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Fright Nights 2021 - 20th Anniversary


JoshC.
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1 hour ago, LukeP_8 said:

Well I first went to FN in 2012 and the Asylum was by far the scariest maze on the night. And you could say that 2012/13 is in the more "modern era" of the event. So I completely disagree with the idea Asylum would not be well recieved because it was levels above (imo) any other maze back then, and the rest of those 2012 mazes are better than the mazes (bar a couple) that we've had since then. Imo 90% chain link mesh is what the end of creek freak is, Asylum added a hell of alot of messed up detail to that strobe maze and it all added up to a terrifying experience. Also the chain link stuff was probably only a half of the actual maze in later years... There were many different scenes added to that maze each with their own unique detail and chaotic environment. The only thing that stayed constant throughout the whole thing was the soundtrack and strobes (which was a good thing).

 

I should stress that I'm not saying Asylum would be poorly received. But just as a general thought experiment, would it be as highly regarded? When it first opened, and even really up until it closed, it was something different which had a very obvious style unlike many other mazes. But it's a style which has been recreated and mimicked many times over all around the country, and even within Thorpe. Would a maze which is a stretched out version of the ending of Creek Freak Massacre (or a version of Big Top's strobe maze...or a version of Walking Dead's strobe maze...) hit the same high notes for the masses? Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't.

 

1 hour ago, LukeP_8 said:

As for overall past years being tinted by nostalgia I completely understand that arguement actually, but in this particular case also disagree with this aswell. I'm a big advocate for the past not necessarily being so much better than the present due to nostalgia bias but in this case the mazes in recent years have done absolutely nothing. I mean come on... Are we really suggesting the 2018 maze line up with those walking dead mazes is better than the 2013 lineup, or better yet, the 2011 lineup? Well I'd say most will agree that's not the case. 

 

2011 and 2013 were, in my opinion, some of the best Fright Nights out there. More importantly, they are head and shoulders above most other years too. 

 

I'm not suggesting that recent years were better than some of the best years ever. But if you go back to say, 2008, when you had Asylum, Hellgate, Se7en and Curse, you only had one consistently well received maze, which was Asylum.

Hellgate ticked along, but was a rather basic maze which never hit great heights. Se7en had settled into the line up at that point, but was nowhere near its peak. Curse was suffering from first season syndrome. Personally, I think you could replace those mazes from that year with Platform 15 and the Walking Dead mazes of 2018 and the event would be a similar quality.

 

It's easy to look back and remember things fondly, or forget about some of the bad things. I really enjoyed Se7en, and some of the runs I had in its final year were some of the best runs I've had in any maze. But equally, I had some proper duds of a run in years prior. That's in part the nature of mazes too. But I do think it's easy to gloss over some of bad points of years gone back. 

 

It will be genuinely interesting to see what people's views are like in 10 years time. Will there be people remembering fondly the likes of Blair Witch, Platform 15 and Living Nightmare?

 

 

1 hour ago, Glitch said:

In all seriousness we have one new maze, which I assume will also be an upcharge but this really doesn't do the 20 years justice.

Here's a fun question: Do they need to do 20 years justice? Does it matter that it's the 20th anniversary, or is it just something that the park are cashing in on for an advertising and merchandising stand point because fans made it a big deal?

 

For the 10th anniversary, the park opened a new maze which had a 10 at the end, and had some roaming actors. Did that idea really do the 10th anniversary justice?

If yes, then what the park are doing is more than enough.

If no, then why does it matter, when 2011 was one of the best years of Fright Nights regardless?

 

 

4 minutes ago, oscar.butler said:

Might be a long-shot here but this new maze is being heavily teased and marketed, could it be a maze that relates to something bigger…?

 

Not quite sure what you mean here. If you're suggesting that the maze could be related to something else beyond itself (ie a new ride), I mean, I guess it's possible. Towers have done it a couple of times. At this stage though, I think all we can really read into it is that because it's the big new maze, they want to push it separately.

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And the final maze, Trailers:

 

 

The 'never ending loop' thing makes me wonder if this will feature some sort of multi-route / repetition throughout the maze.

