Here's our review and photos of Thorpe's 2007 Fright Fest:
"2007 saw Fright Nights return to Thorpe Park for the 6th time... and for me, this year was the best yet! What really stood out this year was the extra effort that was made to really make the event go off with a bang. There were no new attractions this year, but little theming touches and improved talent in the mazes ensured that 2007 really was spooktacular.
(Located in the building next to Nemesis Inferno)
Last year I had a few bones to pick with The Asylum: "the actors in [The Asylum should] return to the way they were in The Freezer... I want to feel as if [they] could really hurt me". To be honest, 2006's Asylum was a big disappointment. Well, as for 2007... what a difference! It was fantastic!
It's almost as if someone from Thorpe Park read my review last year and made changes accordingly - I really could not find fault with the maze this year. I got what I asked for - this year I had actors jumping at me, screaming at me - even climbing up the caged walls. The strobes seemed more intense this year and the actors more animated. I felt like I was trapped in a mental institute where the inmates had escaped, and it was genuinely scary. Actors this year were much more touchy-feely, and sometimes really got in your face. They really took advantage of sets and props, too - the mirrors, laundry scene and medical equipment were all well used to maximise scares.
And then, of course, the biggest difference to The Asylum this year - the Chainsaw man was back. This dude hasn't been seen since 2004, and boy does he make a difference. For the first time in years, guests consistently run out of the maze screaming. After what is quite a long ordeal in a maze with freaky actors doing their best to petrify you, you come to the last straight. When I was in there, we actually saw the freak wielding the chainsaw at the other end of the corridor, blocking our way. He just stood there, staring at us, and we knew he wasn't going to let us past. As we walked nervously closer, he revved the chainsaw, people screamed, the chain split up and we all ran out of the exit, chainsaw man chasing, just like the many groups before us. Exhilarating, and brilliant. The Asylum has returned.
(Located at the back of the X:\ No Way Out building)
Last year I credited Hellgate for having the best acting talent, and this year's was similarly excellent. What made Hellgate less scary than it could have been was the fact that there were many dead spots - our chain didn't see more than 6 actors in the whole maze. The actors in there did a very good job - one hung from the ceiling, one used a flashlight for scares, two lunged at us from within a cell, and another two provided a good finale by blocking the exit! However, there was a lot of walking around in anticipation... and not very many scares. The thing that scared me the most in this Haunted House was the airhammer (loud bang) that went off as soon as we walked into the maze! Hellgate was good, but I feel we were perhaps unlucky with the lack of actors in the maze at the time.
(Located in marquees in the Arena)
Se7en is still "a worthy attraction for Fright Nights". The themeing inside this maze, set to the 7 deadly sins, continues to impress me and the actors made a good job of using their sets to maximise scares. The first scene consisted of just a bed. We walked alongside it, and were just about to go through the next door when an actor burst out from under the covers and scared us half to death. The finale to Se7en was also still just as good - this year our group was kept caged for a good 3 minutes before we were let out! However, my only problem with Se7en this year was that it felt way too much like a temporary maze in a marquee. There were fire exit doors visible, and in some cases, open - and many sizes of the marquee were up. It was far more obvious this year (perhaps because it was lit a lot brighter) that the walls were just painted bits of board. This didn't really give the feeling of being trapped with no escape, and certainly didn't help any illusions the actors were trying to make. For me, Se7en was good, but could be better - simply by making it feel a little more permanent.
Carnival of the Bizarre
(Located in the Pirates 4D Theatre)
Hurrah! The rumours were true, and the Circus of Horrors were back in the Pirates 4D Theatre for 2007. I felt that last year's attempt to bring the acts out into the Park failed, mostly due to the lack of a sound system but also because an atmosphere couldn't really be created around a 5 minute sideshow. This year the Carnival of the Bizarre was back and better than ever. They did away with the storyline that they tried in 2005, and gave us loud music, weird acts, and great showmanship. Fire eating, contortion and feats of endurance all contributed to one explosive show! This is what the Circus of Horrors do best - simply entertaining. Plus, unlike 2005, there was no charge for the show this year, which made it even better.
The Bottom Line
In all, a fantastic year - I could almost stick my neck out and say it was the best yet, and I haven't even talked about the Park-wide themeing. For the first time, Thorpe Park made an effort with jazzing the Park up, Halloween-style. Most rides were themed, from Rush to Rocky Express. Bodybags under Stealth, heads hanging from the Colossus Station, and best of all, smoke engulfing Samurai - the Park looked great! Admittedly, the themeing could have been a little more widespread and prominent - and it was a shame to see the fire effects from '06 disappear from outside the mazes - but this year was definitely a step in the right direction. Riding Samurai with smoke surrounding you is an unforgettable experience.
The negative points I've made in this review are pretty minor. I can stomach £10 for the 3 maze Fastrack when the event is this good. This year was the closest to date that Thorpe Park has been to Fright Night perfection. Superb."