Jordan Peele shocked audiences in 2017 with his Academy Award-winning horror masterpiece Get Out. The film launched his career into the stratosphere. Then he quickly silenced all the haters and naysayers when he avoided the dreaded sophomore slump with yet another fantastic tale of terror. The man created a two-hour scare-fest out of the idea that we are our own worst nightmare. Us starred Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke who took their kids on vacation only to be attacked by doppelgängers of themselves. Watching the trauma-inducing story was scary enough, but for those that actually do want to live the experience, well, be careful what you wish for, because Universal Studios has answered your prayers. Us is making its way to Halloween Horror Nights for another attempt at a sadistic Hands Across America endeavor.
Every year, Horror Nights sets out to create some of the scariest mazes based on famous horror movies or shows. The great thing about Us is that it fits very well into this theme. Large parts of the horror motion picture take place inside of a funhouse. This particular maze takes unsuspecting fans through what is described as an unnerving labyrinth of underground tunnels that stretch from coast to coast below America. This was how the evil clones leftover from an experiment were supposedly able to get around and initiate their hostile takeover of the surface world. Like when we meet Adelaide Wilson as a young girl early on in the film, guests will also innocently venture through a mirror funhouse at the Santa Cruz boardwalk and have a less than favorable encounter with the dreaded tethered. The first half of this haunting affair takes place in 1986 before unknowingly thrusting visitors into the chaos of red suit-wearing maniacs who love to run with scissors. Those brave enough to enter will have to escape before these unwanted copies complete their uprising and make their statement to the whole world.
From the moment I heard that haunting remix of the classic rap song intertwined with the imagery of the twisted narrative, I could not get this film out of my mind. And it stayed that way until I saw the movie. Us may have some issues, but overall I thought it was an excellent horror flick, mostly because of Lupita Nyong’o’s character Red. In my opinion, Red should be on the same level as Michael Myers or Pennywise as a classic horror villain. You can empathize with her motivations, but everything else about her is downright nightmare-inducing. I mean, she created an army of killers and almost pulled off a successful invasion. She basically did it with a pair of scissors and with limited communication. The results were some truly terrifying stuff. And now according to Peele himself, fans will get the full Us experience this Halloween.
“It’s very exciting to know that fans of Us will get to experience firsthand the terror of being stalked and tormented by ‘The Tethered.' It’s been a lifelong ambition of mine to create a monster that would scare people on Halloween, so having ‘The Tethered’ join such esteemed company is a dream come true.” - Jordan Peele
Luckily the theme park will have an easier time than Red did in making this doppelgänger seize work. They’ll have to bulk order red suits, scissors, and bunnies, lots of bunnies. While Universal was light on the details of what fans could expect when they enter the event, they did touch upon how their people will translate Peele’s nightmare into maze form.
“The idea that ‘we are our own worst enemy’ and the visuals around that notion are what made the story of Us so compelling, personal and exciting for our design team to translate.” - Senior creative director for Universal Orlando Michael Aiello
Over the years, Horror Nights has had success with other hit titles like Stranger Things and The Purge. Those attractions were a lot of fun and brought in all kinds of fans to enjoy the experience. So it's hard to believe that people won’t be dying to get into this one. If anything, it will be interesting to see how they take the clone premise from the film and adapt it into its own terrifying affair. My money is on it being a hit, and the whole thing scares the living daylights out of everyone looking to get a glimpse of what Peele’s story has to offer in the real world. For those brave enough to take on this horrifying endeavor, Halloween Horror Nights kicks off on September 6 in Orlando and on the 13th in Hollywood. Tickets are on sale now so don’t wait, or you will miss another chance to be part of Hands Across America!