Universal Studios Singapore’s Halloween Horror Nights (USS HHN) is back for its eighth run on select nights from now to 31 October 2018. This year’s event features 5 haunted houses, 2 scare zones, 3 killer shows and Zombie Laser Tag, back-by-popular demand. Each, in turn, has varying degrees of eerie elements, cultural references, stunts and jump scares that appeal to different types of people. To help you plan your route based on what interests you the most, we have come up with a 2018 USS HHN review based on our experience at the media preview.
Share this with your squad so you can plan your route before arrival!
- Unique: Zombie Laser Tag
- Haunted Houses: Stranger Things . The Haunting of Oiwa . Pagoda of Peril . Pontianak . Killuminati
- Scare Zones: Apocalypse: Earth . Cannibal
- Shows: Scaremony . DEAD Talk . Blood and Bones
Zombie Laser Tag
Following its successful debut last year, Zombie Laser Tag returns with an arena double the size. In addition to giving you more space to run about (i.e. a bigger adrenaline rush), this year’s arena comes with an obstacle course you’ll need to traverse, clues you’ll need to find/solve and buttons you’ll need to press to accomplish your mission – all while fending off an army of zombies!
The catch: ammunition will be limited, so do strategize with your team before entering the arena. Click here for a list of tips on how to survive Zombie Laser Tag at HHN8.
Despite the wide age range within my platoon/group, everyone came out having a good laugh at our different reactions – from screaming to hiding behind another to trigger-happy firing – each time we came face to face with a zombie. You’ll definitely be hard-pressed to find any other form of exercise this fun.
This is an add-on experience, which means an upcharge of S$38 per person is required to access the game. Each session can accommodate a team of 8 persons, and each session lasts 10 – 15 minutes. If you do the math, you’ll realise that if you really want to experience this, it is best to run this down as early as possible.
Perhaps the most anticipated house of the year, fans of Stranger Things will get to experience what it’s like to be characters in the much-loved Netflix series. Those who have yet to watch the series needn’t worry – select clips will be screened at the queue lines to get you acquainted with the scenes you’ll be reliving.
With a total of 12 rooms depicting 12 different scenes, each room involves taking a different character’s point of view. Your journey begins the night Will went missing after a strange encounter in the woods, and ends with Eleven’s epic showdown with a Demogorgon in a classroom.
Getting from room to room involves pushing through things like the clothes in Will’s closet or ducking down a tree trunk to enter the Upside Down. These all add up to ensure a seamless, immersive experience.
While you’re busy living out the lives of the characters from Stranger Things, just remember that you’re at HHN and there’re bound to be jump scares when you least expect them!
VERDICT: A MUST-VISIT FOR STRANGER THINGS FANS
The Haunting of Oiwa
Japanophiles will be particularly appreciative of the décor and soundscapes in The Haunting of Oiwa. They instantly transport you back into the chilling Edo-era of Japan.
Upon entering the house, witness how Lady Oiwa gets poisoned by her unfaithful husband, then returns from the dead to exact her revenge.
Because of its simple plot, I personally found this house to have the easiest narrative to follow from start to end.
Expect lots of masks, close-up scares, and eerie laughter in intimate sets that are built according to the scale of actual Japanese houses/rooms of old. For these reasons, I concur that ‘haunting’ in its nomenclature is definitely apt.
VERDICT: MOST SPINE-CHILLING
Pagoda of Peril
Come face to face with one of HHN8’s most malevolent icons, the Yin Demon, when you enter the Pagoda of Peril.
Just like an actual pagoda, Pagoda of Peril is filled with winding steps, candles, joss sticks and smoke (don’t worry, there’s no actual burning).
While the house certainly takes you back in time, I found it interesting that the producers managed to incorporate a substantial amount of modern animatronics into the themed scares. One part of the house, in particular, has a pathway meandering around several life-sized animatronic pieces that contribute to the narrative.
VERDICT: MOST ELABORATE SETS
There were mixed feelings in my group as we stepped into the Malay Kampong of Pontianak. Some were extremely excited because of their familiarity with the regional folklore. Others were rather apprehensive for the very same reason.
The attention to detail throughout the Pontianak house is extremely immaculate. Thick banana leaf foliage and soft, uneven flooring to simulate mud in the plantation, for instance, are combined with a frangipani scent and a cooling breeze to bring visitors right into the heart of a Kampong.
