Hell Fest (2018) Poster

(2018)

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6/10
It was decent
georgemjs3 October 2018
Pro - -> Liked the premise in a theme/scare park -> The villain has a frightening presence, great mask -> Filled with action from the beginning

Con - -> Didn't care about any of the characters/potential victims -> Very little clarity about the killer and his motivations -> Was too predictable

I think it is worth a watch for horror fans, better as a rental than seeing it in the cinema.
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8/10
Cool retro horror
darylanders28 September 2018
I probably can't add much more here, but I felt I had to step in to push aside the haters. I love a good slasher flick and this film really hits the spot! Great costume design and soundtrack too! Highly recommended.
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6/10
Hell Fest (2018)
rockman1821 October 2018
I felt like this film should have came out in October but close enough I guess. I actually really liked the trailer for this. Amusement park themed horrors have a lot of potential. They don't happen that often but they can be so much fun. Look at The Funhouse, that's a solid horror film. Anyways, I wanted to satisfy the horror itch with this slasher. Overall, its not the greatest thing ever but it was a fun flick. It shows off the horror themed park very well and has enough action to keep it afloat for an hour an a half.

The film is about a group of friends who get VIP tickets to a traveling amusement park named Hell Fest. The horror theme park has levels of madness where the scares increase if the visitor dares to go there. Unbeknownst to the group a deranged masked killer sneaks into the park and starts stalking the group namely the lead character, Natalie. Its hard for the group to decipher what is real and what isn't as everything in the park is filled with scares and attacks.

I thought the visuals of the park were nice. You feel like you are actually vicariously living through the park and the scares. There are bright lights, creative monsters, and rides, its all very atmospheric. The character's are terrible. Some are underdeveloped and others are just super annoying. You root for the killer in all honesty. The film has a lot of cheap expected scares and at times skimps on the gore. I was okay with that because slasher's of the past sometimes feel that way.

This is not going to be a super memorable slasher film but I do appreciate the theme of the film and was satisfied enough with the end product. The Hell Fest slasher killer doesn't exactly have a great presence and he falls into regular horror killer tropes but I was entertained with this mindless flick. Its what was needed. A decent enough intro into this upcoming month of horror.

6.5/10
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7/10
IT'S A SLASHER FLICK, WHAT WERE YOU EXPECTING??!
gerimease3 October 2018
This movie was entertaining enough for what it is... a slasher flick. I'm not sure slasher type movies would ever earn 10 stars because there's usually not much acting, just a lot of screaming and running. LOL.

HellFest was a good flick to see in the theater. The misleads were fun, the graphics and style reminded me of 80's horror. You don't expect to see an Academy Award winning movie, you expect to have fun. And this was a fun ride.

I would recommend seeing this movie if you like campy, fun, slasher-horror movies. Not sure why it would only get 1-2 stars,...you saw the trailer and knew what to expect for the most part.
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5/10
Great set and costume design, but Average to Mediocre Horror
pcytoman28 September 2018
First let me start off, the set design and costumes were amazing. Some of the horror mazes in Hell Fest were extremely creepy. Unfortunately, the plot is a typical generic slasher movie, full of cliches. Nothing really original about this movie. I found two of the characters to be obnoxious and I was waiting for them to be dispatched by the killer. This is the kind of movie where you just turn off your brain and just go with it.
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3/10
Not a good movie and not bad enough to be worth recommending.
leflues5 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I saw Hell Fest and I have to say it was pretty disappointing overall. It had a few decent suspenseful moments (the scene with the stopped rail cart) but overall it was kind of a slog and I was ready for it to be over when it was.

The characters are pretty much all one dimensional. The killer has no motivation which isn't out of the ordinary for a slasher film so it leaves you not rooting for the college kids or the villain. I will say I was really looking to the blonde eccentric girl to get killed so I was definitely leaning on the killers side at points.

So whats the most fun part of a dumb slasher movie? The deaths. Problem is 3 out of the 5 are purely just simple stabs to the stomach. One of the boyfriend characters who's name I didn't learn got a syringe through the eye which will make you a little squeamish but nothing special and the awkward good guy character gets his head crushed by a giant bell mallet which was definitely the most interesting although a bit contrived with his head perfectly placed on the spot where the mechanism makes the bell rise to the top. Still kinda funny and I'm sure if you freeze frame on his head it'll look really terrible.

