Hey Thrill Seekers,
So yesterday Dead Exposure: Patient Zero was announced as the first Original House for this years scarefest at HHN28. The word ‘original’ had got me thinking before the name was even announced and I had 2 ideas: could it be an original house from one of the first HHN’s or could it be a completely new ‘original’ IP? I’m going to take this one as a win as I was kind of right, right?
I’ve been doing a bit of digging to find out just how original Dead Exposure is and it turns out that it was last seen at Halloween Horror Nights in 2008 and this years house is a sequel/prequel (i’ll get to that later). So seeing as I was only 12 back in 2008 funnily enough I have never experienced first hand what Dead Exposure is really like, all I knew was that if you had been through the house and someone mentioned its name, even 5 years down the line, your toes would still curl at the memories…
What do we know?
Dead Exposure was 1 of 8 houses featured in Universals Halloween Horror Nights: Reflections of Fear back in 2008 which was the ‘year of Bloody Mary’. It took guests on a journey ‘through’ Charlie McPhersons photographs as he navigated his way through a city of flesh eating zombies where the only source of light was his camera flash. The creators of HHN used backlight strobes perfectly timed with the noise of camera clicks to pull off the feeling that you’re walking through photographs. They also used special paint on the costumes and set to highlight certain parts. The whole house (apart from the first and last rooms) was in complete darkness with only those camera flashes to light the way.
Found on Halloween Horror Nights Wiki was a description of the walk through itself:
Reaching the front of the house, guests were greeted with loud music which had famously been featured in zombie movies. Standing in front of the entrance was a large bulletin board with ghostly pictures and notes covering it noting where in town each of the photographs were taken. Walking into a hole in the board, guests entered into photographer, Charlie McPherson’s, apartment. The electricity was out and somethings were pounding on all of the windows with guests only able to see their shadows. Charlie himself was lurking in the apartment, warning guests as they walked by of what he saw and urging them to hurry out of there and to look into his portfolio.
Leaving the room, guests entered the pictures that he had taken that night. With three clicks and flashes at a time the room was illuminated to reveal a hardware store. A number of zombies surrounded both sides of the path, ready to attack. Continuing on Charlie’s path, guests entered the sewer. Drips and other sounds were heard from the darkened path, and a camera flash illuminated a zombie lurking in the sewer pipe on the wall. The path continued toward the surface again through a narrow hallway with zombies inside of the walls.
Reaching the surface, guests were inside a public bathroom. Stalls surrounded the path with some open and zombies inside of them. A zombie blocked the path out of the room and would only move between camera clicks. Once through Charlie’s pictures brought guests outside into a park. Abandoned seemingly quickly by the humans, zombies lurked in the park equipment and near the toys left by children. Leaving the park, guests entered a room full of zombies . Seemingly surrounded by dozens of zombies, there was no clear path through the middle of the area. While guests tried to navigate, zombies would attack between camera flashes.
Once the room was successfully navigated, guests entered a hallway. Camera flashes revealed zombies hanging above the path. Following the hallway around a corner, flashes revealed a lone zombie underneath the clear flooring trying to get out at guests. Done with Charlie’s pictures, guests walked back into his apartment. A number of zombies were surrounding a table to the right of the path. On the table was Charlie, screaming as he was torn apart to be eaten by his attackers. A final zombie, who looked suspiciously like Charlie, popped out of a closet at the other end of the room to scare guests out of the house.
I don’t think anyone was really prepared for how scary this house was going to be, i’ve been reading a few reviews and every single one of them mentions the impact of the pitch black and the fact you can’t even see your own hands in front of your face. Scottyrif from Halloween Horror Nights Unofficial said “The camera flashes were the only source of light throughout the entire house experience, and scareactors would scare the hell out of you in those brief moments of bright flash. Of course, once the light was out again, it was even harder to see because our eyes couldn’t adjust to the extreme change from light to dark.”
Here’s a review of Dead Exposure from HHN18 by attractions magazine:
Scare Factor: 9/10
Entertainment Factor: 7/10
You do not want to miss Dead Exposure. Period. The premise is that you’re in the world of a photographer who has stumbled upon an outbreak of zombies… and you’re stepping into his black and white photographs. It’s the most unique of all the houses as it is pitch black inside, with occasional strobes of blacklight illuminating your way, providing you only with a quick “picture” of what’s around you. A constant droning sound gets your heart racing and you never know where the next scare is coming from.
So earlier on I said that this years house Dead Exposure: Patient Zero is a sequel / prequel to the house featured in 2008. Let me explain, so basically the concept of each house is the same but there is a different storyline. This years house will actually take you back to 1982 and is set in Paris where the zombie epidemic is just beginning and the only people on your side are the military who are issuing vaccinations but with a BIG side effect… Blindness. Check out my blog from yesterday for more information on Dead Exposure: Patient Zero
Dead Exposure was also voted house of the year back in 2008 and looked absolutely terrifying – one of the scariest i’ve seen or read about and with how far technology has come in 10 years I would bet my left leg that this year it is going to be even more so…
I can’t wait!