Inside Universal was invited out by Universal Studios Hollywood to get a behind-the-scenes early peek at some of the haunted houses that will be featured at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights. This is Part 2, where we take a look at Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count. For a sneak peek at Universal Monsters: Unmasked, visit Part 1.
For the first time at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Hollywood, the possessed killer doll Chucky will be hosting a purpose-built haunted house.
“We never really did a Chucky house,” John Murdy, Creative Director of Universal Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights said. “The reason is, he’s… hard to cast.”.
He’s been featured at the event before – either hosting a show, or as part of the Terror Tram; “but when you’re doing a house,” Murdy said, “you really have to deliver Chucky.”.
The way they accomplished this was to develop animated, size-appropriate, Chucky dolls that will populate the attraction. There are eighteen of these figures in total. Murdy said they worked with their in-house mechanical engineering division (who normally work on the figures in the rides and attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood) to create these custom figures for the experience.
Coming up with the plot of the attraction, however, was a different challenge.
“We had this idea to do something focused on ‘kill count’ because it’s a big part of the new show. But the ultimate kill count,” John Murdy said.
Chucky has come back with a vengeance this year. “He has got serial killer envy. And he’s pissed off, particularly at Halloween Horror Nights and Universal Studios Hollywood since we’ve never given him the respect he deserves. So he’s hijacked a haunted house and raised an army of good guy dolls, with the goal of obtaining the ultimate kill count by killing the paying guests of Horror Nights.”
The facade of stacked Good Guy doll boxes includes a few video screens where Chucky will address guests in line, telling them exactly what his plans are for them once they enter.
The attraction begins inside the Good Guy Doll factory.
The voiceovers inside the attraction are from Brad Dourif, the legendary voice actor who portrays Chucky. Some new material was recorded by Brad, along with some archival clips “Frankenstein’d together,” said Murdy.
When asked if there is anything from the Chucky TV series or the films represented in the house, John Murdy said “It’s not really from anything prior. It’s you guys getting killed by him. You’ll see what I mean.”
Chucky’s first victim is an Express pass user, his favorite victim this year, “We’re gonna put an Express pass lanyard on him and pin a knife through it,” Murdy said.
The next sequence takes us into a home invasion with Chucky on the loose terrorizing and butchering a family.
Chucky’s kill count gets higher as guests enter the kitchen and see the aftermath of his carnage. Two people are viciously killed while having breakfast and a maid has been thrown face-first onto a knife in an open dishwasher.
The Bride of Chucky, Tiffany, shows up in the house in the bathroom.
“Moving on to another meta moment in the house,” Murdy said, “we created a character called Lord Spookula HHN Updater. He’s going through the maze live streaming, talking about how bad it is, before being hit with a nail gun.” You’ll then meet him in the house after he’s met his end.
Chucky has claimed a hospital as his new killing field.
There’s a lot going on in this scene. “There’s a girl, burnt to a crisp, struggling with Chucky and his defibrillator paddles as he shocks her. On the ground, Chucky is just stabbing the hell out of this poor guy, with syringes. A live performer will come out with Chucky on their shoulders, trying to avoid getting stabbed by him,” Murdy said.
In a nod to the series, a Christmas section is included, with Chucky and his family. This is where, Murdy says, the reprogrammed “Good Chucky” from the series takes over.
Guests will be greeted with bright Christmas decorations and joyous Holiday songs as they enter the living room.
G.G., Chucky and Tiffany’s child (who was not photo ready), will also appear in this scene. He marks the first gender-fluid character in the history of Halloween Horror Nights.
Chainsaws will be introduced here, which figures into Chucky’s demise.
John Murdy demonstrates how an actor portraying Lexy, from the TV series, will drive a chainsaw into Chucky’s chest as revenge for all the bad things he has done.
As guests exit the Christmas scene, they travel into a dark forest.
“There’s this weird scene in the series [we wanted to recreate here] where the kids end up in these woods, and they find Good Guy doll heads on pikes, doll parts strung up on trees,” Murdy said.
Guests soon find out, in this scene, that Chucky will always live on and “you can’t keep a Good Guy down. You just saw Chucky get killed, but not really,” Murdy said.
Chucky uses his voodoo powers to reanimate himself and other dead Good Guy dolls. “And the idea is that what is attacking you from the left and right are all the different [incarnations] of how Chucky, and Tiffany, have died in the movies or series,” Murdy said, with nods to Chucky’s melted body in Child’s Play 2, his face being sliced off from Child’s Play 3 among others.
And then… there’s “Mega Chucky.”
A live performer will don this oversized costume, rigged to a traveler track, so they can leap out at guests while wielding a giant knife, as they try to escape from Chucky’s Ultimate Kill Count.
Halloween Horror Nights begins on Thursday, September 7 at Universal Studios Hollywood.
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