John Murdy Discusses The Pressure Of Bringing ‘The Last of Us’ To Halloween Horror Nights At Universal Studios

You know what’s even scarier than Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights? The fact that no one planet Earth can seem to watch Hulu right now without being bombarded by advertisements for the event in the first place. Seriously, am I the only one noticing this?

Just when you think a new ad might pop up during your commercial break, BAM!, another Halloween Horror Nights spot. Talk about a jump scare. It’s pure evil. Evil, I tell you…

For those unfamiliar, Halloween Horror Nights is a collection of haunted mazes put on by the Universal Theme Parks centered around horror-themed movies and television shows.

This year, Universal chose some of pop culture’s newest, and most iconic bits of terror — including franchises like Stranger Things, Chucky, The Exorcist, and The Last of Us.

Pretty cool, right? During an interview with John Murdy, ET asked the creative mastermind behind the upcoming thrills and chills how he felt about including properties like The Last of Us in this year’s fun — and what that ongoing legacy means to Universal Studios at large.

“It’s like the Citizen Kane of video games, and I think that’s because there’s real emotion in this game.”

Citizen Kane of video games is right. Hailed as one of the — if not the — best games of all time; The Last of Us is unlike any other apocalyptic story world out there. With the recent release of HBO’s incredibly popular live-action adaptation of the game only cementing that fact.

While’s dissecting the park’s collaboration with The Last of Us creator Neil Druckmann, Murdy added that Druckman was more than willing to give their team as much as they needed to bring Joel and Ellie’s story into the real-world.

“They gave us hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of videos and files, meaning that in many areas, guests are experiencing one to one replications from the game’s design layout. From wall-attached spore patterns to signage like ‘QUARANTINE WARNING.’”

The attraction itself includes all types of infected mushroom monsters — brought to life by performers trained at Universal’s “Scare Academy.” Go figure. These actors are stationed throughout the mazes to strategically scare guests as they move through the space, and do their best to keep patrons in the moment along the way.

Halloween Horror Nights begins today, September 7, at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orland Resort and runs through October 31… Halloween Night. Spooky season is officially upon us. Be afraid, be very, very afraid.

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