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Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 19: Ripped From the Screen gets underway this evening

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 19: Ripped From the Screen gets underway this evening

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There are all sorts of rituals associated with the opening of a brand-new show. Take – for example – how veteran performers will wish each other well on opening night. They never say “Good Luck” or “Have a good show.” They always say “Break a leg.”

Well, the Universal Orlando Resort has its own rituals, especially when it comes to Halloween Horror Nights. Which is why – yesterday morning – set decorator Karen Rigsby visited each of the eight haunted houses that will be featured at this year’s event. And as she dropped by each of these venues, Karen carried with her a bucket of fake blood as well as a plastic severed hand.

Karen Rigsby prepares the hand for blood day at Universal's Halloween Horror Nights
Karen Rigsby is ready to lend a hand as part of Universal Orlando’s “Blood Day” ritual.
Copyright 2009 Universal Orlando Resort. All Rights Reserved

“What’s with the gruesome props?,” you ask. Well, this is how the creative team at Universal Orlando puts the finishing touches on Halloween Horror Nights. With the yearly tradition of “Blood Day.” Where – with the flick of that plastic wrist – each of the haunted houses is then doused with fake blood. Which then makes it ready for the hundreds of thousands of people who will pour into Universal Studios Florida over the next few weeks. Ready to have the cr@p scared out of them at Halloween Horror Nights 19: Ripped From the Silver Screen.

As you can see by the photographs that accompany today’s Orlando Fun Tickets article, all is in readiness for tonight’s grand opening. Where -- for the first time ever -- Universal Orlando is devoting its entire Halloween Horror Nights event to bringing horror films to life. All eight of HHN’s haunted houses, all six of the park’s scare-zones, even this event’s two live shows (i.e. “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show: A Tribute”) will be directly inspired by some of today’s most popular horror films.

Billy's on his bicycle and ready to scare anyone who comes near
Copyright 2009 Universal Orlando Resort. All Rights Reserved

And the attention to detail that the creative team at Universal Orlando has brought to Halloween Horror Nights 19 really is kind of stunning. Take – for example – the “SAW” haunted house, which will pay tribute to one of the most profitable horror franchises in Hollywood history.

As Universal Studios Florida visitors move through this hyper-detailed environment, they’ll encounter startling replicas of some of the most iconic moments from the “SAW” movies. Only instead of being able to watch these horrific images from the safety of your seat in the movie theater … Guests are going to find themselves in Jigsaw’s lair, where their very actions can then set Billy’s gruesome traps in motion.

Jigsaw's Lair at Universal Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando
Copyright Universal Orlando Resort. All Rights Reserved

And it’s not just modern horror films that “Ripped From the Screen” is going to pay tribute to. The classic Universal Pictures movie monsters will be getting in on the fun as well, but in bold new ways.

Take – for example – “Dracula: Legacy of Blood.” This haunted house will celebrate the bloodsucker who first appeared in a Universal Pictures release ‘way back in 1931. Only this HHN venue will NOT be recreating Bela Lugosi’s now-almost-comical take on the Count (i.e. “I vant to drink your blood”). But – rather – a far edgier take on Bram Stoker’s classic character. As Vlad Dracul tries to persuade the many females who will make their way through this particular maze to come join him in everlasting life by becoming Dracula’s bride or risk an eternity of torment by rejecting his offer.

Dracula from Universal's Halloween Horror Nights
Copyright 2009 Universal Orlando Resort. All Rights Reserved

Yes, the stakes (Sorry. Unintentional vampire joke there) will be high at Halloween Horror Nights 19: Ripped From the Screen. Particularly at the Universal Palace Theater, where Julian Browning – the undead usher who serves as the central character at the “Silver Screams” haunted house – waits to tear your ticket (or your head off) after you enter this long empty, decaying movie palace.

Here at “Silver Screams,” the horrors really will be “Ripped From the Screen.” As characters from “Shaun of the Dead,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “My Bloody Valentine 3D,” and more come down off the screen and then begin to menace all those who dare to enter the Universal Palace.

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando
Copyright 2009 Universal Orlando Resort. All Rights Reserved

One of the real highlights of Fall here in Central Florida, Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights gets underway this evening. And for 23 select nights between now and October, the scariest creatures to ever appear up on the silver screen will be wandering around Universal Studios Florida, ready to give people a frightfully good time.

Just so you know: Orlando Fun Tickets has discounted tickets available for selected nights at Halloween Horror Nights 19: Ripped From the Silver Screen. So if you’d like to save a little dough (Which you can then apply toward your therapist’s bill. Who will – it’s hoped – eventually help you recover from whatever horrors await inside of those 8 haunted house & 6 scare-zones).

Halloween Horror Nights Artwork
Copyright 2009 Universal Orlando Resort. All Rights Reserved

For further information on discounted admission to Halloween Horror Nights, please click on this link.

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  • So, um, was it just me, or was this year's Courtney Mills Universal Halloween Horror Nights essentially the same as it was last year?

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