Posts Tagged ‘California’

It’s getting to that time of year again guys when the Haunt season rolls in and everybody is starting to prepare for Halloween Horror Nights! The following are some random tips for anyone travelling to the event this year! Feel free to leave any other tips etc that you may think of in the comments below!

Thanks guys!

When should I go?

Any night in September is good. The later you go in Fall, the busier it will be. Saturdays are the busiest days of the week, followed by Friday. You should avoid the week before Halloween at all costs. November 1st is the last night of the event, and the crowds return to September levels, if that.

Is an Express Pass worth it?

It fluctuates in price each night. Some nights you would be paying as much as a regular admission. I’d consider buying one if 5/8 of the houses exceed a 90 minute wait time. So, in summary, get one on Fridays and Saturdays between Oct. 15-31.

Other Tips and Tricks

*The first and last Bill and Ted show each night are the least crowded

*Start your house from the back of the park and make your way to the front of the park as the night progresses.

*HHN is at its peak capacity around 10:30. Guests start to leave after then. Get into the park as close to the opening as you can.

*Talk to strangers. It helps distract you from the lines you’re waiting in.

I usually bring a backpack filled with the following items:

  • Poncho – Probably the most important item in my backpack. I recall one night where it rained literally all night. My girlfriend and I were soaked from head to toe. Then we bought ponchos. It at least keeps the rain off of your clothes. The downside to a poncho is that it gets pretty humid inside of it due to your body heat and the rain.
  • Small Umbrella – If you have the poncho, you’re probably ok. I bring a small umbrella just in case I don’t feel like wearing a poncho and the rain isn’t that bad.
  • Extra Socks/Shoes – This is only if you anticipate the rain is going to be bad. Usually when it rains, the lines for the houses get filled with huge puddles of water. Then you’re going to step in those big puddles and have wet shoes and socks. Then you’re going to hate your life.
  • Handheld game – Lines are long, and waiting in line staring at the drunk guy who took his shirt off and is singing Lady Gaga is only funny for the first 10 minutes, then it’s just sad and kinda creepy. Therefore, I usually bring my Nintendo DS and I’m distracted long enough to not notice the 2 hour wait times on each of the houses.

The backpack in itself is a great thing to bring because it can hold anything you buy during the event. You will have to open your backpack at the checkpoint to City Walk as well as the entrance to Universal. To make this as smooth and as easy as possible, I put together the following tips.

Things to not bring:

  • Weapons/anything that could be considered a weapon – You are going to have to pass through a metal detector when you come in the park. Don’t bring pocket knives, bottle openers, kendo sticks, or anything else that could be considered a weapon. Otherwise you’ll get it taken away and may not be let in.
  • Pens/Markers – I experienced this last year. I had just come from school so I had some Micron Pens in my backpack. The security pulled me to the side and told me that pens/markers weren’t allowed in the park. They took them, gave me a slip of paper and told me I could pick them up when I left the park. I don’t know what damage I could do with a Micron Pen, but it happened.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol in the park is expensive. I know your friends have done it and gotten away with it, so you’re going to try it. Don’t try and sneak alcohol in. They’ll just make you throw it away. And they won’t let you finish it off either.
  • Masks/Costumes – Just don’t bring these. The scareactors are here to scare people, not you. Which leads me to my next point…

Tips for not being an a-hole at Halloween Horror Nights:

  • Don’t attempt to scare/mess with the scareactors. This is probably the thing I see most from middle schoolers that got dropped off at the park by their moms. They want to look cool and mess with the scareactors. They try to sneak up on them in the streets and scare them from behind. Well it’s not cool, it’s rude and ruins things for the rest of us. This also goes for the houses. Don’t attempt to go into the actor’s boo-holes. Just walk through the house and experience it.
  • Don’t hound the scareactors for pictures. Sure, some will take pictures with you, but they’re here to scare people, not to take a selfie with you on Instagram.
  • Don’t blame the workers for long lines. Treat them with respect. They are just trying to work and put on this great yearly event for us.
  • Don’t touch anything in the houses. The creative team spent tons of time on these houses in making them extremely detailed. There are always drunk people that wander in the houses and rip stuff off of a table in a room. Just look around and experience it. No touchy.
  • Don’t smoke in line. This is probably the most annoying thing ever. Standing behind a guy for 2 hours who is chain smoking. Not only is it inconsiderate, but it can also get you kicked out of line. Universal has designated smoking areas for that.

 

I mean, the ship isn’t actually starring in the film, but it will be the centerpiece of a new thriller from Ubiquity Studios.

