Don’t Wake Up – Secret Cinema’s Foray into Horror…

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It’s no secret we’re big fans of immersive cinema and theatre at GYGO. High at the top of the list has to be the fantastic Secret Cinema. Who’s extensive work bringing cinema quite literally ‘to life’ has seen some amazing most. From the supernatural fashionista 80’s party of Ghostbusters to  the simply stunning set pieces and authenticity of 1950’s americana of Back To The Future (our particular favourite).

Even after the extravagant scaled Star Wars last year we were particularly intrigued to see what SC had in store next for their fans. So to hear the first rumours of a ‘horror themed Secret Cinema’ we were very intrigued to hear more! Then with further announcements of a Secret Cinema based around the cult zombie/infected movie ’28 Days Later’ we couldn’t have been more excited at the prospect of how the team were going to recreate such a successful film as a live theatre experience.25835985804_56ab384648_k

From initial marketing foray the marketing team have perfectly synced themselves to the recent junior doctors protests. Rolling this perfectly into the marketing of SC making the public aware of the ‘infected’. It’s been very well done and we were very impressed.

Did it succeed ….. ?

 

Our first point is the question of if this year’s Secret Cinema costume is mandatory or just an added bonus? This still remains unclear. Previous SC outings have always been fairly relaxed which equally has reflected well in it’s participants. But with mixed reports of people being turned away not in hospital scrubs it’s well worth checking that first. We sincerely hope not, but it’s definitely worth doing.

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On entering it’s clear the team have again done a great job of utilising the space required in order to recreate the tone of the film. Initially setting it somewhere prior to the events Cillian Murphy waking up in the movie, which is a great angle. Props and settings are faithfully recreated and the actors do their jobs well (though it has to be said for paying customers some of the actors overzealous commands for people to follow orders quickly get’s tiresome – they’ve paid £65 after all!)

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Without giving too much away there’s a lot of running, which is great if you’re a fan of the movie – the settings have been brilliantly recreated from the movie. In terms of anyone concerned it’s going to be too scary for them there’s no need to worry. It’s definitely not on a par with ‘Ghost Stories the Show’ horror and is definitely more of a ‘Ghost Train’ type event. Which is good for a range of ages to attend.

 

Our only big bugbear with the event is after all the initial excitement for a large section of the event you’ll find yourself waiting around for a while…..a long while. With little direction or information from staff. Admittedly Star Wars had a significant amount of waiting too. But then there was also a lot of things to do – and this year with just two (two!) food outlets and a warehouse space which isn’t as packed full of activities, you’ll get restless fairly quickly. Having said as a bonus the drinks are reasonably priced compared to previous years, but again you’ll be relying on contactless payment. Something which isn’t great when the card machines signal fails (as they did with us)

 

26422856046_19fe1c87b1_kThough it has to be said the final screening (and it’s setting) was for us the best part. It’s undoubtedly the best way to experience the film, with some superbly chilling moments brought to life. Though we were a little surprised at the lack of a climatic event like previous SC’s. The other moments though really added to the experience, and the location is something which’ll be fondly remembered for years.

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All in, it’s a unique and interesting foray into the world of horror by Secret Cinema. It’s definitely not akin to Back To The Future, or Ghostbusters and is definitely an entity of it’s own. From chatting to other attendees after the positive feedback the main complaints shared seemed to be a lack of things happening gradually throughout the visit (rather than so much so quick). If anything the change in pace after the beginning just amplifies the seeming waiting times after which is a shame. On top of which the necessity for a wider selection of food. Something which is surprising as in the past there’s been so much selection at Secret Cinema events.

 

But hats off to the team for putting together something which is still very impressive. What can we say, we’ve just been spoilt by previous outings. Our thoughts to another horror event? Something smaller – an actually reputed haunted venue with actors leading you through darkened corridors amplifying the chills (without shouting at you) –  now that would be scary.

 

In the meantime though, if you’re a fan of the film – it’s well worth checking out. Get your tickets here. 

 http://www.secretcinema.org/