Fright Nights at Movie World is back for its ninth year and it’s more polished and dialled in than ever. Movie World have some incredible after hours events throughout the year, but none takes the public’s eye more than Fright Nights. It practically drove Australia’s love for Halloween into the mainstream, and they’ve continued to refine every piece of the event into an artform. If you’re a fan of things that go bump in the night then it’s hard to miss what Fright Nights has to offer.
From the minute you walk in, you’re greeted by flames so intense and tall you’ll think your eyebrows were singed before even stepping inside the park. In true Movie World form you’ll know you’re in the right place from the transformation Movie World has donned on its Main Street with the entire decor shifting to something a little more goulie, or to be specifc, zombie-ish. Don’t think for a second either that you’ll be able to lay low for the entirity of the event – they’ve done a great job making sure there’s more then enough roaming zombies, clowns and plenty of other things nightmares are made of just lurking about, ready to jump in to a selfie or on to someone’s nerves. In short, this isn’t a last minute cashgrab, this sets the stage to rivalling other events around the world offered from parks three times its size. The sound and lighting is impressive, as is the set design and how dedicated the entire team is to making this a night to remember.
Our media night, to be fair, was not a full show. Essentially it was condensed down to a few key experiences, two of which were the mazes based on the Friday the 13th and Wyrmwood movies. A word of warning, not watching the movies will hamper your experience to some degree. Certainly if you’re the kind of person who’s easily frightened then you’ll no doubt be in for an endearing time snaking through the mazes but to truly understand and appreciate the effort that’s gone in will require a few hours of downtime before hand sitting with a group and hitting up Netflix.
Without giving away too much (Movie World didn’t even want us filming inside the maze, a real bummer given how much potential there was to tease what’s in-store for you all) the mazes are really what stand out from the night most of all. They’re well paced, well choreographed and even those like myself who are seasoned travellers will still get at the very minimum, a brief moment of being startled. And kudos to the team for being able to create such a diverse range of scares for a wide variety of people to enjoy. In my mind, horror films are lot like comedy films – some like Monty Python, others like Anchorman. And in the case of Fright Nights, there was more then enough triggers (from small, tight spaces to clowns, zombies, blood and everything inbetween) to set your heart racing.
When you add to the equation that all your favourite Movie World rides are open for business and the food is incredibly well matched to the event (think tomato sauce in syringes or mud cake turned into graveyard dirt) and you’ve got an event that I think you’d be pretty crazy to miss, even if you’ve been to one in the past few years.
Would I go again?
At the very least I think anyone who’s up for a good time should hit this up atleast once this year. For some it’s included in your pass, in which case you’re getting a blockbuster event (certainly more entertaining then Ant Man if i’m being honest) for next to nothing.
Like all things theme park related, get there early and hit the rides up first – they close early due to noise whereas the mazes will be open late. Be concious of the crowd mentailty too, it’ll be obvious where droves of people are moving to and from, more then likely you’ll get most of it done in one night if you’re smart without spending money on Fast Track passes. In saying that, if you’re going on a fully booked out night, that pass might just save your ass.
When is it on?
Every Friday & Saturday through October. Gates open 6pm.
Where can I buy tickets and stuff?
Through the official Fright Nights website.
Your final verdict?
It’s worth the money. An easy 9.4/10. Avoid busy dates at all costs.
Editor’s Note: Much kudos to Christine Bowley from Scarlet Bow who snapped the majority of photos from the night. You can see her work on Facebook.