That, plus the strong local/regional cultural relevance of the Pontianak, resulted in this house having the most number of screams for the night.
VERDICT: MOST SCREAMS
Witness the bloody truth behind locked doors as the Chinese secret society of vampires, Killuminati, reveals a world full of mystery, controversy and nightmares.
In terms of physical size, Killuminati is the largest house for HHN8, which allows for the largest number of (and largest scale) aerial stunts, moving sets and even a mini mirror maze.
Watch out for flying bats, members of the Killuminati who may be playing dead at a nightclub and Lu Xi Fa, who may be lurking where you least expect him to.
Experience the utter chaos and wreckage that takes place as Gaia destroys everything in her way with her most terrifying forces to take back what belongs to her and declare war on mankind.
I was impressed by the grandeur of this scare zone’s sets and the strong message that it seemed to weave in: take care of our planet, or face the destructive consequences of pollution and unnecessary resource wastage.
Those who aren’t comfortable with the supernatural will be pleased to note that Apocalypse: Earth provides great jump scares and an immersive thematic experience without any reference to the spiritual.
VERDICT: FOR SCARES WITHOUT SUPERNATURAL REFERENCES
Escape the tribe where not one limb, nor organ, not even a single bone goes to waste.
The setup, suspenseful background music and scare actors at Cannibal come together to collectively form a brooding, foreboding atmosphere that keeps you on your toes. But because scare zones are in open spaces and not confined, Cannibal is a great way to build up your courage before entering any of the haunted houses.
And did we mention that its lighting and smoke make for pretty attention-grabbing Instagram posts?
*Show times vary from day to day. Please refer to the various show schedules listed at the show venues (see map above) when you visit.
Set in Eight Lake Psychiatric Hospital, the Scaremony begins with a scientific documentary-style explanation of fear. The most extreme manifestation of which, we are told, is psychosis.
What unfolds next is either a patient’s psychotic episode, or his worst nightmare coming true. We don’t want to spoil the surprise for you, so you’ll just have to come down to find out for yourself.
The Scaremony links all of HHN8’s icons together, making it a definite must-watch for the full HHN experience. Although slightly shorter than previous years, the good thing is that it serves as a teaser that leaves you wanting more – which is exactly what the haunted houses and scare zones are for.
Think motivational talk show meets musical and you get DEAD Talk, a humourous musical spectacle that will give you a good respite from all of the night’s intense scares.
After a brooding video introduction of Gideon Grim as the Innovator of Death and Guru of Gore, the live performance unexpectedly starts with a rousing musical number by the Gideon Ghoul Dancers.
Intentionally anti-climactic slapstick humour then continues throughout the show, with multiple pop cultural references to various singers and online dating apps.
In addition to getting volunteers from the audience on stage, DEAD Talk also has audience-cam segments that make it more interactive than live shows in past editions of HHN.
Note: Several references in the show may not be suitable for the young; viewer discretion is advised.
VERDICT: WITTY, LIGHT-HEARTED RESPITE
Blood & Bones
Backstory: Each month, at half moon, the Chief of the tribe sacrifices their capture at the ancestral altar. But the show isn’t set in the Cannibal zone without reason; after the human sacrifice is possessed, the tribesmen then devour him for extra strength.
Throw in savage-looking men towering over you on stilts while shouting and chanting in a language you don’t understand, and you get a ton of goosebumps and one heck of a spooky show. But maybe that’s just me – anything ritualistic makes me uncomfortable, really.
VERDICT: MOST INTENSE
Survival tips to note before you head down to HHN8
Let us know in the comments below what’s your favourite aspect of HHN8 and why!
GET YOUR TICKETS TO SINGAPORE’S PREMIER SCARE EVENT TODAY.
Universal Studios Singapore’s Halloween Horror Nights 8
Venue: Universal Studios Singapore
Date: 27 September to 31 October 2018 (18 selected nights only)
Time: 7.30pm till late
Price: standard tickets are at S$58 (non-peak) and S$68 (peak)
Comment below to let us know what you’re looking most forward to at #HHN8, we want to know!
All things Universal Studios Singapore’s Halloween Horror Nights 8
HHN8 Official Website
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Stranger Things House [Exclusive Interview]
HHN8 First Look
8 Tips to Survive Zombie Laser Tag at USS HHN8
HHN8 Spot and Win Instagram Contest
HHN8 Review [Plan your route with this!]
Exclusive Merchandise to Get at HHN8
HHN8 Themed Food & Drinks