More scares “After Hours”


Photo provided by: Johannes Calderon

Beginning on Sept. 2, Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights reopened. “The Weenkd: After Hours” house was a recent addition to the event, and a wildly popular one at that. “It’s very cool,” sophomore Johannes Calderon said. “Something new and different for Halloween Horror Nights.”

Julia Hubbell, Editor-in-Chief

On Sept. 2, Universal Studios officially reopened one of their most popular seasonal events: Halloween Horror Nights. Many students attended, trying their best to experience all ten houses, five scare zones and two shows. Following a massively successful 30th anniversary celebration in 2021, the theme park faced a lot of pressure to provide something new and exciting for attendants. Following its opening, most fans feel the park has delivered on that offer.

Though Universal has been known to recycle popular house themes such as “Stranger Things”in the past, the park has opened a new house this year. “The Weeknd: After Hours” house is this year’s most anticipated addition. This house draws from the campaign used by The Weeknd leading up to his superbowl performance in Super Bowl LV, in 2021. Leading up to his Superbowl performance, the artist posted a series of photos in face wraps, followed by photos making him appear as if he had had major plastic surgeries. These posts continued until his performance, in which all dancers were wearing face wraps. It was later revealed that The Weeknd’s intentions were to highlight the physical and mental effects of living in an online age, a theme that continued throughout the Universal Studios’ house.

“The Weeknd house was really fun, it was definitely worth the long wait,” sophomore Johannes Calderon said. “It was pretty scary but it was also pretty eye opening. As each room progressed it showed society’s views and how people feel like they need to alter themselves.”

The house is based on the pressures of intense beauty standards and the effects of social media. Each room contains elements that tie into the idea of people hiding their true selves.

“It was super dark in most of the rooms,” senior Yulianys Rodriguez said. “There were actors dressed up to scare you, but it was even scary before they jumped out.”

While Halloween Horror Nights is known for its intense jump scares and talented scare actors, many felt as if the most frightening aspects of The Weeknd’s house were mental.

“A lot of the actors looked super creepy,” junior Sebastain Ramos said. “The initial jumps were scary, but it was even worse when you got to look at the actors.”

Despite the high stakes for Universal Studios, the park appears to have created a new and exciting addition to the renowned Halloween celebration. “The Weeknd: After Hours” introduces a new scare factor to attendees. And based on the success of the house, this new tactic is likely to be used again.

“I really liked the house, it was very different from the other ones there,” Rodriguez said. “I hope they have houses like that one next year.”