WARNING: This post will have some images not suitable for everyone. Anyone with a fear of clowns or simulated violence shouldn’t continue on unless you think you can handle it.
My absolute favorite show on my entire trip had to be, hands down, The Carnage Returns. I’ve heard the legacy and lore of Jack the Clown (go read more here on some of the history of Jack and HHN), but I was never at Universal at the same time as Jack… until this year. I love learning about the different icons of the event itself, and the history and lore involving them. That’s something that makes it so special. It isn’t just some psycho clown. He has a personality. He has a past. He has a logical reason to be there. And this year, everyone was ready to get “Jack’d up” and celebrate the most popular icon of HHN.
What better way to bring Jack back than to give him his own show to revive the Carnival of Carnage? And who better to be at his side that Chance, his harlequin of horror?
Everything about this show was perfect. The music and pyrotechnics before the show starts gets you pumped. The intro is almost seductive in the sense that it draws you in to this madness and makes you want the blood and chaos. Jack’s giving the audience a chance to be among his Maniacs. If you’ve got a good crowd willing to get into the energy, you start to really feel submersed.
Jack has evolved from a clown, into a ringmaster, into this modern Jack – which is aesthetically my favorite, I believe. He wants the spotlight, to celebrate the kill, and demands power. The costuming department really did a wonderful job with matching Jack and Chance, too. The dancers surrounding them all have fabulous design, and the set is INSANELY cool. Everyone involved deserved some high fives.
There was a great blend of carnage (duh) with comedy to keep you the mood light despite the dark subjects. Which is good when well done, and this was very well done. They also gave nods to other icons – such as the Director, the Storyteller, and Jack’s own brother – Eddie.
Something else that was really, really awesome about the show is that Jack and Chance are played by, well, THE Jack and Chance:
And on top of that, from what I understand, this is THE Jack. The Jack they’ve consistently used. So it’s not just some random guy that auditioned and got the part. If anyone knew this character, it’s him. And that makes it all the more incredible. It only improves the presence of the character and the show in general when you keep consistency like that. One Jack. THE Jack.
This year was a big year for Halloween Horror Nights – I mean, come on – TWENTY FIVE YEARS?! That’s awesome, and a good excuse to go all out. I can only hope next year is just as amazing. But what I want more is the presence of Jack again. It was obvious that the fans LOVED having him back in the picture. Of the entire event, this was one of my two favorite things. I wanted to watch every show of The Carnage Returns that night, and only caught it two or three times. But I would’ve been happy sitting nearby waiting on the show to start over again and again. It was that incredible to me.
Questions? Comments? Leave a comment below and I’ll answer as best I can!