On Friday, I popped along to the island like no other to experience this years Fright Nights! The following review is based on my visit and experience of the first public day and night of Fright Nights and others experiences may vary.
The park has been transformed with theming. You walk over the bridge with The Walking Dead inspired theming. As you approach the dome, the old The Big Top sign can be seen on the ground in what I can only assume is a geek memorial.The dome doorways have red and yellow drapes giving the impression that there will be clowns and yes, there will be clowns.
The Big Top: Showtime
This is inside the dome and it's a lovely little scare zone/show. The actors get so into the roles and genuinely look like they are having blast and it makes you feel like getting involved and having a blast and getting scare with them. Whilst I miss the maze, this makes the loss slightly bearable.
Terror at Amity High
Located at the Amity Raceway aka Stealth, these roaming actors bring a bit of entertainment and scare to this usually quiet area. Now, this bit fucking rocked. The actors were so interactive. They scared and chased after those who were scared and playfully interacted with those who weren't. The innuendos flew and it was such a joy that I spent more time here than anywhere else in the park just because it was that fun.
Saw: Alive This Scare Maze over the past few years has been building and building in its intensity. It has somehow become one of my favourite attractions and this year it didn't disappoint. It's kept its intensity and even without any changes, it still keeps surprising me as actors keep coming up with different ways to use things inside the maze. A classic Fright Nights maze that still keeps handing out scares!
The Walking Dead: Living Nightmare This one is a difficult one. The actors are amazing. The sets are amazing, but it just fell very flat in terms of scares. I don't think there is anything wrong with the attraction. I think it's because I got experience the 'Extreme' version in May. It's ruined the normal runs of the maze and makes them feel 200 times weaker than they probably are. But it's still a great scare attraction for Fright Nights.
The Walking Dead: Do or Die
Let's be bluntly honest. It's not Do or Die. It's Sanctum, but a less shit Sanctum. But, Do or Die has the best first scene at Fright Nights. I genuinely jumped because the actress surprised me, and it's on a bus, which is awesome. The rest of the attraction mixes indoor and outdoor scenes with some wonderful acting. Some parts are very bare in terms of either theming or actors, but overall it's a good attraction. It's another Thorpe Park attraction that has got better in its 2nd year.
Speaking of attractions that got better in its second year, Platform 15 returned for its 3rd season. Not much has changed from last year. The geek in me got excited at the Loggers Leap lift hill being lit up so that was a nice geek touch. The story has changed and it's works very well. The tunnel has been improved and is the home of the scares. The actors literally come out of no where. There is a final scene in the tunnel, but don't hold hopes of seeing it if you are at the back of your conga line as the actor starts it the moment one person enters the area and by the time the last in the line reaches it it's over and the scene has been missed.
Dead Creek Woods
Zombie Hunt minus the guns. It uses the same route and it's basically zombies. This attraction lacks any real story, lacks any real scares and just felt a bit rushed and lazy. It's like Thorpe threw together the remains of Zombie Hunt and went, that will do. Put a couple of actors in it and we are done.
Having heard people giving good reviews about this on the preview night I was optimistic going in. It was better than it's earlier versions , but that really doesn't say much given how slated the previous incarnations were. The acting in this was so much better and it had a couple of scares that if you got would have been good. The sets and theming are really good and the shed is a great ending. But I still came out feeling rather disappointed. I'm still trying to work out why as in theory it works.
Fucking hell. Who at Thorpe Park thought that was acceptable? It's utter crap and just horrendously bad and it can't even be done ironically. It's boring, not scary, unimaginative and lazy. It had 1 actor in it. The pre show had the screen working but no volume so I had no idea it what the story was. The ropes go all over the place for no reason what so ever. The ending is lazy and none of it makes use of where it's actually set. They have done a half arsed job inside and it's just so bad. It was literally a waste of time and I actually came out angry!
I didn't do Containment or Screamplexx Cinema and Fanta's Twisted Carnival was was closed when we visited. I have tried to be as fair as I can in this review, but like I said, it's based on my experience of the event. It's a shame that it feels like Thorpe Park have missed it so dramatically this year.