Spoiler level: No specific details of what happens in each scene, but some descriptions which could be perceived as spoilers.
This year was our first visit to Contained Liverpool, and after having read reviews of their 2017 event, ‘The Chamber of Terror’, we were very excited indeed. This year, Contained Liverpool presents ‘Demonic Descension’– a twisted journey through multiple horror themed rooms. We anxiously took our place in the queue, which had disco lighting and rock music – this pleased us greatly. It wasn’t until we reached the entrance that we realised the playlist was most likely a means to drown out the shrieks and howls of the opening scene. The door opened. As we were ushered into a pitch black room, Alice Cooper faded into the background, and our descension began.
The first few scareactors set the bar high, and high it remained. They were faultless in their command of the rooms, their interaction with us, their energy levels, and even their accents. They added a crazed intensity to every scene, and I could sense their passion and enjoyment, not just for their own motifs but for the event as a whole.
I was absolutely delighted to discover that this was so much more than simple walkthrough. Most (if not all) rooms had a level of interactivity, from a simple task to a full-blown escape room style challenge. A member of our group was sacrificed in a nifty execution scene, I myself was stowed away behind a curtain and found myself adjoined to a different group; these shifts were extremely effective in that they prevented any of us from getting too comfortable (no doubt the girl I went in with, who asked to hold my hand, was unhappy with my departure!)
The scenes themselves were deeply immersive with their individual stories. The attraction also utilised some of the best animatronics we’ve ever seen. They blended well with the live actors, and one in particular really caught me off guard! Timing is everything, and the scares are well-timed in this attraction. Moments of complete darkness created ample tension yet didn’t outstay their welcome. There was a great blend of intensity and humour, meaning our expectations were continually toyed with from room to room, and the experience never plateaued.
I lost a little of the impact from the séance scene, as there weren’t enough chairs for me to sit down, and I imagine that would’ve been very unnerving from a sitting position. The final scene was something of a puzzler for us, as we weren’t sure whether the actor was trying to scare us out of the door or not. If our exit had been more clearly signalled, or the actor more insistent that we leave, we may have understood the intention a little better.
Overall, Contained is a superb attraction for the Halloween season; it hits all the right notes in terms of fear and fun, it’s incredibly engaging, beautifully themed, and has a decent duration from beginning to end. Were it not for its geographical location in relation to ours, we’d be back for another run in a heartbeat!