Voted the best Halloween event at this year’s UK Theme Park Awards could Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2022 keep the winning streak going in 2022? We rank them from best to worst during our recent visit and bring you this Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2022 review.
With Thorpe Park having a whole range of entertainment on offer at this year’s event we’ll throw in our reviews of not just the mazes but individual walkthrough scare zones and the brand new audio immersion experience The Terminal.
Check out our VLOG of the event below:
Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2022 Mazes
With one brand new maze for 2022 and two returning favourites let’s take a look at the Thorpe Park Fright Nights mazes and rank them from best to worst.
Creek Freak Massacre: The Final Cut
With their livelihood at stake and the threat of demolition looming over the sawmill, the bonkers Buckwheats have cranked up the chaos for one final rampage in this terrifying scare maze.
The only maze during this year’s line-up that felt like a completely immersive experience was Creek Freak Massacre as the actors went all out for their last instalment of the maze.
Known as the most extreme scare maze at Fright Nights the actors certainly deliver the intensity but was it scary? For me, no.
I have done many a scare attraction so maybe I’m a little bit more numb to certain things but the chainsaw scares definitely get really old really fast.
Crawling into the maze to start things off is great, not to mention being split up from your group and down numerous corridors being chased by crazy hillbillies. It’s great fun but I spent more time looking at the sets than worrying about the actors.
The Sawmill was certainly intense in terms of the aggression of the actors but as always with these mazes, watching other people’s reactions to the scares is what entertains me more.
Sadly I didn’t jump once but it was great to experience it and a nice monologue at the beginning of the maze spoke about Exodus and how it was taking over the area, referring to the brand new rollercoaster being built in Old Town where the Creek Freak Massacre maze currently stands.
By far the best maze at Thorpe Park but compared to other mazes at other Merlin parks I didn’t feel as though it was as detailed in terms of set design or as claustrophobic or immersive. The corridors were rather wide and many sections felt very open plan which means scares were at a minimum.
Unless you’re the kind of person to jump at chainsaw noises this one might not hit home in terms of scare factor but you can certainly appreciate the effort of the maze and all of its bloody contents.
Witness the power of film come to life in Trailers. No fear will go unmissed as you find yourself stuck inside an even more intense never-ending loop of terror in this spooky scare maze!?
One power surge at the SuperSpark cinema sends us all into an entertaining concept of a scare maze but sadly the execution felt a little wishy-washy.
Guests travel through some iconic scare attractions from the past 21 years of Fright Nights at Thorpe Park. With this being my first Fright Nights the special references to events gone by went over my head.
That could be the same for numerous guests passing through these same corridors who aren’t as clued up on the history of Fright Nights themselves.
Some scenes were done so wonderfully (a doll scene in particular) and others looked ridiculously cheap, I’m talking Exorcist scene in Pasaje Del Terror cheap where next to no effort had been made in one room and then the next room they go all out.
It was certainly entertaining to explore these different rooms and I loved the idea of entering an old-school cinema before being transported into the movies themselves but many scenes felt half-arsed despite the amped-up intensity of the acting from previous videos I’ve seen of the maze from last year.
An incredible idea such as this should have better detail and execution. More investment into immersion and set design could turn Trailers into something truly extraordinary.
There are videos online of people jumping out of their skins but absolutely no one in our group batted an eyelid. I was either with some very unjumpy individuals or those videos are certainly playing up to the camera or using very jumpy participants to make it seem scarier than it is.
For my first run-through, I enjoyed walking through and enjoying being surrounded by the more detailed scenes, the actors certainly tried but being so far away from you in certain scenes the scares never hit home and whilst Creek Freak was packed full of actors Trailers seemed a little empty meaning only people at the front got the attempted scares whilst the middle and back could see everything coming a mile off.
Trailers is a wonderful idea that just needs that extra bit of TLC with its theming. One run-through of Doom Town at Tulleys Shocktober Fest (an independent scare event) had a cinema scene within it that lasted all of 10 seconds to walk through. That 10 seconds was more immersive than the entire duration of Trailers.
One thing I will say about the above mazes is that you’re not in them very long. Both Creek Freak and Trailers clocked in at 3 minutes within the maze. The Survival Games is the only maze where your time in there can change depending on how quickly you navigate it.
The Survival Games
Survival Games are coming, giving you the opportunity to prove your worth & elevate your social status. Will you choose the path to victory, or will it be game over in this gruesome scare maze?
Brand new for 2022 and located just behind The Swarm is a brand new structure housing The Survival Games.
Social Media Company YVEL invites people to prove their worth and if you can survive you’ll be rewarded with online fame and stardom.
Guests are split up upon entering and your job is to survive in this maze of assassins whilst being watched by an audience at home.
The Survival Games doesn’t mind how long you’re inside as this disorientating experience certainly has you taking a wrong turn or two.
For my run-through, however, I got very lucky and I was the first person out in no time whilst the rest of the group I went in with were in there for a good 2-3 minutes longer.
I kind of wished I was in there longer to explore every corridor but after the entrance corridor and introduction room which was well themed, there weren’t many well-themed spaces to enjoy.
There were numerous levels that you pass through whilst taking on the games and this screening area was nicely themed but the maze itself was pretty poor in the theming department.
More actors were dotted around inside the maze compared to Trailers but this brand new for 2022 maze was definitely hyped up to insane levels and the execution didn’t quite meet the hype.
It was a good maze, don’t get me wrong, I love being split up and the concept of the maze is very, very strong but the theming was a letdown and I didn’t feel immersed or at all worried about being trapped inside (unlike how I felt in the Black Mirror Labyrinth).
