On the way into this movie, Hayley and I stopped at the concessions stand to get something to drink. We talked to the lady working behind the counter and she said that she heard a lot of people comparing this movie to Michael Myers. Now, I wouldn’t go that far to say this movie is reminiscent of “Halloween.” I lowkey find that offensive. This movie is nowhere close to the menacing character of Michael Myers or any of his movies. Yes, this movie is a straight up slasher but nothing iconic like Michael Myers. With that said, I actually liked this movie. I came into this movie with zero expectations and that is the best way to go into this movie. Alrighty, let’s get into the review.
“Hell Fest” opens with a group of friends at a haunted house a few years back. The group of girls end up getting split after a scare and the girl who is all alone runs into the killer. She asks, “You’ve been following me all night, what do you want?” Well, I guess to kill you girl soooo maybe don’t talk to the creepy masked man? Just a thought. Anyways, she ends up getting killed and we get a glimpse of the killer’s shoes. I’m sure that won’t come into play later on in the movie, right? Then we flash forward to present day. Let me break down the group for you real quick.
- Natalie is the main chick. She is away at college and is having a hard time. She’s been kind of flakey lately and no one knew she would come. (the innocent, sad girl)
- Brooke is Natalie’s best friend. They have some necklaces that they wear to peer pressure each other into doing stuff. She’s clearly much more outgoing than Natalie, but she is also not the brightest (more on that later). By outgoing I mean she likes to show off her body, these characters aren’t that deep. (the pretty girl)
- Taylor is Brooke’s roommate and apparently Natalie’s archnemesis. Not sure why, but they hate each other. Taylor is very much the clown of the group. She will do anything for attention, even get murdered?? (the class clown)
- Quinn or Q is Brooke’s boyfriend. That’s basically it. (boyfriend #1)
- Asher is Taylor’s boyfriend. He’s kind of a douche. (boyfriend #2)
- Gavin is friends with Quinn and Asher. Most importantly, he is Natalie’s crush. (crush)
The dialogue in this movie is cringy at best. It is clearly written by old people trying to sound like young people. All that kids these days talk about is sex, right? Give me a break. So, they go to Hell Fest. Natalie doesn’t seem to want to go, but Gavin is going to be there so what’s a girl to do? The weird thing about Hell Fest is that some people get real confused and mad when they get scared. There was a legit line that went something like: “Why do all these people keep scaring me?” Girl, are you okay? You do realize that you LITERALLY paid money to be scared, right? It was so weird. The other problem I have is with the haunted houses and how the group we follow interact with them. I’ve been to a few haunted houses in my day and NEVER have I stopped and touched shit and took pictures and what not. It was so weird, they legit were just in one room looking around and touching the props. There never really seemed to be other people walking into the haunted attractions despite a clearly packed park. Maybe Hell Fest wants you to stop and analyze and touch things, who am I to say?
As the gang explores the park, we see the killer enter Hell Fest. They made it a little too obvious that this was the killer. The music changed, the camera angle focused on the back of his head, and we even saw the same shoes from earlier! This guy really needs to switch up his killing attire. Upon entering the park, the killer walks by a snow cone cart where he swipes the biggest knife I’ve ever seen. Not only was it obvious that he took the knife, but it almost looked like the guy working the cart handed it to him. With a knife in hand, the killer sets out to find a victim. It seems to me that there are some key pieces to this killer’s motive. 1. He likes girls with long brownish hair. 2. He hates when people aren’t scared. Anytime this killer encounters someone who is like “Dude, you aren’t scary!” we see him ball up his fist like the Arthur memes.
His first victim of the night is chased into a haunted house that the main gang is walking through. The girl being chased begs them for help and when they don’t do anything, she hides. The killer comes in looking for the victim and Natalie’s ol’ bitch ass is like “duhhh she’s over there.” The killer drags the girl out and Natalie eggs him on to kill her. So, the killer kills and Natalie gets a little freaked out. YOU BETTA BE FREAKED OUT! YOU JUST KILLED THAT GIRL! From then on, the killer follows our gang and messes with them. One by one the gang gets got. Starting with Gavin.
Gavin was just trying to steal a toy for his crush when he got got by the killer, who proceeds to take Gavin’s phone and figures out where the rest of the crew is. Everyone else is waiting in line to enter ‘The Deadlands’ which is the scariest part of Hell Fest. No one seems to be that concerned that Gavin is taking a long time to get back to them expect Natalie. She continues texting Gavin, leading the killer straight to them. So, they get into ‘The Deadlands’ and the boys and girls go into different haunted houses. This leads to Asher dying next. How, you may ask? Well by getting stabbed in the eye with a real syringe that was amongst the props. Wow! This killer is getting real lucky with these weapons. Quinn and Asher went in together, but only Quinn exits. Q explains that Asher is just taking forever or got lost in the haunted house. Everyone seems to be fine and dandy with that and moves on. As they discuss what to do next, Natalie gets squirted on by some monster and decides to clean up in the bathroom. THIS IS THE LONGEST AND MOST UNNECESSARY SCENE. It starts with Natalie and Brooke chatting in the bathroom while Natalie cleans up. Brooke leaves (fake friend) and Natalie finds gunk in her hair and decides to wash AND blow dry her hair (gotta look good for Gavin boyyyy). During this blow dry scene, the killer touches her hair while she has her eyes closed (spooky!). Then Natalie decides she has to go to the bathroom. So we watch her sit on the toilet and text Gavin. As soon as she texts him, another phone dings because the killer has Gavin’s phone. She doesn’t care until she sends the next text and is like hmmm that’s weird. Boom! Chase scene with her and the killer ensue. After this close encounter in the bathroom, Natalie and Brooke tell security. Since this is a horror movie, the security guard is completely worthless and just kind of shrugs and walks away. As the besties exit the bathroom, they find out that Taylor has volunteered to be on stage for some kind of “performance.” Basically, it’s a fake scare. We think that Taylor is going to get her head chopped off, but nah it was just a dummy. She’s still the in the guillotine straps and the real killer appears and tries to chop of her head off for real this time. However, this guillotine is boo boo and after the first attempt Taylor still has her head and just a small cut on her neck. She ends up escaping and running into the crowd for help. The killer follows and kills her and Quinn with that one-two combo. This causes mass panic and everyone in the park books it.
