Now into its seventh run, Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) at Universal Studios Singapore has become a household name and is undoubtedly Singapore’s premier scare event. But just what does it take to put up a production this large in scale? Here are 7 facts about how HHN7 came to be.
#1. There was no break in between the horrors: brainstorming for HHN7 began almost immediately after HHN6 ended
That’s right, planning and executing HHN is a year-long process that begins as soon as the screams die off at the end of each run. It begins with a massive brainstorm where over a hundred ideas are thrown out onto a whiteboard. At this stage, none of the ideas are censored. The Entertainment team then sees what sticks, which ideas are the most interesting or scary, before they begin narrowing down their options.
This year, the team already knew that they wanted to do something with sins because of the 7 Deadly Sins, but came up with their own original set of 7 Deadlier Sins, and themes that would work well in Singapore based on guest experiences reflected in surveys.
#2. HHN7’s themes were inspired by real-life horrors
Markham Gannon, Creative Director, Entertainment at Resorts World Sentosa, expressed during a behind-the-scenes media preview of HHN7 that the team is never short on content because there are so many beliefs and superstitions in the region to draw inspiration from. I caught up with Michele Klyne, Project Director, Entertainment at Resorts World Sentosa, and asked her just how much of the costumes and sets are based on real superstitions, and how much of it is caricature:
“Most of the costumers seek inspiration from the source and put their own HHN flourish to it… More often than not, when you’re doing a costume, you take the silhouette but you take liberties with that and implement your own original characteristics.”
#3. Every year, it takes up to 6 months before all concept details are finalized
Because a lot of thought goes into the backstory of each Icon, there is significance in every bit of his/her costume. Some of the trinkets on this year’s Midnight Man costume, for instance, represent the curses he’s placed on someone and the souls he’s collected as payment so as to keep himself living, after much of his humanity has been depleted by his use of dark magic. In the process of finalizing all concept details, sketches can go through multiple revisions before they are made into costumes.
#4. There are over 500 scare actors and 120 makeup artists in this year’s HHN
Why is there a need for such an astounding number of cast and crew members? In response, Michele put it best,
“They are delivering world-class standards.”
A team from Resorts World Sentosa also heads over to St. Louis in USA every year for the TransWorld’s Halloween & Attractions Show to pick up the latest in innovation/technology, illusion tricks, animatronics and new applications to be used in subsequent runs of HHN. This ensures that the HHN experience you get at Universal Studios Singapore is nothing but world-class and state of the art.
#5. It takes a harrowing 2.5 hours for each Sinister/Icon to be transformed and made HHN-ready
Prosthetics need to blend seamlessly with the scare actor’s face, and some costumes have many different parts that can only be put together on the scare actor. Here’s a time-lapse video to give you a better understanding of what it takes to bring an Icon to life:
#6. All Icons this year will have their eyes spookily whited out
It is said that eyes are windows to the soul – I guess that just means that all the Icons have lost their souls to the Deadlier Sins they embody. Try staring right into their eyes when you enter the houses, you’ll definitely feel a chill down your spine.
#7. Eerie motifs and symbols will recur throughout some of the houses
Some houses have motifs and symbols – such as the ominous jackdaw above – recurring throughout, from scenic theming at the entrance to the props and on the characters themselves.
Insider tip: for a fully immersive experience, don’t rush through the houses! Instead, try to pick these motifs and symbols out. Comment below to let us know what you’ve found!
GET TICKETS NOW TO SINGAPORE’S PREMIER SCARE EVENT
Universal Studios Singapore’s Halloween Horror Nights 7
Venue: Universal Studios Singapore
Date: 29 September to 29 October 2017 (14 selected nights only)
Time: Starts 7.30pm
Price: standard ticket on event nights at S$68
Keep your eyes peeled for regular updates on our various social media platforms. In the meantime, comment below to let us know what you’re looking most forward to at #HHN7, we want to know!
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