The blonde girl almost had a neat guillotine death but it fakes you out with it not actually cutting her head off but only slicing the back of her neck and he begins to wind it up again to try to behead her but through the killer's pure incompetence she somehow manages to free her neck, back, and both hands without the killer noticing what she was doing. I was actually pretty upset with this.

The ending face off between the two remaining girls and the killer were a little bit tense but there were plenty of little annoying things like one of them getting a jump on him and attacking but just giving up and running as soon as hes on the ground. There's also a scene where he butts her in the face with the blunt end of an ax but decides not to kill her for no reason. She manages to recover from this hit and somehow gets into an area where she can save her friend right before she's about to be killed. The cops finally arrive, the park staff finally cut the lights on to the place and he of course escapes with his stab wound.

The ending reveals that he goes home after his fun night out and it's revealed he has a daughter and..... yeah. I guess he's just a normal dad who enjoys going out and killing kids in his spare time so there's that.

I could maybe give this movie a 3 but definitely not more than that. (I changed it to a 3)
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5/10
Not bad but nothing special
soowooo1729 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Any time you make a slasher movie, i think it's important to have the audience root for the potential victims. Unfortunately, they are so damn unlikeable in this film that was cheering the villian. The girl with the short blonde hair especially - probably one of the most annoying characters I've ever seen.

The set up is good. There's some nice cinematography and the festival itself looks great but after about 45 minutes of the same old stuff it starts to get stale.

There is not much tension here. There's very few scares. The villain seems to be supernatural but it's not really said (no back story for any of the characters is given).

The ending is especially bad. It's about as cliche as it gets and potentially sets up a sequel. Not something I'll be seeing if there is one.
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4/10
Nothing special
decarloj29 September 2018
Been looking forward to this one for months, and was sadly disappointed. It was obviously intended to be a throwback to the 80s slasher, except, 80s slashers exploited their campiness, whereas this movie actually tries to take itself seriously. All the characters were the same. There was no jock, no slut, no stoner, just six plain people that you didn't really care about. There was also a lot of slow parts, which should never happen with a slasher. If you want to see a true 80s throwback set in a haunted attraction, I recommend Funhouse Massacre instead.
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7/10
Hell Fest may be a typical, slasher, but it's haunt and park imagery is really cool and atmospheric
RforFilm1 October 2018
October is upon us again! This means that along with the beautiful autumn colors that emerge, the spooky season of Halloween also returns. Along with the jack o' lanterns, fun size candy, and parities, this is also when the often popular haunts come to town. These haunts cater to those that want something genuinely scary, as if they've stepped into their favorite horror movies...without the serial killers of course. I've only been to a few and have had more laughs then fears. This is because I more appreciate the haunts in a similar way a stage show is pulled off.

So why are there dedicated fans that keep going further with mazes where they tough you (yes, they can do that)? Again, it's a part of the Halloween atmosphere that a part of the escapism people desire. We already know were going to survive the night, but we love to see if our internal suspension of disbelief can activate and put us in the fear we want. I can understand it can be too intense for a lot of people, but again, it's all a part of the season. It's nice to see a movie like Hell Fest to set a slasher within a haunt park.

A young college student Natalie (Played by Amy Forsyth) is visiting her former roommate Brooke (played by Reign Edwards) and classmate Taylor (played by Bex Taylor-Klaus). Not only are they going to the haunt park Hell Fest, but their meeting up with friends, including Gavin (played by Robby Attal) who got everyone V.I.P. passes (which means no line waiting). Along with the various people coming in, they see that Hell Fest of full of scare actors, several mazes to explore and even an entire land called "the Deadlands" where the actors are allowed to touch and go further with their scares.

The problem? An unnamed person enters the park and into the mazes and starts randomly killing off guests. Our heroes don't see anything wrong until this guy acquires a mask and starts to stalk them around. At first they dismiss him as a really good actor, but when friends start disappearing, they got more uneasy. Even when they try talking to security (who tells them that he can arrest someone for doing their job), they don't seem to have a lot of options. The further they get to the Deadlands, the more they feel like they've descended into hell.

So by reading this, you can already tell that Hell Fest follows a lot of slasher tropes that we've seen before; the group of college kids, unresponsive authority, walking along somewhere, killer with a mask, and such. This will definitely not appeal to those looking for a new kind of horror movie (like Hereditary). This seems to be more proud that it's trying to be a typical slasher. Because of that, I didn't mind it. A lot of it has to do with it's setting and atmosphere.

