Hell Fest - Movie poster(2)

Saturday Frights: Hell Fest (Review)

Friends, we are just a couple of days into October and already the studios are releasing films to help get us all in the mood of the season. I will admit it’s hard to not feel the draw of heading to the theater to see a new entry in the slasher genre – especially when like in Hell Fest it takes place in an over the top horror theme park, much like Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios! Nor does it hurt when the characters in the movie are actually likeable and the film has some nods to various old school horror films like The Evil Dead and Tourist Trap. While Hell Fest feels old school, it’s not quite the throwback as presented in this particular trailer – however you can tell the filmmakers definitely wear their love of the genre on their sleeves.

[Via] Movieclips Indie

Another wise thing that the cast of Hell Fest and Director Gregory Plotkin remember to do with this new film is have some fun with it. With it’s spook house vibe it plays fast and heavy with the jump scares – as such an event does – at least at the beginning. The cast of college characters might be visiting the park for the express purpose to have the wits scared out of them – well – and also cut loose with the adult beverages being served. But when the true slasher element kicks in though it’s a brutal reminder of what type of movie you paid to see.
Hell Fest - Natalie and Friends

Speaking of that cast, first of all I totally have to say that I felt Bex-Taylor Klaus of The Killing and Scream: The TV Series fame steals the show. I’m not saying her fellow cast members aren’t delivering the goods, it is just that you’ll generally be paying attention to her character of Taylor. Although I should also mention that the esteemed Tony Todd has what amounts to a cameo and if you are fan of Candyman and his many other roles – you can certainly bet you will have a smile across your face when he is on screen!

Hell Fest - Tony Todd
Sweets to the Sweet.

Now let’s get into the story synopsis for Hell Night (MINOR SPOILERS)

The story proper starts with the arrival of Natalie (Amy Forsyth), the best friend of Brooke (Reign Edwards), it turns out that Natalie has been away to college. Her best friend is still residing at their old apartment and has taken on a new roommate, the gregarious Taylor. It sounds like the stress of college has been weighing heavily on Natalie, so much so that she may not have been able to make the trip. Which is why both Brooke and Taylor made plans to attend the Hell Fest with their boyfriends, Quinn (Christian James) and Asher (Matt Mercurio). Also planning to meet them at the event is Gavin (Roby Attal), who happens to have something of a crush on Natalie, and the feeling is mutual…plus he managed to snag them VIP passes so they won’t have to waste their night standing in lines.
Hell Fest - Natalie and Gavin

While these ‘wild’ college kids are at the event to party and celebrate their love of horror, there is another park goer who gets his kicks in another entirely and more deadly way. Like he has done before, the Other is there to satisfy his need to kill, and what better way to hide your actions than in a horror-themed park like Hell Fest? Which is bad timing for Natalie who catches the slasher’s eye, and soon this group of friends’ screams of laughter at the event become cries of fear as they are stalked through the park by the Other!
Hell Fest - The Other

Interestingly enough the actor who portrays the Other…is never credited. To be fair I’m not 100% sold on the mask design for the slasher although having said that, it was actually created by Tony Gardner – who just so happened to have designed masks for both Happy Death Day and Scream. The film definitely delivers on what you paid your money for, it also manages to surprise you here and there, not always following the standards of the genre.

Let me close out this review with stating that Hell Fest is a very fun film. One that appears to be getting savaged by critics and overshadowed by bigger budget releases, heck, Venom is coming out at the end of the week. So if you want to get out there and check the movie out on the big screen, see it the way it’s meant to be seen, you better get a move on. In addition the quality of the acting and the way the film was shot, the movie has the added bonus of featurning music by none other than Bear McCreary – turn out the lights and listen to the theme for yourself.

[Via] Various Artists

Friends, did you know that three of the Six Flags theme parks are featuring attractions based on Hell Fest?

If your local park does happen to feature the event…just keep an eye out for the Other, okay?


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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