FRIGHT NIGHTS 2021 is now underway at Thorpe Park Resort, with the event celebrating 20 years of fear. With three scare mazes, four scare zones, roaming scarecrows, and two scare shows, the 2021 line-up is one of the most comprehensive to date. Attraction Source was invited to the preview event on Wednesday 6th October to experience everything this year’s event has to offer.
New for 2021 is Trailers, where guests are invited to witness the power of film come to life at SuperSpark Cinema – a picture house with a shocking reputation. The maze contains a spine-chilling collection of horror classics inspired by FRIGHT NIGHTS’ past, with call-backs to mazes such as The Asylum, The Big Top and The Curse, interspersed with scenes from fictional horror films. This new attraction is well-executed throughout, with illuminated signage and queueline entrance, the exterior façade of SuperSpark Cinema that teases some of the latest releases, and a more theatrical first couple of scenes that sets-up the storyline. Aside from a scene inspired by a certain Vulcan Peak, the building’s interior has been completely transformed from its time as Jungle Escape, with high-quality scenery that continues the higher standards that the event has looked to achieve in the last couple of years.
Hacking their way back into the abandoned Creek Woods Sawmill after a year hiatus, the Buckwheats return in the Resort’s most intense maze, Creek Freak Massacre. The maze continues to utilise a well-designed, detailed set which makes good use of a compact space, with some well timed scares to create an effective experience throughout, culminating in a genuinely disorientating ending.
Returning for a sixth and final year, PLATFORM 15 provides one last opportunity to discover the unfortunate fate of the Sleeper Express. The maze follows the the same layout as seen last year, with guests entering the maze’s queue-line between Saw: The Ride and Samurai, through the entrance façade which has been adapted to feature the ‘End of the Line’ tagline. This year sees another iteration of the storyline, with the tour guide telling the tale of Screech Rye Village and a young Timothy Ricketts who received a ticket to ride the ill-fated locomotive. Notable changes include the addition of mechanised swings and a see-saw that has guests questioning whether they can see the ghostly children of the village, as well as the enclosure of the finale scene, which helps to make it more intense. Overall, this version of the maze sees this long-standing attraction depart on a strong note. Of course, the question will be what development it makes way for…
This year’s event sees scare zones established as a core part of the FRIGHT NIGHTS line-up, with two new offerings for 2021. The first of the new additions is The Crows of Mawkin Meadow, located along the pathway running between Lost City and the former location of SAW Alive. The route has been completely transformed to take guests on a walk through the cursed village of Mawkin Meadow and its fields of corn to unearth the origins of the infamous Crows. The combination of set pieces installed along the route and fog creates both a creepy atmosphere, and provides the scare zone’s inhabitants with plenty of hiding places from which to scare guests. However, the fact The Crows have received their own scare zone doesn’t mean they’re confined just to this section of the theme park, as they also once again appear in mystery locations as the night draws in.
Marketed as a second new addition for 2021, LycanThorpe vs Amity High: LoveBITES! combines two separate scare zones from the last few years on the Stealth plaza. The celebrations of the blood-thirsty teens of Amity High have been gate-crashed by the students of LycanThorpe, reigniting the vicious feud between the rival schools. While last year did see the two casts periodically come together at the Amity Speedway for a dance-off, that concept has been taken to the next level at this year’s event, with theming elements such as the school buses all brought together in the one area, along with new features such as a podium for each school. An energetic new dance routine has been created for this year, providing guests with an impromptu show at regular intervals.