Hell Fest is full of theme park-like Halloween imagery that looks really cool. I was afraid they would try to pull off haunt mazes that only Hollywood effects teams were capable of. Instead, each maze has the right balance of over the top gory, but also over the top fakery. This feels like something that would be built at Knott's Berry Farm or Universal Studios. Part of me really wants to visit this place...without the killing of course. Even the scare actors seems spot on with some coming up to them at random points, and some in full makeup hosting scary shows about guillotines.

Story is minimal as the what's served is an excuse to show off the park. The main actors like Amy Forsyth and Bex Taylor-Klaus do fine in their parts. Their interesting enough that we'd want to visit the park with them. Even when they are eventually chased by the killer (I swear, I don't even think they gave him a name), we do want to see them survive. Also like a lot of slashers, without giving anything away, it does tease for a potential sequel in a trope manner we've seen before. I'd, however, would love to see this continue.

I'll give this seven tickets to Knott's Scary Farm out of ten. Hell Fest may be a typical slasher, but it's so atmospheric, that those that have been to these haunts will probably like it fine. It's hard to phrase it or be critical as it's also short, running no more then eighty-five minutes. It's a fun watch. So see it and understand it's all a prt of the show.
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3/10
Good concept, poor execution.
rrlockhead29 September 2018
While the idea of the movie is cool, it just becomes a by the numbers horror movie. Characters make bad decisions, lazy jump scares, subpar acting, and worst of all, it's not scary. The sets are nice though.
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7/10
A great throwback slasher
Werewolf_Reaper4 October 2018
When I saw the trailer it immediately reminded me of a throwback to the 70s 80s slasher films of before with a new age twist and my impressions were correct.

The story revolves around a group friends attending a huge event called hellfest on Halloween. A serial killer who has killed before at hellfest returns and targets them slowly stalking and killing his way towards his prey.

Its not super original but again its more of a simplistic throwback like Halloween (1978)

By far the best actor in the movie is Bex Taylor Klaus she carries this movie with her energy and solid acting chops. Tony Todd is reliable as always. I thought Christian James did a good job as well. The cast has some qwerky dialogue which is a nice touch helps the characters feel more realistic but they re under developed and more simple like again in friday the 13th or halloween.

The film starts a bit rough after the intro but gets its bearings and becomes stronger as it intensifies and by the end its on point. The color palette is very Argentoesque and the environment is great. While it does have pop up scares its expected with the haunted rides and houses.

The very end of the film is ok. It should have stopped 2 mins before it did and it would ve been better but I understand what they were going for.

While other critics may crap on this movie like Chris Stuckmann did I think its misplaced or they came in with expectations that were far too high for this horror film. Im a huge film buff and horror fan and I think overall this film knew what it was and didnt try to be anything different.

Its a solid film and for those expecting a fun ride enjoy hellfest. For those expecting a citizen kane or exorcist level horror film probably skip this one
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8/10
This movie is BADASS
PeterRoeder27 September 2018
Woaw what can I say? This movie is awesome. It felt like a great return to 80s horror. This is a spoilerfree review so I will just say this is a great horror movie which really takes the genre seriously. Everything about the movie is weird and suspenseful in a way that is neat and cool in horror movies. Also it introduces a new kind of monster and has loads of subliminal and highly intelligent themes. Truly the dream of any true horror fan. The movie is a sort of quality version of The Houses October Built and unlike 90s horror like Scream this movie takes the horror genre seriously.
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1/10
Boring, scareless and overall lazy
alanhavelka27 September 2018
Please, do not watch this movie. The only positive thing about this film is the set design. The rest is absolutely lazy filmmaking full of jumpscares and dialogue which sounds as if it came from someone who never spoke to a different human being. It ruined a decent premise and is just a huge waste of time. Please do not watch this piece of dull garbage.
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7/10
A Hell Of A Good Time
rgkarim28 September 2018
It's that time of the year again, the leaves are changing, the air is becoming crisper and cooler, and the sounds of blood curling screams can be heard in the air. Yes, it's Halloween time and with it comes tonight's review on the latest Horror movie to grace the silver screen. Tonight, looks to be a joyful slasher film, where MTV meets thriller as a group of teens try to take on some lunatic force once more. Yes, it's time for Hell Fest, and yours truly is here to give you some thoughts on your movie going pleasures. Let's get started!

