has teamed up with Universal Studios Orlando to create a terrifying new attraction for the Halloween Horror Nights experience (a thematic run which will be open to the public on select nights between September 20th and November 2nd): a huge maze based on his movie An American Werewolf in London.
The maze will start off in parallel to the opening sequences of the film, at the 'Slaughtered Lamb' pub in England (the place where American backpackers Jack and David stay for the night when they are attacked by a werewolf, leaving Jack dead and David cursed with the lupine affliction). The maze continues to London, making stops at every important scene from the movie: a hospital, nurse Price's apartment, an Underground station and Piccadilly Circus.
A huge cast of sixty actors will be in charge of recreating many of the scenes. Apart from reenactments of the fateful lycanthrope transformation and one of David's nightmares, the ghost of Jack will also make a few appearances in an increasingly decomposed state. The soundtrack will be top-notch as well: 's score plus a couple of pop songs used in the film, not to mention all the blood-curling sound effects featured in the original movie.
Via slashfilm, here's a more thorough rundown of the attraction from an interview with John Landis and Mike Aiello, the director of An American Werewolf in London and the Creative Developmental Director for Halloween Horror Nights, respectively:
It’s one experience for people who are very familiar with the movie, and it’s something a bit different for people who’ve never seen the movie, I think it’ll be a little more shocking! These things are all realized full-size, and it’s an immersive experience. Something I’m excited to hear is… they’re so specific about capturing the ambiance of the film and what’s going on in the movie that they actually went to Twickenham, where I mixed the original picture, and got the original tracks and stems. So they’re using, remixed for the live environment, the original sound effects and the music.
For any fan of the movie it is a completely authentic experience. The reasoning started with the fact that we wanted to make sure we could have the wolf sound like it does in the movie. The wolf’s howl on the moors is iconic. Anyone in love with the film knows that sound. If it doesn’t sound that way then you, as a fan of that movie, are going to know. It was very important to us that we had access to those materials. And one thing I’m excited for people to hear, because I don’t think they’ve heard it a lot, is the score for this movie.
Yes, Elmer Bernstein did about seven and a half minutes of music, it’s a brilliant score.
Which we are featuring in the maze. That will carry you through these scenes. And the maze really is a montage/best-of for all the things you remember from that movie. We attacked this maze as a passion project. We want to make sure that if you, as a fan, went through this with a checklist in your hand, you’d have all those boxes checked before you leave.
For me, it’s equally important for people who haven’t seen the film. Some of this stuff, I have to say, is pretty intense and visceral. These mazes work on a number of levels, they create the ambiance and the atmosphere, but it’s lighting and the fact that they've gone to so much trouble to build these total environments. You’re in the places in the film! Some of it is quiet, what’s the word, gruesome. Do you have ratings on these things?
We recommend that no one under 13 attend the event, but there is no specific rating on Horror Nights.
As a bonus, here's the official press release from Universal Studios Orlando:
Orlando, FL (August 16, 2013) – You can feel someone…or something…following you. But it’s already too late. The hair rising on the back of your neck is the last thing you feel before you’re ripped limb from limb by the blood-thirsty beast…
This fall, the terrifying classic “An American Werewolf in London” will be reincarnated as it becomes an all-new haunted house at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 23. Universal Orlando’s Entertainment team is partnering with the film’s critically-acclaimed writer and director John Landis to create a disturbingly-real haunted house experience that pays homage to one of the greatest lycanthropic stories ever told.
The iconic film follows two American college students, Jack and David, as they backpack across the moors of England. On a misty, full-moon night, the men are attacked by a supernatural creature that kills Jack and taints David with its horrific curse. When the full moon rises again, the killing spree continues, and this time, the blood is on David’s hands.
Beginning September 20, guests will step inside the film and experience a retelling of the horror classic – from the attack on the English moors to the hospital nightmares to witnessing the bone-crunching transformation of David from human to bloodthirsty werewolf. Guests will encounter David’s vicious werewolf form as he wreaks bloody chaos through London’s subway tunnel, Piccadilly Circus and more.
“It’s terrific that guests will be able to actually experience some of the scarier scenes from the film,” said John Landis, writer and director of “An American Werewolf in London.” “I had fun working with the Universal team to bring one of my more insane movies to life.”
“’An American Werewolf in London’ is a must-see for any true horror fan,” said Mike Aiello, Creative Director for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights. “The haunted maze mirrors John Landis’ horrifying story and having him work with us in the creative process was really the only way this could authentically come to life.” Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 23 runs select nights from Sept. 20 to Nov. 2. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando.