PSG joined our friends at ScareTrack to take on Xtreme Scream Park. I will say now that obviously my views may differ from others from knowing the other side of the attractions and having worked in most at one time or another, However, my personal feelings will not reflect this review and I am basing my thoughts on what I saw tonight. That now said we arrived at 7 pm and it was onto our first of 5 mazes. Before we start I just want to say that a few months back Twinlakes suffered an awful ordeal with a break-in that leads to a fire and the destruction of the entrance to the park, Its fantastic to see them still powering on doing these events and taking something quite traumatic in their stride.
Ash Hell Penitentiary
Ash Hell has a reputation of being one of the most intense mazes in the UK, I went through this attraction back in 2015 on its opening year and it was INSANE. Although such a beautiful, “if you can call grotty and dingy beautiful” maze and to-be honest very well thought out for its space,However it was heavily marred by the infamous and unfortunate conga lines and im not talking about a single group in front, This was from the 3rd room in to the very end of the attraction which was such a shame. I will note there was some stand out acting in there but they were up against a challenge that need not have been, but to the best of their ability they dealt with it and that has to be commended. Also, a mention has to be made to the new room additions, especially “Spiders”.
Stilton Hall Hotel and Hell Spa
Stilton Hall shall always hold a special place in my heart, it was after all the very first maze I acted in as my character Cedric DeMort” you can find poetry on him on youtube”,Naturally I know this attraction well and the level of theming in this very compact attraction still impresses me to this day. It was sad to see my old room no longer a main part of the maze but the corridor after my scene was a killer bottleneck so, in the long run I do think it was the best choice made. Stilton Hall makes great use of hideyholes, drop panels and strobes all before you even make it upstairs. But once you do it only becomes more twisted, Dark nurseries, many bedrooms and bathrooms to navigate and even an inhouse funeral parlour, but the highlight of this maze for me… When two rather familiar-looking residents in the Nanny Room took me for a time out, I’d been a naughty boy and had to sit in the corner! I do love it when an interaction is delivered in line with the setting. Another great fantastic change comes after the 2nd claustrophobia tunnel where originally a 3rd one lay in wait, but this time we came to face an area under construction with exposed brickwork and electrics and then there was another great actor whom myself and Hannah still came out questioning if he was an animatronic or not! Unfortunately, it was upon reaching the Nurse bedroom and the Narnia Cupboard where we met the next conga line, Luckily this was maybe 4 rooms to the end at this point. The final fantastic addition to Stilton Hall was a “Bussiness Card” given to you as you left which gave the ending the tying up it needed, You’ve been through the hotel, you’ve seen what we can provide and the work we do… Now here’s a card so you can book in yourself. Not the heaviest on scares but an improved experience.
The Rocky Circus Big Top
Ok, so where can we go with this and still be kind…I do not see the point of this addition, There were areas that I found good so I shall start with that. The Ringmaster/DragMaster was great fun, Strutting the whole Big Top interacting with lots of unsuspecting guests including myself who got straddled. No2 Ariel Straps, This is known as one very hard feat to do and was done with a great sense of theatrical drama which had most of us on the edge of our seats. The Escapist in the strait-jacket suspended from the roof upside down was again a fun addition to watch but this did seem to go on…maybe longer than it should off i don’t know but it kinda reminded me of trying to do sexy stripping for a guy and getting caught in my jumper. And then the Wheel of Death, This I’ve seen done alot…Admittedly at Cirque Du Soleil but It seemed somewhat hodgepodge put together with one jump completing the finale, Just as it was getting good it was over. The sad thing about this addition is it could have been so good, The Big Top held a large number of patrons and was even quite warm inside. But the obvious looping of the music tracks and the pointless filler acts between the ones I’ve already stated made it look alot less impressive than it could be.
The famous hooded maze of Xtreme Scream park is still one of the most beautiful attractions I’ve been in. But I think our run may have had not as many actors that it used to. The hooded section uses so many great textures and techniques, From high powered gusts of air to walking over very spongy mattresses and gravel. The place where Hoodoo shines is when the hood is removed, Amazingly detailed sets from giant voodoo dolls, to smokey swamps and even the outdoor section that takes you into the tomb of Marie Laveau before walking you to your finale across two bridges leading you out of the jungle to the queen herself for one final scare . Again as I’ve said before… was it as intense as past years, maybe not but the actors that were in there worked hard in all the positions to get you at very unexpected points and that has to be commended. So on exiting the jungle, we headed over to…
The Pie Factory
Entering down the very well known queue line for me was like going back in time to 2015 even if the route has changed, One thing I’ve always loved about The Pie Factory is the queue line music and in all honesty how secluded you are in the trees really makes it one of the best uses of queue space at the park. Our time came to meet Mrs Shovit before being sent on our way, The Pie Factory has some great outdoor section moments and again this one of the reasons I like XSP, The use of both Indoor and Outdoor sets lends to the immersion of the experience. A well-delivered scare from the caravan set us up for Mrs Shovitts house. Now although again lacking on actors within, my god is that house beautiful. The work done on it takes me back to when The Village was being built. Fully themed rooms lead us to see the Hog, Maybe a little better timing would have delivered this scare better but the setpiece is impressive in its own right. Another area I love in TPF is again the use of strobes and the one in the corridor after this is one of the brightest and most intense I’ve seen. Leading us into a familiar vortex tunnel even if it was a little out of place it was fun to go through. The rest of The Pie Factory seemed more unchanged from previous years but with the addition of some more animatronics but work had been done to lift past rooms. Ending with the famous chainsaw at the end which is always a welcome sight. And so we left Pie to head to one final place and for me, it was going home, On to …
Even though I acted in this maze for 2 years since its opening back in 2017 and id walked through numerous times in the day, I had never actually been though as a guest so I was looking forward to going back to this mammoth length attraction. The House is such a gorgeous set and one the best put together in all of the park, Great use of an infinity mirror at the start with 2 well-placed scarecrow heads leading into the distance. Also getting smacked in the face with the blow out curtain was fun too. Well placed scares for more jumps but not so much on dialogue. Leaving the House it was onto the garage where we sadly once again hit the conga line. I’ve always loved the contrast of the house and the garage, From the 70s decor into the gritty grungy garage making great use of the very limited light. After the garage, it was onto the long walk to the Church, a well-placed scare was on the way too but this was about 4 guest before us who got the brunt of the attack. In a smaller group, this would have been a fantastic moment which the actor knows how to deliver. Onto the School, Such stunning set once again using one of two of the real school mobiles. The use of the strobes in the classroom is so atmospheric and understandable as to why so many like it. A second outdoor section and it was up the tunnel to Crows Lab,The use of smells in this area has to be noted and also the use of duck down spaces, One room, in particular hosts 3 animatronics which when timed right is an onslaught as referenced by the screams we heard ahead, Sadly we caught this scene on its reset. Finally, it was onto The Church, Now Obviously i know this scene very well and also know how challenging it can be to deal with conga lines in that scene, The Set is a masterpiece in design for building up tension and it is always hard to tell how many actors are in place ,even more so when you walk through it. Walking out the famous final scare and our Xtreme Scream experience had reached its end.
In order, I would say
Thank you to all the actors their last night, You faced a busy crowd and dealt with it well even when faced with a conga line you worked with it and that always has to be recognized.