Following unprecedented feedback from a testing panel during its beta phase, Alton Towers Resort has been compelled to seek advice from esteemed film classification body the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), to help assess its new psychologically terrifying underground attraction, Nemesis Sub-Terra, which opens to the general public on 24th March 2012.
For the first time in history for a theme park attraction, the BBFC agreed to assess Nemesis Sub-Terra, so that Alton Towers Resort could protect its younger visitors from the intense and disturbing effects of the new attraction and consider appropriate restrictions.
Now in its 100th year of operation, until now the BBFC has only rated content in the form of film releases, DVDs/Blu-Ray, digital downloads and video games. The BBFC considered carefully the feedback and unique nature of the attraction (which is neither a ride, performance nor a maze) and agreed to lend their advice.
Murray Perkins, Senior Examiner at the BBFC commented:
"The BBFC is seeing a real blur of the old boundaries of visual content and physical experience in both 3D and 4D cinema, and at theme parks. Applying our experience of the public's acceptability of moments of threat on screen, to more physical experiences, is something we have begun to do as cinema and other theatrical experiences evolve.
After experiencing the attraction first-hand, based on 100 years of experience and line with British public opinion, we would recommend that Alton Towers Resort classify the new Nemesis Sub-Terra a '12A'. The BBFC's Guidelines at '12A'/'12' allow moderate physical and psychological threat, provided that the disturbing sequences are not frequent or sustained. Nemesis Sub-Terra contains some intense moments, in some respects comparable with scary scenes which may be experienced in horror or science fiction films at '12A'/'12'. But while some people will no doubt find this a frightening experience, the personnel monitoring the site are soon on hand to guide the public to safety."
Katherine Duckworth from Alton Towers Resort commented,
"The classification advice from the BBFC is important for the Resort to ensure the wellbeing of our guests. We are aware the enforcements that will now be implemented will mean that many of our younger visitors are unable to experience Nemesis Sub-Terra, which we are obviously concerned about. However, the Alton Towers Resort prides itself on offering a variety of rides for all ages and we hope that those under the age of 12 will continue to enjoy our other attractions."
To ensure the new attraction was as terrifying as possible, Alton Towers Resort conducted some research during the development which revealed 75% of Brits have a phobia of being trapped underground and as many as 1 in 5 adults are still scared of the dark. Nemesis Sub-Terra plays heavily on both of these fears.
The Nemesis Sub-Terra attraction is unlike anything the world has seen before - a psychologically and physically thrilling experience, taking place in a dark, intense underground setting and based around the back-story of the original Nemesis attraction, launched in 1994. It takes guests into a restricted facility deep underground into a system of hidden caves. There is only one 'chicken exit' within the attraction - for people who can't cope with the rest of it. For more details on Alton Towers Resort and Nemesis Sub-Terra or to book tickets visit www.altontowers.com
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Notes to Editors: The survey commissioned by Alton Towers was carried out in February 2012 by market research experts www.onepoll.com and consisted of 2000 adults.
MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment, and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. Europe's Number 1 and the world's second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates 87 attractions, six hotels/two holiday villages in 19 countries and across four continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 46 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and more almost 18,000 employees.Â Among Merlin's attractions areÂ - SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The EDF Energy London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Blackpool Tower, Heide Park, Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney, Sydney Tower Eye and SKYWALK, Siam Ocean World and Busan Aquarium. Â All brands which are distinctive, challenging and innovative - and which have great potential for growth in the future. Visit www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information.
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is an independent, private, not for profit company which classifies films, videos, DVDs and certain video games, advertisements and trailers.Â The BBFC operates transparent, well-understood and trusted co-regulatory and self regulatory classification regimes based on years of expertise and published Guidelines which reflect public opinion and the risk of harm; and is accountable to Parliament. The BBFC agreed to experience Nemesis Sub-Terra at Alton Towers following a test of the attraction. In advising on the advisory classification the BBFC shall classify the Nemesis Sub-Terra attraction on the same basis as if it were a film.