Movie: Hell Fest (2018)

Director: Gregory Plotkin Writers: Seth M. Sherwood (screenplay by), Blair Butler (screenplay by) Stars: Bex Taylor-Klaus, Reign Edwards, Amy Forsyth

LIKES:

Acting: Not award winning, but still okay, the teenage cast of Hell Fest may be slightly annoying, but the direction and acting have led to characters seemingly likeable. While not much past screaming and acting like teenagers, the group gets applause for making me believe in their terror and being the teenagers, they were designed to be.

Surprises: It's a straightforward movie, but Hell Fest did it's best to keep you on your toes as to what would happen. A blend of fake outs and take outs, the thrills will keep rearing their ugly heads in the 90-minute run time. As such, you'll be happy with trying to get an idea who will not survive the night, so kudos to that.

Fast Pace: A predictable movie like this needs to have as many antics going for it to make it worth the trip. Fortunately, the pace is fast, ever moving, and loaded with enough gimmicks to keep you entertained for the already lower run-time. So those with short attention spans should be okay on this aspect.

Funny: Face it, the stereotypes today can be very humorous if relevant or poked at in just the right manner. Hell, Fest accomplishes this tasks, making sure to work their charm into the movie to help alleviate the stress of the horror. A clever pun, good delivery of lines, and some well-time jokes are balanced well into this mix.

The Setting: My favorite aspect of the movie though is the special effect work, more so in regards to making the world come to life. Hell Fest's prop department really brought the themed event to full life in all its terrifying glory. The mazes are impressively detailed, a variety of themes to please most fans of the scary theme park ordeals. Wardrobe accomplished their task of making a beautiful display of nightmarish costumes, again in a variety of styles to play on the fears of the main characters, extras, and the audience. As for the sound effects and light shows that Hell Fest has, again, it's an impressive piece of work that integrates you into the experience first hand, and perhaps the most fun aspect of the movie.

DISLIKES:

More Character Development: I know I expect too much from this genre or type of movie, but a little more background information, depth, or something else would have been nice to see in this movie. Our crew is having fun with you, but a little more resourcefulness and brains, or some personality could have helped hook me into caring about the characters a little more. As I said, it's MTV looks, but a little more internal work is in order.

Predictable: The movie doesn't try to deviate too much from the linear presentation it tries to throw. The trailers have presented the movie well, but sadly the linearity and unoriginality don't win it points for a higher score. If you just want the straight and narrow though, you've got a real winner in this film again.

Trailers reveal too much: Yep, you heard right, the movies once again suffer from too much advertising. Hell Fest had much revealed in the confines of the public messaging service, and if you have seen enough commercials, you're going to lose the magic this movie wants to bring. Because of this the predictability goes up and the scares go down. Speaking of which...

Not Scary At All: Because of the ludicrous presentation of the teens, edging back on the scares, and the trailers, the movie is actually not that fear inducing. Yes, the villain is certainly creepy, the camera work helping a lot on this and there are some cringe worthy kills. However, Hell Fest relies too much on the jump scares, with obvious set up and ploys so deliberately laid out that one would have a hard time trying to ignore it. Nevertheless, this movie is not going to be much for the fans of the truly terrifying, and most likely worth a skip.

The VERDICT:

Overall, Hell Fest is a fun installment into the horror genre that brings laughs and cheap thrills to the mix. While there are certainly creepy aspects to the film and the setting/costumes are perfect for creating the place where horror and fun come together, it lacks that bite that good horror movies know how to execute. Still, it is a fun experience and worth checking out as a group, but if you really want the nightmare inducing thrills and the nightmare inducing images, this movie most likely won't creep you out.

My scores are:

Horror: 7.0-7.5 Movie Overall: 6.5
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2/10
More like Snooze Fest
ivyvine8730 September 2018
This movie was boring and slow and never delivered. The kills were all super predictable and not inventive. I'm a huge fan of the horror genre and I wouldn't even rent this one when it comes out at Redbox, that's how bad it was. You never expect Oscar winning performance when it comes to horror but this gave me more of a badly made Netflix B title movie vibe. You keep expecting it to pick up and get more exciting or scary and it never does. The idea of it had so much potential but it fell completely flat. This was a huge missed opportunity. The only reason I didn't give it 1 star is that they had a good idea for the ending although it was poorly executed as well. To sum it up - save your money and rent it later so you won't be upset you wasted your money.
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3/10
I really want my hour and a half back...
doeman8729 September 2018
So much of this movie seems like a film about your stereotypical group of teenage friends, acting like stereotypical teenagers gossiping and running around a horror nights theme park. There's so much wasted time and NONE of it is entertaining. I almost walked out of the theater because the "teenage talk" was getting on my nerves. By the middle of the movie, I was begging for a body count.