Ubiquity Studios has been in the entertainment industry for years, however, this new Queen Mary film is set to kick off their excursion into feature films.  Variety is reporting that the project will be written by Gary Dauberman, who previously worked on the 2008 film “Swamp Witch” and is currently attached to the New Line feature “Crawlspace.”

Right now the only thing we know about the film is that it’ll be exploring the Queen Mary’s rich history and that Ubiquity CEO Chris Carmichael is calling it “‘The Shinning’ on a ship.” Alright Chris, you had my curiosity. But now you have my attention.

Those of you that live outside of California or who aren’t up to date on your naval history might not know what the Queen Mary is, so here’s a brief history lesson from someone who has recently read the Wikipedia article.

The Queen Mary is currently a popular tourist attraction located in Long Beach, California.  Before The Queen found herself permanently docked, though, she was a world-class cruise liner that first set sail in 1936.  However, even the prestigious ship wasn’t immune to the draft when World War 2 came around and the The Queen was recommissioned as a transport vessel taking soldiers to and from.  Thanks to her speed and a fresh coat of navy grey paint, The Queen earned a new nickname: The Grey Ghost.

On one fateful voyage in December 1942, The Queen was carrying a record number of 16,082 troops from New York to Great Britain.  This nearly turned out to be a monumental disaster when the boat was hit by a 92 foot tall rogue wave that put the ship at a 52 degree angle, nearly capsizing her.  The incident then inspired writer Paul Gallico to pen “The Poseidon Adventure”, which was then turned into the movie which featured The Queen Mary as the titular ship.

The Queen was retired in 1967 and has since been a source of many ghost tales and haunting testimonials.  It’s also the home of a pretty incredible Halloween attraction.  There’s certainly plenty of ways one could extract an excellent thriller from the history of The Queen, it’ll be interesting to see what direction writer Gary Dauberman takes.

I’ve attached a video from the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor event this year to give you a look at some of the exciting things that this amazing ship is involved in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOn0C5gXAYI

Release Date Announced for The Purge 2

It was just a couple of weeks back that we received the official word that The Purge 2 was going ahead for Universal Pictures. Basically it was a no-brainer considering the box-office results, but then again, from what I’ve heard from many of you, the film just didn’t live up to the box-office hype.

So, the sequel. If you enjoyed the first are you stoked for a second round? I suggest you get that pen and paper ready as we can reveal that the film will hit this June 20, 2014.

Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Pictures will be producing alongside Platinum Dunes and Sebastian Lemercier.

James DeMonaco is said to be returning to write and direct The Purge 2.

Watching this story come together was akin to watching someone slowly putting together a jigsaw puzzle of the most violent kind. Read on for all the details that have been confirmed thus far.

The mystery ball got rolling today when Production Weekly tweeted: “THE PURGE team of Jason Blum, Michael Bay and writer/director James DeMonaco reunite for Universal’s THE ZONE, filming begins mid-Dec. in LA.”

From there Bloody Disgusting reported that the California Film Commission granted tax credits to The Purge 2 back in June, around the same time they granted tax credits to 30 or so other films, including the Entourage movie. If you’ve been following non-horror film news, you’ll know that Entourage has to start filming by January to receive those credits. The same most likely goes for The Purge 2.

Enter Variety with this tidbit…

James DeMonaco is returning to write and direct the sequel to his hit film The Purge for Universal and Blumhouse. Jason Blum of Blumhouse will produce through his first-look deal with Universal. Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes and Sebastien Lemercier are also returning to produce.

Blumhouse is in line to receive a $2.25 million tax credit from the state of California for The Purge 2, which was one of 31 projects that received a conditional approval on June 3 for California’s Film and Television Tax Credit program. If it’s cleared by the state, Purge 2 will receive the credit covering up to 25% of the budget once production is completed and an audit has established that the production funds were spent in California. The sequel would have to begin shooting by the end of the year and meet several other requirements if it’s to receive the credit.

 

The Purge Blu-ray/DVD/Digital

Though the major Halloween events in California seem to center around the big theme parks like Universal Studios and Knott’s Berry Farm, there’s one Halloween event that takes in the most unlikeliest of places.

The Dark Harbor is an intense Halloween attraction located in the historic and beautiful Queen Mary. Throughout the year it sets docked in the Long Beach harbor acting as popular tourist attraction and location for elegant events.  But during the month of October, that all gets tossed out the window and  the Queen is transformed into a horrifying ghost ship.

