So after trying Containment again this year, it feels appropriate in some ways to do a review to mirror my review from last year, and see whether the improvements I wanted to see happened or not.
For a quick run down, here's some of the things I said could be improved, and some comments...
1) The preshow.
Last year, I felt the preshow either needed to be moved inside or just be given totally be an actor. This year, it's given totally by an actor, who sets the scene perfectly - creepy, yet funny, whilst setting the scene and explaining the rules.
2) The scare rating.
Last year, Containment received a 5* scare rating - something which was completely unjustified, and that the attraction could never live up to. This year, it's been given a much more appropriate 2* rating, matching the attraction's more "panic" feel, than scary intense feel. The attraction isn't scary, but has it's place in Fright Nights, especially with this much fairer rating.
3) The cost.
I'm all for making this an upcharge attraction, but I was concerned £8-10 was too much, especially after seeing time slots not sell out during the second weekend of Fright Nights. The cost hasn't changed, and there's been less marketing, but it's certainly seemed to be attracting a lot of attention too, and has sold out on a few nights already which is good to see. They might need to allow a bit more time between groups (having up to a 30 minute wait after the designated time slot hasn't been uncommon this year!), but it's at least good to see it's selling out.
4) The ending.
The ending still needs more for me. I'd absolutely love another room where it shows you how many rooms you solved, how quick you were and have an actor give you the corresponding wristband, along with a final scare. Obviously space is the main issue for that, and presumably it would add another technical layer to the attraction, making things more difficult to control in some sense. But it would still be awesome. However, it's nice to see that there's something a bit more after completing or failing the final room, giving an actual scare to get you out the attraction.
One thing I really liked was how at the start of each room, an explanation to the fear your were facing was given. Last year, I had no clue what each fear was meant to be - the four rooms were meant to be fear of touch, small spaces, dentists/needles and darkness in that order. I thought it was fear of small spaces, foreign things, needles and darkness... This year, a nice voiceover explained it all, before the actors then begun to do their things.
The rooms this year felt a bit more logical too, and actually had things to solve rather than blindly tackle and hope for the best. Definitely an improvement on last year!
Room for Improvement?
I noticed a couple of noise bleeds from rooms at times, which is a bit of a pain, but difficult to solve. And there needs to be a solid way to stop groups from catching up with one another (especially if you solve the first room quickly, since there's no actor to occupy you!). And obviously the ending. However, these are all difficult things to solve, especially with the small space the attraction uses.
All in all, Containment is very good this year - easily my second favourite attraction this season behind The Big Top. The new challenges and new spin on the story is refreshing and has really turned this from a 'nice thing to try' to a 'don't miss' attraction in my opinion! And with a very good cast, it's really done wonders. I look forward to a return of it next year (hopefully), again with new scenes, fears and challenges!