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A Sneak Peek into Halloween Horror Nights 8

By InCinemas  /  26 Sep 2018 (Wednesday)
Get ready to face your greatest fears at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights. Here at Universal Studios Singapore, they have out done themselves with not one, not two, but four Asian Haunted Houses that are sure to please any Asian horror fanatic. Not only that, but fans of the highly-acclaimed Netflix’s Stranger Things, will get to be transported right into the heart of the series.
Here is a run-down of all the main attractions:

The Houses


Stranger Things

The highlight of this year’s haunts can be found in this house. Based on the popular Netflix series Stranger Things, journey through this house in a desperate search for Will.

The house features 12 distinctive rooms that feature the iconic scenes from the series. Begin your journey in the Byers Home, then trek through the Upside Down, bend down to escape the Hawkins National Laboratory during a Demogorgon outbreak and finally watch Eleven use her supernatural powers to defeat the Demogorgon in Hawkins Middle School.
Scare factor: 1/5
There is little to no scare factor in this house, it feels more like you are walking through the television series itself.
Storyline: 5/5
The attention to detail in the set and the amazing performances makes it a very immersive and entertaining house.
Overall Experience: 3/5
Fans of the series will rate it much higher but as a haunted house it ranks low.
The Pontianak from Malay mythology is the region’s most iconic ghost. Scream in horror as multiple Potianaks follow you around the house.

While she did feature in houses of previous years, she now has one of her own. In her house, you get to experience her origins, which is said to come from a vengeful spirit that died during childbirth.

She also dwells amongst banana plantations and you will smell a distinct frangipani scent whenever she is near. She also roams around clothing lines that are left outside overnight, so be careful when you see laundry hanging out to dry.
This is a truly terrifying house, the space is tight and claustrophobic and forces you to come face to face with the Pontianak. No matter how large a group you come in, you would still have to enter certain rooms one at a time. You can look down, up, forwards, sideways or backwards, the Pontianak will come from all directions.
Scare factor: 5/5
The house is stunning and has amazing special effects and even flying stunts that are sure to put back the fear in the fearless.
Storyline: 5/5
This house recreates the iconic locations of all her sightings and is sure to leave you with chills down your spine, long after you’ve left. 
Overall Experience: 5/5
Pagoda of Peril
From Malay evil spirits to Chinese Demons guarding the gates of hell. In the Pagoda of Peril, be dragged into the depths of hell as evil spirits seek to claim your soul.

In the beginning of the house you will see people in traditional Chinese funeral attire preparing the burial rites, the thick smell of incense permeates the air. As you venture through the rooms you will see various creatures at every corner.
The headless spirit gave me quite a shock when it suddenly got up and started chasing me. However, while it did provide me with a couple of good scares, this house has the poorest storyline in contrast to the other houses. 
The spirits range from a bride that didn’t get married to an assortment of ugly creatures that roam around. There was also a Pontianak that appeared in front of a trap door. The latter’s appearance being more confusing than scary, and I had to ask her if she went to the right house.
Scare factor: 2/5
A trip to Haw Par Villa at night would have been a scarier experience.
Storyline: 1/5
No context as to why the creatures are there or what they want. This house is easily forgettable.  
Overall Experience: 1.5/5
The Haunting of Oiwa
The Haunting of Oiwa, tells the sad tale of a lovely, young and devoted Oiwa who is in love with her husband. While pregnant with their unborn child, her husband, lemon plots to murder her after he falls in love with his mistress. lemon poisons her, but instead of killing her it horribly disfigures her face. Upon seeing her face, Oiwa kills herself and Iemon nails her body to a door and floats it down a river.
While getting married to his mistress, he begins to see Lady Oiwa’s face everywhere, in the lamps, in the mirrors and behind doors. He frantically waves his sword around, killing everyone he sees, the whole time with Oiwa laughing at him and seeking revenge on the man that betrayed her.
The set design was absolutely stunning, from the exterior architecture to the interior design, the attention to detail really makes you feel like you transported right into the Edo period.