 

The theme is a nice idea and I've seen other places make this sort of concept work. 

 

And I also think this is where these play a part:

On 8/22/2021 at 10:36 PM, Inferno said:

 

  • Beyond the chair - Something to do with the dentist chair in Containment maybe?
  • Nightmare on Staines Street - Asylum vibes?
  • Vulcan Voodoo - Vulcan Peak tribute? (why..)
  • Ship Happens - The Curse tribute?  Or Saw Alive throwback (as it was on a boat)?
  • Hell Cell - Hellgate / exp10 combo?  Or could it be referring to the prison in the walking dead?
  • Seven Dolls - Got to be something to do with Se7en?
  • Bozo's Playzone - The big top showtime type thing?
  • Breakout at Brainsbury's - (love this) Maybe a supermarket zombie breakout themed maze? Very different!

 

These are probably the 'films' which are shown at the SuperSpark Cinema, and throughout the maze, you enter into a scene of each one. This then combines a nice mix of Fright Nights throwback whilst keeping things fresh (and makes things easy to follow for people unfamiliar with old mazes too).

 

I think the main concern I have there is space. The Jungle Escape space isn't that big: I reckon it's similar to Creek Freak Massacre, if not, smaller. So it's by no means small, but not huge either. So fitting in 8 scenes (plus the inevitable pre show, and an ending scene) is a challenge, especially if you want to make sure the maze flows coherently too.

I think being upcharge and putting people in small groups will be a huge help, but that still isn't an answer to many of the concerns.

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Interesting concept, doesn’t seem like it’s much of a story based maze and is probably going to be here for one year only though? Could be totally wrong though when it opens. 
 

Also agree with the lack of space, god knows how they’re going to fit 8 scenes and a potential pre show in. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

As of yesterday, construction and preparation has turned up a notch for Fright Nights:

 

Seemingly the Saw Alive pathway will be the location of the Crows scare zone:

 

Old Town is being partially shut off for Creek Freaks Unchained:

 

I am also under the impression that much of Trailers is complete now, which is a good sign of course.

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I’m kind of just realising that FN’s 10th anniversary (& Exp10’s opening year) being 10 years ago, which means that half of FN’s history has taken place since then….. 

I realise that is is obvious, but wow I’m getting so old! 😳

Exp10 opening feels so recent to me.

 

I completely agree with all that’s been said about looking back at the past mazes fondly - I don’t think perhaps the likes of Asylum would be quite as well received today as it was at the time.

Really Asylum was little more than a chain-link strobe maze with a lit-up sign out the front and a great theme tune. But wow was it scary.


I seem to remember scare mazes making me (and everyone else queueing) genuinely nervous. They, especially Asylum, seemed to have a legendary reputation which I think just added to it.

I think as well the hands-on-shoulders thing, and the bizarre group photo (with all the random strangers in your run through) and briefing on the ‘stage’ in front of the queue before going through the iconic blue door added to it too - it felt like such an event!

 

I think we expect a lot more from a scare maze these days, unlike a few years ago when really we didn’t expect much more than simply to be scared. Now we seem to expect a full story to be told and for it to be well themed throughout - the bar has been raised massively, and quite rightly so since they now charge for a runthrough.

 

I think that’s why Experiment 10 and Cabin In The Woods (and the towers mazes) impressed so much at the time, because it added so much more to what most people were used to seeing from a maze, including the likes of Tulley’s at the time.

 

I think expectations are just extremely different now.

Mazes have stories and are generally really well themed.

Big Top was a little different for me because it almost felt like a slight step back to how mazes used to be - it was more simple in what it was trying to do.

Even the beloved Big Top though was a far cry from how mazes used to be a few years before. The way the BT’s soundtrack evolved throughout the maze, and the work that went in to the set designs, it was nothing like the old mazes at all - it was so much more, and clearly had a much bigger budget.  

I don’t think there’s any going back to how it was, not without people calling it lazy.

 

I think scare mazes are having a bit of an identity crisis at the moment.

