As the Halloween season begins to bear down on us, this year’s crop of scary movies beginning to take form. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween and the much-anticipated Halloween are set to hit the silver screen, but Hell Fest got a jump on both. Released last month by Lionsgate and CBS Films, the film stars Bex Taylor-Klaus, Reign Edwards, and Tony Todd. Released last month by Lionsgate and CBS Films, the film stars Bex Taylor-Klaus, Reign Edwards, and Tony Todd.
Hell Fest is shown as a horror theme park which journeys across the country during the Halloween season. There is a creepily masked figure known as “The Other” who stalks young carnival goers. After slaughtering his victims, the killer places their bodies in strategic locations to blend in with prop bodies.
Main characters include Natalie (played by Amy Forsyth) and Brooke (played by Edwards), and Taylor (played by Taylor-Klaus), Quinn (played by Christian James), Asher (played by Matt Mercurio, and Gavin (played by Roby Attal). Natalie and Brooke go to Hell Fest with Brooke’s roommate (whom Natalie isn’t fond of), Taylor; Brooke and Taylor’s respective boyfriends, Quinn and Asher; and Gavin, a friend Natalie is attracted to. The group makes their way to Hell Fest and hell ensues.
I enjoyed watching Hell Fest, but it was by no means groundbreaking. The plot is steeped in horror genre cliches and tropes. Another issue is a profound lack of character development. I would have loved if the killer’s motive and state of mind had been explored, but, alas, that wasn’t in the cards. If you had to pick one Halloween movie to watch this year, Hell Fest sure isn’t the one. Wait for Halloween on October 19th or take a trip back to classic horror and give The Funhouse a try. Directed by Tobe Hooper, the 1981 film’s story is quite similar to Hell Fest but much better in terms of, well, just about everything.
I give Hell Fest two out of five stars.