The Weeknd Has a New Haunted House at Universal Studios
Hitmaking musician The Weeknd has branched beyond the music world in recent years. He’s gearing up for a starring role in his HBO series The Idol and is touring in support of his After Hours and Dawn FM albums. Now, he’s going to be a part of Universal Studios amusement park with a new haunted house.
The Weeknd released his ‘After Hours’ album in 2020
The Weeknd’s released his smash album After Hours in April 2020, when audiences everywhere couldn’t dance to the Canadian singer’s music. He went on to perform at the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show in what many fans found to be a dizzying maze of a stage.
Now, his After Hours album will get new life this Halloween season. The Weeknd created his own haunted house.
His new horror-themed ride at Universal Studios is named after ‘After Hours’
In July 2022, The Weeknd announced that a new haunted house called “After Hours Nightmare” would be coming to Universal Studios’ famed Halloween Horror Nights. The experience splits into three sections: After Hours Club, After Hours Hotel, and After Hours Station.
The experience will be soundtracked by five songs from the After Hours album: “After Hours,” “In Your Eyes,” “Heartless,” “Blinding Lights,” “Save Your Tears” (solo version), and “Too Late.”
For his part, The Weeknd couldn’t be more thrilled. “I always wanted my own Halloween Horror Nights haunted house, as Halloween has always been significant to my music, so this is a total dream come to life,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “I feel like my music videos have served as a launching pad for a collaboration like this, and I cannot wait for people to experience this madness!”
The haunted house was designed after ‘After Hours’ music videos
Senior show director Charles Gray spoke to EW about just where The Weeknd’s haunted house pulled its inspiration from.
“What came out of it was extracting the nightmares: What would it be like if we were inside his head while he’s creating this album?” Gray said. He noted that the haunted house displays The Weeknd’s love for films like A Clockwork Orange, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Jacob’s Ladder.
But even though it takes place in the world of After Hours, it’s an entirely new experience meant to take fans into the mind of the hitmaking singer. “There’s a lot of surrealistic, horrific imagery as we [expanded upon scenarios] inspired by the videos,” Gray said.
The haunted house is pretty scary
Halloween Horror Nights executive producer John Murdy went on to detail the different parts of The Weeknd’s spooky attraction at the annual Halloween production.
“The first thing we do once we enter the house proper is go into a sequence called Nightmare Extraction, where you see The Weeknd, almost like in Clockwork Orange, where he’s strapped into a chair with a headset, and the headset is connected to all these different monitors. All this darkness going on inside his head creating this album is being sucked out, and you’re seeing these images flash subliminally, like the whole thing is about to explode,” Murdy said. “All of that stuff that’s getting pulled out of his head, we’re going to have to face all of those things and dark places he went to in creating the album.”
The After Hours Club is set in a dark and damp warehouse club, with Gray quipping, “The bathrooms are nasty.” Next, visitors make their way through the Vegas-themed After Hours Hotel as “Heartless” plays behind them. Finally, they end in the underground After Hours Station, which resembles the final shot of The Weeknd’s After Hours short film.