It’s here. The full review of Halloween Horror Nights 4 at Universal Studios Singapore. Uncover the Minister of Evil‘s top-secret plans to transform the park into a realm of terror, with all-new scare zones, haunted houses and stage show!
[ Cover Photo: Big Bad Joe, the Sheriff, at Canyon of the Cursed ]
The Halloween Horror Nights 4 Review by Dejiki
This is a review of Universal Studios Singapore’s 2014 Halloween Horror Nights programme and attractions, such as the haunted houses and scare zones. Opinions and reports on the guest experience (wait times, happenings, crowds, etc) will be in the HHN4 Event Report. In-depth tours of scare zones, haunted houses and the new stage show will be published in the HHN4 Special Features series.
These articles will be published separately throughout HHN4 season. Check back often!
Review based on the experience from Media Preview Night. Guest experience during event nights will vary due to crowd conditions and creative adjustments by the park.
★ Rating System
Rating uses three categories on a 5-star scale: The Story concept – how compelling and engaging the narrative is. Presentation is a combined score the production values for theming, including props, special effects and scare actors’ costuming and make-up. Scare Factor rates how scary each zone or house was, including scare actors’ performance.
If the attraction is incredible and amazing, it would be awarded with bonus blood-red stars – a mark of expectations exceeded.
Note: Score adjustment with actual event night ratings
After attending HHN4 during the opening weekend, it is obvious that the scare factor for all attractions have been toned down due to crowd conditions and slowdowns in haunted houses. In view of that, the current scores are updated.
Refer to HHN4 Event Report for more event night updates.
Review: HHN4 Scare Zones
〜 A new age of evil beckons 〜
Demons run amok in Demoncracy, crawling out of ruins of the city, including the pieces of Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty’s torch, lit with a demonic blaze, is now a beacon welcoming the new era of evil. With total dominance over the city, demons and monsters terrorize the last surviving humans… and park guests.
New York zone is always home to the most elaborate scare zones, and clearly the park has bigger plans each year. Alas, while the atmosphere is immersive and the scare actors look incredible with their costume and make-up, this area does not bring the chaos it promised. Compared to past attempts, Demoncracy seems too inviting.
The Exorcism show at Demoncracy extend the story for this zone and you should make plans to watch it. Be at the New York Library about 10 minutes before show times for a good viewing spot.
Scare Factor: ★★★★☆
〜 Your darkest fears, on the attack 〜
The park has built a scare zone to relive childhood memories. The horrifying ones, specifically. Bogeyman uses seemingly pedestrian sights to conjure an intense and scary environment. Split into several sections, this scare zone has a couple of “mini zones” to tell the story of the Bogeyman. Yes, you’ll actually meet him.
The scare zone begins with a walk through an open wardrobe (remember those hanging clothes?) into a world drenched in blue mist. The first people you meet are crying for help to seek their loved ones. Newspaper clippings and photos on missing persons are scattered around, but the sights soon turn morbid. As guests walk deeper into the Bogeyman’s living nightmare, they will find the people who went missing… and discover why they never returned.
With tight pathways, traps and tricks at every corner, I would classify Bogeyman as a Haunted House. Either way, it excels with its unsettling atmosphere and many jump scare opportunities. This, I believe, is the most terrifying scare zone in Universal Studios Singapore’s HHN history.
The final design of Bogeyman no longer makes it a free-roaming scare zone. Guests will need to wait in line at the Lights, Camera, Action! queue for their turn to experience this scare zone. The area will run with one way traffic and exit towards Sci-Fi City.
Scare Factor: ★★★★★★★ (Gulp. Good luck.)
Canyon of the Cursed
〜 Wage war in the wild west 〜
The Canyon is where two factions battle over cursed gold. An ancient Nevuro chieftain conjured spirit warriors to thwart fools seeking quick riches. Relentless treasure hunters, ignoring warnings of the chieftain, have turned undead by the curse. They now roam the streets for fresh victims.
After two years of a carnival-style experience, the Ancient Egypt stretch is now more in line with the rest of the park. There are no safe areas – only more scare actors hiding in the misty canyon. With elaborate costumes and ample opportunities to see scare actors interact, it feels as if this cursed canyon followed the concept of last year’s Attack of the Vampires. Even the area music, which was very effective, sounds a bit familiar.
Scare Factor: ★★★★☆
〜 Once… upon a time. 〜
The Scribes of Scare have rewritten classic fairy tales, now with more plot twists and bloodshed. In the Forest of Disenchantment, characters of fairy tales are now trapped in their bad endings.
Rapunzel – losing her mind at her tower. Her long golden hair is everywhere but on her head.
The layout of Scary Tales is clearer than the Forbidden Forest last year, so you shouldn’t be lost here (though not being able to easily find the way out was the whole point last year). Each rewritten fairy tale has a specific scene in the forest, so it is easy to navigate around the forests to witness the characters’ grim fates. The fun doesn’t stop at those scenes, as there are roaming ghouls and orcs at the woods. Tread carefully.