Most mazes aren’t built simply to be “scary” anymore - they’re really more of a scenic theatrical experience aren’t they? (I’m not complaining about that - just kind of rambling/realising)


A good point was made earlier about the “10th birthday” being celebrated by a plastic cake being wheeled about on a trolley and a maze with “10” written on it - and that was great back then!

Now everyone expects a lot more.


————

Tl;dr - I think the unwritten ‘definition of a scare maze’ has changed too much for Asylum and co to be as well received as they used to be. People expect more now.

 

(sorry for my rambling post 🙄)

 

Thanks for coming to my ted talk.

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6 hours ago, Inferno said:

I’m kind of just realising that FN’s 10th anniversary (& Exp10’s opening year) being 10 years ago, which means that half of FN’s history has taken place since then….. 

I realise that is is obvious, but wow I’m getting so old! 😳

Exp10 opening feels so recent to me.

 

I completely agree with all that’s been said about looking back at the past mazes fondly - I don’t think perhaps the likes of Asylum would be quite as well received today as it was at the time.

Really Asylum was little more than a chain-link strobe maze with a lit-up sign out the front and a great theme tune. But wow was it scary.


I seem to remember scare mazes making me (and everyone else queueing) genuinely nervous. They, especially Asylum, seemed to have a legendary reputation which I think just added to it.

I think as well the hands-on-shoulders thing, and the bizarre group photo (with all the random strangers in your run through) and briefing on the ‘stage’ in front of the queue before going through the iconic blue door added to it too - it felt like such an event!

 

I think we expect a lot more from a scare maze these days, unlike a few years ago when really we didn’t expect much more than simply to be scared. Now we seem to expect a full story to be told and for it to be well themed throughout - the bar has been raised massively, and quite rightly so since they now charge for a runthrough.

 

I think that’s why Experiment 10 and Cabin In The Woods (and the towers mazes) impressed so much at the time, because it added so much more to what most people were used to seeing from a maze, including the likes of Tulley’s at the time.

 

I think expectations are just extremely different now.

Mazes have stories and are generally really well themed.

Big Top was a little different for me because it almost felt like a slight step back to how mazes used to be - it was more simple in what it was trying to do.

Even the beloved Big Top though was a far cry from how mazes used to be a few years before. The way the BT’s soundtrack evolved throughout the maze, and the work that went in to the set designs, it was nothing like the old mazes at all - it was so much more, and clearly had a much bigger budget.  

I don’t think there’s any going back to how it was, not without people calling it lazy.

 

I think scare mazes are having a bit of an identity crisis at the moment.

Most mazes aren’t built simply to be “scary” anymore - they’re really more of a scenic theatrical experience aren’t they? (I’m not complaining about that - just kind of rambling/realising)


A good point was made earlier about the “10th birthday” being celebrated by a plastic cake being wheeled about on a trolley and a maze with “10” written on it - and that was great back then!

Now everyone expects a lot more.


————

Tl;dr - I think the unwritten ‘definition of a scare maze’ has changed too much for Asylum and co to be as well received as they used to be. People expect more now.

 

(sorry for my rambling post 🙄)

 

Thanks for coming to my ted talk.

Tbh, I think the hands on shoulders mazes offered something else that now cant be matched. and until covid is no longer an issue I cant see them returning due to proximity.

 all the reactions of the people in the group or hearing them was simply brilliant.
 

Although  there is no better experience than a unofficial brave it alone on Asylum when its empty and they called out staff member before letting me in (2008) I think.
 

yes there are pro’s and cons for both types of maze. But lets not forget the scare ability of the likes of some of the earlier mazes surpasses that of the more recent additions.

 

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Some constructiony updates via Everything Fright Nights...

 

The Crows of Mawkin Meadow is receiving some hay

 

 

Creek Freak Massacre is going through tech rehearsals:

 

Work is going on round Old Town for Creek Freaks Unchained:

 

Somewhat tacky addition to the Platform 15 entrance:

 

Saving the most interesting one for last:

 

There's been some work towards the side / back of the building for Trailers. This has recently been themed, and very much seems like this will be the entrance of the maze. That would make it the first time the entrance for an attraction in that building wasn't by the main corner by the pathway.

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