All work and no play makes James a dull boy

By Mary Sollosi
October 25, 2017 at 02:00 PM EDT

James Franco has checked into the Overlook Hotel.

The actor and his The Deuce costar Chris Bauer took on scaring duties at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights, donning Jack Nicholson masks and brandishing (fake) axes at terrified park guests walking through the haunted maze inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

Every year, Universal Studios brings some of pop culture’s most beloved scary stories to life during Horror Nights, for which a collection of mazes are built all around the park and filled with costumed “scare-actors” who jump out and frighten guests. This year marks the first time that the annual event has included an attraction based on The Shining, which Universal’s creative team painstakingly recreated right down to the Overlook Hotel’s patterned carpet — not to mention the presence of a few menacing Jack Torrances.

“The adrenaline rush [scare-actors] get from scaring people is so addictive,” Universal Studios Hollywood Creative Director John Murdy told EW, “they just live to do this.”

Franco and Bauer turned out to be naturals. “You were good!” Murdy told them after their turn in the maze. “Every year, bro?” Franco asked Bauer, evidently already addicted to terrifying people. “This could be the hiatus job,” Bauer affirmed.

Check out the video of the actors posing as Jack Torrance and scaring the living daylights out of people, above. Halloween Horror Nights runs select nights through Nov. 4 at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort.

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