While I enjoy Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights for it’s spectacle and big name attractions, I have to say that  Dark Harbor is one of the scariest attractions in all of California.  This year they’ve already announced the mazes that will be featured at Dark Harbor, which you can read below, and they’re introducing a new character into the foray in the form of the “Ringmaster.”  Along with the new character comes a new sort of maze which centers around a dark and twisted circus.  Nightmarish clowns?  Sign me up!

  • CIRCUS– Come experience the horror under The Queen Mary’s very own big top tent inside the deadly dome, the heart of The Captain’s Carnival. Face your greatest fears as you find your way through disorienting illusions, fatally horrific magic and circus wonders never before imagined. Just watch your step – the Ringmaster is on the loose and could trap you eternally inside the circus of the dead.
  • DEADRISE-The wreckage of Deadrise has once again been called into service by The Captain to escort him and his army of super ghosts and monsters into a battle against the living to reclaim Dark Harbor. As you walk through the carnage of the maze, beware – the undead are ready to fight for your soul.
  • HELLFIRE– Enter if you dare, but consider yourself warned because once you enter this haunted inferno you’ll be dying to get out. And be sure to keep an eye out for Henry, who took the dare of a lifetime aboard the Queen Mary and never disembarked. His soul is trapped here at Dark Harbor, so he passes his time by playing tricks on the living, just when you think you know what to expect Henry will show up to turn things upside down.
  • SUBMERGED– Submerged will take your fears to a whole new level, as you try to escape from the sinking ship, you will find out that there’s more to be afraid of than just going to your watery grave. Graceful Gale has claimed the depths of submerged. Her beauty in life and in death keep the men lined up for a dance. But be warned, she not only captivates she also captures souls.  And be on the look out for Mary, who has haunted the Queen Mary ever since her horrible drowning in the poolroom over 50 years ago. Now she is passing her time in her playroom in our maze Submerged, just waiting for an eternal playmate…
  • CONTAINMENT– On a 1948 Atlantic voyage, Samuel was locked away in room B340 after a violent outburst. When the crew went to check on him, they found the room in disrepair and Samuel himself violently ripped apart and dead. Now his soul is held in Containment and he is fighting to escape. Sometimes it’s what you can’t see that you should be most afraid of. In Containment, your fear of the unknown will take you to the edge or terror and back.
  • THE VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED– Just because you’re not on the ship doesn’t mean that you’re not in harm’s way. One walk through Village of the Damned will have you running for your life. And be on the look out for the Captain, though he calls Deadrise home, he tends to wonder about haunting all of Dark Harbor and The Queen Mary.

For more information on Dark Harbor and how you can attend, be sure to visit their site.  And be sure to check out the teaser video below.

The haunting story of ‘La Llorona,’ a beautiful girl named Maria from a poor village who desperately sought to win the affection of a rich nobleman. But this nobleman wanted nothing to do with Maria due to her having children, so as a plea to be his she drown her children. After this the nobleman completely shunned her. Overcome with anguish, she drowns herself in a bitter end.  According to legend, when she arrived at the gates of heaven she was asked where her children were? And was told she could not pass to the afterlife till they were found. Maria’s tormented and distressed spirit wanders the earth, eternally piercing the night with mournful cries, “My children!  Where are my children?” ― giving rise to her name, ‘La Llorona’ or ‘The Weeping Woman.’ She’s back and she is making the long journey from Hollywood to Orlando in order to find her children,  La Llorona’s frail, drenched body lurking throughout the dead of night will invariably elicit unwavering dread from the helpless village inhabitants or maze guests, as her presence signifies impending death.

la llorona hhn23

La Llorona first came to life in 2011 as a maze in Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood, based on the local legend of The Weeping Woman. The house was so popular that HHN brought it back for another year with ‘The Child Hunter’. This year it’s Orlando’s turn to face the wrath of the woman in white. Watch out, she could be coming to get you!!

Urban Legends: La Llorona will take the tale that was used in Hollywood and build it for Florida audiences who aren’t as familiar with the legend that is very popular in Mexican culture in California. La Llorona will join the likes of The Walking Dead,Evil Dead and The Cabin in the Woods for Halloween Horror Nights 23 in Universal Orlando. This is the first house of ‘Reveal Week’ for hhn. Every night this week at midnight another announcement will be made.

What’s next guys? Think I might know… so stay tuned and maybe I will have some hints out there before the next reveal!!

So far the “Dead Rising 3″ trailers have all been dark and moody apocalyptic affairs.  Which is appropriate when dealing with the rise of undead hordes, however; the “Dead Rising” series has always had it’s tongue firmly planted in it’s cheek.  The series is quirky, absurd, and completely over-the-top which is a sensation that has been missing from the trailers.  Until now.

