Universal Orlando sticks with tried and true for annual event
Your comment in your article made me think that I would love to see a totally black & white haunt like an old movie. Has anyone ever done that?
Really bummed I'm not going this year, but loved the rundown and descriptions. Can't wait to watch some walkthroughs, as it's always a fun event. I think from this batch I'd most look forward to Dead Man's Pier: Winter's Wake. I've read that the set pieces are stunning.
The question about The Weeknd is really interesting. Musical artists (with the exception of those who embrace a horror style) don't initially seem like a good fit for a haunt. However, I always love seeing mash-ups of non-horror with the genre because I think it really inspires creativity in how to get those scares.
A great example of this is a local "haunted forest" trail near Charlotte that I've attended several times. The last year I went they had a maze room in which they turned out all of the lights except for strobes, and had extremely loud heavy metal music blasting. It was incredibly disorienting, with the music serving as a way to rob you of another sense besides just sight. It was incredibly effective. That was the first time I really understood how music in a haunt could be used simultaneously as entertainment and as a psychological scare tactic.
The drawback, of course, to using artist-themed houses is that you may alienate those who don't recognize the music or who are not fans. However, ultimately it's a win-win all around. The artist gets new fans out of it, the park gets IP-recognition, and I'm guessing most people - even those who don't care for the music - still have a good time. Let's see Universal take on a real challenge next time though - John Denver haunt, maybe? The Carpenters? =)