We were very kindly invited to this year's Doncaster Fear Factory media and press night. Whilst we were given free entry to the event, we have full editorial control of what our review of the event says.
Our Slasher Review
Doncaster Fear Factory returns for another season at Thornhurst Manor and we were very kindly and appreciatively invited along to the media and press night on the 8th of October. The event started with roaming characters and a short seminar about the event history with complimentary food and drink as well as a free photo booth too. The event also included 2 hours of exclusive access to all five scare mazes that Doncaster Fear Factory has to offer. Right from the get-go we were impressed with the level of energy the roamers gave and this force followed through into all the attractions on offer. The mazes all featured a sublime selection of set design and actor power throughout. Ordinarily, we give out the strongest and weakest maze of the night but in this case, it's really not possible as they all rank at the same level for different reasons. What we will say is they were all fantastic.
Top Tips- Start from the back of the park and work your way forward, also do not wear shorts in The Chasm.
Things that bite-The toilets were a bit rank other than that nothing we would change
Value for money-At £25 plus £1.50 booking fee, Absolutely value for money.
Do we recommend- Without a shadow of a doubt!
Our Stalker Review
On the 8th of October 2023 we arrived for the media and press night for Doncaster Fear Factory 2023. The night started with some intimidating interaction with the roamers namely a hammer-wielding clown, two zombies, a dark and sinister nun and a twisted evil priest, all played their roles down to a tee with fantastic acting and improvisation and this was before we even got to the marquee. It's safe to say if this was the standard of acting from the roamers, just what would we face when we got to the mazes later on in the night?
We arrived at the marquee that was dressed out like a fabulous gothic wedding scene, we collected our passes and found a table for the proceedings. Each table featured 4 bottles of wine and in addition to this, there were other complimentary drinks including a small bar and the Kraken rum bar which would be rude not to sample. Doncaster Fear Factory sure knows how to pull out all the stops to make a great first impression.
At around 7 PM we were introduced to the head creative behind Doncaster Fear Factory who was also the creator of the infamous Project Fear. The seminar lasted only about 12 minutes, just enough time to fill us in on the history of Doncaster Fear Factory and the mazes that occupy the site. A couple of glasses of Prosecco later it was time to head over to the park complete with more roamers and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. We truly felt honoured to have been invited.
We started the night by heading down to the back of the park to take on our first attraction. The Chasm.
After a very short wait, we were ordered to get on our hands and knees and enter The Chasm. I will say now I made a rookie error due to it being unseasonably warm for October and I wore shorts. Do not do this. The entrance to The Chasm is natural ground so the floor is very rough and a little bit stoney. After this short dark section, we entered into the depths of the mines and it wasn't long before the creatures within were on us. The scares came out from everywhere and were very fast and impactful. The actors in The Chasm know how to work their space and get scares from every angle. And it has to be said due to the claustrophobic nature of the attraction this is no easy feat. A word of warning comes from us for the maze too, if you are of limited mobility and have trouble crawling you might struggle with this attraction. Other than that The Chasm was a great start to the night and set us up for the scares ahead.
Next up was The Legend of Crackle Hill. This is the Doncaster Fear Factory "haunted house" maze. Now although we've seen this type of attraction theme done time and time again, it remains a classic. But what we weren't prepared for was just how well Doncaster Fear Factory would reinvent this classic.
The story of Crackle Hill was expertly narrated by the "Custodian" who set us up for the immersive nature of the attraction ahead. He was engaging and entertaining in good measure. As we entered deeper into the house we found that no expense had been spared in the set design of this impressive attraction. The acting in this maze was just as high energy as the last, Each character's development had been clearly and painstakingly realised, from the first ghostly residents that made us feel unwelcome in all the best ways to the psychotic assault on a doll from one of the possessed. I wish I could mention more actors as every single one was on form. And just when you think Crackle Hill has given you all it has to offer as you find yourself outside it hits you "almost literally" with one last scare that sent our newest member Abby running for the exit. But we will keep that finale scene a secret.
After a short walk through the forest, we decided it was time to take on the new for 2023 Diabolus:The Keeper of Secrets. Now in accordance with Doncaster Fear Factory, we will not be giving spoilers about Diabolus. All we will say is be prepared to confess your sins and have your wits about you, especially in the final scene. We really did enjoy this attraction and we feel it will be a staple of Doncaster Fear Factory for the future to come. The actors in this attraction just like before know how to work the space and are hands-on but not too much, just enough to give you the creeps to lure you into a false sense of security to an unforgettable finale
Sins confessed we headed on through the mazes to one that you can't miss, The Pogo Club. Whilst in the queue for this attraction Dane was apprehended by a rogue Hillbilly carrying a bottle of what was not moonshine and very yellow in colour. The actress who did this roaming role was absolutely fantastic and never broke character or accent. Dane even left with a special gift of a used condom, we hope it fake but it smelled funny, definitely fitting for the attraction ahead
Time to go into The Pogo Club Named after the infamous John Wayne Gacy and if you know your serial killers you can soon guess what might be in store but that's all we shall say on the matter. From the very start, you are met with a booming soundtrack of Hardcore and Bounce. This sounds like a club I'd visit back in my raver days. The maze starts off strong with the Cyberdog-clad character starting the proceedings with a high-energy performance and really set the scene fantastically for everything that was to come. Leading into the attraction we found ourselves lured into the dirty and dank toilets at the back of the club, this again was a great well-thought-out scene that made me almost jump out of my shoes. Afterwards, the inhabitants of the Pogo Club soon found us and wasted no time in getting up close and personal. One creature that has to be commended is the almost acrobatic display in one of the earlier tunnels. The level of skill this scare pulled off was daring and inspired. I think they will know who they are. Everything that followed was pure manic perfection and we left Pogo wishing we had time for another round but we had one more maze to take on and from what we had heard we saved the most intense for last.
Finally, it was time for the last maze of the night, Y.A.N.A Gate. We entered the facility and learnt of an infection that had spread within, Dane and Abby both got facemasks, but I didn't as apparently "it was too late for me". Quite the foreshadowing of the experience to come. This maze did not let up from the impressive theming to the extremely hands-on cast which we loved. The scares came thick and fast and from all directions, at one point I was held by my leg and the actor/actress in question had no intention of letting go, Wriggling free we went deeper into the facility where the infection had taken hold even more. The further we went the more relentless the cast became leading to a seriously disorienting strobe maze finale and the signature sound of a VERY CLOSE chainsaw. Y.A.N.A Gate was truly the right maze to end this night on, everything was pure perfection, we just wish more scream-parks would adapt to at least one maze with this intensity.
So there we have it, we have reached the end of our seriously impressive night at Doncaster Fear Factory. We are forever thankful to have been given an invite along to the media/press night. The entire cast and crew need to be highly commended and believe me when I say, Do not sleep on Doncaster Fear Factory. This is one powerhouse of an event with an acting cast that clearly love what they do and eat, sleep and breathe scares.
Doncaster Fear Factory runs on the following nights: 13th,14th,15th,20th,21st,22nd,26th,27th,28th and 29th of October
If you would like to book, and we highly recommend that you do! You can do so at the link below.