Dr Frights Halloween Nights Route 666 2023 Review
Dr Frights Halloween Nights returns to Whites Nurseries just outside of Northampton. Dr Frights is a unique take on a scare attraction always having a kind of B movie charm. This along with a good scattering of humour always makes Dr Frights a fun visit and this year is no exception.
With the new layout and concept instead of having a central hub with the mazes coming off it you start at Deadwood Forest, traverse a few mazes before an interval/rest stop with a few snacks and drinks available as well as a few roaming characters and photo opportunities, you then complete a few more mazes before ending with Klownfest and ending up in the food court and bar area. Here you can chill out, watch videos of inside the mazes or buy some merchandise.
You start by entering Deadwood Forest, a dark and enclosed maze. There were scares a-plenty. The use of shrubbery made the maze feel tighter and enabled the scares to land hard. The scares hit continuously throughout with the actors working hard to land them time and time again.
You enter Downtown Hell-A where you meet the intimidating purge-like characters. The scenery is fitting with the theme and the actors’ intimidation and scare tactics work well. This maze was an assault on the senses and scares hit consistently.
What would Dr Frights be without a grindhouse maze. It’s your traditional hillbilly maze, the actors worked well together with fun interactions throughout. At one point it felt a little sparse with actors as if something had happened because this was continued with an onslaught where the actors surrounded us, one stalking us followed by a fun use of a chainsaw. Whatever happened a few groups in front of us were well recovered from and the actors managed to pick up some fun creepy scares.
A war themed zombie maze was a really nice addition. The scares were relentless, attacking us from all angles. The actors worked so hard here providing non stop scares throughout. The theming was great, making you feel like you had entered a war time bunker.
Devils Gate Cinema
At Devils Gate Cinema you walk into the classic horror movies of the past. Some really nice effects and solid scares that seemed to hit the other person in our group rather than myself so a slight tweak to timings possibly needed. However when the scares did hit they hit hard. The first scene is a classic and one that we’ve always enjoyed. Some great themes and great nods to the classic horror movies.
Bloody Mary’s Maze of Mirrors
This maze is intentionally disorientating making you question exactly where the scares might come from next. A really nice concept using mirrors to surprise with scares. The actors used misdirection to great effect here. Making the scares land well. The use of mirrors made you really question where the next scares could come from. Great fun from beginning to end.
The clowns are back, they’ve been on a spaceship, been on holiday to Ibiza, they’ve even worked at a supermarket now they are hanging out at a festival. As you traverse the festival site you meet the ‘friendly’ clowns. Taking you through all the classic tropes of a music festival. It’s a maze you want to dance in and as always this was a fun maze to end on with a mixture of humour and scares. We are always big fans of the clowns and this is no exception.
Dr Frights has made quite a few changes this year. The change to a linear attraction meaning there is only one way to complete the maze means that batching is fairly well managed. It also means a lot less queuing overall with the bulk of it at the start. It also enables the team to add a few shorter experiences into the mix which offers more variety and allows the pace of the event to be managed which enables the scares to keep on coming. This year Dr Frights has been one of the strongest with impactful scares, numerous distractions and fun concepts. If you find yourself within a few hours of Dr Frights it’s definitely worth the trip. Dr Frights runs until the end of October so get your tickets now. You won’t be disappointed.
Dr. Frights 2021
We’ve always had a fun evening when we’ve gone to Dr. Frights, at Whites Nurseries in Northamptonshire, so we were really looking forward to our visit on opening night. For 2021 Dr. Frights is heading on a World Tour, with each of the mazes having a different location-based aspect to it.
The Grindhouse Down in Mexico
First up for us was ‘The Grindhouse Down in Mexico’ the usual hillbillies have gone South of the border for 2021 and the mazes sets and designs have been updated to reflect that. We had a reasonable run through this maze and the Mexican aspect of the set was decent and added to the humour, but for us the scares didn’t hit quite right but still left us entertained by the maze.
Hollywood Horror – The Final Chapter
Next up was ‘Hollywood Horror – The Final Chapter’ which felt like the least changed maze. It leads you through a number of distinct sections each an homage to a different scary movie. We got a couple of good scares in this maze, especially in one particular room that uses a traditional technique to build up tension before a jump scare hits to great effect. A solid run through, but given the title we hope that something completely new may be in store for 2022.
Our third maze of the evening took us on a journey through Japanese mythology and J-horror tropes in ‘Yokai Temple’. For this particular reviewer who is a sucker for both subjects, it led to a creepy run through of the maze. There were a number of nice pieces within the set design and some fun, slightly different scares coming at us. A good new maze that I hope builds on the Japanese mythology aspect if it returns.
Killer Clowns in Ibiza
We saved ‘Killer Clowns in Ibiza’ for last as we’ve had great runs in previous iterations of this clown maze and had high hopes for it given this year’s theme. As expected, this maze was a lot of fun, with the sets taking you on the full journey from the airport all the way to the party island. The maniacal clowns and soundtrack of holiday club bangers accompanying us throughout the run. This one as always was a lot of fun.
In addition to the four mazes you also have some fun interactions with the street team in the central hub section, plus a nice bar and some food options. There was a good atmosphere when we arrived relatively late in the evening and it would have been good to spend a bit more time there if we could.
Of note in our visit was the batching which was superb as individual groups were batched separately with a healthy amount of time between entry so we didn’t catch up with anyone in our runs. Our only real criticism was that the actors while good and hitting some scares didn’t feel as intense as previous years. We hope that as the run continues they are able to maybe build up a bit more confidence to get up close and personal like they have on previous visits.
All in all a really fun visit to Dr. Frights, as always it isn’t the big budget extravaganza you may get in some other larger events, but it always feels like it punches above its weight, it has a great atmosphere and fun and different mazes. Definitely recommended if it’s within a reasonable distance to you. Dr. Frights runs on selected evenings through October.