Here's Why Halloween Horror Nights Went Heavy on the '80s

Universal Studios' annual Halloween Horror Nights draws inspiration from a number of corners of the horror genre, with this year's festivities bringing some of the most iconic properties from the '80s to guests of the event. Senior Director - Entertainment Creative Development of the event Michael Aiello noted that the unexpected theme of the mazes was actually a result of confirming Netflix's Stranger Things as one of its main attractions.

"There's actually a study that we looked at when we were trying to decide what we were going to do, knowing we had already negotiated Stranger Things," Aiello shared with "And how did we want to paint the picture of the event ... did we want '80s to filter through? And how much? How little?"

While the series itself is currently being filmed, the narrative of Stranger Things unfolds in the early-'80s, with the nostalgia of the decade being one of the show's more compelling components. Aiello noted that this nostalgia has data that backs up why there is a current trend of recalling fond memories of the time period.

"There's a really cool thing we read called 'Nostalgia Pendulum.' Which, in a nutshell, states the consumer 30 years ago is now the creator, now. And that's why we're seeing this trend in the '80s," Aiello noted. "Because it's people my age, older, that are attaching the things they loved when they were kids. And you see that trend every 30 years. Here's something not even horror-related: Trolls. That was a toy in the '60s that then had a resurgence 30 years later, and 30 years from that, it's a film."

The Stranger Things maze might be the major attraction at the event, but plenty of beloved properties from the decade are represented. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers has its own haunted house, as does Poltergeist, while Child's Play and Killer Klowns from Outer Space both inspired "Scare Zones" at the park.

"There is this awesome kind of pattern that's happened. So it's really just being aware of what's out there," Aiello admitted. "And then we look at our white whale list as well and go, what are some things that we've always wanted to do, that we have yet to yet? Poltergeist being one of those for this year."


Catch up on all the gruesome details for Halloween Horror Nights and get your tickets now. The event is currently underway and runs select nights through November 3rd.

Are you glad that the '80s are represented at Halloween Horror Nights? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!