lives. ‘Halloween Horror Nights is the must-see event for any horror movie fan—it’s like the Super Bowl for scary movies, and is my favorite event of the year.”
The all-new “Terror Tram” experience will tell the sordid tale of former Angeleno resident Harold Kappowitz whose alter ego “Koodles the Clown” went from cheerful circus performer, to the lovable star of his own children’s network television show…before he was overcome by his genuine “killer instincts.”
By the 1990s, hard knocks took a deadly toll on Kappowitz, and the onetime endearing clown found himself exiled by the very Hollywood entertainment community that once adored him. With an all-consuming anger and hatred, Kappowitz—a now crazed and disheveled recluse—took refuge from society by hiding out at Universal Studios, emerging as notorious serial killer clown, “Hollywood Harry.” Recurring murders began to dominate the studio, as “Hollywood Harry” drew strength from recruiting other outcast former clowns who, together, took revenge on Studio Tour guides and visitors alike, ceremoniously killing them, and leaving behind a deadly trail of terror.
“The goal of ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ is to create the most intense, most memorable and ultimately, the most terrifying experiences for our guests,” said John Murdy, Creative Director at Universal Studios Hollywood and Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights.” “And there is no better partner than Eli Roth to deliver unabashed horror that’s so real you can feel it. We were fortunate to work with Eli years ago on his original ‘Hostel’ themed maze, so we can only imagine the terror that he’s envisioning.”
A series of short form content, produced by Crypt TV in conjunction Universal Studios Hollywood, aired on the digital horror network to tease the story of “Hollywood Harry” and create momentum for the announcement reveal of “Eli Roth Presents Terror Tram.”
Unique to Universal Studios Hollywood, the “Terror Tram” invites “Halloween Horror Nights” guests to walk along a portion of the movie and television studio where such sets as the Psycho House and the Bates Motel from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller, and Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds,” are located.
Crypt TV is a digital studio that creates original genre content guided by its motto #WEIRDISGOOD aimed at uniting fans and creating a movement that redefines what the future of horror content means to millennials. Since their 2015 launch, Crypt TV has become the fastest growing leader in digital scares with 20 million video views per month. Crypt TV was co-founded by Jack Davis and Eli Roth and has a strategic partnership with Blumhouse Productions.
"Halloween Horror Nights" at Universal Studios Hollywood brings together the sickest minds in horror to immerse guests in a living, breathing, three-dimensional world of terror. Featuring an all-new slate of unrivaled film production quality mazes, frightful scare zones and a fully re-imagined “Terror Tram” experience uniquely themed to today’s most definitive horror properties, “Halloween Horror Nights” will taunt, terrorize and torment guests with spine-chilling haunted attractions as part of Southern California’s most extreme Halloween experience.
“Halloween Horror Nights” mazes to date include “American Horror Story,” inspired by Ryan Murphy’s critically-acclaimed, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning television anthology series on the FX network; “The Exorcist: The Possession of Regan MacNeil,” based on the iconic supernatural horror film; “Freddy vs. Jason: Dream Battle,” inspired by New Line Cinema’s 2003 film that brought together the biggest horror icons in history: demented killer Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and notorious hockey mask killer Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th); “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Blood Brothers,” which pits guests against the unsavory wrath of manic killer Leatherface and his mentally unhinged brother, Chop Top; “Halloween: Hell Comes to Haddonfield,” an all-new maze inspired by the second film in the classic “Halloween” horror franchise; and “Krampus: The Christmas Devil,” based on Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures’ Christmas-themed horror film that brings to life the fabled anthropomorphic "half-goat, half-demon" horned creature who terrorizes those devoid of holiday spirit; and “The Walking Dead,” an authentic living representation of AMC’s hit television series that takes the realism of the show to an entirely new level with the permanent attraction.
The joy of Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter has always been the immersion factor. Once you step into the land, the illusion that you are actually in a magical English village is shockingly complete. It’s easy to get lost in it all and let reality slip away for a few hours. Now, Universal Studios Japan is looking to add a temporary element to their version of the this ever-popular theme park land: for a limited time, Death Eaters (otherwise known as the followers of Voldemort) will invade the village of Hogsmeade. Here’s how this dark new show is being described:
“Death Eater Attack” joins the line-up as a new piece of entertainment at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. When night falls, this peaceful, cheerful world of magic transforms experiencing moments of darkness. The Death Eaters appear in Hogsmeade wearing black hoods and masks. Guests can experience the thrill and terror of coming face-to-face with the magical might of The Death Eaters, discovering an unprecedented feeling.
The Death Eater Attack show will begin on September 14, 2016 and run for 54 days, making this whole thing (rather appropriately) a Halloween event. I’m reminded of when Universal Orlando used to hold their Halloween Horror Nights event at Islands of Adventure and the Marvel Superhero Island section would be transformed into a world where the bad guys won, allowing guests to brush shoulders with various supervillains. If this all sounds a little too tense for you (not everyone has to be confronted by evil wizard racists in scary costumes), know that other seasonal entertainment is being offered, including new Halloween menu items and tick or treating for children. Right now, this event is only happening at Universal Studios Japan, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it head stateside in the future if things go well this year.
I am ecstatic to announce a cutting-edge, terrifying virtual reality experience is coming to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights. “The Repository” seamlessly blends custom virtual reality technology with immersive real-life storytelling bringing guests into the next dimension of horror experiences.
This is one of the most electrifying Halloween Horror Nights’ project I’ve ever worked on – primarily because it is the culmination of 8 years of experimental story-telling, drawing on feedback from our vast HHN audience to learn what thrills and chills them the most.
Throughout this heart-pounding, psychological journey, guests’ most personal and intimate fears will be tested as they encounter real-life characters in highly themed physical environments, while working together in teams of four to uncover a paranormal mystery told through the use of the cutting-edge technology.