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SYFY WIRE Halloween Horror Nights

'The Horrors of Blumhouse' dials up 'The Black Phone' & 'Freaky' for Halloween Horror Nights

Haunted houses based on The Black Phone & Freaky are heading to Universal's Florida and California theme parks.

By Benjamin Bullard
The Black Phone (2022)

Spooky season may still be baking in the summertime oven, but horror fans don’t need to wait ’til October for a terrifyingly tasty preview of what Universal Studios has in store for this year’s Halloween Horror Nights. Just in time to tap the supernatural scares in the just-released The Black Phone, Universal has unveiled a Blumhouse-themed pair of scary new attractions inspired by the horror house’s recent films.

Starting in early September, “The Horrors of Blumhouse” will haunt Halloween Horror Nights at Universal parks, evoking chillingly cool callbacks to both The Black Phone (in theaters now) and 2020’s Freaky  — two Blumhouse horror flicks set to possess patrons in a whole new way at both Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood.

A body-swapping horror comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton, Freaky mixes laughs and gore as an ancient curse switches bodies between a serial killer (Vaughn) and an innocent high school girl (Newton); while The Black Phone mines a Joe Hill short story, following the breadcrumbs as a captured teen (Mason Thames) speaks with the deceased victims of his abductor (Ethan Hawke) via a supernaturally liminal telephone.

In keeping with Halloween Horror Nights’ unnatural knack for immersive terror, “The Horrors of Blumhouse” will plunge guests into an “alternate dimension,” as Universal puts it, “where the scares are real and the stakes are life or death.” The trick, of course, is nailing all the key details that define each movie’s tone. But just how will this pair of fright flicks find new life as killer live-action attractions?

“In The Black Phone,” the studio teases, “‘The Grabber’ is a demented magician best known for his sinister trick of making people disappear — permanently. Guests will find themselves trapped in his ‘fun’ house where the sound of ghostly voices whispers hints on how to escape, but guests must tread carefully to outwit and outrun ‘The Grabber’s’ twisted magic.”

Guests will need to keep on the run to stay ahead of Freaky’s murderously mad villain as well. The Freaky-themed haunted house “will challenge guests to outrun serial killer ‘The Butcher’ who has switched bodies with a high school girl after being cursed by The La Dola Dagger, an ancient Aztec blade,” says Universal. “Guests will learn firsthand that looks can be deceiving as they encounter the sweet-looking teen who is actually ‘The Butcher’ — and she is determined to hunt for their next victims.”

The madness rolls out first in Florida, when “The Horrors of Blumhouse” hits Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort on Sept. 2. Universal Studios Hollywood fires up the fright factor the following week, when the new attractions elevate the anxiety starting Sept. 8. You don’t need to wait, though, to queue up for your shot at surviving your double-sized dose of Blumhouse horror: Tickets for this year’s Halloween Horror Nights at Universal parks in both California and Florida are available now online.