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Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2019

Benenen

Member
I went tonight and it wasn't great. I had to shoot off to my night shift after two hours in the park but in that time I managed three mazes and a general look round.

Creak Freak Massacre was up first and it was actually fantastic. A really solid maze. Straight away your group is split up Sub Species style and this continues throughout the maze. People are pulled into rooms by themselves, others are split down multiple routes. It keeps you on your toes and makes you feel exposed as you can go from being comfortably in the middle of your group to leading the front of a smaller group. Theming inside is nice enough, there's a few good props but the maze is very much corridor after corridor until a lovely little strobe cage maze at the end with chainsaws in. There's even a HHN style set piece where an actor lying on the floor is being cut up by a huge buzzsaw. Unfortunately you then walk past it side on to leave the room and the illusion is completely broken. It's not the best themed maze but it's intense and feels like the headliner the park has been missing since Big Top. Great start to the night.

Next we did Platform 15. I've never been a fan of Thorpes outdoor mazes and this is one of the worst they've done. It's so long winded and it feels like mainly padding. The house scene is great but it makes up about 20 seconds of what I imagine to be close to a ten minute runtime. Most of the outdoor sections have no theming, just a wide pathway between tarpaulin or fences. I have no clue how this has hobbled on through so many seasons, it's just so poor and underwhelming, get rid of it.

Finally I did Walking Dead Living Nightmare. I've enjoyed this in previous years but tonight I wasn't feeling it. My group waltzed through very quickly with few scares, the lighting seemed off as well with most scenes in the first half being way too bright. It's not a bad maze but it's so short and very average. It's nowhere near the standard to bring back year after year.

Park wide theming was non existent, lighting wasn't noticeable but the ambient music around the park was pretty decent. The area near Creak Freak is fairly atmospheric because of how loud the chainsaws are through the walls but the rest of the park feels dead. It doesn't feel like a special event.

I didn't have time for Blair Witch or Do or Die but I did both last year and didn't really like either. Outdoor mazes always feel cheap and amateurish. You can't get immersed when there's minimal theming or all you can see is forest or a shipping container.

So yeah, a poor offering this year overall. Creak Freak is a brilliant maze but it just doesn't pull the rest of the event forward. A Halloween event where there's only two proper mazes will never be great.

Anyone else planning on visiting this year? Post your thoughts and reports in here if you fancy, I'd love to hear some differing opinions.
 
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JoshC.

Active Member
I attended the Press Night on Thursday. It's hard to give fair comments as some actors were still adjusting to their mazes and it seemed like some mazes had minimal actors. Also, we were sent round in very small groups / alone, which gives a very different vibe. But in any case...

Creek Freak Massacre
It's good. It's worthy of being called a headline maze. It has good theming, good effects and - most importantly - will scare the masses. It's not personally my cup of tea (chainsaws do nothing to scare me), but I get why it'll work.

My concern is how the maze will cope when in full operation. Some of the effects were temperamental. Thorpe have always had issues keeping chainsaws refuelled, and ventilation is apparently an issue too. But more importantly, I'm not sure how it's going to work when you've got a group of 15 going through every 90 seconds. Actors aren't going to have a chance to give everyone good interaction and I can see groups really bunching together. I hope those fears are unfounded, but I'd be surprised if it all goes to plan.

Do or Die
Improved on last year with the scenes in the containers being good, but all outdoor sections are randomly placed vehicles and fences with sheets over them which offer no atmosphere. I also envision problems with throughput / the maze not coping with high demand.

Living Nightmare
It's okay. Ending makes reference to Season 9 on the TV show so a lot of people won't get it. It's the best ending the maze has had, but it's still weak.

Platform 15
I've had a soft spot for this. It was poor in its first year, but 2017 and 2018 were fun. This year it felt a bit lost though and I'm unconvinced by it. The new ending is okay, probably will get people going, but I'm not massively keen on what they've done with it.

Blair Witch
Much improved on last year; very tight twisty layout with lots of dense shrubbery. Hopefully the actors really grown into it!

Containment
Slight changes this year and still good fun.

Terror at Amity High
Surprise package of Fright Nights. A really fun flash mob / dance show taking place in Stealth's plaza, along with some great actor interaction.

My only concern is that the show is scheduled to take place every 20 minutes from 3pm, and the show goes on for a good 5-7 minutes I guess. It may suffer from over exposure and the actors could suffer from a burnout.

So this year is by no means a bad Fright Nights. And they've hit the nail on the head with their big new attraction first time round for the first time in years. There's still lots of worries and concerns, and there's a lack of park wide atmosphere still. But they've gone in the right direction after last year's shambles.
 

GregBoxall

New Member
I was at Thorpe for the weekend, this was my first experience of Fright Nights so I don't really have anything to compare it to.

The park felt no different to usual, still lacking atmosphere but this time with some green lighting. Sometimes you'd see a group of actors interact with guests as they walked to their mazes, but that was it.

I really enjoyed most the mazes, Creak Freak being my favourite by far. The outdoor mazes kind of sucked till it got dark, worst of all was platform 15. In the daylight it felt more like a woodland walk that a scare attraction. It was still fun to walk the old train path and have a look at loggers leap though. All the actors did a really good job, especially the guys playing Negan in Living Nightmare and the lumberjack in the first room of Creak Freak.

Towards the end of Sunday there were no queues for the mazes, this meant we got the opportunity to go through Both Blair Witch and Do or Die by ourselves. The actors would use our names and the whole thing became a much more interactive experience.

Overall I really enjoyed my time there, looking forward to going back in a few weeks once everything's running a bit smoother.
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
We went on Press Night and honestly Platform 15 was the maze of the night for me!

It was just me and Ian, and the actors were doing this weird, grotesque Grudge style contorting and vomiting blood that was just fantastic.

The ending is still, womp, but up until that it was so good!
 

JoshC.

Active Member
We went on Press Night and honestly Platform 15 was the maze of the night for me!

It was just me and Ian, and the actors were doing this weird, grotesque Grudge style contorting and vomiting blood that was just fantastic.

The ending is still, womp, but up until that it was so good!
You see, during my run, it looked like half the actors were just having deeply unsatisfying orgasms.

The vomiting thing was a nice idea but in my run the timings and positions of actors weren't great so the effect was lost a little. Something that usually improves with time so hopefully they've got that down consistently.
 
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