The world premiere of Phobophobia: Night Terrors was always going to be a spooky experience – found under London Bridge, around the bend from the station and nestled in the arches, London Tombs is built in the remains of a former plague pit and draws on its gruesome history to scare tourists and Londoners alike.
Phobophobia runs every year for Halloween and challenges us to ‘face our fears’ – it’s a scare maze in the dark and we’re beckoned in past a screaming girl in a bed, possessed by who knows what. The maze is very well constructed and, as well as the appearance of numerous ghoulish inhabitants who in turn, greet us, chase us and generally add to the sense of unease, there are some rather more physical feats as well; we crawl, we dash past, we squeeze through and we even lose all sense of gravity at one point. It’s hard to review the show without giving too much away but expect a mix of the usual horror staples – ghosts, dead bodies, spiders – with some topical evil clowns, possessed children and crazed butchers.
If you love Halloween and want to get into a real life horror film to give yourself the feeling of being scared half to death, this is for you, providing you can dig deep into your pockets for the ticket price – it’s a central London tourist attraction and the cost reflects that, with perhaps not quite enough scare time for your depleted pound. It’s for teens and grown ups rather than kids and you’ll need to get into the spirit of the enterprise to get the best out of it but if you wholeheartedly throw yourself to the demons this is a really entertaining, if a bit pricey, All Hallows’ ‘ Eve evening out.
Reviewed by Ana von Dienstag