Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights 2015 Recap: Scare Zones & Terror Tram

Universal Studios Hollywood

Well, that was a mouthful of a title.  Anyway, folks, welcome to the second installment of #ShriekySunday, a stretch of a hashtag that combines my love of Halloween things with my future career as dad joker.  Today, we take on the second part of our review of last year's Halloween Horror Nights event by looking at the four scare zones and the 2015 iteration of the Terror Tram, featuring The Purge.  Lets jump right in!


The entry scare zone for last year's Horror Nights was Exterminatorz.  Centered around a dystopia where dark, twisted mutant creatures have emerged to destroy the humans who consider them pests, this scare zone featured a variety of insectoid and arachnid monsters, the now habitual flame towers, chainsaw guys, and the traditional entry plaza go-go dancers.  It was a solid offering and a nice change of pace from the repetitive Purge themed entry scare zone of previous years, but other than the change in scenery, it seemed to lack the effort of previous years.  The talent was still great, and it was still the place to be to catch the Chainsaw Chase out at the end of each night, but the area didn't feel quite as intense as past events.

Dark Christmas

My favorite scare zone from 2014 (and for Halloween Horror Nights, of all time) returned last year with its same twisted yuletide theming all scattered along Baker Street.  Back were the Krampus and his creepy creatures, roaming with vicious energy and great scares to terrify any guests brave enough to walk through.  The killer Christmas theme was absolutely brilliant--a fantastic ironic twist off the usual happy season's greetings.  And even though this was a returning scare zone with not much different, I loved it so much from the previous year that I was happy to have it back.


Themed after undead World War I soldiers come back to life and terrify, this scare zone was located in the Moulin Rouge and French area of the Upper Lot.  The scare zone itself was pretty small and not as densely staffed as the above two areas, and as a result seemed to suffer from a lack of energy when I passed through.  Though the decorations were their typical gory goodness, the area didn't really strike anything exceptional for me.

The Purge: Urban Nightmare

Down on the Metro Lots, where guests could check out the Crimson Peak and Alien vs Predator mazes, guests had to enter the human hunting zone known as The Purge first.  Though small, this area was a bottleneck, allowing scareactors to pop out and aggressively come at guests with some fine results.  Though I've seen this scare zone done better in previous iterations (The Walking Dead in 2013 and 2014 come to mind), this was not a bad set.  It was just small.

Terror Tram

For repeat visitors to Horror Nights, the Terror Tram has become the same experience dressed up with a different theme each year.  For those who are new or come once every few years, it is a pretty unique and thrilling walk through parts of the Backlot, past the Bates Motel, up by the Pyscho House, and through the War of the Worlds set littered with destroyed houses and downed airplanes and general ruin.  2015 actually brought a relatively strong showing with the Terror Tram, though, via its adoption of The Purge theme.  The lack of a supernatural force actually benefited the area, since it meant that these were actual deranged people trying to cut apart guests.  It added a more believable ambiance, and the scareactors helped themselves with spirited performances as well.  And though this attraction has gotten old for me, I do think that last year was a pretty solid showing.

And that wraps up Halloween Horror Nights for 2015.  Stay tuned for more Halloween throwbacks in the upcoming months toward Halloween.  I've got all of last year's events to repost eventually, and there were a lot of updates that ended up lost down the drain.  Well, now that we've got a stable platform back, I'm going to zombify that content and bring it back for your devouring eyes' pleasure.  Happy Sunday.  Is it Haunt (season) yet?

Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.