Halloween Wars Season 9 episode 2 review: Zombie love is everlasting?


In this week’s Halloween Wars episode, these teams showed that even during the spooky season, everyone wants to find everlasting love.

Halloween Wars met the Dating Show on this week’s episode. While this Food Network show always has a dark, spooky twist, this theme brought a little humor to those frightening displays. Could the un-dead really have a heart of gold hiding underneath?

For the small scare, the remaining teams need to convey a scene from a haunted museum. While this display might not monkeys running amuck, there was a nice balance between scary and silly. Still, there was one display that was quite frightful.

Overall, the teams embraced the whimsy in this theme. From the alien on the moon to a painting coming to life, the concepts were quite strong. Execution set the top teams apart. In the most unusual turn of events, one team produced the worst piece ever.

The key to a successful small scare is understanding what can be accomplished in a short period of time. Being too ambitious will have details missed and elements unfinished.

For Malicious Mavens, they left an entire wall of rice cereal treats exposed. This huge mistake was immediately called out by the judges. It was probably the worst showing of any Halloween Wars.

The bigger question is why didn’t they re-do the display and leave that element off? It makes no sense for them to include such a big error. Maybe there is a bigger communication issue on that team.

As for the top displays, the communication and smart choices were quite clear. From choosing a smart topic to bringing the detailed story, it was clear these displays were either successful or a disaster.

Winning the small scare was Frosted Freakshow. Their idea was smart, but more importantly they execute that design. The dinosaur captured the story, brought a little humor and delivered on the details. Again, smart choices earned them the win.

Going into the Spine Chiller, the teams had a huge task to tackle. While most Halloween Wars themes are more gory than goofy, this week’s challenge was a zombie dating show. The teams had to bring a little lighthearted slant to the un-dead.

The idea of zombie dating show could go in various directions. While creativity is applauded, the teams shouldn’t stray too far off the beaten path. Still, the biggest concern is executing the design in the best way possible.

As the competition get tougher, the communication between the team members needs to stay on task. This week’s episode seemed to show that the teams who work well together succeed. Even if a team didn’t win, they still had a quality showing.

The top team abundantly clear. The Buttercream Beasts had a very unique display. The “make your own” zombie impressed with its hanging cake display. While they lived by the go big or go home motto, this display delivered.

It offered a great amount of detail from every angle. From the faces of the zombies to the details in the pumpkins, everything was on point. This display definitely deserved the win.

The bottom two teams were equally as obvious. After their poor showing in the spine chiller, Malicious Mavens had a display that lacked detail and was disjointed. The pumpkin carved elements didn’t look like they matched the cake zombie.

Additionally, their tasting element was not good. Although red velvet brains could have been a home run, the tasting element was too sweet. Just like in the display, the balance needs to be clear.

Malicious Mavens is on a downward spiral. This challenge was the third one in a row where there was an issue. The frustration and lack of communication shows in the final display.

The other bottom team was the Trio of Terror. While the team thought that their display was good, the judges found a lack of continuity. The pumpkins were not at the same level as the other elements.

Again, this team seems to be compartmentalizing the elements and not seeing the big picture. The team can’t let ego get in the way. Each person needs to see how they can meld with the other one.

Still, Trio of Terror had a big advantage. Their tasting element was creative. The tart, bold flavor of their lollipop worked with the story and the flavor delivered. This tasting element saved them.

Continuing a theme throughout all of Halloween Wars, the tasting element is the difference between safe and sent home. The team eliminated this week is Malicious Mavens.

Looking back at this week’s Halloween Wars, it was nice to see the balance between scary and sweet. Sometimes these displays go so extreme that the fun is missing. Just like a great display, the balance needs to be just right.

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What did you think of this week’s Halloween Wars? Do you see a potential front-runner emerging?