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Experiment 10 Review – Thorpe Park’s ‘Fright Nights’

Experiment 10 Review – Thorpe Park’s ‘Fright Nights’

It’s the time of the year again during which many Theme Parks around the country are taken over by Halloween celebrations, and for the 10th season running, Fright Nights return to THORPE PARK.

This year sees the launch of a brand new Horror Maze, Experiment 10, and this time it’s breaking all the rules.

“Unleashed for 2011, journey through a chilling and disturbing government test lab where the latest project, Experiment 10, has taken a sinister twist.

Beware of the mutated test victims as you experience your deepest, darkest phobias. You’ll be gassed, confined and left screaming for a way out of Experiment 10’s deadly grasp.”

Based around a sinister government test, in which we are the subjects, Experiment 10 adds a plethora of new ways to Scare it’s victims senseless, keeping this year’s Fright Nights event both fresh and intriguing.

So far, Experiment 10 has had a rather Love/Hate response. Whilst some praise it, dubbing it “the most terrifying thing we have ever done”, others have been left rather disappointed by the experience, especially after all of the hype the new addition seems to be receiving.

We’re siding with the latter view on this one, though that’s not to say the potential isn’t there, because it certainly is.

Our main gripe with what we experienced last Sunday (9th), was quintessentially what Scare Mazes rely on. The actors. Now we’re not sure which of the two it could be, but there was either a combination of a lack of motivation/experience among them or simply a scarcity of Actors throughout the maze. We saw numerous opportunities where an actor could have potentially scared a guest, but many of these weren’t used. Again, we’re not sure why they weren’t used, and it is most likely that there is a perfectly acceptable reason, however when running a Scare Maze; experience should remain consistent to an extent during numerous walkthroughs.

In certain mazes, namely Asylum, a lack of actors, whilst not ideal, can be compensated for by the intense nature of the maze – a constant disorientating strobe light as you walk through, for example, making it near impossible to see or keep any bearing on which direction you are heading in.

That aside, praise should be given to Thorpe for their creativity when designing this maze. We must admit to being a bit dubious once photos were released showing that the maze was to be housed in a mix of shipping containers and ‘portacabin’ style rooms, “Typical Merlin” being the first thing that sprung to mind. (Saw, Th13teen and The Swarm’s shops ring any bells?). But no, as we previously mentioned, there are a host of features that have not before been seen at Thorpe, which is great to see.

As far as theming and atmosphere throughout the maze goes, we feel that the first half of the maze has a rather distinct feel when compared to the second half – the latter being more ‘scare’ orientated as opposed to story/tension etc. This is something which we were very fond of, and feel that with a few minor tweaks, and by minor we do mean minor, it could be brought to a completely different level and tie the two halves together. The individual scenes were themed aptly, with 2 or 3 sticking out as simplistic, but with easily the best theming and atmosphere about them.

And did we mention that you’re not required to form a ‘conga’ with hands on each others shoulders? Interpret that as you will, but it certainly provides for a rather unique experience if you’re unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on your disposition towards Scare Mazes!) enough to experience one of the most unusual aspects of Experiment 10.

Below we’ve included two opposing views on the atraction, which just highlights how much of an opinion divider Experiment 10 is set to be! (Contains minor spoilers, highlight text to read)

  • My View – A disappointment, could have been so much better. On my run there was minimal scares and a overall un-organised run through. The isolated scare did not happen and the tunnel was no scary at all. Cold be done so much better.
  • Scared the living daylights outta me! Not many actors but being split up and alone was horrible for me!

*Direct quotes from UKPN Facebook Page. UKPN does not take claim to nor endorse the opinions expressed.

Overall, we were impressed with the potential the maze has, but disappointed with our experience on that particular day. That is not to say that others’ experiences will not be better than ours tenfold, or even worse than ours, as Scare Mazes vary with each visit. What we can count on is that the maze will get better over time, as with most other mazes. We will be back at the end of the month to try the maze again, and we’ll update this review as we see necessary.


Please note that due to the nature of these attractions, opinions and views expressed in the above review may differ from what you may experience. The views expressed here are solely of the reviewer and may not accurately reflect yours or others views on the aforementioned attractions.

Comments (1)

  • Sophie Robson

    Well others may not have the same experience as me as I am only 12. Anyway a few days ago I went to Thorpe and headed straight to experiment 10. It was a very frightening experience for me at the start, some very claustrophobic places like the tunnel, however after halfway through the maze after some strobe lighting I saw some places that actors could have had the opportunity to jump out and scare somebody, like behind a hospital bed. Overall there were a lot of good scares for me, but like I said it may vary on your age and how much you get scared. Hopefully the horror mazes will progress into fully frightening live action horror mazes and hope that you have a good scare like me.

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