‘Hell Fest’ (2018) Movie Review: A Euphoric Atmosphere That You’ll Love!

The new slasher movie, Hell Festbrings to life a whole new level of fear. The plot follows Natalie (Amy Forsyth: Rise 2018), Brooke (Reign Edwards: Snowfall 2017), and Taylor (Bex Taylor-Klaus: The Killing TV series) as they make their way to Hell Fest, a traveling Halloween carnival filled with mazes, rides, games, and live entertainment. Brooke and Taylor pair up with their boyfriends to give Natalie and her love interest space to get better acquainted. Excitement and thrills fuel the anticipation to explore the depths of Hell Fest… all except for one guest, a masked miscreant who roams the grounds, secretly watching the patrons in attendance.

hell fest

As he traps his first frantic, pleading target within one of the mazes, the girls watch and wonder when the ‘show’ will finish. Natalie jumps in line next, peaking the masked killer’s interest. As the night progresses, the killer is around every corner, following the group and playing into their fears. Regardless of his advantages, this group is sure to put up a fight in order to survive the night. Right?

Director Gregory Plotkin (Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension 2015) perfectly captured the essence of an invigorating Halloween haunt. It looked like a damn good time, if you ask me – minus the killer on the loose, of course. The use of neon lights laced with the party ambiance nourishes a new trend in horror, steering clear of the common use of a remote setting or events unfolding during the security of night and bad lighting. Iconic horror producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead, The Terminator) and Tucker Tooley (Limitless, Den of Thieves) fastened all details and trimmed away any unnecessary bulk, bringing to life a new kind of thriller.

You get to know each character as the plot thickens and each person was characterized admirably by the cast. Their performances were genuine and believable, which isn’t always the easiest thing to do. The idea of releasing a killer within a horror-themed event is a foolproof way to create a lingering curiosity and caution… plus, there’s a pretty good chance that the patrons would just think it was all part of the show. The killings had the right amount of gore and blood to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. With the avant-garde ending in Hell Fest, there’s room for back story or a sequel.

hell festOn the surface, the film plays like a new concept. However, I felt it mirrored that of another commonly known horror film and antagonist. Maybe I’m just brutally biased, but Hell Fest had remnants of Halloween, and the killer carried a Michael Myers flare. The events take place on Halloween night, and both killers wear simplistic masks that are not particularly scary, just creepy to look at. They both taunt their prey in their own cat and mouse game, causing psychological distress and paranoia, ultimately breaking them down mentally before physically causing any harm. However, the killer in Hell Fest takes it one step further by humming “Pop Goes the Weasel,” triggering childhood memories of the sudden POP of the infamous Jack in the Box.

hell fest

Final Thoughts

Hell Fest is a hybrid of old and new horror, showcasing how effective simple storylines can be, bringing things back to basics and highlighting the fact that serial killers do not fit any kind of mold. They walk among us and can strike at any time, which makes them truly terrifying. With the euphoric atmosphere, great acting, and remorseless killings, Hell Fest is perfect for the Halloween season.

Hell Fest is now in theaters. You can also experience the Hell Fest maze and attraction at this year’s Fright Fest at your local Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Have you already seen the movie? Comment below with your thoughts and we can discuss!

Hell Fest poster

About Anna

Hello readers, I was born and raised in Southern California. Throughout my upbringing I grew fond of the horror movie genre thanks to my mother. With my interest in true crime, I earned a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in forensic investigation. I enjoy art of all kind and appreciate subject matter outside the social norm. I like to engage in conversation involving my passions, so lets talk.

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