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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Stream of Conscious Review: Hell Fest

I do love a good slasher film. The originals are always the best - Halloween, Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine, etc. When something is great, there are always imitators. There have been a lot of great imitators over the years, including Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Urban Legend, and others. A couple terrible ones come to mind as well. I'm looking at you, Prom Night and When a Stranger Calls remakes.

Hell Fest falls somewhere in between the great and the terrible. I guess you might say it's an acceptable entry into the slasher film genre. There's really not much depth here to dig into. Kids walking around a traveling Halloween fun park, talking smack to each other and making sexual jokes and advances towards each other. One by one, they all wander off alone and systematically get picked off by someone in a hoodie and mask.

I will say that the kills are rather brutal and graphic. Not much happens off-screen and nothing much is left to the imagination. There are definitely some scenes that will make you cringe and possibly look away. It might be enough visual bloodshed for those who don't really enjoy torture porn, but probably too little for true gorehounds.

I love to see Tony Todd working in the genre he's most known for. He doesn't get enough screen time in Hell Fest, but I'll take what I can get. He chews the scenery and uses the time he has to make an impact on the viewer as the ringleader of the traveling spook show.

As by-the-numbers as Hell Fest is in its basic plot, I do have to give it props for trying to do something different with the killer. Their "motivation" is quite a bit different from what we get normally in this type of film. Honestly, the ending is downright disturbing from a moral standpoint and left me feeling quite a bit down on humanity.

Hell Fest is rated R for horror violence, and language including some sexual references.

Hell Fest is available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital.