GNG's Ravenwood Manor Review
As much as I hate to say anything less than glowing about GNG's productions, I thought Ravenwood Manor, although not a bad attraction, needed significant improvement.
Newark Castle itself was a very atmospheric setting. However, a lot of the time was wasted crowding into small spaces, at significant distance from each other, with little to no actors inside. I recognise perhaps this was an attempt to build atmosphere and utilise as much space as possible. But depending on the group's general attitude, this escalated into comedy in our instance. The reliance on audience participation in this attraction was more than usual, and in my particular group caused the possible downfall of the experience, with a reluctance of any serious participation to ask the 'ghosts' any questions.
The only section of the scare attraction that had some impact on me was the short strobe route at the end with a very lively priest type of character inside. Notably, with his glow in the dark contact lenses, the costumes were fantastic as always. Both the female ghost characters were dressed very well, however with the both the small séance room, and the room above being well lit at the time we visited, made it impossible for them to emerge from their hiding places unnoticed in their vibrant costumes.
Continuity seemed to be an issue with Ravenwood Manor. The layout of the attraction seemed disjointed, with each segregated part of the attraction being short in length, especially the ending of the strobe route which seemed very abrupt.
In contrast to their earlier mazes Scarytales and Bunker 13, the acting seemed to be toned down to a significant degree, and more focused on a storytelling approach. There also seemed to be less actors to match the group size since our group consisted of about seven people?
In the FAQ it was stated children below twelve were being accommodated, therefore this seemed to be a more family orientated attraction than previous efforts, so an approach along these lines was half expected.
Although I recognise perhaps GNG are still experimenting with their productions, as someone who enjoys the less family friendly bracket of horror attractions, I wouldn't entertain travelling any significant distance as I did on this occasion (with Newark being a long way from where I live). At this time the mazes are not consistently aimed at one particular market of people, in the nature that past mazes were.
Reviewed by Abigail Lewis.