About 3 months ago, UrbanWire attended the launch event of Halloween Horror Nights 4 (HHN4) at Universal Studios Singapore (USS). It promised to be an overwhelming theatrical affair, and since then, the show decided to be even bigger by adding 3 more dates to the usual 10 and segments to the line-up.
In short, there’s a Hollywood-themed narrative to this mega production with the introduction of a protagonist known as Minister Jonah Goodwill, the new ‘leader of the world’ and a demon in disguise, unleashing death and destruction on the streets and attractions of USS.
The innovative use of technology and great attention to detail stood out to this writer who had a sneak preview last week. The scare actors’ costumes were elaborately constructed, and the use of effects like water, wind and even fire made the experience all the more heart-stopping. Not forgetting the 3-D haunted house’s ‘Chromadepth’ paint and electronic displays, it was clear that HHN4 had harnessed the best scare actors, artists and costumers to put together a haunting extravaganza that didn’t shy away from spooking us.
We dissected (in keeping with the macabre theme) the various sets for your exclusive peeks.
The streets of New York featured a larger-than-life broken replica of the Statue of Liberty, as well as hideous creatures who were attacking injured firefighters and common people on the street. An alien-dinosaur hybrid creature was seen manhandling a paramedic and throttling him to the ground. Disoriented victims of the Demon-cracy regime wandered crying for help, and those incapacitated were trapped under debris, pleading to be freed.
At Jack’s Nightmare Circus, Jack the Clown is auditioning entertainers for his travelling circus, or rather tormenting and killing them. If you’re a fan of black comedy and tragic puns, you will be duly entertained. We watched a contortionist entangle himself in a rope more than 6 feet in the air and return to the ground, all without a safety harness.
The dynamic duo of Italian figure-skaters made us waited with bated breath during their death-defying routine, which involved the female figure-skater being spun with a noose around her neck! It was impossible not to be awed by the breathtaking talent of the figure skaters, contortionists and dancers here.
At Jack’s 3-Dimensia, more garish clowns popped out from every corner and sprayed water guns at us, which was a feeble attempt in getting visitors wet. The walkways were lit up in lurid rainbow colors, and were spinning (or were we imagining it?).
The 3-D glasses we had to wear amplified the Chromadepth colour effects. Were those clowns really there, or were they figments of our imagination? One guest nearly walked into an optical illusion, believing it to be a wall. Talk about messing with our minds!
Scary Tales brought to us twisted versions of fairy tales. A bald Rapunzel cried for help from the top of her tower. But it was a trap, as we later found out that her hair was used to tie people to the foot of the castle until they apparently would die of starvation! A leather-clad Little Red Riding Hood cracked her whip and glared at everyone who crossed her path.
The Snow White we encountered was nothing like the sweet-dispositioned, raven-haired maiden of the fairy tale. This time, she had burnt skin and dressed in an elaborate red gown, beckoning us to bite her poisoned apple with her hideous talons. The theme of fairy tales gone wrong has been explored before, but Halloween Horror Nights’s version was much grislier than any of those versions by a stretch.
Sci-fi fans would be thrilled to enter the L.A.B., which stood for the Laboratory of Alien Breeding, featuring human-alien hybrids. Corpses used for experiments were suspended in life-sized test-tubes. Here, we spied 2 aliens fighting over a mutilated corpse in a cage and it was a freaky challenge to navigate past body bags full of bloodied aliens, that is if you dare to even make your way across.
And for those who want to relate to local supernatural folklore, army tales are the best. At Mati Camp, we witnessed many ‘recruits’ being kicked around by their superiors and tortured incessantly. They were pulled by the hair by evil officers and hung from the monkey bars. Some soldiers had evidently fallen victim to disease, which caused their skin to fester and bleed.
We were not spared by the threatening army officers, who yelled in our faces and forced us to tremble through other hallways of the camp. As we passed an enclosed area full of bloodied arms and legs, our tour guide told us that particular area was inspired by that the famous legend about a recruit from Charlie company on Pulau Tekong who had been killed near the triple-jump exercise area, and his body parts were left scattered all over the ground. This is one camp you want to get the hell out of.
Jing’s Revenge sent shivers down our back, with its bloody, mutilated corpses in varying states of decomposition. Blood prints and trails were all over the walls, and we were able to see the amount of torture that Jing’s bullies had inflicted on her. Who’s Jing? We don’t know and perhaps we don’t want to know either. We believe schoolgirls would be terrified at this sight.
Things to note!
- The 3-D glasses used in the haunted house might cause slight dizziness and headaches.
- Moving cupboard doors might hit you on purpose (like they did to this writer), so be wary of those!
- Smoke machines and strobe lights are used in some of the scare zones.
- Always watch your step. Sometimes, there are stairs and platforms that might not be easily visible in the dark.
- Keep your cameras and phones safe from the water sprays.
Photographs courtesy of Klix Photography/Jeremy Ong. For the complete album, click here!