We have a huge amount to cover in this review, so we are going to jump straight into it!
Tulleys Shocktober Fest has a huge amount of scare mazes. With a whopping 9 attractions on offer, there is something for everyone. From clowns to witches to crazed chainsaw wielding hillbilly mechanics, the range of characters you meet throughout the night really makes Tulleys what it is. Let’s look a bit closer at the mazes.
This maze has been part of the Shocktober Fest line up for many years. Located near the Escape Rooms, Creepy Cottage is perfect for scare beginners. It has wonderful theming throughout the attraction and has some wonderful scares that will make all newbies scream. That being said, we can’t help but feel this maze is starting to become a bit stale and a bit uncared for. Unfortunately, it was also the least memorable maze we did over the weekend. It’s not a bad maze, and the actors really do work hard to bring the scares, it’s just compared to the rest of the line up, it’s a bit, well, boring.
The Wreckoning – New For 2019
Hmmmmm. What to say about this maze. It’s, lacklustre. This new maze takes over what was previously The Colony and is basically a retheme to pirates. The route is practically the same and it still goes on for what feels like miles. While some of the sets or impressive to look at, that’s pretty much all this maze has to offer. The actors try their absolute hardest to bring the scare, but it just isn’t there. It’s more a scare zone than a scare maze. The boat scene is wonderful until you see the Horrorwood Hayride tractors pass along the back, ruining the illusion. The Wreckoning biggest strength is also its biggest weakness. The length of this maze means there is a lot of empty spaces. The maze purely needs more actors given the size of the thing. There is also a scene that we genuinely thought they were taking the piss out of Thorpe Park’s Vulcan Peak maze purely because of how cheap and tacky it looked. Amber summed it up perfectly. If Colony and Vulcan Peak has a baby, it would be The Wreckoning!
Anyone who knows us knows that we aren’t massive fans of hooded mazes. They just don’t do anything for us. When we last visited Tulleys 2 years ago, we enjoyed VIXI but it always felt a bit lacking. On the media night, this maze really upped its game. I was screaming like a girl at some points. It really impressed me and made me think that I was possibly wrong with about them. Having the done it on the Saturday, it went back to being a bit meh. The intensity just wasn’t there. I feel so conflicted about this maze as I can totally see why it can be scary, but at the same time it just falls a bit flat of where it could be. The ending is still fabulous though and genuinely had me screaming on both runs I did.
Horrorwood Haunted Hayride
The Horrorwood Haunted Hayride isn’t scary! I need to get that out there right away. It’s not a scary attraction. Yes it has a couple of moments that provide a jump scare but they are few and far between. It’s more a comical attraction as we spent more time laughing than being scared. BUT! That is what makes it so brilliant. It’s cheesy and tacky but in a super good way. There is one scene that had us howling with laughter. I won’t ruin it, but if you know, than you know. It’s such a staple of the Shocktober fest lineup that I genuinely think I will be really sad when it does leave.
Another one that is more fun than scary, Twisted Clowns is always a good laugh. For those afraid of clowns, I can see this being your idea of hell, but for those of us who aren’t, it’s a happy maze. Firstly the actors in here are always amazing. They are quick thinking and provide some brilliant moments of banter than are both horrific and hilarious. Secondly, The uneven floors, trippy painting and the effects you get from wearing the glasses also provide some hilarious yet scary moments. It genuinely feels like you’re on an acid trip the entire time. Also, I’m super proud of Amber as she doesn’t normally wear the glasses but she did!
The Village Coven Of 13
I have always adored this maze. I think it’s wonderfully creepy and has a scene that uses inflatable airbags and lasers in such a clever way. This maze has an entire female cast of actors who are bloody brilliant! They provide some brilliant scares and can be super creepy at the same time. The sets in this maze are at such a high standard and everything about this makes work. The ending is super confusing but at the same time makes sense. By confusing we mean it could take a good couple of minutes to work out how to leave. I’ve always adored this maze.
When I last visited, The Cellar was amazing. I genuinely held this maze in such high regard. And luckily, I still do. I love it. Right from the get go you are thrust into a world that is insane. From being attacked by a huge giant snake, to walking through a mini strobe maze, to walking through tight spaces, everything about this maze is terrifying. It is the perfect balance of theatrical sets with terrifying actors!
The Chop Shop
I’ve always had issues with this maze, I won’t lie. I think it’s because I don’t find chainsaws scary in the slightest. But, throw Amber into the maze and you have one screaming lady! She was screaming so much that I think at one point she lost her voice. So it’s scary depending on who you ask. My biggest annoyance with this maze is the very long freezer! It feels lazy, but at the same time it works. I can’t fault the actors in this maze as they all work their bloody socks of and provided me with some brilliant one liners. I can fully see why people can find it scary, and it genuinely does work, but for me personally it falls flat. Should I be concerned I’ve become so immune to chainsaws!?!
Fuck me! Brown Cow Stunning! It’s amazing! Right from entering the Wastelands area you are fully immersed in a end of the world, Mad Max vibe place. It’s insane. The moment you enter the queue you know you are heading into a prison. It’s intense, scary, confusing with a small amount of humour thrown in too. From the detailed sets to the actors everything about this maze works tremendously well and they all compliment each other. We love the small attention to detail such as the signs above the doors. The actors in here are insane! They are high, they are low, they are in your face. It all builds up to the finale which is stunning. It’s strobey goodness and you come out at the end with the urge to just go back in and redo it. On the Saturday I had my best run. From half way in the maze right until the end I was stalked and followed by a single actor. He followed me, screamed at me, sent me the wrong way. He really made sure I had no idea what was happening and it really added an extra level of terror! Tulleys should be incredibly proud of this masterpiece!
So that’s the mazes. Also on offer at Tulleys is 2 stages with live bands, thrill rides, a Ghost Train (which honestly was pants). There are game stalls and food stalls. The bar also offers The Tulleys lager which is gorgeous! Also on offer are these two delights:-
The Circus Of Horrors
I love Dok Haze and his Circus of Horrors. It’s always fun watching the crowd reacting to the weird and sometimes disgusting things that happen in his shows. It’s such a wonderful show they have on at Tulleys and it’s included in your ticket price. We highly recommend taking the time to go and watch it!
One thing Tulley’s Shocktober Fest is known for is its street theatre and yet again they deliver. The naughty nurses are, of course, the highlight. Their rude and crude yet sexy personas are just such a joy to be around. Of course, the Wastelands have their own roaming characters in the shape of Mad Max inspired fighters and prisoners. The costumes are incredibly detailed. We love all the roamers but one in particular I adore more than the rest. I love Brian. He was lovely, funny and just adorable.
Other than the maze negatives mentioned about, there weren’t that many negatives. The media/VIP night was really good. The only niggle was the queue to enter, but that can be expected, so make sure you leave a bit earlier to allow the extra time. On the Saturday, the only issue we experienced was the batching. This caused a couple of issues in a couple of mazes as groups caught up with each other. Some groups were batched that big that extra time wasn’t allowed for the higher group to move. In Coven we were batches in a group of 20, with other mazes being between 10-15. The big groups do detract from the scares. Because the event was that busy, a lot of the mazes actually closed earlier than advertised, with Wastelands closing at 11pm. Whilst we can understand it from an operational point of view, it was a little bit disheartening as we were hoping for one last run through it, so please be aware that this may happen.
If you are still with us than hooray! We haven’t bored you. Overall Tulleys Shocktober Fest was awesome. We would like to thank the team, the actors and everyone involved with Tulleys for making it an awesome event and thank you to Ed Hopkins PR for inviting us to the media night!