Halloween isn’t exactly a widely celebrated holiday down here in Australia. Often thought of as more of an American tradition, it’s usually shunned by the mainstream masses refusing to acknowledge its existence. Houses and shops adorned with glowing jack o lanterns and other various Halloween decorations may be a common sight in the States, but here in Australia it’s a rarity. Sure, a few of the major retailers may host ‘spooktacular Halloween sales’, but generally speaking, they’re merely an excuse to generate some more revenue. Otherwise the only other venues that recognize the holiday are the bars and clubs, both of which use the opportunity to hold Halloween parties packing a hefty cover charge. So being the hardcore horror fan I am with a passion for anything remotely scary, neither of these examples are exactly going to quench my desire to celebrate the holiday. So this year I thought I should take matters in my own hands and head towards the one place in Australia where I was confident I could get my Halloween fix, Warner Bros Movie World on the Gold Coast for their annual Halloween Fright Nights.
Just to give anyone unfamiliar with Warner Bros. Movie World a quick rundown, it’s basically Australia’s version of Universal Studios, only significantly less impressive. Having said that it’s still host to several noteworthy rollercoaster’s such as the Lethal Weapon and Superman ride, as well as an assortment of movie themed stores and impressive live shows. It’s a relatively small theme park that’s perfect for a day outing, but any longer than that and you may find yourself running out of things to see and do.
I’ve visited the park several times over the years and thus have become reasonably well acquainted with its basic layout, so this may have contributed to my overwhelming surprise toward the radical transformation it took on during the October Fright Nights. An event that runs over select nights during the month of October, Fright Nights sees Movie World’s family friendly atmosphere twisted into something much darker and creepier. Once all the daytime visitors have vacated the premises, the park is reopened after hours under the Fright Nights pseudonym, effectively transforming it into a horror fan’s own private wonderland. Performers dressed as various horror icons terrorize visitors, rides are operational in the black of night, frightening live shows are conducted and best of all, various horror themed mazes are open for the public to brave. It’s a hell of a fun night and I’m going to try my best to provide a detailed recount of the various sights and sounds that I was privileged to experience throughout the duration of my stay.