n an enormous warehouse in Brent Cross, Netflix’s newest Stranger Issues providing is a mixture of an hour-long expertise and a show-themed house, whimsically named The Combine-Tape, to calm down in afterwards.
That includes an all-new (presumably non-canon) storyline, the viewers performs a gaggle of townspeople who’ve been chosen to take part in a particular “sleep research” at Hawkins Laboratory. Evidently, all will not be because it appears and issues rapidly go sideways.
Although the plot is skinny, the consequences – each sensible and visible – are extraordinarily efficient. You work together with some members of the present’s solid, together with members of the gang (Dustin, Lucas, Max, Mike and naturally Eleven) by way of a collection of pre-recorded movies, that are creatively inserted into the set by way of units similar to hidden screens and two-way mirrors; faux spiders crawl down partitions and beer cans crumple seemingly by themselves.
There are additionally some genuinely creepy moments (if the spiders aren’t sufficient for you); the 3D expertise on show within the apocalyptic Upside-Down is surprisingly real looking, making the lifeless, withered timber and monsters lurking inside it appear worryingly close to, and a well-placed bounce scare brought on quite a lot of jangled nerves in our group.
The true-life solid additionally appeared to be having fun with themselves, taking part in Hawkins’s doubtful scientists with gusto, grilling contributors as they queued firstly of the expertise and making indecipherable notes on their clipboards as they watched us, sparking quite a lot of nervous laughs.
That stated, there are downsides. The viewers is required to strike foolish poses to “activate” our powers and make issues occur round us; on the evening I visited this resulted in quite numerous half-hearted, awkward play-acting from the grownup contributors, who might have wished they’d extra successfully pre-loaded earlier than arrival.
Extra problematically, any of the scarier moments had been merely undercut by the shortage of sound-proofing within the constructing. It’s arduous to stay creeped out when the dinky Eighties music from the Combine Tape zone retains filtering into the Upside-Down, or when the group subsequent door is doing the identical factor as you might be, however two seconds forward.
Nevertheless, the most important sticking level for me was the value. At £52 a ticket (£62 at peak instances), the expertise isn’t low cost. The Combine-Tape does appears to be like fairly – and options loads of picture alternatives within the type of units from the present and monsters you’ll be able to pose with, so anticipate your Insta feed to be flooded for the following few weeks as followers strive it out – however the time spent really experiencing the factor is surprisingly brief, except you fancy forking out on the exorbitantly priced meals and merchandise.
Blessedly, the arcade video games are free to play, although I used to be dissatisfied to search out out that the promised Rink-O-Mania was not an precise skating rink; quite a merch store.
A cynical money seize from Netflix, or just a worth value paying for a singular expertise? I believe that may rely on how a lot of a fan you might be. Did I get pleasure from it? Sure. Would I pay for it? Most likely not.
Troubadour Brent Cross Studios; strangerthings-experience.com