I remember the last time that I was at Madame Tussaud’s; I was 14, nearly 15 years old and marveled at the exhibits of wax work figures that stood in the entrance, frozen in time. There was Henry VIII, the woman killing tyrant whose ‘loathing for women’ created Britain’s greatest monarch-in my opinion- Elizabeth I, nonchalantly poised nearby, with a steely stare that would command any passer by to give her respect. And there was the infamous teeny bop stars like Britney Spear’s dressed up as her music video ‘Toxic’ alter-ego, giving the show of her life. For some of my friends they found the wax-works to be creepy and stated that it gave them a shudder to see how these ‘wax dolls’ were painted to give an impression of someone in real life. While many of the wax-work figures were well made and realistic, there were some which missed the mark, with garish features that poorly imitated the person that they were meant to replicate. So naturally, being a tourist in my own city of London, became a goal I was determined to achieve in my year of travel. And what could be a better example of ‘glorified tourism’ than Madame Tussaud’s I hear you ask?
But while I was interested in seeing how the exhibits had changed over the years, with new additions to reflect popular culture post noughties, I had got wind of there being a new Sci Fi Horror Chamber titled ‘Alien Escape’, which was inspired by the movie Alien: Covenant. As someone who had always been a massive horror movie fan (Insidious, Sinister, Woman In Black to name a few), I am naturally drawn to attractions that are ‘horror themed’ and they take me back to university years when we would go to Thorpe Park and go into the Saw Maze. And don’t even get me started on London Dungeons because that gives me LIFE! Come on Horror Movie you better werk. But let me shut up for a minute; in case you have lived in another Galaxy for the past year let me give you a little recap of ‘Alien Covenant so that you can get a more authentic feel for the Alien Escape chamber. Also I should probably mention that there will be spoilers along the way so skip if you haven’t watched the movie yet.
Set 10 years after the events of Prometheus, Alien Covenant is a tale that we are all too familiar with; an accident happens, people die and a controlling master creates a virtual reality where all his people must obey his rather strange demands. Directed by Ridley Scott, expect the unexpected; from homo-erotic sequences of ‘suggestive flute playing’ where ‘David’ a newly activated android decides to teach Walter how to ‘sexually play the flute’ (every Freudian analyst’s wet dream right?) to creepy alien like creatures (neomorphs and xenomorphs) who end up killing 85 % of the cast,after they f**ked with their medieval looking alien home, it is safe to say that despite its intentions to create a ‘scary ass film’ you can’t help but feel the humor weaved throughout the storyline. But enough about Alien Covenant…
Naturally like its ‘film equivalent’ Alien Escape is a ‘simulation chamber’ that is the gift that just keeps on ‘giving’. From a hyper-realistic wax model of Micheal Fassbender (aka Weyland-Yutani synthetic Walter) checking your vital stats as you board the USCSS Covenant- the titular colony ship- to coming face to face with your very own ‘friendly’ Xenomorph who is just dying to f**k s**t up, it’s safe to say the ‘Alien Escape’ is a stark contrast to the glitz and glamour of the Hollywood Celebrity attraction room. After all even Robert Pattison’s ghostly pallor and terrible acting skills are nothing in comparison to the shriek fest that is the ‘alien escape’.
Sadly for horror movie fans aged under 15 ( why the hell aren’t you watching Tom & Jerry ?) you won’t be allowed into the alien escape room (unless you look like an adult in which case good for you, I still get Id’d’!), so sorry bout it. After being ushered onto the alien ship witness the gore fest spectacle that is what I like to call ‘alien bursts out of chest, lets all grab the popcorn and get comfortable phase’. I realize that it was an unnecessarily long ‘phase title’ but you get my drift; watch as a neomorph claws itself out of somebody’s back (don’t worry it’s not real), taking great delight in causing its ‘wax human or android subject’ great pain and discomfort.
Gasp at the next room full of this seasons Easter Eggs, made up of all you can ‘buy’ Xenomorph eggs, waiting to unleash their ‘reigning terror’ on its unsuspecting subject. Get your s**t together as you come face to face with a ‘drooling adult Xenomorph’ who quite literally ‘spits in your face’ and breathe a sigh of relief as you exit the sweaty, chaotic and cramped corridor, that is albeit a perfect replica of the film set of the same name. And all this in 90 seconds which is quite a lot of ‘scare power’ to pack in such a short amount of time. It kind of reminds me of Monster Inc, where Sully and Mike have to fill their ‘scream canisters’ with screams from little boys and girls , except the alien escape is made up of shrieking adults like me!
- Imitation of the ‘Alien Covenant’ is perfection down to every last detail. From the stubble etched onto Micheal Fassbender’s wax model, to collaborating with ‘Creatures Inc’ to create a hyper-real Xenomorph, the set designers should give themselves a pat on the back, that is if they are still alive… because ya know in the actual movie the crazy synthetic android leader David, pushes the remaining survivors into ‘statis’ before falsely writing that only two of them survived, so he can wreak havoc on some poor unsuspecting planet. So naturally it’s probable that the wax version had its way with the set designers too, who are probably locked up in a statis chamber as we speak.
- The attraction had the right amount of merger between ‘terror’ and ‘intrigue’ again drawing parralels with the Alien Convenant storyline. From the ever so polite – you know I’m being sarcastic right?- facehuggers who are parasitoid forms of the species Xenomorph XX121 to the translucent alien eggs that are waiting for mummy/daddy bear to teach it how to kill, the utilization of ‘props’ and wax works were excellent
- It stays faithful to the movie’s storyline. For some critics they may argue that the attraction would ‘lack originality’ by recycling the same storyline of its filmsake, but when the creators behind alien i.e. ‘Creatures Inc’ are on board to create the attraction, it makes complete sense to me. After all a ‘recycled narrative’ is not always a bad thing and in some cases is a great way of drawing interest!
- I loved that it was at ‘Madame Tussaud’s’ as while it has a reputation as being a child and family friendly attraction, it is nice to see the Merlin creators cater to its older, more niche specific audience t00. So if you have that one child who always complains about you taking them on ‘boring trips’ then fear not Alien Escape is here to save the day!
- For those who are going to Madame Tussaud’s for the Alien Escape only, don’t. At just 9o seconds long, the attraction is short and is more of an additional add-on to your Madame Tussauds experience than a stand alone attraction. While it was a great attraction and I loved the reverence to the Sci-Fi and horror movie genre, to really amp up its ‘scare factor’ it would be great it if they could increase the length of the attraction
Overall the ‘scare attraction’ gets a high rating score because of its attention to detail. As a waxwork museum, the Alien Escape is more of an existential waxwork add on but I’m not complaining. For some though, the attraction could be a disappointment due to the short length of time that it runs for, but nevertheless a worthy exhibit to shout about. And if you take anything away from Alien Escape, its to never to be coerced into entering a alien ship… oh wait.
Watch The Official Madame Tussaud’s Trailer Below
Would You ‘Adventure in Madame Tussaud’s Alien Escape’ Attraction?
Please note I was provided tickets to Madame Tussaud’s in exchange for this review but this does not affect my thoughts and all opinions are my own.