The Blood Moon has unleashed terror at Universal Studios Singapore. Read the full review of Halloween Horror Nights 5 and discover this year’s uniquely Singaporean haunted houses and scare zones!
[ Cover Image: The Lady in Red, Hungry Ghosts scare zone ]
Note: This review is based on the experience from the Media Preview. Guest experience during event nights will vary due to crowd conditions and creative adjustments by the park. Reports on the guest experience (wait times, happenings, crowds, etc) will be posted on our Facebook page when available. HHN5 Special Features will be published separately throughout October.
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★ Rating System
Our rating scores 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 exceeds expectations, it would be awarded with bonus blood-red stars.
Scores last updated: 3 October with rating from Opening Weekend, as the attractions are adjusted after rehearsals.
Review: HHN5 Haunted Houses
Haunted Houses are enclosed scare experiences filled with special effects. This year, the park has produced three houses with a local twist. Powered by the darkness of the Blood Moon, the everyday sights have transformed into nightmares. After walking through this year’s haunted houses, I believe that the locals and regional tourists will love these haunts. They are so beautifully produced, and are totally exclusive to Singapore!
True Singapore Ghost Stories: The MRT
〜 This train will be delayed… indefinitely. 〜
Touted as this year’s headliner attraction, True Singapore Ghost Stories: The MRT is created in collaboration with enigmatic writer Russell Lee. You will step into Lee’s newest book, available exclusively at HHN5. The main story is about the ███████ station and the Bidadari Cemetery that was once there before it was exhumed for redevelopment.
The Blood Moon has awoken an ancient curse set by the village shaman Tok Naga Arang, causing the cemetery to emerge, wrecking the fictitious Bidadari MRT Station. This is an interesting haunted house, because the story comes alive as you walk through, and key scenes are presented to you with the help of a tunnel through time – and tunnels through… graves.
Lightning struck as we captured Tok Naga Arang’s ritual. *shivers*
The MRT train is painstakingly remade to look like the real thing. Look out for the doors and panels.
You would learn that missing the train or getting delayed isn’t that big of a deal as compared to this blood curse. Enjoy your last ride from Bidadari Station, and escape the Pontianak (a female ghost with very long hair) and other spirits ripped out of time, from the grave.
Scare Factor: ★★★★★
Tip: So which station is it? Refer to the train map lah.
Tip #2: It can get rather very windy in the tunnels, but keep your eyes peeled for pieces of the past scattered all over.
Siloso Gateway Block 50
〜 This is home, truly. 〜
Water contaminated with the ‘HHN-5’ virus has infected the residents of Siloso Gateway Block 50, turning them into flesh-eating zombies. As you try to make your way out, enjoy the privilege of visiting uniquely decorated homes that are themed to the four major ethnicities in Singapore: Chinese, Indian, Malay, and ‘Others’ – Eurasians perhaps. But there’s no time to stay and chat, as special forces have been brought in to evacuate those yet to be infected. DO NOT DRINK THE WATER, stay close and move, quickly!
The park has always constructed their most detailed haunted houses at Stage 28. HDB flats are commonplace in Singapore, but to reconstruct it realistically within a soundstage is an amazing feat. Siloso Gateway Block 50 opens with the estate drenched in constant rain. There is even a playground, void deck, mama shop (mini market) at the start.
“Auntie lai liao!” The Legendary Summon Auntie – Singapore’s beloved parking warden, stole the show.
After brief encounters with residents that are not so friendly, you find doors to one flat left open. Step in and say hello to the family.
These homes are filled with stuff, including the stereotypical things people tend to keep and display – basically images of home. Yes, in the Chinese home, expect a lot of such paintings and spring couplets. And every home has those plastic placemats. Everyone has them!
Scare Factor: ★★★★★★
Tip: Something smells.. nice. What’s cooking?
Fun Fact: This is the only haunted house with air-conditioning.
〜 This house is on fire… This house is on fire… 〜
In some Asian cultures, the afterlife isn’t that far off from the living world. The dead need resources to bide their time in the underworld, and they are venerated through burning of offerings. From hell bank notes, gold bars or even material goods and property, these paper craft offerings are sent to dead through combustion – paper burns, and hell is fiery after all.
You discover the Hell House while walking around the misty Hungry Ghosts village. The paper servants, brought to life with the Blood Moon’s eerie glow, were surprisingly welcoming. The owner of the house looked rather disturbed by her servants – what’s the story here, really?
This is not a house decorated with paper craft offerings inside. The design is what I would say, rather mischievous: The choice of materials, size and large-scale prints were devised to lend an unsettling illusion. One that this house feels like it was constructed the same way as those paper craft offerings, and that it was built to burn.
It gets very hot in Hell House, but don’t worry, as fire consumes paper quickly – your journey to hell will be over before you knew it. But can you make it back?
Scare Factor: ★★★★☆
Tip: After ducking under some lanterns, look up to learn about YOUR fate.
