Attraction Review - Movie Park Germany Halloween Horror Fest

Oh heeey! It's been a hot minute, feels like I haven't posted on here for ages, but it's only because I've been away getting stuck into some European horror events and theme parks, so makes sense that that's what we'll be talking about today! On Friday 13th of all days, we headed to Movie Park Germany (park review to follow) for their widely acclaimed horror event Halloween Horror Fest.

From what I'd seen and heard on the Internet, this event is a kind of Universal Halloween Horror Nights light. The parks are similar in their movie theme and streets themed to movie sets like New York City and the Old West and the events both offer a mix of live action scare zones and fully fledged horror mazes, just Movie Park Germany does it on a slightly smaller scale. So waffling aside, I was mega excited to take on this event!

Similarly to Thorpe Park's FRIGHT NIGHTS, Halloween Horror Fest is included in the price of your day ticket with only The Walking Dead: Breakout being a separately ticketed attraction, and even that was only a fiver. Suffice to say it's an incredibly good value for money event!

The whole park is decked out in Halloween goodness, from the giant HORRORWOOD sign as you enter the park, to pumpkins, to giant monsters and banners. It sets everything off with a really fun and exciting vibe that just makes you wish for the sun to set as quickly as possible.

Before I delve into the nitty gritty of the mazes themselves I want to take a look at the scare zones. Two areas of the park become spooky after dark: the Wild West area and the New York City area. Both have a fairly similar premise: spooky lighting, loads of fog and a buttload of scare actors. Both were excellent in my opinion, the fog wasn't too dense but helped set off the scary mood perfectly and the lighting was creepy and effective in creating light and shadows for the characters to hide in and jump out and scare the shit out of you.

And the characters are extremely high quality. The make-up and costuming was fantastic and looked like they could give Halloween Horror Nights a run for their money. The actors didn't wander around in groups but instead split off on their own, meaning there were multiple opportunities to bump into a grizzly old town Mayor or a local hick with his eyeball hanging out.

It was so much fun just wandering through these areas and seeing people running and screaming and taking selfies. It really helped having horror themed zones too as opposed to a route for the actors to follow, it was very easy to bump into characters without feeling overwhelmed that there was nowhere to run (although part of me would potentially have enjoyed that!)

I also loved that the characters in the scare zones were kind of themed without all being the same. In the Wild West area you had a mix of undead cowboys and indians, farmers and hillbillies running around whereas in the New York area it was more 'generic scary character' but it kind of worked. They also seemed to really think outside the box with the characters too instead of just leaning on horror clich├ęs - my favourite was this giant terrifying robot thing that looked like something out of an old Doctor Who episode. Fab!

My only gripe with these areas is that when the crowds dispersed it could feel a little ghost townish and not in a good way, but then again we were lucky enough to visit on a less busy night and I imagine on more crowded days these areas get absolutely rammed!

Onto the mazes then...

Looming in the far corner of the park behind the SLC is a giant old studio building with a banner reading DEATHpital. It's SO huge that it's size alone is pretty imposing and terrifying, and we figured with this being one of the bigger attractions we'd hit that up first. We joined the queue at 6PM and it was already pretty huge, but it being Germany there were plenty of opportunities to grab a beer and a pretzel whilst waiting it out. We also took the opportunity to cover ourselves in Halloween glitter too, because why the fuck not? GRIPE ABOUT MPG's QUEUE SYSTEM - they do this really naughty thing of splitting the queues into separate areas so when you get to the end of the first section of queue and think you're at the end you walk around the corner only to be faced with YET MORE QUEUE. I get it, you can only use what space you have but I did think this was a little bit naughty.

The maze then: I've done enough spooky hospital themed mazes to know what to expect from this one, but honestly I think the setting really helped give this an extra layer of fear. The building is SO big that when you look up all you can see is black - it's actually quite terrifying in the way it leaves you feeling so exposed and vulnerable.

There were some...random sections in the maze. For example, one room was covered in mirrors from every angle and had a disco laser light. Yes it looked cool, but what it was doing in a creepy horror hospital remains a mystery to me. It was entertaining nonetheless and actually provided a little bit of respite from the onslaught of screaming patients!

The rest of the maze is a great mix of live actors mixed with animatronics. That's something we don't get a lot of here in the UK but oh my god these were so effective. One room featured a series of bodies been torn up set off disgustingly with some twitching animatronics hung up in the corner. In the darkness it was really hard to tell what was an actor and what wasn't and the result was truly disturbing.

The first thing you need to know going into this review is that the Insidious films scare the shit out of me. Anything with demons and possession and ghosties really gets under my skin so I was pooing myself a little bit going into the queue for this one. It wasn't the longest maze in the world but urgh, the costumes were absolutely disgusting. Like, really deeply disturbing. The actors in this one were a lot more slow moving, but felt all the more relentless. Being stalked incessantly by a creepy old woman in a horror maze is much more terrifying to me and somebody popping up and saying boo, so this really got under my skin.

