Hattie Lloyd 16/03/23
SAW Escape Experience London | A Pulse-Racing Escape Labyrinth
When bloodied posters splashed across double deckers and billboards asking ‘DARE YOU SEE SAW?’, the response for many people was: absolutely not, thank you very much.
And if you were one of those people, the concept of an interactive take on the horror film franchise probably sent chills up your spine. Which, we should explain to horror fans, is something the rest of us don’t enjoy.
Yet, in the name of bringing you the best of what the capital has to offer each month, we steeled ourselves to visit the SAW Escape Experience, which has bedded into the depths of an innocuous-looking office block in the backstreets by Tower Bridge. And it seems to us that there are probably a whole lot of people in London who would never usually book into something like this… but would actually love it.
So, what exactly is an ‘escape experience’? Well, it’s essentially an impressively dressed labyrinth of escape rooms combined with elements of immersive theatre – a couple of actors, some thrilling live action moments, and a storyline threading the whole thing together. The SAW Escape Experience is not (much to our relief) a scare maze, a house of horrors, or a hideous promenade performance where you’re stuck watching people remove keys from behind their eyeballs for an hour. The gore factor is low, but there are enough fun, shocking moments – and a persistent sense of urgency and unease – that permeates the whole experience. You stumble out of there with the same giddy rush of adrenaline you get from a rollercoaster.
The premise for the experience is that you’ve invested in a new housing development on the site of a former abattoir. Not remotely creepy so far, then. However, upon arriving for your hard-hat tour around the construction site you discover that this glossy development company might have some questionable ethics (after all, isn’t capitalism the real horror of modern times?). Without giving too much away, the tour inevitably goes awry and you’ll find yourself playing Jigsaw’s games in a bid to save the life of an innocent human being.
SAW fans will enjoy the easter eggs dotted around the set, and the production quality is seriously impressive throughout. It’ll help if you or someone on your team has played an escape room before – there are hidden compartments to find, codes to crack, and invisible messages to bring to light. But there’s also challenges that require physical skill, a little lateral thinking, and the occasional moral quandary thrown in for good measure.
It’s a pulse-racing ordeal where you’re never quite sure what’s around the corner, although there is one room that, strangely, you won’t be trying to get out of as soon as possible…
…the bar at the end.
NOTE: Tickets for the SAW Escape Experience are currently available until 3rd September 2023, and cost £39-49pp – you can book yours HERE. Please note that accessible routes are available; you can find out more HERE.
SAW Escape Experience | 1 America Square, London EC3N 2LS
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1 America Square, Tower Hill, EC3N 2LS
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