Hellfest doesn’t reinvent the slasher genre but it does help reinvigorate it. So many horror films today revolve around some inter dimensional, supernatural creature that it’s refreshing just to have a horror flick with some everyday joe wearing a mask and cutting people up.
The film is directed by Gregory Plotkin and stars stars Amy Forsyth, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Reign Edwards and Tony Todd, and follows a group of teens who are stalked by a serial killer while visiting a traveling Halloween carnival.
The film is a good kickoff for the Halloween season as the majority of the film takes place in a theme park sized Halloween carnival. Natalie (Forsyth) is visiting her friend Brooke when they decide to meet up with their other friends, the horror loving couple Taylor & Asher, Brooke’s boyfriend Quinn, and Gavin the nice guy who Natalie’s friends desperately want her to hook up with. Like a lot.
The killer isn’t really given a motive or a backstory. He simply just invades a haunt, selects a victim, and then proceeds to stalk her until he’s had his fun and then murders her. The first kill is the most memorable and most brutal. However it’s the interactions of the group of friends that sell the film.
However, it’s the relationships between the friends that helps lift the film up from being a run of the mill slasher. You actually like and care about what happens to the characters. Despite a few telegraphed jump scares here and there, the film overall is generally thrilling. But like a haunted attraction you get caught up in the production more than the scares.
The third act of the film is probably the weakest. It’s as if they rushed through it. The overall resolution to the film is very underwhelming. It doesn’t hurt the film completely, but it doesn’t help it either.
With that said HipsterZOMBIEJoint gives Hellfest a 7 out of 10.