As we get older, Halloween becomes less about candy and more about being scared. When I was a kid, there was nothing better than walking around my neighborhood and getting as many sweets as possible but, in recent years, that tradition has been replaced with finding haunted attractions to attend with friends. These type of attractions, everything from haunted mansions, mazes and hayrides to converted amusement parks, pop up all across the country. And, in Hollywood, their attraction comes officially licensed by some of the biggest names in horror.

Every Halloween, Universal Studios Hollywood transforms into Halloween Horror Nights and this year not only will Eli Roth himself help design a maze based on his Hostel series, there will be a maze themed around the upcoming prequel to The Thing. They’ll both be open from September 23-October 31. Read some additional details after the jump.

Here’s the press release on The Thing maze, officially called The Thing: Assimilation:

An abandoned scientific research facility in the midst of a vast and frozen Antarctica will set the stage for “The Thing,” an all-new horror maze inspired by Universal Pictures’ upcoming film, at both Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights events, which begins on September 23 and continues on select nights through October 31. In the thriller “The Thing,” paranoia spreads like an epidemic among a group of researchers as they’re infected, one by one, by a mystery from another planet.

The new haunted house will offer guests an unprecedented first-hand preview of the much-anticipated thriller in advance of its October 14 release. Guests will find themselves in a series of face-to-face encounters with “The Thing,” an alien creature that can transform itself into an exact replica of any living being. “The Thing” maze will recreate the spine-chilling suspense from the film, confronting guests with the paranoia and fear that comes from being trapped inside the film’s Antarctic Thule station. The shape-shifting alien could be anywhere or anything. Will they survive?

Eerily authentic, “The Thing” maze will feature elaborately designed and disturbingly real alien creatures and sets. They will match the film’s terrifying intensity and provoke both a memorable and disturbing experience. Universal’s theme parks have partnered with the film’s producers, Strike Entertainment’s Marc Abraham and Eric Newman (Dawn of the Dead) to create an experience that is authentic to the film. The sets, audio, musical score, creature and character references are all based on the thriller.

“We want people to live the film and experience the same terror that affects the film’s characters,” said Newman. “Our collaboration with Universal’s creative teams brought the vision of the film to life. We’re excited for Halloween Horror Nights guests to experience ‘The Thing’ in this frighteningly real way.”

And here’s the press release on the Hostel maze, officially called Eli Roth’s Hostel: Hunting Season:

Eli Roth, the multi-talented director, writer, producer and actor, will adapt his enormously successful “Hostel” film franchise to create “Eli Roth’s Hostel: Hunting Season,” a twisted new “Halloween Horror Nights maze at Universal Studios Hollywood. The event begins on September 23 and continues on select nights through October 31.

“Hostel:  Hunting Season,” for which Universal will build elaborate sets re-creating locations in Slovakia, will mark the horror auteur and star’s first effort at transforming his screen work into a live theme park experience.  The maze will re-imagine the film’s dehumanizing torture chambers and send guests on a spiraling journey through the corrupt halls of Elite Hunting’s torture factory.  Elite Hunting, a secret society that tortures and kills American youth for sport in exchange for large sums of money, will prowl the factory and prey on its many maze visitors.

Eli Roth, said: “Creating a maze for ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ is a horror fan’s dream come true. I’ve been visiting ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ for years, and still remember the heart-pounding terror of going through the mazes for the first time.  For me it was like going inside the world of a movie and experiencing it in a visceral environment that simply cannot be replicated, and in subsequent years I’ve found I’m just as scared as I was the first time.

“I am so happy to join forces with the creative team at Universal.  Our collaborative vision to bring ‘Hostel’ to life will give both fans of my movie and horror fans a scare they could never have imagined.  People will have a chance to experience some exact moments from their favorite ‘Hostel’ scenes, along with some new surprises.

While walking around an abandoned Antarctic research facility with The Thing running around sounds terrifying, the fact that Eli Roth himself is helping with the Hostel maze seems scarier. Especially since, to me, the power of the first film in that series was how much time it spent familiarizing the audience with a seemingly mundane environment before it got nuts.

Have you been to Halloween Horror Nights before? Do these mazes sound cool to you?

For more information, visit the official site.

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