A whole new direction was awaiting guests for Fright Nights in 2013, as the park teamed up with Lionsgate to bring some famous movies to life in a host of new horror mazes and attractions.
Included in the parks line up were two all new mazes, in Cabin in the Woods (located behind X) and My Bloody Valentine (located in the arena) these were accompanied by two previous mazes Saw: Alive and the Asylum. Also the park tried something new with the slightly light hearted Blair Witch Project scare zone and You’re Next characters roaming the park.
First thing is first which was a stop at Cabin in the Woods. Thanks to the great Michael Bolton and Thorpe Park we got a behind the scenes look at the attraction before we got to experience it (others had already experienced it) and the changes from previous Hellgate and the more recent Passing were evident. With the Cabin in the Woods the park have set of to make a free flowing multi choice maze and quite honestly, have pulled it off.
With 18 combinations once you have entered the Cabin you are straight in the living room, dark, smoke filled with loud music if this wasn’t enough you are presented with four doors to choose from. Two lead in and out of the garden, whilst the other two take you on different routes through the first half of the maze. As you opened a door it would shut behind before you could open another, dark rooms, bedrooms, two way mirrors and even the secret control room (if you can find it) all make up the first part of the maze. Obviously you won’t be alone…
The second half is more set in it’s ways, although fans of the films will recognise scenes and props from the films as you continue your path out. The actors play a massive part in the second part of the maze and do it very well, skilled at quick movements and jumping they can trace you around the whole maze should they desire through hidden corridors.
Upon exiting the maze you can look back at what the park have done and we think t worked very well. Great free flowing with options and fantastic actors has to be what you want from a maze. Could it be better? Of course maybe even more options and better theme can be added but yet we know it’s back next year so keep an eye on this one.
Saw Alive remains in view at the park all year round, once open everyday the attraction hasn’t received anything new for 2013 (see previous reviews) although we will say that we enjoyed this more this year than any other so far. Dark, scares and even the scenes bring this maze to life still making it ever popular.
Asylum also made a return for 2013, with the park stating that previous mazes had become “Stale” Asylum has always rated as the parks top maze in previous years which was the reason for it’s return. For those that don’t know the Asylum it’s an asylum hospital full of patients which are out to scare you, and they do a very good job. For those that have read previous reviews you will know the Asylum is all about twisted cages with strobe lights and sirens. Sometimes other theme parts can pop in and out and for 2013 there are some extra additions.
Two more noticeable parts include a solitary padded room, with the most noticeable change coming in the final corridor, where once before you were just in a plain un-themed area relying on the chainsaw guy to be there has now been replaced. Curtains mark the way and block the running exit with new toilets at the end of the corridor. This really adds to the maze and stops the running till right at the end as the chainsaw guy is located in one of the toilets.
On the same hand theme which we had noticed before (including the lady with the baby and surgical desk) have all been removed. Does it detract? I’ve always thought the maze was too light with the strobes being insufficient with constant lights always on, it’s still a solid maze but is starting to show age.
The final new maze was My Bloody Valentine and don’t be fooled in thinking the most time went into transforming this one. A nice new outer shell and a few mild changes inside make the less than average visitor not see the resemblance to Experiment 10 of previous years (for the record excellent first year, poor the second) Obviously a new theme does add a new story around the miners in My Bloody Valentine and the killer guy who kills them (from what I remember of the film!) and it is explained very well. The rest of the maze in my view really depends on the actors, when you start there are two routes to take, hang a left for two long corridors, or right for the crawling tunnel (worth noting you won’t get a choice, and will be split up in groups) On the crawling route you will see the rooms previously used in Experiment 10 which look really out of place, then you will crawl though a small tunnel which some may remember from the passing.
To be honest the rest of the maze the theme isn’t strong enough to link it to the film, but that’s not to say it’s a poor maze. In fact quite the opposite, strong scares and at times some very dark areas really add to the buzz and pumps the blood levels high. It’s not a bad length but the only thing that lets it down is a poor ending but don’t let it detract from the maze, it’s still very good!
With the mazes out of the way there were two more things on offer at the park; The Blair Witch Project and You’re Next characters. The You’re Next Characters did a good job roaming the park, I’d have loved to have seen a quality maze for You’re Next but the characters were a nice extra. My only grip was the lack of music from the film, the annoying catching Lookin for the Magic helped make the film and would sound fantastic in the park over Perfect Day.
Finally but by no means least the Blair Witch Project. Now this has had some stick but at just 2 stars (My Bloody Valentine was 5) this was actually one of my favourite attractions at the park. Always dark and tracking through the mud Blair Witch was never going to be scary (the film wasn’t…) yet actors in the dark out in the open along the house at the end just works. Our second time through this was really creepy and on edge, it’s easy to say it’s not scary when you finish but even if you don’t get scared you will be on edge the whole time, and that is the purpose of the maze.
More black out of Nemesis may have helped a little along with the stick men hanging from the trees you couldn’t see which is iconic to the film, but non the less a fantastic attraction.
Many have had there say and the forums have been less than impressed with the park on the whole, however as the only site to have covered every Fright Nights I’m going to confidently say this was my Favourite so far. Yes there could be improvements yet if there couldn’t be the park would have no where to go. Cabin and My Bloody Valentine both need Saw Alive style endings but with a few tweaks and a little more spent on the theme, this could rival the best of the best.
Our You Tube channel has the video from the event!