Hell Fest (2018)

hell fest poster 2018 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

The park seems unrealistically cool, throw-back slasher horror

Generic horror

Movie Info

Movie Name: Hell Fest

Studio:  CBS Films/Tucker Tooley Entertainment/Valhalla Motion Pictures

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s):  September 28, 2018

MPAA Rating: R

hell fest killer amy forsythe

What happens in Hell Fest stays in Hell Fest

Natalie (Amy Forsyth) is headed home to visit her friend Brooke (Reign Edwards) and learns Brooke has a surprise for her.  Brooke has scored tickets to the popular travelling horror festival Hell Fest and Natalie’s crush Gavin (Roby Attal) is going as well.  Unfortunately, Natalie learns alone time with Gavin might be limited with Brooke’s boyfriend Quinn (Christian James), Brooke’s roommate Taylor (Bex Taylor-Klaus), and Taylor’s boyfriend Asher (Matt Mercurio) also coming to Hell Fest.  There is also another danger in Hell Fest…someone called “The Other” who isn’t part of the attraction and the Other is deadly…the Other wants Natalie.

Directed by Gregory Plotkin, Hell Fest is a horror slasher film.  The film was released to mixed to negative reviews and a modest box office return.

Hell Fest was a blind watch.  You see a movie pop-up, and you watch the pop-up movie.  I went into with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised when it was slightly better than average.  Hell Fest is no revolutionary film, but it does feel like a more authentic throwback to classic slashers.  Due to some story aspects, a ******spoiler alert****** is in effect.

hell fest bex taylor klaus tony todd

I’m funny and fun…which pretty much means I’m dead

The story is set in a horror theme park so the level of reality is already blurred.  People aren’t willing to believe the character when things start going wrong and many think it is all part of the ambiance of the park.  As expected, the horror all ends up in a maze at the park where the survivors have to use the surroundings to fight back or blend in.  It isn’t the most creative and much of the sets could have been designed better for more scares.  The movie takes a path you expect, but it is kind of pleasant to have a non-ironic or self-away slasher horror movie in a post-Scream world.

The cast is the normal horror-movie cast.  They are young and shiny.  Amy Forsythe isn’t bad as the lead, but she also doesn’t particularly stand out.  The same can be said of “best friend” Reign Edwards or Matt Mercuior or Christian James.  Bex Taylor-Klaus is “the fun one” but already had a name from shows like Scream and Arrow.  Horror legend Tony Todd has a small role and I do admire that aspects like “the boy that the girl likes” (aka Roby Attal) is quickly dispatched instead of the characters being brought together through terror.

hell fest murderer slasher other

Come out, come out where ever you are!

I do have to say that I want to go to Hell Fest.  The set-up and design of the park itself is quite cool (if not completely unrealistic for a travelling festival that takes up acres of land which needs to be set-up to house the festival.  The actual mazes aren’t anything special, but the park seems fun.

Hell Fest is a rather generic movie, but there is something kind of wholesome in the clichés.  Unlike something that feels really aware of itself, you get a bunch of kids in a horror amusement park that aren’t sure where the blurred line between fun, horror, and reality is.  Hell Fest is no great film, but I would welcome a return to the park…I just hope they get a bit more creative with it.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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