Scare Factor: ★★★★★
Review: HHN4 Special Stage Show
Jack’s Nightmare Circus
〜 Not just a little show of horrors 〜
Jack, the killer clown, is an iconic character from Halloween Horror Nights in the US. This year, he brought his Nightmare Circus to Universal Studios Singapore, with hopes of finding new stars for his show. Accompanied with his crew, Jack holds auditions for three hopeful acts, but ends up killing them all.
The show combines an aerial rope act, skating stunts and a crrrrazy (really, crazy) barrage of extreme stunts with dance and acrobatics. It’s very entertaining, albeit a little mature. Jack is rude and blunt, and his vampy gang of misfits will either amuse or (mildly) disgust some audiences. Some of the stunts are definitely not for the squeamish! Then again, HHN is an event for adults and is not suitable for children.
Gordy Gamsby, holder of several Guinness World Records for outrageously extreme stunts, stars as The Animal.
I’m pleasantly surprised at how Jack’s Nightmare Circus turned out. It’s a shame this show has a limited run and will only be here during HHN4.
This show is performed during HHN4 at 8:15PM, 10:00PM, 11:45PM and 1:15AM. Note: The park may adjust its show times without prior notice. Please check the board at the park for performance times for the night.
Scare Factor: ★★★★★
Review: HHN4 Haunted Houses
Haunted Houses are enclosed scare experiences filled with special effects. In order to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, walkthrough photos will be posted in HHN4 Special Feature articles for each Haunted House.
〜 Welcome! Welcome to Jack’s Funhouse! 〜
Selfie moment for the SuperAdrianMe gang.
Step into Jack the Clown’s Funhouse of Horrors! More famously known as Singapore’s First 3-D Haunted House, killer clowns rule in Jack’s 3-Dementia. The Chromadepth 3D glasses are given out at this attraction combines special effects to disguise scare actors and create more surprising scares.
The psychedelic artwork jumps from all surfaces, making it is disorienting experience. Watch for that infamous spinning tunnel!
For the 3D effects to work, this haunted house is quite brightly lit. Even then, there might be a few jump scares as there are numerous “traps” hidden in the scenes. The makciks have survived it, so can you!
Scare Factor: ★★★☆☆
〜 Mayday Mayday! 〜
We’ve definitely heard of demonic sergeant majors (those “standby universe” stories), but at MATI CAMP, a true demon has full control. Under the new command, the soldiers have turned insane, and the other staff have taken the deep dive into madness.
The maze-like camp complex is full of gory sights and sounds, but the story for MATI CAMP is like a complex puzzle, with its scenes like pieces of a nightmare. The narrative does not seem to be in sequential order. Is the Sergeant Major really evil after all?
With surprises coming from almost every direction, MATI CAMP is a truly harrowing experience. Warning: Graphic scenes and water effects galore!
Scare Factor: ★★★★★★★
〜 Laboratory of Alien Breeding: Now recruiting new test subjects 〜
The Laboratory of Alien Breeding is a secret lab where aliens conduct experiments on humans. Accidentally or not, a door was left open for hapless guests to venture in and emerge with a new body… or head, if they so desire. While walking through its chambers, it’s easy to draw comparison to Sci-Fi shows, because it feels as if you stepped into some alien space ship. There are many operation theaters, labs and strange hallways to be discovered here. There is even a cave where the Alien eggs hatch.
The creative team promised that this haunted house will be weird, and it really is. All sorts of reptilian mutants to be met here, including a pair having a brawl.
Scare Factor: ★★★★★★
〜 Bullies be warned 〜
Every year, Universal Studios Singapore has an Asian-themed haunted house (2011: Vengeance of the Matriarch; 2012: Death Alley; 2013: Songs of Death). Jing’s Revenge takes place in a Chinese Secondary School.
This Haunted House is about Jing, a girl who committed suicide at Hua Sin Secondary School. Ten years later, she returned to haunt and made sure everyone at school met their cruel fates.
Despite how harmless a haunted school might sound (compared to killer clowns and a military camp of the dead), Jing is not back for fun and games, let alone classes. The atmosphere is one of loneliness and sadness in the beginning, which eventually takes a dire turn to a violent bloodbath.
It’s incredible how the creative team managed to tell the story of Jing in a matter of minutes, and there is so much detail to see in almost every scene. If only they had more space (I think this is the smallest haunted house this year), the rooms and corridors are very narrow.. so prepare for close encounters with graphic violence.
Scare Factor: ★★★★★★
Short update snippets of the happenings at the park
Night #1 (03/10)
– The park is packed for a Friday night! Thankfully wait times are still below an hour for all haunted houses.
– After the Opening Scaremony, both pathways are open. There is no delayed opening of New York.
