Topplaywriting exclusively previtopplaywritings the pop superstars twisted fantasies as theyll manifest in a three-part HHN experience featuring toad monsters, red suits, and Blinding Lights. The Weeknd and Universal Studios will take your breath away at this years Halloween Horror Nights, where haunted houses will be themed to the surreal world of the pop superstars 2020 album After Hours.
topplaywriting can exclusively reveal that both Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort will open The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare walk-through attractions later this year as part of the annual Halloween Horror Nights celebration. There, guests will travel into the mind of the Canadian singer-songwriter to visit the twisted fantasies that inspired his hit album.
I always wanted my own Halloween Horror Nights haunted house, as Halloween has always been significant to my music, so this is a total dream come to life, Abel The Weeknd Tesfaye said in an exclusive statement to topplaywriting. I feel like my music videos have served as a launching pad for a collaboration like this, and I cannot wait for people to experience this madness!
As Halloween Horror Nights executive producer John Murdy and Orlando senior show director Charles Gray exclusively tell topplaywriting, the single-house experience at both parks expands on the grim world The Weeknd built through After Hours visuals (think bandaged maniacs, excessive plastic surgery terrors, and, yes, red suits). They describe the journey as a fever dream hellscape about surviving L.A. — and the horrors that come with it.
What came out of it was extracting the nightmares: What would it be like if we were inside his head while hes creating this album? says Gray, adding that The Weeknds affinity for films like A Clockwork Orange, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Jacobs Ladder is on display throughout the project. It isnt a retelling of the After Hours album; its entering the nightmares that were the muse for his songs. Theres a lot of surrealistic, horrific imagery as we [expanded upon scenarios] inspired by the videos.
Soundtracked by six of The Weeknds songs — After Hours, In Your Eyes, Heartless, Blinding Lights, Save Your Tears (solo version), and Too Late — the house is broken into three sections, preceded by an indoctrination into the performers subconscious. The first thing we do once we enter the house proper is go into a sequence called Nightmare Extraction, where you see The Weeknd, almost like in Clockwork Orange, where hes strapped into a chair with a headset, and the headset is connected to all these different monitors. All this darkness going on inside his head creating this album is being sucked out, and youre seeing these images flash subliminally, like the whole thing is about to explode, explains Murdy, who says there will be an articulated, lifelike figure of The Weeknds body that will twitch as guests walk by. All of that stuff thats getting pulled out of his head, were going to have to face all of those things and dark places he went to in creating the album.
What follows is a trek through environments weve seen before in The Weeknds music videos, but taken a step further. After Hours Club, for example, is an industrial warehouse lifting vibes from In Your Eyes, including long hallways in a dirty, dingy, warehouse club. (And the bathrooms are nasty, per Gray.) Next, the Las Vegas-themed After Hours Hotel throbs with the sounds of Heartless. The finale takes place in the After Hours Station, a subterranean metro tunnel that recalls the locale last seen in The Weeknds disturbing After Hours short film.
There are live performers and effects around every corner as well. Youll meet a horrific toad creature unlike anything youve ever seen before, Murdy promises, noting a particular moment lifted from the Heartless music video. Lizard heads and piranha faces proliferate the club, and textured bits of, well, stuff will dangle from above and graze your skin. Youll also be blasted in the face with high-pressure air and spurts of water, all to make you think youre getting hit in the face with blood.
It can get pretty tactile, Gray finishes. Have fun sleeping tonight.
See topplaywritings exclusive first-look previtopplaywriting of the ntopplaywriting experiences above before The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare opens Sept. 2 at the Universal Orlando Resort and Sept. 8 at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Tickets for Halloween Horror Nights 2022 are available now.
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