How 'Killer Klowns From Outer Space' Became a Halloween Horror Nights "White Whale"

From Stranger Things to Poltergeist, this year's Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios brings together some of the most well-known horror properties for fans to fully immersive themselves in. One of the more surprising films incorporated into the attraction in Orlando, Florida is a Scare Zone devoted to the 1988 film Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Casual movie fans might not be as familiar with the horror-comedy, but for Senior Director - Entertainment Creative Development of the event Michael Aiello, the film is one he's been aiming to incorporate for years.

When discussing the process of developing the attraction each year with, Aiello recalled, "It's really just being aware of what's out there. 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."

Aiello then revealed that, as far as his personal "White Whales" were concerned, Killer Klowns was the clear standout.

"I think if we hadn't attached [the event's theme] to the '80s I think it would have been a harder sell," Aiello noted. "That's one I've brought up a lot. Because I think if it's not scary, I think it would be an amazing 3D maze, you know?"

In the film, a group of aliens land on earth and begin to cocoon victims in cotton candy to ultimately slurp out their remains with a straw. With the extra-terrestrials appearing in the form of massive clowns who use wacky weapons to carry out their plans, there isn't much inherent horror to the premise.

Ultimately, it ended up being the partnership with MGM to develop the Poltergeist maze that allowed Aiello to achieve a personal goal.

"When we did the deal for Poltergeist I asked, 'Hey, does [Killer Klowns] work too?' And they went, 'Really?'" Aiello joked. "And when you see it tonight, it's awesome. It is this awesome little concentrated Scare Zone, in a new spot this year. We're using the lagoon show's map projection on the buildings. So you're seeing circus elements on all the buildings. And they look amazing. So I think if you've seen the movie you're going to love it. If you haven't, you're probably scared out clowns. So it works."

While the film might not have earned an entire house, the Scare Zone is an impressive and entertaining experience, ranking as one of our favorite attractions at this year's event.


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 surprised that the film got an entire Scare Zone? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!