The entire experience and storyline made me feel terrified at how everything got progressively more horrific. The performance also made me feel sympathy for her unjust and untimely death.
Scare factor: 5/5
This is the kind of haunted house that creates a truly horrific environment that slowly creeps right under your skin.
Storyline: 5/5
An amazing retelling of a traditional Japanese ghost story.
Overall Experience: 5/5
I was not expecting much from this house. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually enjoyed this house the most and I had to go back a second time. The highlights of this house are the hyper-realistic Hong Kong aesthetic, the amazing flying stunts and the secret rooms.
When you first enter the house, a Hong Kong gangster will separate you into two groups, one group going to the left and another going to the right. 

Then you will enter the preshow of the house. The Killuminati leader will perform a ritual that will make the dead come to life. Later in the house, it is revealed that this gang is a secret society of Chinese vampires that lure their victims into nightclubs so as to eat them and feed their members.

Later on, venture into the dark underground of their seedy nightclubs, where attractive vampire girls party it up in front of a crowd of dead victims.
Perhaps one of the most stunning architectural feat is found in this house, where you enter into this huge cave structure with human sized bats and huge stalactite features.
I didn’t want to come out of this room because it really looks so good! No photo can do justice to this space, you simply have to see it for yourself.
To kill the final monster, Lu Xi Fa aka Lucifer (this pun is so painfully obvious it kills me a bit), you have to shout, “Blood and Sand!”. On my second time in the house, I shouted “The power of Christ compels you!”, and the performer just went with it, and continued to chant it as the demon was whisked away.
 My friend was lucky enough to be the chosen one that was given a vial of garlic water to spray at the demon. This interactive element to the house, together with the overall great performance by the actors, made this hands-down my favorite house at this event.

Scare factor: 3/5
Great jump scares and great aerial stunts.
Storyline: 5/5
Very interactive storyline and it was so fun discovering the secret rooms when you go on the different paths!
Overall Experience: 4/5


Scare Zones

Apocalypse: Earth
This scare zone recreates a vengeful Gaia out to wreak havoc on city life. She unleashes her most terrifying forces to overtake New York.

Witness the ancient tribe of man-hunters in Cannibal, where the bodies of rivals killed in revenger are being eaten. This scare zone features a street show see – Blood & Bones.

Overall, both scare zones failed to impress. Many of the stage props were featured in previous years of Halloween Horror Nights. Especially with the increase in production value of the houses this year, the scare zones did not live up to expectations. 

Zombie Laser Tag

Back by popular demand, the Zombie Laser Tag returns with an arena double the size. It promises better scares, more zombies and greater obstacles.

It did not disappoint. This was truly the scariest experience in the event. In contrast to the houses, where both performers and guest are not allowed to touch each other, the zombies’ goal is to infect you and they will definitely try their utmost to reach out and grab you.
If you ever wanted to be the star of The Walking Dead, Train to Busan or Resident Evil, now is your chance. I was truly terrified while playing this game and at times I was shooting blind. In one instance, I was running face first into the clothes line while a hoard of five zombies were chasing after me, and I was the last one while everyone else ran faster than me.
This game is a team effort and it pays to stick close to your group or be left behind. On the bright side, it’s nearly impossible to die in the game unless you curl up into a ball and just let the zombies eat you. As long as you keep moving, you will come out alive.
Overall, I would definitely recommend the experience. However, the steep price point of $38/participant on top of your entrance ticket price, may be something you have to consider before going for this experience.


This show held at Hollywood Lagoon Stage will be the opening show that lets fans into the creepy halls of a psychiatric hospital. Here you will have to endure the screams of unwilling patients and the appearance of deadly spirits, or perhaps it’s all just your imagination. 
DEAD Talks
This show held in the Pantages Hollywood Theatre is a nice break to the endless amount of screaming and cries for help outside. This new witty and interactive show is hosted by Gideon Grim who is crass and charismatic, and no topic is too sensitive for him to talk about.

He also engages the public by asking them questions and provides them with tips on how to become better scarers and murderers.  The show ends with a well-choregraphed dance sequence that is sure to entertain.

Blood & Bones 
This show takes places at the Cannibal scare zone. A group of tribesmen will appear to offer during a tribal ritual to their late ancestors. This gruesome ritual will make you lose your appetite when you witness them sacrifice their captive at the ancestral altar.

[This article and photos are contributed by Rennes Lee]

Universal Studios Singapore's Halloween Horror Nights 8
From 27 September to 31 October 2018
Tickets can be purchased from www.halloweenhorrornights.com.sg and at Universal Studios Singapore ticket booths.

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