Ooh, I’m blinded by the lights… Universal Studios just announced its latest Halloween Horror Nights maze plans and it involves taking you into the twisted mind of one of the most iconic artists in pop culture today! The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare will bring The Weeknd’s record-breaking After Hours album to life beginning September 2 at Universal Orlando Resort.
Described as entering his “macabre mind” in this haunted house as he stalks you and your squad through “the surreal nightmare of his After Hours music,” As guests transcend deeper into the maze, they will come face-to-face with an array of slashers, bandaged maniacs, a grotesque mannequin masquerade, and gruesome toad-like creatures.
“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,” The Weeknd said in a press release. “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.”
Horror Nights executive producer John Murray and Orlando senior show director Charles Gray did an interview with Entertainment Weekly where they described what visitors can expect from this nightmarish house.
“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 he’s 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 you’re seeing these images flash subliminally, like the whole thing is about to explode,” Murdy explained, who says there will be an “articulated,” lifelike figure of The Weeknd’s body that will twitch as guests walk by.
Live performers and special effects will be found in every corner, like lizard heads and piranha faces, and textured bits of “stuff” dangling from above to graze your skin. You’ll also be blasted in the face with high-pressure air and spurts of water, all to “make you think you’re getting hit in the face with blood,” according to Murdy.
The maze will be soundtracked by six songs — “After Hours,” “In Your Eyes,” “Heartless,” “Blinding Lights,” “Save Your Tears,” and “Too Late.” While The Weeknd himself is not horror, he’s been blending his music with the genre for years and is known to feature terrifying imagery in his music videos and performances to go along with his lyrics.
The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare will appear in both Orlando and Hollywood for the 2022 event. Both parks will also feature Universal Monsters: Legends Collide, Halloween, and the Horrors of Blumhouse mazes shared between them.
This isn’t the first time Universal sets up a music maze. In 2013, Black Sabbath got a 3D demon and graveyard-filled house in Hollywood Studios based on the rock band’s darkest lyrics. The year prior, Alice Cooper: Welcome to My Nightmare took guests on a journey through Hell through the eyes of the rock and horror icon.
The Weeknd is currently on his After Hours Til Dawn tour and performs in Miami at the Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, August 6. Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando begins on Friday, September 2 through October 31 and all tickets to the horrifying event are now on sale, if you’re brave enough.