Love him or loathe him, there is no denying that Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, better known professionally as the Weeknd, always has an eye for the macabre. The downside... it's in the United States.
Universal Studios parks on both coasts have already lined up a chilling slate of Halloween Horror Nights frights this fall, from classic movie creeps like Michael Myers and the Mummy to a pair of haunted trips through the twisted world of Blumhouse. But what’s a good Halloween horror scene without some appropriately ambient tracking music while the camera follows your screams down dark corridors?
Universal is stepping the scares up this year with a sonorously spooky answer: For the first time ever, multi award-winning artist The Weeknd is teaming with Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights for a terrifying new haunted house experience based on the record-breaking After Hours album. Starting Sept. 2 at Universal Orlando Resort and Sept. 8 at Universal Studios Hollywood, descend in a sinister spiral with “The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare.”
Psycho-sick beats and live-action scares? Why hasn’t someone thought of this sooner? Universal’s description for the freaky new attractions makes it sound like a seriously savage trip through the mind of an artist with a dramatic flair for horror theatrics.
“The dark undercurrent behind The Weeknd’s enigmatic persona will permeate the all-new Halloween Horror Nights haunted houses on both coasts,” teases Universal. “With the eerie sounds of After Hours reverberating throughout the experience, guests will step into a surreal living nightmare filled with grotesque characters and themes inspired by The Weeknd’s music and short films.
“As they’re stalked by slashers, bandaged maniacs, gruesome toad-like creatures and other unfathomable horrors from the mind of the artist, guests will be challenged to survive the night while trapped within the terrifying, unexpected world of “The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare” — a place that only exists in The Weeknd’s vivid imagination and from which one may never escape.”
Playing puppet master to a park filled with adrenalized horror fans, The Weeknd confesses, is pretty much a match made in Heaven — or, in this case, perhaps in Halloween Hell.
“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 artist said as part of Universal’s big reveal. “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!”
Halloween Horror Nights is already going extra big on the scares this year, with something for just about every kind of fan — whether it’s adventures themed around classic monster movie creeps like Dracula, Wolf Man, and the Mummy; a deadly date with resident Halloween stalker Michael Myers; or a duo of demented drop-ins on Blumhouse movie chillers Freaky and The Black Phone.
Tickets for Halloween Horror Nights at both parks are already available online, along with a complete slate of booking packages that let you dial in your level of access. “The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare” will run on select nights through Monday, Oct. 31 at both Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort. Be sure to stay tuned for news on even more haunted houses as this year’s opening dates draw closer.