Last year, this writer had the opportunity to attend Warner Bros. Studios’ first iteration of their “Horror Made Here” Halloween-themed celebration that took attendees all over the WB lot for a multi-media experience. For this year, though, they really upped the fun factor by streamlining the event, and embracing all these amazing properties that have done so well for both WB as well as New Line Cinema. There were Freddy Kruegers running amok, Valak was coming out of the walls, and even a few Gremlins showed up in the shadows to boot.
All in all, “Horror Made Here” was an absolutely sublime time, especially as a genre fan who grew up on so many of these properties, and I really enjoyed how WB successfully managed to bring together this small-town feel with some big-time horror icons, and if you’re in the Los Angeles area over the next few weekends, it’s definitely worth your time.
Last night, Daily Dead had a chance to experience “Horror Made Here” 2017 during a special press event, and I don’t think I could have geeked out harder. The evening started off with a tour of some props and costumes from recent WB horror hits, including The Conjuring 2, Annabelle: Creation, and the new IT movie, that gave us an up close and personal look at the key components to any successful production. Afterwards, we headed out to the Town Square area (which has made appearances in films like The Monster Squad, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, and The Lost Boys) which was fully decked out for all kinds of Halloween festivities.
Beyond a few mazes (which I’ll get to in one second), they also had some photo ops set up, a makeup demonstration, as well as the “Float” IT VR experience, food trucks, music, and tons of costumed performers running around, messing with attendees (all in the name of fun, of course—I saw a Freddy Krueger dance along to Michael Jackson’s Thriller at one point, and it made my heart so happy). WB also offers up a backlot tour that is simply not to be missed due to an amazing What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? setup that I don’t think I could have possibly loved more.
For their mazes, WB brought their Neibolt House attraction home from Hollywood, and I hope it’s something the studio leaves up year-round, because everyone seems to enjoy it immensely. There seemed to be a few tweaks since I attended it back in August, and I think the improvements certainly added some extra thrills and chills (albeit, I wouldn’t call it traditionally scary myself—although “normal” folks seemed to get the crap scared out of them a few times as we made our way through the creepy abode).
There was also a Conjuring 2 maze where we were taken through the Warrens’ museum of cursed objects, and eventually through a few set pieces, including a persistent scarecrow who was admirably committed to his spooky shtick—at one point, I was already into the next phase of the maze, but I looked back out the door and there he was, still standing there staring at us, and it was pretty freaky (but rad freaky). Valak and that damned portrait from The Conjuring 2 also showed up for one of the best gags of the maze, and I just love seeing a studio celebrating James Wan’s work with such an apparent affection. So great.
The real highlight of the evening for me was the Nightmare on Elm Street experience, where we were taken through a high school set, and Freddy terrorized us (as well as a few of his unfortunate victims) as we made our way through the halls and a classroom setting. Look, I still geek out anytime I see the New Line Cinema logo, so maybe I’m not super impartial here, but this maze felt like getting to be a part of a Nightmare movie, and I was so freaking into it. It also worked out to where it was just myself and my better half in the maze at that time, which meant all the Freddys were waiting for us and were ready to dole out some killer one-liners as they chased us from place to place.
And seriously, hats off to all the guys playing Freddy at “Horror Made Here,” because they were all into the humor of the character, and you could tell they were all having a helluva time getting to bring Freddy to life for the event.
As a whole, I love how WB revamped their whole “Horror Made Here” Halloween celebration, and I think it’s a much more immersive experience for attendees overall than what we got from last year’s event (which was still really good in its own right). It runs this weekend (tonight and Saturday) as well as next Thursday through Saturday, and if you’re going to be in the area, I highly recommend making “Horror Made Here” part of your Halloween plans if you’ve got the time in the next week or so.
Photos by Brian Smith / Daily Dead: