On Sunday the 9th of October 2016, me and a few other forum members (and a few other non-forum members) set out on a venture to Thorpe Park Resort. However, this was not just any ordinary day at Thorpe Park; Fright Nights had kicked just two days prior to this visit, and we were all extremely excited to get into the six attractions that the park had to offer. Before the mazes opened to the public for the evening, we had the pleasure of experiencing a behind the scenes tour of Saw Alive and Cabin in the Woods (special mention to Shannon, our fantastic guide for the tour). It was very intriguing to see all of the detail and effort that goes into the making of the attractions, especially in Saw Alive, and I will definitely be purchasing another tour for a different two mazes next year! But now, onto the reviews!
SPOILER WARNING - THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Cabin in the Woods - 7.5/10
Cabin in the Woods was the first maze of the night, and was definitely one of the better attractions the park this year. Returning for it's fourth year, I was worried that the maze would feel stale and boring after such a long period of it being here. I was very wrong indeed! We managed to loop around the maze twice, and got to go into every room that the maze has at the start of the maze. The theming in each room (excluding the blackout rooms with virtually no theming) was great and the actors throughout were trying their best to squeeze every scare out of our relatively small group of just four people. The second half was much weaker unfortunately. The elevator scene wasn't working with no actor behind the glass, the rotating tunnel will never work again which is a real shame, the actors were lacking, especially the finale where there was only one or two. Overall however, this maze is still going strong, despite a weaker second half. I do feel though, as much as I like it, it is time for a change.
Containment - 6/10
Containment was poor last year, very poor in fact, and I was quite reluctant to hand over £8 for an attraction which I did not enjoy at all previously. But due to the great reviews it had been getting, I felt obliged to try it out and see whether it had improved or not. To cut to the chase, it was good! Massively improved on last year, with some returning rooms, some new rooms, and completely new puzzles to get our brains ticking. The narration at the start of each room was a great addition; it explained the fear in each room and was a rather nice touch. The actors in each room were spot on, especially the clock room with two actors who were both funny and scary at the same time. Whilst we're speaking of scary, the attraction as a whole wasn't all that scary. It's a good bit of fun and provides something different instead of another standard horror maze, but if you're expecting a terrifying escape experience then I recommend you look elsewhere. Overall, Containment is a good and unique addition to the lineup, however take it as a puzzle-solving escape room, not a terrifying horror escape room, in order not to be disappointed.
Platform 15 - 3/10
I knew when Thorpe released the video of Zombieboy being the "curator" of Platform 15 for publicity, I knew it was going to be bad. Little did I know, it would be utterly dreadful. It does have some moments of light though! The Scottish (but not really Scottish) tour guide at the beginning was definitely the best part of the attraction; he was an excellent actor! The walk up to the train with the fire and the flashing lights was also quite cool. After that, it goes very quickly down hill. The graveyard scene is very sub-par and the tunnel and finale has got to be one of the worst I've seen in a horror maze. It's basically a crap Molly Crowe ending, without any movement or any chase. For a new attraction, Thorpe should be ashamed with the end product; it is disgraceful. The worst part is the actors are all clearly trying their hardest, but even with their endeavors, it is very close to being the worst maze of the night, and the year!
The Big Top - 9/10
The Big Top last year was diabolical, and when I heard it was returning I was not ecstatic. I went in with low expectations, despite the general consensus I was getting from people who had done it saying it was a lot better. So, we went in, experienced it, came out, and I can safely say after four runs in the maze, it is very very good! Everything has been so greatly improved: the fortune teller, all the other scenes, the ending, everything! The strobe maze is by far the most intense strobe maze I have ever done! The slow pattern they've been put on means it is extremely difficult to see anything in the tent at all, and with actors bursting out from every direction with your impaired sight, it leads to a terrifying outcome! The chainsaw chase ending, despite it's unoriginality, is very effective when working properly and has left me running for the exit each time. I only have a few bugs with the maze. Firstly, each time I've been in I feel it's lacked actors, especially in the strobe maze. Secondly, some scenes are too open (in particular the clown wash and the cage), and finally, the only major one, when it is light outside, light streams into the tent, completely ruining the strobe section of the maze and ruining the atmosphere. Overall though, I thoroughly love this maze; the best I have experienced at Thorpe in my 3 years of visiting Fright Nights.
Saw Alive - 5/10
Saw Alive is never a strong maze, yet usually I do enjoy a good run through of it. This year though, the highlight of the entire maze was seeing Amy's seashell in the corner of the bathroom scene! The theming is top quality in this maze, the best on park. However, the actors need to at least try in order to make this a half-decent maze. The actors on our run, did not. The minimal 5-6 that were in the entire maze clearly wanted to go home after a long evening of scaring people, and none of them seemed to really care that we were in the maze at all. A lot of them just stood there and snarled as we walked on. It's definitely time this maze moved on, with either a complete re-them, or the complete removal of it.
Blair Witch - 2/10
Blair Witch, new scenes for 2016, can't be much worse than it's predecessor? Well, clearly it can! With the addition of a few nice looking red lights, nothing seemed to have changed with Blair Witch. There were no more than 6 or so actors in the entire thing, all of which made the same pig snort noise whenever we past them. There was no audio playing in the maze and we also had numerous queue jumpers before we could even get inside. To put it bluntly, Blair Witch is s#!t. I would avoid this maze at all costs if I were you!
Before I conclude this blog entry, I have a few more small details to add. The Experiment 10 roamers that we saw a fair few times were excellent! One of them knew my name, which was rather confusing to me at the time but I did realise that somebody who I sort of know and have on Facebook is working as a roamer this year. Theming around the park did exist but was quite minimal; I do like the headless monk on the bridge!
Overall, Fright Nights is a good event this year, however there is still a big gap for improvement in the attractions and around the park as a whole!
That's the end of this blog! Thank you all for reading