Whatever positives I originally wanted to relay here, I won't now. They are far and few between and I'd be unintentionally swaying whomever ends up reading this review to possibly give the movie a try. Don't. It's not worth your precious time. Watch something else.
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7/10
Decent Modern Slasher
GaryKurt1011 October 2018
There's really nothing to write home about with Hell Fest. It gets the job done, but just barely. It's just a little bit smarter/scarier/more interesting than most of these films, but just enough to get an E for effort.

If Hell Fest has anything going for it, it's the cast. There are fairly likable people instead of the usual shrill stereotypes one usually sees in these movies. I did root for them and that's not something I can say for a lot of modern horror films.

Some of the effects are pretty decent including one incredibly nasty piece of Fulci-esque eye trauma, but something does feel a bit uninspired about most of the murder set pieces and, since the story itself is nothing special, it might have helped to get a bit more creative with these scenes.

While there are isolated moments of tension throughout, Hell Fest is never truly scary or shudder inducing. The killer's get up doesn't help things much. It's just not very haunted and scary. This might dull things a bit.

If Hell Fest stands out for anything, it's the unorthodox ending that might have a lot of people scratching their heads. It's certainly an interesting choice and one that might get people thinking.
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7/10
Not bad
piggulu30 September 2018
Honestly enjoyable. The premise isn't wholly unique, and eventually you just want the killer to hurry up and start piling up the bodies, but it was fun watching the main characters go through the theme park and at many time you may feel that you're actually going through a haunted house/maze as well.

But the movie is almost exclusively just jump scares, with little tense or suspenseful moments, and towards the end it falls into the pitfalls/tropes of the genre (he killed our friends so let's just give him a quick tap on the head and keep on running!) You can't help but shake your head and reminisce about the first Scary Movie while watching this.

Overall, it did surpass expectations and was entertaining.
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1/10
Horribleness
anamaka7028 September 2018
Such a low budget predictable movie. Bad acting, poor storyline, not worth a minute of your time. Feels like they had around $50 to spend on a movies for Halloween so they decided to bring that ugly story alive. AVOID AVOID AVOID!!!!
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8/10
Not the greatest slasher ever made, but definitely entertaining
jwwalrath-227-8548728 September 2018
It's nice to see a couple of new slashers this year. Yeah, I know horror can't be stagnant and has to change. However, it's fun just to sit back and enjoy the simplicity of people just trying fend off some guy who is trying to kill them.

Hell Fest isn't the greatest slasher ever made. It doesn't reinvent anything and the story is rather basic. Still, it is very entertaining.

The movie follows the characters as they flee the titular horror-themed amusement park, which is the true star of this film. You don't mind the scenes that don't have the killer or action in it, because the place is so much fun. I'm surprised at the amount of production that went into this. This isn't the case of a small area and the characters having to run through attractions introduced earlier in the film. Every location is new. Every employee costume is new. All the scares are new. Hell Fest, the park not the film, truly feels like a true amusement park one could step into. (Alright, the bathrooms are immaculate, but that's the only difference.)

Director Gregory Plotkin was originally an editor and it shows in his eye for the audiovisuals. Cinematography and music are really strong here.

The scares don't stand out too much. (Though there are a couple pretty good kills here.) But it is pretty thrilling. Although there isn't anything too original about the killer, a guy in a mask and a hoodie, the movie does a good job of portraying him as dangerous and cunning. Instead of having him just pop up, the film follows him and one can only watch with apprehension as he stalks the cast. (You do wonder why he never runs into staff when he sneaks backstage, but it is a minimal issue.) The fact that he can blend in so calmly is pretty unnerving.

The story is bare bones. The main character's major problem is that she's been drifting away from her friend, which is only second to the dead relative cliche. The dialogue is basic. (The exhibition at the beginning is pretty weak.) But, once they're hanging around the amusement park, I didn't care. The actors were clearly having fun and one would like to hang with them.

Overall, I really enjoyed myself.