〜 Only the worthy will ascend. 〜
The Tunnel People live in their underground fortress hidden behind a bridge at New York. What secrets could they be guarding, that could only be revealed with the rise of the Blood Moon? And even if you could find them at their Lair, would you be able to escape?
This is the first dark house at Halloween Horror Nights in Singapore. What that means is most of this maze-like house is barely lit. Imagine a hallway with only one tiny candle on the floor showing the way. You will need to feel your way around in the dark. But are you sure you want to touch things that you can’t see?
Inside the Fortress – image is enhanced. Actual house is much darker.
I’d urge you to walk through this house without any glow sticks, flashing headbands, or flashlights. Keep your phones away too. Immerse yourself in the darkness of the Fortress. You will find help along the way.
Some people can walk through entire haunted houses with their eyes closed, so this shouldn’t be a problem for them. You know who you are~
Scare Factor: ★★★★★ (if you are afraid of the dark, add 3 more stars.)
Tip: Try to split into small groups (3 or less)… and see who manages to escape first.
Tip #2: There are ways to see better in the dark. Maybe it’s not a bad idea to wear shades in the queue so that your eyes can adjust to the darkness. Go google and read up more!
Review: HHN5 Scare Zones
〜 Surrender to the Horde. 〜
At The Invaders, you run in firefights between the UGMF and The Horde, an alien race that is invading Earth under the shadow of the lunar eclipse. The Invaders is a realm flush with colours; it felt like a video game.
For the past 4 years, the park has always staged its most complex scare zone in New York zone. This year, it doesn’t look like it, because The Invaders feels compact in New York. The street isn’t covered with props unlike last year, so it didn’t bring about the atmosphere of destruction. Instead, there are enough lights and lasers to rival an EDM festival. The aliens, surprisingly, were more friendly than the humans.
On the other hand, this year’s aliens are performed on stilts probably need more space to perform safely. This scare zone seems to have an all-male cast, at least for the UGMF soldiers.
There is still a spectacle here when the UGMF soldiers try to defeat the Horde. Remember to return to New York and catch the show. Here’s a teaser:
Scare Factor: ★★☆☆☆
Fun Fact: The Horde comprises six types of aliens! Take photos with all of them!
〜 PLEASE HELP US! 〜
Following last year’s successful ‘enclosed scare zone’ concept, ConTERMINATED is a special scare zone that feels like a haunted house. We move in one way, slowly, and we can’t stop walking until we get out.
Unlike Bogeyman (2014), ConTERMINATED is notably much brighter and less convoluted, so it might get people moving quite briskly. During the preview, it felt too short for the ‘quarantine’ experience to develop, and the story might also be confusing if you miss some scare actors.
This scare zone brings you into a secret colony set up by the government to contain the deformed and diseased, leaving them to fend for their dear lives. We’ve been thoroughly warned not to venture into Sector 5, but we can’t just leave the people inside to die, right?
Scare Factor: ★★★★☆
〜 You promised! 〜
Under the evil glow of the Blood Moon, the Hungry Ghosts have overturned a Chinese village, cursing the living to go through the rites and prayers of the Hungry Ghost Month for all eternity.
From altars to furnaces, effigies to street opera shows, Hungry Ghosts’ got them all to cover the rituals of the Seventh Month – an annual affair where the ghosts may roam free on Earth. So yes, there are many different types of ghosts from Chinese folklore set free. In return, many villagers are stuck in a trance.. or have they crossed over too?
The poor woman has been dusting the altar all her life.
Chinese Opera ‘shows’ will be held in Hungry Ghosts, for the ghosts’ amusement. We’d remind you to avoid the front row seats, as they are usually reserved for the dead. Also because we don’t know what the opera singer might do. Some of them have clearly lost their minds after being trapped by the spirits.
Beware of vengeful ghosts in the village – such as the hauntingly beautiful Lady in Red, who has waited for her lover for so long, she died.
This feels an alternate version of Forbidden Forest (2013) village – now with Chinese ghosts! It is more compact, but there are unique things to see at every spot. It might be very exciting to see these exotic stuff, but I’d advise not to stand too close to this coffin, though:
Do not panic when you hear loud dissonant clashes of symbals like those from a Chinese Opera. Just stay where you are and watch the ghosts depart in chaos.
Scare Factor: ★★★★★★
HHN5: What do you think?
It’s quite something this year isn’t it? Year after year, fans have asked for haunts from the Universal Studios parks overseas. The creative team instead worked towards original ideas, and it’s quite befitting to have so many local-themed concepts for Singapore’s Golden Jubilee celebration.
If you’ve attended HHN5, please share your thoughts in the comments!
Know something from your night at HHN? We love to hear from you! Drop us a message via comments here, or via our Facebook Page, or tag us – @dejiki on Instagram and Twitter!
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Halloween Horror Nights 5 – The Full Event Coverage
Check back throughout October for extended event coverage on Halloween Horror Nights 5! For updates, Like our page and share with your friends:
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