Trick or Thrills Review: If it’s not scary, is it still worth going?

·Lifestyle Editor
·6-min read
PHOTO: RWS. Halloween Horror Nights
PHOTO: RWS. Halloween Horror Nights

With the cancellation of Halloween Horror Nights last year, fans may be thrilled to know that the popular scare-fest, the Universal Studios Singapore Halloween Horror Nights is back this year as Trick or Thrills.

From now until 7 November, instead of scare houses, fans are treated to a nostalgic walkthrough of the Universal Studios Singapore Halloween Horror Nights Exhibition, showcasing the past 9 nine years of gore and thrills. Exhibition? Yes, you heard that right! But rest assured, there won’t be anyone to jump out of nowhere to scare the pants off you this time around.

But is it scary?

Admire the sets and costumes up close at the After Dark Experience. PHOTO: Cadence Loh
Admire the sets and costumes up close at the After Dark Experience. PHOTO: Cadence Loh

To be fair, exhibitions are meant to educate and inform, not terrify people off, right? But hear me out. How do nine years of Southeast Asia's award-winning Halloween Horror Nights packed into a tell-all showcase sound to you? First, imagine taking a selfie with your most fear-inducing horrific props and character. You can now safely take an up-close look at the scariest icons and admire the make-up, costumes and sets that go with it. You will also discover behind-the-scenes work in terms of the ensemble, sets and make-up team.

The exhibition will provide you with the chance to get up close to your favourite characters. PHOTO: Cadence Loh
The exhibition will provide you with the chance to get up close to your favourite characters. PHOTO: Cadence Loh

Plus, uncover trivia as you walk along the exhibition. For example, did you know students from our local schools like Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) have collaborated with HHN since 2015? And look out for the information about the age of the oldest scare actor (No spoilers here). You would never have guessed!

Beyond that, answer the quizzes peppered around the exhibition to test how big a fan you are. If you were like me in the past HHN installations, walking through the scare zones with your eyes half shut most of the time, now’s the best time to soak it all in. Yup, the scare actors did their jobs so well that I went through many an HHN this way. I know I’m a scaredy cat, but nothing's going to stop me from going for another HHN!

This year though, you may take a leisure walk through the exhibition and reminisce the past nine years of horror. Even better, you get to pick a favourite theme now that you can keep your eyes wide open and admire the hard work that goes into each year's planning without fear. As someone who loves to scare myself but who is extremely terrified at heart, I enjoyed the walkthrough with just a tinge of trepidation. Well, the sets did look so real and creepy, but that's the whole point of HHN, right?

The exhibition will provide you with the chance to get up close to your favourite characters. PHOTO: Cadence Loh
The exhibition will provide you with the chance to get up close to your favourite characters. PHOTO: Cadence Loh

Do bear in mind the advisory set by RWS. The Universal Studios Singapore Halloween Horror Nights Exhibition is not recommended for guests under the age of 16. Advanced booking is required.

But what’s the point of going to HHN if there are no scare actors? The HHN 2021 version may not have the gore and scare factors of past years, but it holds many IG-worthy possibilities. So let me walk you through what else you can expect at HHN this year.

Get trigger happy at the copious Meet-and-Greet opportunities

For one, you will be treated to meet-and-greet of your favourite movie characters like Despicable Me’s Gru’s girls, Illumination’s Wolfman Minion and of course, the minions, Sesame Street’s Big Bird, Count Dracula. So make a mental note of their appearance time slots and get your cameras ready.

Sesame Street Candy Cavalcade

Join in the fun and games at the calvacade with Count Dracula. PHOTO: Cadence Loh
Join in the fun and games at the calvacade with Count Dracula. PHOTO: Cadence Loh

Most of us grew up with Sesame Street. So don't miss this extravaganza where Count von Count, Cookie Monster and Abby Cadabby will cruise down the streets of the New York zone. Who will say no to more photos with your favourite characters? Here’s your opportunity to pose with DreamWorks Animation’s Po from Kung Fu Panda, Poppy, Branch and Guy Diamond from Trolls, and Shrek and Fiona all dressed up in their Halloween best.

Besides that, get your tote bag ready to collect the goodies at the Trail of Treats from the Candy Ambassadors. The sugar rush is real.

Keep a look out for the Candy Ambassadors who will ply you with delectable treats. PHOTO: Cadence Loh
Keep a look out for the Candy Ambassadors who will ply you with delectable treats. PHOTO: Cadence Loh

Scream Alley

By now, you are probably feeling all sentimental and happy meeting and greeting your childhood friends. But, it's time to take a walk through Scream Alley and come face to face with the Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Bride and possibly steal a photo with Count Dracula himself!

It’s time for Die-ning!

Now that the stomach-churning encounters with the Wolfman and Dracula are out of the way, it's time to feed your stomach. Make your way to Die-ning with the Dead at KT’s Grill. Tuck into the ghastly gourmet menu, complete with a vast array of devilish drinks. The three- or four-course meal is presented by the Malevolent Maitre D and his Wicked Waiter. By now you should have worked up a monstrous appetite. Expect dishes like Swamp Stew, Monster Brain and Gory Stump. You will be blown away by the delicate plating and art that goes into its presentation.

Partake in Die-ning with the Dead. PHOTO: Cadence Loh
Partake in Die-ning with the Dead. PHOTO: Cadence Loh

Trick or Thrills Costume Contest

So if you are planning a trip to HHN, why not dress up in your Halloween best and stand a chance to win prizes? All you need to do is take a snapshot of your Halloween costume and upload it on Instagram #TrickorThrillsatUSS. Remember to tag and follow @RWSentosa. Winners will be notified on Instagram.

Candy Ambassadors in the New York zone will also be on the lookout for the best Halloween costumes. In addition, there are daily instant prizes for selected guests.

It may not be a gore-fest like the past nine glorious years, but the 2021 HHN edition is sure to leave an impression.

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Trick or Thrills After Dark is available only on Fridays and Saturdays. Reserve your tickets at Klook or RWS. Tickets are eligible for SingapoRediscovers Vouchers.

Wish to have more ideas on where to have fun in Singapore for your S.O. and friends? Read Dating ideas: What to do, where to go plus dining and hotel deals

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