Aug. 16--Halloween Horror Nights fans may howl at the latest news: A haunted house at this year's event will be based on the 1981 film "An American Werewolf in London," Universal Orlando announced early this morning.
The attraction is being created with the help of "Werewolf" writer-director John Landis.
"It's something we've always wanted to do, and we've finally figured out a way that we'll be able to," said creative director Michael Aiello. "The only way this could have happened as authentically as we've been able to do it was with John's involvement with us."
Halloween Horror Nights is an after-hours, extra-ticket event featuring intense scares and entertainment in haunted-house mazes and on the streets of Universal Studios theme park. This year's edition runs 27 select nights between Sept. 20 and Nov. 2.
The "American Werewolf" house will follow the film's story line, in which a young man (played by David Naughton) survives an attack by a werewolf but eventually morphs into a bloodthirsty beast. Horror Nights guests will see key scenes and locales -- a London tube station, an adult-movie theater, a nightmarish living room -- re-created for the event.
And they'll encounter full-size wolves along the way, Aiello said.
"They're going to be puppeteered. They're going to be jumping out at the guests," he said.
Landis, who also directed "Animal House" and "The Blues Brothers," provided advice for the house and source materials for the wolf heads.
"They are using the exact same -- now sort of dated but effective -- technology that we used," Landis said Wednesday.
Universal also is replicating the makeup look of "Werewolf," which was created by Rick Baker. He won the first Academy Award for makeup for his work on the movie.
"The attraction is really homage to Rick's work," Landis said.
The "American Werewolf" house will sound like the film, too.
"We had to go back to the original elements of the soundtrack and break down the tracks," Landis said. "They used the sound effects from the film and the music from the film. ... They create a whole new ambience -- but it's a new mix for this specific environment."
The movie's howl is iconic, Aiello said.
"Capturing the sound of the wolf was incredibly important," he said. "We didn't want to try to replicate or re-create those sounds if we knew we could have access to them."
The film is known for its quirkiness and as being a horror film with a sense of humor.
"The maze is intense and scary -- and not that funny. The movie is intense and scary and very funny," Landis said. "So that's a little different. You certainly get the scary part."
Other Horror Nights houses will be based on horror films "Evil Dead" and "The Cabin in the Woods" plus the AMC television drama "The Walking Dead." Universal also will present three original mazes.
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