In the latest video, the Devs behind “Dead Rising 3″ sit down to animatedly discuss the joys of zombie killing. The video is filled with quick highlights of insane weaponry and questionable fashion choices.  Want to sport a banana hammock while fighting the undead? Probably not the best idea, but you can do it!  The video even reveals a giant teddy bear with fully automatic machine guns mowing down zombies.  It would appear as if the series will remain just as insane as ever.

On the less crazy side (or maybe crazier side depending on your Kinect views) the developers briefly discussed how the Kinect would be utilized in the game.  The one quick example that they threw out there was that you can yell at your Kinect and the sound would be heard in-game by the zombies.  So if you wanted to distract a bunch of zombies or get their attention, you can simply scream at them like a madman.  I don’t know why you would want to do that, unless it’s vital for some gameplay scenarios in which you’re trying to keep the zombies from attacking a target.  Check out the trailer below and bask in the joys of zombie killing.

“Dead Rising 3″ places players in the role of Nick Ramos who must find a way to escape a city full of zombies before an impending military strike wipes the city of Los Perdidos, California, and everyone in it, off the map.  The game is coming exclusively to the XBox One and will hit shelves in November.

Kinda crazy news right now…

First, Variety reports that actress Shannon Richardson, who has appeared on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and “Vampire Diaries,” was arrested Friday afternoon in connection with ricin-laced letters sent to President Obama and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. NBC News first reported the arrest. News comes two weeks after Richardson had reached out to authorities claiming her husband, Nathan Richardson, had sent the letters. Nathan, an army veteran, has since been questioned by the FBI. Shannon recently contacted authorities claiming she had found suspicious materials in her refrigerator that could be connected to the letters but investigators are now saying she was the one who sent the letters. “You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns,” the message sent to Bloomberg read, according to NBC New York. “Anyone who wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. The right to bear arms is my constitutional God given right and I will exercise that right till the day I die.” Richardson is currently at federal court in Texas awaiting arraignment.

In other news, AP reports that Richard Ramirez, pictured above, the demonic serial killer known as the “Night Stalker” who left satanic signs at murder scenes and mutilated victims’ bodies during a reign of terror in the 1980s, died early Friday in a hospital, a prison official said. Ramirez, 53, had been taken from San Quentin’s death row to a hospital where authorities said he died of liver failure. Prison officials said they could not release further details on the cause of death, citing federal patient privacy laws. Ramirez had been housed on death row for decades and was awaiting execution, even though it has been years since anyone has been put to death in California. At his first court appearance, Ramirez raised a hand with a pentagram drawn on it and yelled, “Hail, Satan.” His marathon trial, which ended in 1989, was a horror show in which jurors heard about one dead victim’s eyes being gouged out and another’s head being nearly severed. Courtroom observers wept when survivors of some of the attacks testified.

Ramirez was convicted of 13 murders that terrorized Southern California in 1984 and 1985 as well as charges of rape, sodomy, oral copulation, burglary and attempted murder. Thoughts?

Jason-NECA-03The San Diego Comic-Con will be taking place in late July, and we’re already starting to hear about some of the exclusive items that will be offered at the event. NECA just revealed that they’ll be selling a new Jason Voorhees figure, based on the 1989 video game.

Via Figures.com: “Released in 1989 for the super popular 8-Bit home console, the video game Friday the 13th is so bad… it’s good. A cult classic if there ever was one, this retro title had you running around Camp Crystal Lake trying to survive, find and kill Jason Voorhees. While fighting off man-eating wolves, bats and zombies had NOTHING to do with the Friday the 13th movies, the big payoff was encountering the murderous masked man himself. It is this video game version of Jason – in all his purple and blue 8-bit animated glory – that NECA is paying a homage to with their second 2013 San Diego Comic-Con exclusive release.

NECA’s Friday the 13th Jason (1989 Video Game Appearance) Comic-Con Exclusive will be a fully articulated 7-inch figure done up in that truly horrifying video game deco. Better yet is Jason’s glow-in-the-dark features. Jason’s mask, hands, and feet will glow a soft blue, while his included machete blade and axe head will glow white. This comic-Con exclusive will come in a special window box packaging with opening flap to re-create the look and feel of the classic 1989 Friday the 13th video game packaging.

Fans can pick up Friday the 13th Jason (1989 Video Game Appearance) during San Diego comic-Con July 17-21 at NECA’s booth #3145. This exciting exclusive will be priced at $25.”Jason-NECA-01