We visited Secrets Beneath’s Torment at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth last night. From the outside it sort of stands out like a sore thumb in the middle of the shopping centre, but when it gets dark, it sort of blends into the background. There is also a random wraith wandering around scaring people which is always fun to watch.
After the usual safety briefing, you enter into a room with a scientist in it. He explains the back story. He then explains that the only way into the Manor House is through the sewers and points towards a small duck tunnel. You enter and it’s quite dark and there is even some padded poles that you will walk into, which is different. You then emerge in the garden with loads of foliage around you. The actor(s) literally appear out of no where in this section, which is always a good thing.
After that you then enter the house and meet various different characters. The sets are small and sometimes quite claustrophobic which only heightens the experience. In the dining room scene I think they attempted to do something which I’ve never seen happen before. They tried to completely turn around the conga line, so the back becomes the front and the front becomes the back, but we just ended up penguin walking backwards. I think if they gave this bit a bit more thought and force the conga line to face a different direction, I could heighten the fear as it would mean no one is safe. Like I said, I’m not sure if that was the intention, buts that’s what it felt like.
For what is basically a pop up scare attraction in the middle of a shopping centre I would have to say i was rather impressed. I love that they bring so many different elements into the attraction and they actually have a reason to be there. It doesn’t feel like it’s just added for the sake of it.
I do have one negative thing to say and that is I think the actors need to move people along, particularly on the pitch black rope scene. In our run, a group had let go of the rope and were just stopped, yet the actors just continued to scare them instead of moving them along and it caused a queue, to the point we jumped from one side to the other just to skip past.
Overall we are really impressed with it. The guys at Secrets Beneath are awesome. Torment is simple yet very effective and We both could have quite happily just kept going round and round. Amazing job!