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Review: Thorpe Park Fright Night

GT gets in the Halloween spirit


It's that time of year again: yes, it's Christmas! OK, it isn't really Christmas. You'd be forgiven for thinking it is though, given that the first Xmas ads have already made it onto TV and Harrods is some months in to displaying its in-store Grotto.

What we are on the cusp of, though, is Halloween! Oh yes, your bank balance doesn't get a few months off that easily. Traditionally Hallows' Eve is some sort of Christian/Pagan festival, originating from the Roman goddess of fruits and seeds and having something to do with the Celts' fondness for setting things alight. But these days it's more about dressing as Batman, having some god forsaken cocktail and eating those funny Halloween Haribo. Such fun.

Like any festival of capitalism, it's grown legs and developed upmarket outlets. Such is Thorpe Park's offering of its Fright night. Thorpe Park, for those who don't know, is a super cool them park on the edge of London, in Surrey (Staines, to be precise). It's a great place to see 11-year-old kids nonchalantly riding vast and intimidating roller coasters, whilst their grown adult parents quiver at the sides.

GT was one such quivering mess last Friday, when we went along to try out their Fright Night. And boy did we quiver. Welcomed by flashing lights, unexpected spooky sounds and masked monsters wielding hammers, it was proper scary. Miley Cyrus wasn't on hand to lick the hammers - what's a hammer without Miley licking it these days? - but it was still terrifying.

The rides are first-rate. Between Stealth, which goes from 0-80M.P.H. in two seconds, and Saw, which twists you upside down at 100ft then drops you through 'blades', it really lives up to its Fright Night name. The whole thing is especially scary at night, too, not being able to see what's around every which corner.

This is never more scary than in the recreation of classic scary movies. The whole night is themed around some of the scariest big screen prospects: Cabin in the Woods, The Asylum and The Blair Witch project, to name but three. You can follow the rides in line with these movie plots, recreating all the gore and gumption. For us, the Saw rides terrified.

Booked two days in advance, Thorpe Park Fright Night will set you back about £35. It's more than the price of some spooky Haribo and an Orange WKD, yes, but it's a great evening out. We might even recommend it for a date - between the scary rides and random attacks of blooded-up actors, there are endless opportunities to clutch hands and get close. Imagine that at the wedding: "When did you know it was love?'…"Oh, somewhere between My bloody Valentine and the the blades of Saw." N'aww.

GT gives Fright Night 4/5.

Check out tickets and deets at Thorpe Park website

Words: Benjamin Butterworth

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