5 Things Not To Miss At FRIGHT NIGHTS 2018

I always think the FRIGHT NIGHTS press event at THORPE PARK Resort officially marks the start of scare season and Thursday saw it all kick off with what is always a fantastic evening! With the removal of the beloved Big Top maze this year and the inclusion of not one, but two scare zones, it's clear that Thorpe are going for quite the different approach this year, meaning FRIGHT NIGHTS 2018 had an entirely different vibe to what we're used to during Thursday night's preview. This year nowhere is safe, and the park really do mean it. The most scares and attractions we've ever seen at FRIGHT NIGHTS, it's hard to pick just where to start your evening and where to prioritise for maximum scares! And that's where I come in - what follows is my list of my top five things not to miss at FRIGHT NIGHTS 2018.

I think it's fair enough to say that the Blair Witch maze in its previous iterations wasn't exactly the best horror maze ever created. Well she's back and suffice to say in her 2018 form it's like seeing that girl who went away over summer then came back to school looking all hot and sexy. The maze is easily one of my favourite we've ever done at Thorpe, and that's all down to the tone of it all. It's so, so creepy and weird - especially when you run through at night. The sense of disorientation is wonderful as you frantically scramble through the trees, actors popping out at every angle warning you not to look in her eyes.

The campsite scene is one of my favourite in any Thorpe maze. The combination of lighting, hanging effigies of all sizes and that totally unnerving actor stood in the dead centre of the scene, transfixed upon the tent hoisted into the air above the camp. And trust me, if you catch the few fully possessed creatures at the very end of the maze there's no way you're coming out of this one not feeling completely freaked out. Wonderful stuff!

Despite the Big Top maze not making an appearance at this year's FRIGHT NIGHTS, did we really think Thorpe would let us get through the event without being harassed by terrifying manic clowns? I think not! We've never really seen a show of this kind at Thorpe before, but again I'm loving seeing FRIGHT NIGHTS 2018 go in a different direction. The cast of The Big Top: Showtime are disturbingly twisted - there's nothing like that sense of panic when you're walking through the park and suddenly find yourself with a pack of circus weirdos clapping their way towards you. Terrifying.

I think the thing I love most about The Big Top: Showtime, on top of it offering something completely different to what we're used to at FRIGHT NIGHTS, is that despite the maze itself not making an appearance at this year's lineup, we still get all the stuff we love from it. Crazy clowns, an erratic atmosphere of chaos and best of all - that incredible IMAscore soundtrack. Awesome stuff.

Now, I know I only speak for myself when I say this, but I actually had a good time in Sanctum last year. The run through was intense, actors came at us from every angle, I feel like we hit each scene at the perfect cue for the action to all flow and make sense and I did find it genuinely scary. That said, Thorpe took on the feedback regarding this maze from last year and used it to put together a brand new version of Sanctum - or as it is known this year, Do or Die! Where it was reported last season that Sanctum lacked scares and intensity, Do or Die more than makes up for and then some.

There's more gore, more unexpected twists, more 'fuck RUN' moments, more frankly fantastic acting from the cast, all choreographed together in a beautifully twisted way overlaid with a chugging heavy metal soundtrack just for that extra gut punch. It's claustrophic and agoraphobic at the same time and those two opposites play off each other wonderfully to bring to life an instantly classic FRIGHT NIGHTS attraction.

Probably my favourite new addition to the FRIGHT NIGHTS line-up this season is the scare zone Terror at Amity High. Located in and around the Stealth Plaza, a gaggle of high school miscreants wreak havoc on the poor souls of down town Amity as a vampiric epidemic takes hold of the teens. The premise is cool and fits the territory perfectly, especially laid against that fabulous WWTP Radio sound. It's scary and entertaining - it really injects a pop of colour and life to this year's FRIGHT NIGHTS but doesn't feel at all out of place against what is usually a far more grim and upsetting vibe.

The costumes - I want one of those Amity High letterman jackets for myself! I've always felt that Thorpe lacked a good scare zone or two, and I'm over the moon that in 2018 we're finally being treated to not one but two of the things! I think they really help bring the FRIGHT NIGHTS atmosphere to life and make the scares seem inescapable. This year nowhere is safe, am I right?

I'll be honest, I was a little worried about what we were going to see in the Zombie Hunt location during FRIGHT NIGHTS. Because the interactive summer attraction was so tongue-in-cheek and light-hearted, it was hard for me to picture an attraction that actually delivered the scares. Well, I need not have feared. For me Dead Creek Woods is one of the most unsettling mazes of the event, I think for me mostly down to the subject matter. Instead of generic 'zombies', Dead Creek Woods regards the 'infected' - poor souls who've become diseased by some kind of infection found in the local drinking water. There's something really grotesque and unsettling to me about sick people coughing and spluttering all over me so I spend the majority of the maze being freaked out by the premise alone. 

The cast are experts at finding those dark hidey spots and bursting out at you when you least expect it. I swore A LOT during my run throughs of this one - every time I thought I had it sussed they got me again. And the inexplicable chainsaw is genius. A lumberjack or butcher with a chainsaw is one thing, it makes sense that he has that as a weapon narratively. 1000% times more scary is the infected scientist with a chainsaw. Where did he get it? Why does he have it? And more importantly why is he flailing it round his head whilst running at us with it at full speed. Nightmare fuel at its best.

I'll always have a place close to my heart for Thorpe and FRIGHT NIGHTS at this time of year, and this season is no exception. No Halloween season would be complete without a visit or two and with so many attractions this year you definitely need to head down more than once to fully take in the experience that is FRIGHT NIGHTS 2018.

Talk later xoxo,


  1. A wonderful post about Fright Nights this year. I love the addition of the scare zones!