A few weeks ago Universal Studios Hollywood invited us to come down and walk through The Shining (and Insidious) with Creative Director of the event John Murdy. During the tour he gave us insight into how they took ‘The Shining’, a movie with very few jump scares into a successful Halloween attraction filled with plenty of terrifying moments.
The Shining maze can be found where The Exorcist was located last year behind The Mummy roller-coaster. The facade depicts the infamous hedge maze seen in the movie that played a pivotal role in film as well as in the attraction. Murdy sourced a number of fans who had faithfully recreated artwork from the film for posters, flyers, and other media seen throughout the house, this includes a recreation of The Overlook hedge maze’s map seen in the film.
Inside you begin to follow Jack’s descent into madness through a series of artist scene. This includes projection effects and a hallway made up of pages with the iconic line “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. If you’re eagle eyed you’d eventually see that no two pages are the same in the maze – a detail that was meticulously typed by hand, one by one. Many of the pages also include a number of Jack’s typos seen in the film.
Deeper inside the house you’ll find a faithful recreation of Room 237 and be seduced by a beautiful women in a bathtub, only to find out she’s not so lovely, another iconic scene from the film. This effect is a created by a wonderful combination of projection and practical costuming. Further in you’ll walk through the bedroom. It’s worth noting the carpet used in the house has been completely recreated from the film which brings an extra dynamic to the attraction. Between the actors, sets, and bring and colorful carpets you won’t know where to look (most were covered up due to construction during our tour).
Another key scene is of course The Gold Room. The gold room will feature the most amount of scareactors within the maze who are dressed as skeletons in a scene that John likes to decribe as “one of these characters is not like the other”. Scareactors will hide among prop bodies and skeletons during one of the more famous scenes in the film.
Towards the climax of the attraction you’ll find yourself face to face with Jack as he “chops” through a door and says his famous line, inspired by Johnny Carson.
Beyond the axe scene, the house follows the natural progression of the film brilliantly. We can’t wait till we see it with full props, lighting and actors this Friday at Halloween Horror Nights – Hollywood. The terror kicks off on September 15th on select nights, and tickets are now in sale!