Halloween Horror Nights is the name of an annual Halloween celebration at Universal Studios, at their locations in both Hollywood, California and Orlando, Florida. One of the five films chosen for the 2017 Halloween theme is the 1980 Stanley Kubrick film version of The Shining.
Dates of Operation
The Shining maze was open between September 15 and November 4, 2017.
The layout of the maze in Hollywood was completely different from the layout of the maze in Orlando.
The maze idea was concocted by Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights creative director John Murdy after Murdy secured the rights to turn Stanley Kubrick's 1980 film version of The Shining into a haunted maze.
James Franco and Chris Bauer are two of the actors who alternate playing the role of Jack Torrance in the Universal Studios Hollywood version, chasing frightened fans through a recreation of the Overlook Hotel and signature hedge maze.
Based on visionary director Stanley Kubrick's horror classic film, The Shining will let Halloween Horror Night guests experience all the iconic scenes and characters that have made the film a masterpiece of modern horror.
Welcome to The Overlook Hotel, a sprawling yet isolated century old hotel with a tragic history of murder and madness. Jack Torrance, a man with a troubled past, has agreed to be the caretaker for The Overlook Hotel during the harsh Colorado winter and has moved his family into the shuttered hotel. But as soon as the Torrance family takes up residence in the hotel, Jack begins to undergo a startling change...a descent into madness that will put his family in grave danger.
Unbeknownst to Jack, his young son, Danny, is imbued with a dark gift - the ability to see events and people, both past and future, that others can't see. A gift called "The Shining." Danny's nightmarish visions will help to unlock the mysteries of the haunted hotel and allow the horrifying, true nature of The Overlook to reveal itself.
Succumb to the Horrors of The Shining™ at Halloween Horror Nights 2017
It's time to enter Room 237.
By: Charles Gray
When bringing iconic horror films to life at Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights, a common question we find ourselves asking is, “How the heck are we going to turn this movie into a haunted house?” But, hey—we're always up for a challenge.
This year is no different. We're bringing you The Shining™.
There are so many intense and creepy moments packed in the whole film. So we held hands, took a deep breath, and entered the Overlook Hotel.
I just finished looking at some of the house designs and am thrilled by the story we're telling. It will be the warped psychological thriller you know and love with our own Halloween Horror Nights twist.
We cast the Overlook Hotel as the aggressor and view it as if you have the “shining.” Our goal is to have you constantly doing a double take and give you that, “Did I just see that?” feeling.
After watching this movie for the first time I remember saying, “I would never go into room 237.” So, of course, that's where we're going to take you: all the places you shouldn't go.
You'll come face-to-face with the murderous, ghostly entities around every corner. And of course, the best part will be trying to escape the sharpened edge of an axe.
I can't wait for you all to see what's in store for you with The Shining™ and this year's event. You won't want to miss it, so make sure to grab your tickets now.
The entrance to the hedge maze is replicated, including the signature maze map which resides out front. Heading through this area will lead you though a series of dark hallways where you emerge into a room with the classic REDRUM door showing light coming from around all sides.
The first scene takes visitors past a door with “REDRUM” scrawled in red lipstick (“murder” spelled backward).
All work and no play
Around the corner, Jack is hard at work on his typewriter, but his production turns out to be highly repetitive. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” covers the walls, ceiling and floor.
A Pepper’s Ghost mirror-image illusion utilizing angled glass makes it look like the twins magically appear and disappear at the end of the hallway.
Kubrick fans will marvel at the attention to detail in the hallway scene of “The Shining” maze. Horror Nights maze designers matched the psychedelic geometric pattern of the orange, brown and red carpet lining the hallway in the film.
At the end of the hall, a mannequin version of Jack’s son Danny sits on the tricycle he uses to explore the hotel.
The transformation of a beautiful young woman into a decomposing old hag is handled in the maze with a rear-projection screen behind the bathtub.
The old woman will follow visitors from the bathroom into the most-feared room in the Overlook Hotel.
The ballroom scene is filled with skeletons, some more animated than others. A jarring transition from a big band orchestra version of a dreamy “Midnight, the Stars and You” to a nails-on-a-chalkboard orchestral piece by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki brings the skeletons in the room to life.
The highlight of the maze is a re-creation of Danny’s premonition that is only briefly glimpsed in the movie: a cascade of blood gushing from an elevator door. A high-resolution rear-projection clip from the movie combined with a practical elevator set dumps 40,000 gallons of blood every 10 seconds, intertwined with shots of the twins and the REDRUM door.
Jack's ax smashes through the bathroom door in the most iconic scene from the film, in which Jack quotes Ed McMahon’s customary introduction of Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show.” Wendy screams in terror and slashes Jack's hand as he reaches in to unlock the door.
The maze ends just like the movie — with Jack chasing his victims through the snow as a voice echoes, “You are the caretaker; you’ve always been the caretaker.” A pair of five-ton air conditioners blow cold air into the maze’s garden labyrinth.