Released Sept. 27, “Hell Fest” provides little thrill for hardcore and amateur viewers alike.
Following the predictable storyline viewers have seen time and time again, even audience members who’ve never seen a slasher will find themselves rolling their eyes instead of recoiling at key climactic moments.
A good idea in theory, the killer masks himself like the employees or “haunters” in a Halloween-themed carnival. Natalie (Amy Forsyth), finds herself being peer pressured by her grade school best friend, Brooke (Reign Edwards), into attending Hell Fest.
With Gregory Plotkin sitting in the director’s chair, it’s baffling how someone who’s worked on critically acclaimed horror films such as “Get Out” and the “Paranormal Activity” franchise could create “Hell Fest.”
The writers were unable to create likable characters, and any attempt to craft a personality was lost in the film’s canned dialogue.
The first 15 minutes of exposition are straight from an after-school special, featuring the classic, “I’m not here to make friends” attitude that only exists in horror movies, “The Bachelor” and 90’s sitcoms.
“Hell Fest” lacks any compelling main characters. You’ll be hell bent to find a single developed, well-rounded character who viewers hope won’t die, making would-be suspenseful scenes fall flat. Audiences are left applauding the strategy of the kill rather than mourning the death of a one-dimensional character. The actors reciting predictable lines try to make up for it by making a meal out of every physical movement.
“Hell Fest” isn’t without its charms, with some scenes satisfying critical viewers and making them applaud the ingenuity of the killer.
Watching the well-timed deaths unfold is the most fun viewers will experience with “Hell Fest.” Each kill is on-theme with the carnival aspect and was thoughtful, if not suspenseful. One character is killed in a maze, unsure if the killer is out to get him or simply part of the fun.
By the end of the movie, it remains unclear who the audience is supposed to root for: the killer or the symmetrical twenty-somethings pretending to be teenagers.
“Hell Fest” can be seen in theaters nationwide.