Night #2 (04/10)
– The Opening Scaremony had some changes. The reporters and protesters would stand with the guests at the front, making the video feed feel more immersive.
– There seems to be some changes for The Exorcism street show at Demoncracy, where the projections sync up with the aerial performers.
– Wheel tires have been added to the street of Demoncracy. Watch where you step!
Night #3 (05/10)
– Seems like many people are working the far end of the park first, similar to what I wrote in my Survival Guide!
– Unfortunately it seems like tonight’s park ops crew for MATI CAMP were not prepared. The queue switchbacks were all setup wrongly.
– All haunted houses were overwhelmed at around 8:30PM. Many slowdowns were encountered as the park crew is letting large groups into the haunted houses.
– The L.A.B had the longest wait time of all 4 houses today.
– More pyrotechnics have been added for The Exorcism street show.
HHN4: What do you think?
Universal Studios Singapore has not gone down the path licensing intellectual property from popular films, TV shows for its scare zones and haunted houses. Although we have Jack the Clown this year, the rest of attractions are mostly original concepts. So, what do you think about this year’s haunted houses and scare zones? Are you particularly excited to visit any of them? Let us know by posting a comment!
If you’ve attended HHN4, feel free to post your thoughts too!
Halloween Horror Nights 4 SURVIVAL GUIDE
Killer Tips and Tricks! Is it possible to visit all four Haunted Houses without using Express Passes? Maybe. Get more information about that in our 2014 Survival Guide!
Halloween Horror Nights 4 – The Full Event Coverage
Check back throughout October for extended event coverage on Halloween Horror Nights 4, including walkthrough photo tours of scare zones and haunted houses – only on Dejiki.com! Subscribe to dejiki.com or Like Dejiki.com on Facebook today!
Are you brave enough..?
It’s time to make the decision to attend Halloween Horror Nights 4. Get all the event and ticketing information you need at the 2014 Guide to Halloween Attractions in Singapore here!
Before Dark ZERO: Scare actor auditions
More coming soon...
Halloween Horror Nights 6 (2016)
HHN6 - Lady Death revealed + Event Guide
Before Dark 1 | Before Dark 2 | Before Dark 3 | Before Dark 4
Sneak Preview to Halloween Horror Nights 6
Halloween Horror Nights 6 REVIEW Megapost
HHN6 SURVIVAL GUIDE 2016
HHN6 RIP Tour Review
HHN6 Behind The Screams (BTS) Tour experience
HHN6 Opening Scaremony Show
Hawker Centre Massacre | Salem Witch House
Bodies of Work | Old Changi Hospital | Hu Li's Inn
Jack's Recurring Nightmare Circus
Suicide Forest | March of the Dead | Death March (Night Parade)
Five Nights... at HHN6 (Final Cut)
Halloween Horror Nights – The Archives
Click to Expand and see all posts from past Halloween Horror Nights
Halloween Horror Nights 5 (2015)
Before Dark 1 | Before Dark 2 | Before Dark 3 | Before Dark 4 | Before Dark 5
Halloween Horror Nights 5 Sneak Preview
Halloween Horror Nights 5 REVIEW
Tips & Tricks: Halloween Horror Night 5 Survival Guide
HHN5 RIP Tour and BTS Tour Experience and Review
Features on Haunted Houses and Scare Zones
The Blood Moon (HHN5 Opening Scaremony) and HHN5 Icons
Tunnel People (Dark House) | True Singapore Ghost Stories: The MRT
Hell House (Paper House) | Siloso Gateway Block 50 (Haunted HDB)
ConTERMINATED | Hungry Ghosts | The Invaders
Bonus Feature: Halloween Horror Nights 5 Final Cut
#1 - It's Not Over | #2 - Memento Mori | #3 - Last Fight
Halloween Horror Nights 4
Minister Jonah Goodwill's Inauguration Ceremony (HHN4 Launch Event)
Before Dark 1 | Before Dark 2 | Before Dark 3 | MATI CAMP Before Dark | Before Dark 4
The First Look (HHN4 Sneak Preview)
Halloween Horror Nights 4 Review | 2014 Survival Guide: HHN4 Tips and Tricks
The Minster of Evil (HHN4 Opening Scaremony) | Jack's Nightmare Circus
Bogeyman | DEMONCRACY | Canyon of the Cursed | Scary Tales
Jack's 3-Dementia | Jing's Revenge | MATI CAMP | The L.A.B
Halloween Horror Nights 3
Halloween Horror Nights 3 (HHN3) Review
Survival Guide: Halloween Horror Nights 3 Tips and Tricks
Sisters of Evil | Forbidden Forest | Attack of the Vampires | Convention of Curses
Possessions | Songs of Death | Adrift
Halloween Horror Nights 2
HHN2 Trip Report, Review and Tips
House of Dolls | Total Lockdown | Bizarre Bazaar | Final Night
Halloween Horror Nights