Alongside the creepy actors, the sets were really cool too. Although they weren't the most detailed or intricate of sets, the way they emulated a possessed house with cupboard doors and beds that moved by themselves really added to the haunted ambience.

After loving Living Nightmare at THORPE PARK Resort I was really excited to try out Breakout. Similarly to Living Nightmare, Breakout is a walk through key iconic scenes from The Walking Dead series, however Breakout is based on earlier series in The Walking Dead. The sets are incredible, from wandering past the Don't Dead Open Inside door to Hershel's barn to wandering through the train tunnel towards Terminus. As you'd expect with The Walking Dead mazes, the detail is outstanding and actually sometimes even beautiful. The section through the memorials laid on the floor in the church is incredibly sombre and gives the perfect contrast to the horror happening all around you - much in the same way the series does.

Unfortunately it's quite clear to me now that zombies just aren't that scary to me? I adore walking through the sets and taking everything in as a fan, but the walkers themselves just blend into that mise-en-scene for me as opposed to being terrifying. And I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing, as a fan of the show I get everything I want by 'living' The Walking Dead and adding in jump scares just wouldn't be true to the series.

The horror in Breakout comes from knowledge of the storyline and the true terror of what is happening to the world - the pounding soundtrack throughout the attraction never lets you forget that this is The Walking Dead world and everything is bleak and hopeless in the best way possible!

Honestly, we were beginning to run out of time and Slaughterhouse was on the chopping block for mazes we would potentially have to skip. I hadn't done much research into what this was and was expecting a generic blood-on-the-walls-and-chainsaws type affair. And whilst I wasn't entirely wrong, what this maze actually is is so much more than that.

The maze can be broken down into three parts: you begin in a beauty palour/costmetic surgery of sorts where the beauticians are interested in what body parts you're no longer in need of. It's so fab, all pastel pink and black and white and gorgeous and girly in contrast with the macabre undertones of what is actually happening. I absolutely love this take on horror and it's so different to see it done in a horror maze. The actors in this section are very Stepford Wives too - all big smiles and dead behind the eyes.

Then we delve into full blown chop shop - meat flaps spattered with blood and strobe lights. Seen it before? Sure, but the way it's bookended adds another narrative layer that gives an entirely new meaning to the slaughter. Plus the actors were really in your face and intense, with loads of different weapons other than just the usual chainsaw.

Then the final blow, you exit through the gift shop which is a butchers of sorts, only on closer inspection you realise that those body parts you so lovingly 'donated' only moments ago are now being sold off on the meat market. The twisted underlying truth of the butchers is again contrasted with the over-the-top-smiles-and-rainbows of the counter staff.

I absolutely adored the way Slaughterhouse took such a run-of-the-mill premise and really brought it to life in such a wonderfully fucked up way.

And the piece-du-resistance - Hostel. I FUCKING LOVED THIS MAZE OMG. I'm a HUGE Hostel fan and knowing how messed up and gory and graphic the movie is I was practically having a heart attack as we queued to enter this one. Plus, all the signs outside warned of the 18+ content within so I was equal parts intrigued and pooing myself.

The maze is the perfect homage to the movie and properly puts you into the shoes of the European travellers themselves. You begin in a hostel room itself (complete with dick graffiti on the walls and Hostel playing on a TV in the corner, nice touch!) and basically go on a night out in Amsterdam - wandering through a pub and into the red light district with some interesting...activities to see. I won't go into too much detail but I will say that I didn't expect to see a silhouetted blow-job on Friday 13th!

A misstep down a slightly shady alleyway and you're suddenly up to your eyeballs on gore and torture - yay! The sets are perfect and the blood curdling screams of fear that echo throughout the final scenes really give it that extra layer of vileness. With regards to what happens to you, I don't want to spoil it but it does involve a chainsaw, being locked in a freezer and being sprayed with blood. Yep.

This was my favourite maze of the night and probably one of my favourites of all time. I was having massive fangirl moments the entire way through and squeeing at all of the little nods to the movie in every scene. It was just so much better than I thought it would be, and whilst it wasn't as gory as it potentially could have been I loved how it was just a huge homage to the movie - perfect for a movie theme park!

And then sadly it was time to leave. This event was excellent, especially when you take into consideration that it is included in the price of your day ticket. There's the perfect blend of horror stuff for those who want to enjoy it mixed with rides in the dark for those who don't, two brilliant scare zones so you can still take in the scares without having to go into a maze and seven separate horror mazes. There's literally so much to do and everything was so Halloweeny, I think Halloween Horror Nights-lite is probably the best way to describe Halloween Horror Fest.

Just one gripe with the event - it wasn't long enough! The mazes didn't open til 6PM and the event finishes at 10PM. I think a few extra hours would've allowed us to hang out in the scare zones a bit longer and have the chance to do the other mazes, Campout and Circus of Freaks, that we sadly just didn't have time to enjoy.

But yh, a really, really good Halloween event and one I would absolutely recommend checking out if you fancy a taste of Halloween Horror Nights a little closer to home!

Talk later xoxo,