It’s a maze that you’ll do once and probably never again.
With some people who were stuck in there for a good 8-10 mins, there is an actor that rounds people up and sends them towards the exit so that there aren’t too many people stuck in the maze at any given time.
It’s the single biggest Fright Nights investment to date (apparently) but looking at this new building and experience I can’t see where any of that budget has gone personally.
An incredible concept that sadly suffers from that final touch of quality in the execution department but for the amount of time you’re inside the maze and the whole spectacle of it all, it’s certainly worth visiting, once.
Thorpe Park The Terminal Review
Pack your bags and enter your cryo-pod aboard The Terminal for a one-way trip to an intergalactic utopia. Sit back, close your eyes & prepare for a NEW out-of-this-world audio scare experience.
This binaural audio experience from DARKFIELD puts guests into a cryo-sleep as they journey to a new planet. Guests ride an elevator to the transporter before taking a seat in their pods before entering a sleep state.
Upon entering this black shipping container I was excited to see a detailed lift before me.
Much like other Darkfield experiences (especially Flight) I was excited to see what lay beyond the lift section as theming is usually top tier. Flight consisted of a full aeroplane replica interior and I was eagerly awaiting the lift doors to open and a futuristic sleep pod to be awaiting me.
I was wrong.
What lay before me after an impressive lift transport sequence (featuring movement simulation and vibrations) was a black corridor with LED strip lights and little wooden constructed seats to sit on and pop on your headphones.
It was the cheapest of the cheap when it came to the design, it felt as though this particular portion of the experience was constructed in a week and the only immersion outside of the incredible audio was a blast of air on your face simulating the gas that would send you into cryo-sleep.
When it comes to DARKFIELD experiences the audio is always going to be the star and plunged into darkness you’re fully immersed from an audio perspective into the story. This mixed with the container vibrations does give you a unique sense of immersion but with the story dragging on a little long and very little in the way of physical effects this experience became a little boring.
COMA by DARKFIELD consists of a much more detailed area in which to experience their audio mastery but sadly sitting in a black box with some headphones on was not what I had in mind when it came to high-quality immersive experiences.
I can appreciate the audio design and the sheer brilliance of how it’s executed but for most people, I have a feeling they’re going to be very underwhelmed with what has been offered here and this 10+ minute experience certainly felt like it was dragging on with the same blasts of air, the same vibrations and no grand finale of note to make this audio journey worth visiting again.
If you’ve never done a DARKFIELD attraction before then rest assured, there are much better ones than this out there. It felt very rushed. DARKFIELD are certainly known for their audio and they did their jobs perfectly when designing this experience but whatever happened in the theming / immersion department, well, someone definitely dropped the ball after the lift segment.
Thorpe Park Fright Nights 2022 Scare Zones
Free-to-enter scare zones make Thorpe Park more immersive and engaging than their northern rivals and we certainly weren’t disappointed with this year’s offering.
Death’s Doors Review
Venture into The Locksmith’s lair & come face-to-face with 21 daunting doors, each hiding a sinister secret. Will you dare to enter this scare zone and knock on Death’s Doors?!
Think of Death’s Doors like an adult version of Trick or Treat Town at Alton Towers except you don’t get sweets given to you for every door you knock on.
This walkthrough area is a free-to-roam space where you can knock on numerous doors and see what characters hide behind them.
Not all doors have actors behind them and with the space being rather small the actors during our walkthrough experience were all wandering around the space rather than behind their doors.
Only a handful of doors had actors popping out of them when we knocked in with many of the doors unanswered.
I certainly like the idea but with so many groups you’re either waiting for someone else to knock on a door or the actors are already out in the open and the surprise is somewhat muted.
Knocking on again to see who will answer is a cool experience though.
The rain was absolutely heaving it down during our walkthrough and the actors fully embraced the wet and moody conditions and used it to full effect.
It certainly brightened up our evening!
The fact that Death Doors is free whereas Alton Towers charge £9 for the pleasure (you’ll never get £9 worth of sweets) makes this a welcomed addition to the Fright Nights 2022 line-up.
The Crows of Mawkin Meadow Review
Venture even deeper into the cursed village of Mawkin Meadow and unearth the origins of the infamous Crows. Trek through the fields of corn and hope your presence goes unnoticed.
Rain-soaked from start to finish the atmosphere throughout Mawkin Meadow was wonderful. Lots of nice farm theming, lighting and effects have gone into this creepy area.
Sadly our run-through was lacking in crows with only four spotted during our entire walkthrough but the area is a great space to wander through.
I imagine the weather played a part in the lack of actors in this space on our particular walkthrough, it was atrocious weather and most of the park was absolutely deserted as a result on a cold, damp and soggy Friday evening.
For us, we absolutely loved walking through here and will not hesitate to walk back through during our next visit later in the month.
A great walkthrough space and proof that scare zones stretch the atmosphere across an entire park, absolutely wonderful and a certain park up north could benefit from a couple!
All in all Thorpe Park Fright Nights absolutely wipes the floor with Alton Towers and Scarefest hasn’t even started yet. The maze line-up is fresher and despite 2 out of 3 mazes not being too strong (in our opinion) they’re still trying something new with The Survival Games.
The scare zones certainly add to the event not to mention the wonderful stage shows. From audio around the park adding to the ambience, the whole park feels like its part of the event and not just one street (here’s looking at you Towers).
Fright Nights will take the best big theme park Halloween crown once again this year because in all honesty, there really isn’t much competition anywhere else.
Do the independent scare events do it better? Yes, of course they do but as far as Merlin parks go this is the place to be and this year Fright Nights is not to be missed!