** Just a quick note on this one – we were invited to the preview evening where we were informed that only 80% of the attraction was open therefore this isn’t a complete review. That said, we really doubt that this’ll change our opinion of the event! And thanks to Scream Factory for supplying some promo images when we stupidly neglected to take any the whole evening – we were too busy enjoying ourselves! **
Wow – where do we start with this one? We were invited along to Scream Factory’s preview evening and given that we were already up north for other events that weekend, we decided to take them up on the offer and, man, are we glad that we did!
This review might work a bit differently to our other pieces as although there were distinct sections throughout the walkthrough, it was one continuous route so it all blurs together for us!
Before even five minutes had passed, we sussed that we were in something special when we had a myriad of scares thrown our way that we totally didn’t see coming! It became immediately clear that the designers had really considered where to position actors, utilising the space and chucking a whole heap of misdirection at guests. It might come across as slightly hyperbolic but everything happened with such precision that it’s apparent that these guys have mastered the art of the scare! Three of us attended this event and we’d like to think that we’ve been through enough scare attractions that we’re harder to catch out. Not here! We don’t want to spoil where some of these surprises come from even though we so desperately want to rave about them! All we can say is that they’ll definitely get you, one way or the other!
Because the haunts are all linked, it’s harder to break it down in our usual style but throughout your time in Scream Factory you’ll encounter cannibals, crazed doctors, zombies, clowns and an array of characters from the silver screen to name but a few. It’s a varied experience and, refreshingly, each of these sections are broken up in a multitude of ways so that you never turn a corner and find yourself suddenly warped to a completely different world (something we’re never keen on). Asked to pick out a favourite part, we’d have to disappoint – with one exception, there truly isn’t a weak section throughout Scream Factory. The only element that wore out their welcome were the pitch black mazes throughout – we could appreciate why these were present, sometimes acting as the aforementioned transitions between the varying locales. But, given the level of creativity on display elsewhere, it was the slightest drag to have to enter yet another blackout section. Although, some effort was made to distinguish even these moments from eachother with the standout moment being when the floor suddenly ‘changed’. But yeah, if we could change one feature, we’d mix these parts up more.
As for the theming, there’s one area in the walkthrough that’s astounding; the graveyard scene. With a seemingly full-size church (that we never enter) and gravestones scattered among the grounds in front, it’s a truly beautiful sight. Add in the freshly risen (and some still rising) zombies and you have a scene ripped straight out of a horror movie – it was a fantastic moment and one where Scream Factory slowed down slightly to focus on the atmosphere. But don’t worry – they were still throwing the scares every which way; one zombie that I totally didn’t see lunged at me from the ground – taking advantage of the fact that I was utterly distracted by the scenery! This part was definitely the high point for us with some other sets not looking as good (the SAW room felt a bit sparse compared to the surrounding scenes) but, generally speaking, the set design was decent despite the fact that there were quite a few moments where the scares distracted us from taking it all in!
So, the acting. We have to point out one particular person here – the guy who played Freddy Kruger. Man, he was completely on point! The voice, the mannerisms – he was absolutely spot on! His scene also stood out for being one of the few moments where the characters spent a bit more time with you, giving us time to appreciate just how ace he was! We also need to mention the two guys in the elevator scene – their little episode was one of the more bizarre experiences that night, especially when it didn’t end the way that we expected it to! They were such an odd contrast to what we had just scarpered away from that it totally disarmed us!
The last thing that we’d highlight about the performances in general; the cast had their timings nailed down. We were at the front for the majority of the walkthrough but we seldom missed anything because the actors had brilliantly gauged when to assault the group. That’s the biggest takeaway of the evening – these actors attacked their roles with such passion and gusto that they totally made the experience for us on their own.
Ultimately, we could find very little fault with Scream Factory, something the three of us agreed on which is extremely rare! The combination of well-thought out scares and set-construction along with actors who compliment that design insanely well adds up to an unbeatable evening. And when you consider that, staggeringly, we only went through 80% of the event, Scream Factory becomes a must attend event, hands down.
When we arrived at this venue we first thought that we were in the wrong place as there were no signs or commotion in the vicinity of where our cab had dropped us off. Although, this was likely due to the fact that we were attending a preview event. We soon found our way in and were confronted with clowns and ghouls who kept trying to ‘jump scare’ us. These entertainers kept us occupied until it was our time to go through Scream Factory and soon enough our time had arrived. The set design for the event was stunning, the design team did a great job making us feel like we were in a movie set. Unfortunately, I’m not able to break down each maze as I can’t recall where one finished and the next one began. The haunts themselves were really fun with some excellent scares and it also seemed as though they had enough actors to scare each member of our eight-strong group. I really loved the strobe effects and the smoke machines which impeded our sight in some rooms. Also my old fave, the spinning tunnel, is back which always messes up my coordination! I was however a little disappointed with the numerous times we walked around black walls as this went on for too long and popped up more than once throughout our tour. However, there were so many strong points to these mazes that I can forgive this one slight flaw! Sadly, as this was the preview event, a section of Scream Factory wasn’t open to us. It’s a shame that I don’t live nearer so that I could see how different the experience is on an official night!
+ Some brilliant set-pieces
+ Some great actor placements and misdirection
- Too many black maze sections
Scream Factory was simply a terrific night. If you're thinking about going, just go!
Ticket Price: Circa £20
Address: Kirkleatham, Redcar, TS10 5NW