Visitors heading to Stranger Things, this year's marquee maze, will notice lots of novelties before entering. Unusually, the maze is located in a sound stage instead of outdoors, keeping your journey through Hawkins dark if you're visiting before the sun sets. Before you even enter the maze, music from the 1980s is playing in line to take you back in time.
Inside the attraction, fans of the Netflix series series will be transported to the show with impressively realized set pieces, from the Byers family living room to the Upside Down. In another innovative touch, many of the "scareactors" aren't actually enemies and play off their scares as accidents: Joyce Byers might swing an axe at you, but only because she thought you were the Demogorgon.
Released in 1982, Poltergeist set a new standard for paranormal thrillers, and Universal's Poltergeist maze does the same at this year's Halloween Horror Nights. Like the movie, it starts as a slow burn. Static hisses from every screen in an otherwise normal suburban home. A sandwich slides slowly across the kitchen counter.
Then a tree comes through a window and all bets are off, but even as the action picks up, the creep factor rises with it thanks to impressive animatronic work on the house's demonic characters. Fans of the horror classic will likely be impressed by the "Beast," while newcomers should take warning: It's exactly as creepy as it sounds.
Modern cult horror classic Trick 'r Treat comes to life in Universal's scariest maze of 2018. Like the film, it's consciously broken up into vignettes, each introduced by an ominous orange title card hinting at the horrors to come. The film's recurring antagonist, the burlap sack-masked Sam, doesn't do the scaring directly, content instead to look at his handiwork while clutching a half-eaten lollipop.
And what handiwork it is: Visitors will encounter scares from every angle and all their senses, down to the maze's pumpkin and cinnamon scents. The scareactors here are especially on point, whether they're the murderous principal or the jumpy, paranoid Mr. Kreeg, who knows that something terrible from his past is coming for him.
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