An ‘Us’ movie house is coming to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights

Guests can experience Jordan Peele’s thought-provoking follow-up to ‘Get Out’ in real life.
Published August 7
Updated August 7

Jordan Peele’s Us, one of the biggest and best movie hits of 2019, will be tethered to Universal Orlando in a new maze at this year’s Halloween Horror Nights, the theme park announced Wednesday.

The popular annual Halloween event debuts Sept. 6 with multiple mazes and scare zones based on popular horror films and TV shows. This year it will also feature the unnerving Us labyrinth of underground tunnels that stretch from coast to coast below America.

The movie, Peele’s thought-provoking follow-up to his Oscar-winning Get Out, centers on a family beset one night by their murderous doppelgangers and the ominous uprising of “the Tethered” — mimics of every living man, woman and child in the country from a failed government experiment.

“The Us maze will place guests at the heart of this living nightmare where they quickly realize they are their own worst enemy,” Universal said in its announcement. “The journey begins circa 1986 as guests follow in the footsteps of young Adelaide Wilson as she innocently ventures through a mirror funhouse at the Santa Cruz boardwalk. She has a fateful and traumatic encounter with her tethered doppelganger, an event that will forever alter both of their lives.”

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The experience will then transition to present day, thrusting visitors into the chaos of the Tethered uprising as they emerge from their tunnels to murder their privileged doubles in a nationwide coordinated act of rebellion.

The director released a statement with the announcement saying it helped him realize a “lifelong ambition.”

“It’s very exciting to know that fans of Us will get to experience firsthand the terror of being stalked and tormented by the Tethered,” Peele said. “It’s been a lifelong ambition of mine to create a monster that would scare people on Halloween, so having the Tethered join such esteemed company is a dream come true.”

Us sees the all-American Wilson family — Lupita Nyong’o (Adelaide), Winston Duke (Gabe), Shahadi Wright Joseph (Zora) and Evan Alex (Jason) — retreat to Adelaide’s idyllic childhood home on the coastal California town of Santa Cruz. Their journey is peppered with flashbacks showing a young Adelaide going through a traumatic experience. As night falls, the family see four shadowy figures standing in their driveway, holding hands. The figures suddenly attack and terrorize the Wilsons.

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For more than 25 years, horror fans have visited Halloween Horror Nights to walk through movie-quality mazes of their favorite horror films. In between the haunted houses, menacing scare actors lunge from darkened corners on the streets of Universal Orlando.

The park has previously announced mazes this year based on the Netflix hit Stranger Things, classic Universal monsters and the films Ghostbusters, Killer Klowns from Outer Space and Creepshow.

The popular event stretches to Nov. 2, a record-setting 41-night run.

Theme parks don’t release attendance or sales figures, but industry experts estimate that Universal Orlando will draw more than 600,000 visitors for Halloween Horror Nights, easily more than twice the number of people who visit in spring break season.

Tickets start at $67.99 online and get more expensive in late October at halloweenhorrornights.com. Halloween Horror Nights requires a separate ticket from regular admission and is held after normal park hours.

Michael Aiello, the mastermind behind Halloween Horror Nights as senior director of entertainment creative for Universal Orlando, said Us was an ideal concept.

“The idea that ‘we are our own worst enemy’ and the visuals around that notion are what made the story of Us so compelling, personal and exciting for our design team to translate,” Aiello said. “Surrounding our guests in that horrific world of duality Jordan Peele created is a perfect fit for Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights.”

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

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