Every single year, John Murdy takes to the @HorrorNights Twitter and starts dropping code names for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. The code names are freaking diabolical, and damn near impossible. We’ve come very close some years, but it’s an exercise in frustration to try and decipher the damn things. Still, it’s a great way to get yourself pumped up for the upcoming Haunt Season. With a new year upon us, Murdy has decided to drop a new round of HHN code names on the unsuspecting masses, and watch them writhe around trying to figure it out.
Let’s take a step back and make introductions all the way around here. John Murdy is the Creative Director for Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights. He’s been doing it for quite a long time, is a retired carny, has a penchant for punk music, and really weird movie references. The guy is a historian of Universal Studios Hollywood, knows everything about every single movie they’ve released, and is in short…sadistic. These are not bad thing when you’re talking about one of the main guys who runs the show at HHN, makes for a fun event.
Now, every year Murdy drops hints in the form of code names for Halloween Horror Nights. The code names are obscure references that connect in one way or another to the property in some way…no matter how distant. You’re not going to find something like “Dorothy” and have it be a demented take on The Wizard of Oz. To say these are damn near impossible to figure out is an understatement. To make things even more fun, Murdy throws out clues…but one of those clues is a Red Herring, meaning it’s meant to mislead you on purpose. You have no idea which one though. Try as you may, but the answers to the mazes aren’t going to be simple, no matter how smart you think you are. The only way I can try to even relate to how impossibly hard these are is to say that these seem like they are only references Murdy himself gets.
So…with ample warning, and lots of pain killers, here we go on the 2016 HHN Hollywood Code Names.
- Codename ties in with the state that the codename is based on, and the film that’s connected to the codename
- This maze is one of the most requested by the fans
- This is based on a film that has never been used at HHN Hollywood
- Maze has original elements, but is taken from an idea from the film
- Wig from El Cucuy will make a comeback
- Treatment is 91 pages long
Okay, so if you’re thinking this is a film that takes place in Wisconsin, you’re dead wrong. It’s more than likely not Silence of the Lambs, or anything having to do with Hannibal. It’s likely a reference to someone in the film who was born, or raised in Wisconsin, or shares a name with something significant about the state. Can also confirm that it’s not Silence of the Lambs, because in Murdy’s “Alphabet Soup” rant, he confirmed that the letters Q,Z and B do not appear in the title of any of the mazes. That rules out Lambs, and Hannibal. However, @Schuckjh on Twitter points out that the film could be the Exorcist. The film is simply iconic, and has got to be one of the most requested properties. How could it not be?
So, how did this guess come up? The movie takes place in the Washington D.C. neighborhood of Georgetown. Wisconsin Ave runs right through Georgetown. That’s a pretty solid connection, though still seems too easy. Another yet is Freddy vs Jason as pointed out by a HHN YouTube updater. The theory goes like this- There’s a Camp Crystal Lake in Wisconsin. Obvious, maybe too obvious. The updater goes on to say it has to be FvJ, because people in Hollywood want it, and because it was in Orlando last year. Weak arguments for a code name, but not entirely wrong. Another clue pointed to an ending inspired by the film, but not in the film. FvJ in Orlando used a clearly defined winner…either Freddy or Jason, depending on when you went through it. In the film, no clearly defined winner came out of that match.
Maze 2-Doris Day
- Opening dialog is a strange ode to the band The Smiths
- Maze is based on film, but is Universal’s take on the film. It has the feel of an original maze, and will not necessarily revolve around the film
- Name has to do with an album, song title or movie by Doris Day
- Murdy listened to songs from the 50&60’s while writing the concept for the maze. They all had the same word in them
So this is a stretch. There was an old Doris Day movie called Midnight Lace. In the movie Doris’s character gets a phone call from a creepy voice, which tells her he’s going to kill her. The next few days are filled with murder attempts that look like accidents, before she snaps and goes insane. Stay with me here. The movie The Ring (and it’s sequel) deals with a journalist investigating an urban legend about a tape that kills you seven days after you see it. You’re let know this by a mysterious phone call with a creepy voice. There’s a sequel to that film coming out this year called Rings. There’s also Krampus. The Universal horror film received solid reviews, and was a moderate hit at the box office.The film will more thank likely be ramping up for a DVD release, right around the time that HHN rolls around. So, what’s the connection? Doris Day used to sing Christmas songs. Probably not the connection, but it’s all we got right now.
See, it’s not as simple as you’d like to think, is it? We’ll update this article as more code names and clues are released.
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