P.S. Blair Butler contributed to the script. Remember her? She used to appear on G4. She'd guest host sometimes on X-Play or Olivia Munn's Attack of the Show. Anyone? It's not just me right? Anyone? Anyone?
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4/10
Bore Fest
patrickbivona3 January 2019
Simple Review: Very boring for a slasher film, and not creative or original. Creators were more focused on the haunted house aspect, rather than the actual story/killings.
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8/10
Enjoy this movie
kayley_orebaugh6 October 2018
Although this is not the BEST slasher film I've ever seen by a long shot, it was such a a fun ride for a slasher fan like me. I enjoyed every second of this movie. I laughed a ton, at the dad-joke humor, and at the very obvious hints at classic horror films. I thought the movie was going one way and I was wrong, and I liked that. I really enjoyed the gore in this movie because it wasn't over the top, but it was still there, and it was still good enough to make me smile. And like I said, I laughed a ton, because I had a great time watching this movie. Yes, the up-tight critics say this movie has no character development/plot/story. But that's exactly what made me love this movie so much. Hell Fest is a breath of fresh air amongst all the disappointing "scary" movies of my generation. I had a smile on my face during the entire 90 minutes of this film, and in today's standards of "slasher" films, this one guarantees a good time.
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8/10
Pleasantly Surprised
ramsb-1743812 October 2018
You know I wasn't expecting too much from this film. It's my B-day so I ALWAYS drag my non-horror fan wife to see a horror flick. She will only do it on my B-day. And this Movie was all I had to choose from.

This flick was pretty well written and the actors were decent. I enjoyed it. A good throwback to the 80s slasher movies. And with a twist as the plot was intriguing with the haunted houses and the human props who unbeknownst to the haunted house goers were actually murdered individuals by this insane psychopath.

Definitely a must see for old school slasher fans :)
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10/10
old but new, liked it a lot!
Psy-Ko28 September 2018
Just got home from seeing it. I love thursday night early showings! Got to see it without a crowd. I'm a seasoned horror fan so the fact this didn't scare me doesn't mean anything. Not much scares me. The fact that the suspense and tension were felt throughout and kept me wanting to see what happens next, thats a good accomplishment. I was pretty impressed with this flick.

A great addition to the slasher genre, I hope there are sequels. I don't want to give anything away but will say it had a great 80s/90s slasher feel to it, I loved some of the tropes included, it made if fun. It does start off a little slow but once it takes off you're in for a hell of a ride!
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9/10
You'll expect jump scares and get a few, but you don't expect the genuine suspense
bob_meg9 February 2019
Theme park based horror films have been around for a while, and the only one I can recall being remotely creepy was Tobe Hooper's The FunHouse back in the '80s. It's a tough thing to pull off as the nature of the plot is already so saturated in fake frights that when then real ones come around, they seldom provide much shock value. Until Gregory Plotkin's "Hell Fest," that is.

Plotkin, a seasoned cutter (most notably for Jordan Peele's innovative if not completely fresh Get Out) is no studio schlep. He understands suspense and how to build it effectively. Most of the standard schlock is turned on it's head here... odd and difficult to pull off considering it's basically a slasher film. It's Old School in ways most younger directors couldn't comprehend. Plot points are dashed around like bread crumbs and arc gracefully through the entire length of the film... not just relating to story but characters, as well.

Another anomaly for the genre... you actually like and root for these characters, yet that's not accomplished through brilliant dialogue, but by the naturalistic, flawed, vulnerable aspects these actors embody so genuinely (most notably Amy Forsyth, who brings nearly as much heft to what should be a Damsel in Distress role as Jamie Lee Curtis did in Halloween '78). You can actually picture these kids having lives outside of the world of Hell Fest because they allude to their foibles instead of merely reverting to hysterical meltdowns. It's a nice ensemble cast.

As many people have mentioned, the sound design in Hell Fest is particularly fresh, subtle, and very disturbing (the Dolby Atmos mix is one of the first uses of the technology that I've heard that doesn't draw attention to itself yet almost makes the movie).

Every time you think you know what will happen... it sort of does, yet doesn't. Plotkin consistently confounds you, giving his generic masked killer stronger undertones of sadism than anything else, preferring to toy with his victims long before he butchers them. Lots of these scares you see coming... for minutes.... and they STILL work. It's the old Hitchcock "bomb under the table" scenario... it's much more terrifying because you see it coming and our heroes don't.

Why Hell Fest hasn't gotten more notice (outside of a really terrific notice from Mike Mazzanti of Film Stage is both mystifying and depressing. It's definitely a genre film, and you have to love horror to really get into. But for those of you who enjoy being played like a broken down piano in a crumbling hall of mirrors, you won't regret taking this ride.
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