A common refrain from the HHN community after the infamous HHN 31 t–shirt leak was pure confusion about the Descendants of Destruction house. With the other houses having clear narratives and exciting characters, many began to downplay Descendants as a lower-tier house.
However, the mood began to shift once the house logo released. In addition to some insanely cool visuals which bore a passing resemblance to the former Earthquake attraction, the theme of a New York subway themed house seemed too cool to pass up.
Expectations raised even higher when HHN creatives explained the three-act structure to the house. With each “act,” guests will go deeper into a post-apocalyptic scene. Perhaps most exciting, we’re being informed that the lights will continue to dim, until we’re down to bioluminescent creatures. Think Bodies Bodies Bodies, but with true monsters hunting you in the dark.
EXPECTED WAIT TIME
30 – 60 Minutes
Weeknds (sorry had to do it)
CHARACTERS/EFFECTS WE HOPE TO SEE
Plant Monsters – Let’s get very very weird. The rumors that this house is a sequel of sorts to Seeds of Extinction could be cool. Regardless if that rumor is true, we want these monsters to be unique in every way. Plant-mutants would be a great way to integrate the bioluminescence idea into the house.
Underground Cannibals – When you think apocalypse, it’s definitely time for wholesale cannibals. Let’s not play it safe. In fact, eating human flesh is actually bad for humans, and will inevitably change the brain chemistry of these creatures.
Extremist Survivalists – Someone is always going to take it too far, and a survivalist who hunkers down into the subway is not one who welcomes newcomers. Some fun ideas should be in store, drawing inspiration from Bioshock and The Book of Eli as examples.
Humanoid Mutants – There is a missing-link between humans and plant monsters. So let’s see that link! Half-transformed monsters are often great for visual storytelling, and can showcase so very cool makeup effects. It will be cool to see HHN embrace truly horrifying monsters like that.
A subway car makes for an excellent scare set. Not only can creatures be easily planted outside the production design car, but they can included inside as well. This would not be the first, or the last time, we would walk through a vehicle during a house. In this case, it can help immerse us in the world and provide genuine scares at the same time .
New York streets
While Descendants seems destined for a sprung tent, it would be nice to see the streets of New York come to life. How to do this in limited space is a good question, but with bioluminescent flowers to rely on, a partially obscured view of the city may be possible later in the house.
We can picture the platforms of a subway, with white tile lining the walls. However, this can also open up the possibility for the long, dangerous halls to come into focus. Back at HHN 23 and 25, American Werewolf in London capitalized on this environment to build hype and suspense. The environment carries sound effects extremely well and could be used similarly in this house.
The last time the twisting tunnel made an appearance at HHN was during HHN 28. Once again, Dead Exposure: Patient Zero comes to influence a newer house. This effect makes more sense in a subway/sewer system than nearly any other location. Luckily, Descendants of Destruction serves this idea up on a platter.
WHAT TO WATCH
Back at HHN 29, the horrors of Jordan Peele’s Us made their first appearance at HHN. Characters emerged from an underground lair and began hunting their doppelgangers on the surface. If that did not already sound like a kernel of an idea that HHN designers could milk in the future, Peele widely publicized his inspirations for his film, which included the 1984 film CHUD. The Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers stalk their prey and enjoy humans for three square meals a day. The creative team likely watched the film as inspiration for their Us house, and in all likelihood, resulted in this mashup house a few years later.
A sci-fi experiment in visual storytelling, Alex Garland’s Annihilation represents the most beautiful mixture of creatures and flowers imaginable. With the HHN team already discussing how the creatures will change according to light, its hard to not draw comparisons to the mutated monsters of Annihilation.
Little Shop of Horrors
Well it’s certainly fun to see singing mutant plants eat humans. More than anything, we want Aubrey II style monsters in our houses. The color, the blood, and the possible puppets would be an ideal fit for HHN.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
A plant-based alien lands on Earth and takes its time replacing every creature on the planet. The creatures possess and replace humans one at a time, and the mutants use screams to communicate to each other.