Halloween Wars Season 9 premiere recap: Nightmares unleashed


Halloween Wars Season 9 is back on the Food Network. While some of the contestants might look familiar, these scary displays bring big frights.

Did you watch the Halloween Wars Season 9 premiere on the Food Network? These six teams of talented artists are prepared to frighten the judges. Still, could their displays unleash an even bigger nightmare than what anyone had expected?

Before diving into this week’s Halloween Wars episode, it is interesting to see some familiar faces. While the Food Network preview episode mentioned the return of a pumpkin carver, Tater, it didn’t mention two bakers who have had success on Food Network shows.

Reva Hawk, Team Frosted Freakshow, was on Wedding Cake Championship. Brenda Villacorta, Team Burned at the Cake, was on Holiday Baking Championship. These types of cross overs are common on Food Network competitions.

For the small scare, the teams had to transform a stuffed animal from something cute and cuddly to something scary and sinister, that evil twin. While many of the teams had some impressive ideas, only a few teams succeeded in bringing their visual to life.

The biggest takeaway from the first challenge of the season was the communication between the teams. Since teamwork is key to any team’s success, this first challenge was impressive. Hopefully, everyone’s egos stay in check throughout the competition.

For the Small Scare Challenge, teams had to create a cuddly stuffed animal’s evil twin, who wants revenge for it’s cuddle-free life; BUTTERCREAM BEASTS: Matt Harper (Pumpkin Carver), Beth Townsend (Cake Decorator), & Angela Sweetser (Sugar) created a double headed giraffe that decapitated its twin, as seen on Halloween Wars, Season 9. photo provided by Food Network

Looking at the small scare, many of these displays were on point. From the hound from hell to a demented teddy bear, these stuffed animals might not be the cuddling type.

The winner of the small scare was Malicious Mavens. Their display was the most ambitious. From the swirling stomach to the glowing eyes, this bear isn’t on the baby shower gift list.

For the spine chiller challenge, the teams had to create a nightmare that never ends. The display must show the demented creatures that come alive when a person is trapped in their nightmare.

While the display is key, the tasting element can decide who stays and who goes home. This week’s tasting element is a chamomile treat. While chamomile tea can be relaxing, the flavor can be quite delicate. The bakers need to balance the flavors and still make the chamomile come through the tasting element.

In every episode, there seems to be at least one element that doesn’t quite go as planned. Unfortunately, Team Buttercream Beasts suffers a loss when sugar artist Angela falls ill.

Also, while no one wants to see a display crash, those moments make everyone pay attention. In this episode, Malicious Mavens go from small scare win to spine chiller fail when their monster’s head crashes to the ground. Luckily, they were able to recover in time.

Overall, this first episode sets Halloween Wars Season 9 up to be the most impressive season yet. From gigantic displays to intricate details, these displays are quite over the top.

Looking at the top two displays, they both earned their place by focusing on every last detail. From the tasting element to the integration of all three display elements, they deserved the top spot.

Burned at the Cake had a very impressive display. Even the judges didn’t know that the bed frame was really tempered chocolate.

Although the tasting element was a little chocolate forward, it was nice. Still, the details in every aspect of the display distinguished them in the first challenge.

The other top team was Trio of Terror. The gigantic suspended spider will be talked about all season. This element is probably the biggest suspended pumpkin piece in the history of Halloween Wars.

Overall, this team created a total scene. The face on the child conveyed fear and the spun sugar made you believe he was going to be eaten by the spider.

Winning the first challenge was Burned at the Cake. Could this first win bring success throughout the season?

Unfortunately, the bottom two teams were Malicious Mavens and Hangry Hunters. Both teams had issues with the cohesiveness of the display. If the judges don’t believe the fright, the display will not work.

Malicious Mavens had a really nice Chamomile tasting element. The cream with lemon curd was bright and airy.

Still, the display was disjointed. The alien was bold and powerful, but the pumpkin carving seemed like an afterthought.

Hangry Hunters vortex seemed out of place. The color choices brought your eye away from the fright and toward something less sinister.

Additionally, the girl, her body and her expression were quite stiff. The display needed to bring everyone into the nightmare.

Unfortunately, the first team eliminated in Halloween Wars Season 9 was the Hangry Hunters. It was sad to see the younger baker sent home on the first challenge. Maybe one day he will get a second opportunity, too.

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What did you think of the Halloween Wars Season 9 premiere? Do you think this season will be the most impressive yet?