Fright Nights 2015 – The Event

Once again Fright Nights has come upon Thorpe Park and in 2015 we see to new attractions come to the park, these come in the form of The Big Top, a horror circus themed maze. Then the Containment, an intense escape room which carries an extra charge.

Also returning for Fright Nights was the Lionsgate mazes in My Bloody Valentine, which had been relocated next to Zodiac. Blair Witch project, Saw Alive and Cabin in the Woods.

Saw Alive!

The parks oldest and most permanent maze set on the old boat is based on the horror franchise where you are all set to face your fears and play in Jigsaws playground. We have had many run through of Saw, which has often been seen as the weakest maze at the park in terms of scares. After a photo with Billy you make your way into the control room and listen to Jigsaw set the rules of the game before being thrust into the bathroom to start your journey.

If you haven;t seen the films the sets may well be lost on you, although it doesn’t mean that the scares will be. With the electric shock room, Freezer room, chain and pendulum room the finale of the carousel really adds to the atmosphere. For those that have read previous reviews of this maze on here we have been a bit critical in the past of it, however in saying that it does now stand out as not only the best themed but most consistent in terms of conditions and even scares. In 2015 we have been very impressed with Saw Alive and the actors always seem on top form.

8/10

Cabin in the Woods

Perhaps the most popular maze at the park (certainly since Asylum left the park) and this is such a good maze for so many reason. To be honest I haven’t seen the film from start to finish but hasn’t taken anything away from the quality this maze can produce. Starting in the “living room” you can choose the doors in front of you to head out around the garden (end up back in the living room) or proceed straight into the maze on one of the doors on the right as you walk in.

Take the door on the left you head into the room with wolf on the wall, then into room with the masks. Head to the door on the right then you have a room of chains and the bedroom to look forward to before heading into the mask room. Personally this is the better more intense route to take, dark rooms very good actors and some intense lighting effects. There is a secret room after these rooms, where you can control smoke and lights from the main room, in the past this has been a room of “sanctuary” however this year we were no expecting someone to appear at the window and scare the crap out of us!

From this you head through to the second half of the maze, the old spinning tunnel and then through the tight corridors with shocks and surprises around every corner. There is no doubt this is the most intense maze at the park and never fails to delivery!

9/10

My Bloody Valentine

Previously located on the arena site the maze has been moved next to Zodiac for 2015 (with the new attraction being built) and has had a few minor changes.  Again a film i’ve never seen once you walk in the scene is set with the backdrop of the story and the man who is out to get you. Beware! You will be split up in this maze, some will go right and some will go left with the chance that you may well swap again in the middle! light corridors, dark room, mine style scenery, tunnels, crawling this maze has a bit of everything.

Over the years this has been generally an intense maze and to be honest this year was no different. Scenes like the hospital had been removed and replaced keeping it fresh (and stopping someone running over my foot with a wheelchair!) but the same “can’t see round the corner where are they” remains in tact. The maze probably keeps you more on edge than the others and the scenery becomes more of a blur in terms of detail (which isn’t an issue) the only criticism this year much like the next maze, is that is was to bright inside.

7/10

Blair Witch Project

Over the past two years this has always stood as as the shock experience for us, whilst the first year was a bit of a let down the park really turned the heat up on the walk through, which although was only meant to be a tamer experience when first released. Opening after dark the Blair Witch is a walk along the old Canada Creek railway through the woods and out through the cabin at the end.

Although meant to be a tame experience walking in the dark wooded area with people jumping out on you could always be a recipe for scares and has been amazing the past couple of year. The actors are great in their roles and really need to be taking into account potential tripping and hazards found in this area, they can get scares out of you very easily. The area was a little over grown, some is good but sometimes a branch in the face isn’t the nicest thing but there was just two issues with the maze.

The main issue was the lights. In previous years it has been dark, obviously some light bleed from close attractions haven’t really effected the mood. But sadly this season the area is really bright, one in course to the new attraction being built and worked on at night meaning flood lights surround the area and indeed  the Blair Witch path for quite a distance. The second an extra flood light set at the back of Inferno (not required) which shine right through the finale cabin, meaning you can see everything inside before you enter (although the cabin design isn’t quite as good)

The actors sadly didn’t stand much of a chance to fright as we could see them really easily in particular at the final scene. it is such a shame as this has been a solid attraction at the park, switch the lights off it would be again. Based on 2015…

4/10

Containment

The containment was something very different for the park to try, in general it was a big success. Much like an escape room you go in with a small group of people and need to look at clues in order to find your way out to the next room. The clues weren’t difficult, although if you didn’t get through you would fail, actors would be in every room and offered little assistance but did play there part nicely.

The finale many complained about as on the final room you do just exit the building, but what else do you want from an escape! At £10 you probably have to want to enjoy this kind of scare and challenge before embarking on the Containment.

The Big Top

The all new maze experience for 2015 is the Big Top, a series of horror Circus events including the Mirror Maze and the Fun House! Located on the Amity Beach the Big Top spans through 3 tents with guest going between as they move through the maze. Once entered the maze you are stopped by the fortune teller, who has various stories of the evil clown (guy?!) who is inside the tent with a good chance he will appear at some time. You’re then told to pick a route and make your way through some small dark corridors which eventually leads out of the first tent.

The second tent you enter straight into with mirrors surrounding you from the off and strobe lights filling the room making it very disorientating as you walk through, trying to look out for frights around the corner. There are frights inside, from curtains, to moving pictures or behind windows there is something around every corner in what feels a short, but quite intense second tent.

From here you head under the bridge outside to the Ringmaster who introduces you to the fortune teller in the box, after a short period you are lead to walk through the Fun House side of the maze. Again actors are everywhere  before walking around the corner and seeing “big baby” before heading into the final corridor to exit the maze. The final corridor is very small and dark but all of a sudden you hear a noise quite familiar as you prepared to be scared one final time (its all we’re say!)

On the first walk through I didn’t really know what to think of this, but on the second it became apparent it was good fun. Clowns and circus in terms of scares don’t appeal to everyone however they are still good fun which is what this maze is. There are definite improvements that could be made around the first half of the attraction, after the  fortune teller its hit and miss as to if you see someone before exiting the tent. To be honest the gap between the first and second tent should be covered in darkness rather than exiting and re-entering. Few minor tweaks and the park will have another winning maze.

7/10 (more with the tweaks)

Overall this may not have been the most scary Fright Nights but there was certainly thrills and shocks in every maze which is exactly what you’re looking for. It must be stated the actors were excellent through out the park, in every maze and interacting with guests with generally staff around the resort being better than ever (with 2 exceptions) and they really added to our day at the park.

Fright Nights like every year is a must and should not be missed.