The final chase scene ensues. Brooke and Natalie are running with the crowd away from this killer. Over the loudspeaker it is announced that the park is closing and that everyone should make their way to the exits. Instead of following the rest of the crowd, Brooke looks up and says, “Look! The exit!” Wrong! It’s the final haunted house: HELL. First off, if that was the exit wouldn’t everyone be rushing towards it? Second, it literally had a huge banner that read: “Welcome to Hell.” If Brooke would have just said “Let’s hide in there,” I would have given her a pass. Anyways. The killer follows them into the haunted house, finds a real axe inside, and jams the door forcing the girls to walk through. As the girls are running through the haunted house, they find out that each room is triggered by this big ass, blinding neon green light. Really? This is the last haunted house in Hell Fest and it is all triggered by a neon green light in the entrance of each doorway? I would need my money back. As they walk through the house, the girls try to find a weapon to fight back with. Natalie literally says, “They’re all fake!” I would hope so! I wouldn’t be going into a haunted house with real ass weapons lying on the table. The killer must have just been real lucky with finding all the real ones. The chase continues. The killer is able to corner Brooke and is about to kill her when Natalie comes out of nowhere and gets the jump on him. The killer is bleeding and lying on the floor, presumably dead. The girls get away and are greeted with cops. They tell them where the bad guy is and what would you know, the killer is gone!
The end shows the killer coming home. He puts away his mask with all of his other trophies from previous years in the garage. As he enters the living room, he is greeted with his daughter asking for what he brought home. The killer is never revealed and blends back into society as a Regular Joe. THE END.
Overall, I liked this movie. I would probably watch it again. It is just a dumb slasher movie with one-dimensional characters. After watching a movie like “Hereditary,” it’s nice to get a little palate cleanser with “Hell Fest.” There are some flaws, like the cringey dialogue, the long ass scenes, and the killer finding all of the real weapons. But it was still fun to watch. Hayley and I were planning on going to the haunted house in the mall after the movies, but they were closed. It probably would’ve made the haunted house even more terrifying, so “Hell Fest” did its job.
This movie relies on jump scares. This makes sense since it set at a theme park full of haunted houses. Some of these haunted houses were lame, but it was cool to walk through them with the group. Most of the scares didn’t really work for me. One example is the roller coaster scene. The group have to ride a mini roller coaster in order to get to ‘The Deadlands.’ At this point, the killer has been harassing them and killed Gavin. While everyone is paired up into their carts, Natalie is all alone. It’s an awkward scene of the movie because it just has long scenes of the couples making out. Then the roller coaster stops and Natalie sees the guy that’s been following her all night. She’s trying to get out and screaming for help. The next scene shows Natalie’s cart coming out. She’s covering her face and the dude is just sitting on the front of the cart facing her, with the most perfect posture I have ever scene. It turns out that the employees in ‘The Deadlands’ has this mask on and it wasn’t really the killer hitching a ride with her. It could have been a cool scene, but seeing the guy just sit like that made it hilarious. It made me wonder how long he had to sit like that. Natalie couldn’t have thought it was the killer the whole time, since he wasn’t trying to kill her.
The scares could have been better in the last haunted house, but the whole thing being animatronic kind of killed it for me. I know that the park was evacuating at the time, which could explain why there wasn’t any employees in the house at the time. But it didn’t seem like this house was using a lot of real actors. If it is supposed to be THE house of the entire theme park, it should be good. If it was a little scarier, it would have made the final chase scene better.
Overall, the scares were mediocre. It was what you expected it to be, which I guess can be said about the entire movie.
I don’t think the acting was that bad. I think that the actors did the best they could with a trash ass script. It just seemed like the old people behind the script were trying to appeal to a young audience by focusing most of the dialogue on sex. Since that was all they talked about, the characters came off as shallow. They tried to deepen Natalie with little things she said to Gavin and the scene with Brooke in the bathroom. She was clearly having a hard time in college away from everyone, but they didn’t really expand that idea. I don’t think this is the type of movie that needs deep characters. It’s a slasher movie, after all. But the fact they tried to show Natalie’s deeper side and the depth of the friendship she has with Brooke, just felt kind of forced and out of place.
- The Plot: 5/10
- The Scares: 4/10
- The Acting: 4/10
You aren’t missing anything with this movie. If you enjoy dumb slasher movies, then this will be right up your alley. I suggest going into this movie with low expectations. It’s a fun way to start off the Halloween vibes.