A masked serial killer turns a horror themed amusement park into his own personal playground, terrorizing a group of friends while the rest of the patrons believe that it is all part of the show. – (Source)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 48% (Critics) / 54% (Audience)
MetaScore: 29 – Generally unfavorable reviews
Directed By: Gregory Plotkin
Written By: Seth M. Sherwood, Blair Butler, Akela Cooper
Starring: Bex Taylor-Klaus, Reign Edwards, Amy Forsyth and Tony Todd
Studio: CBS Films and Lionsgate
The set designs for the different scare mazes in the Hell Fest park were great. I would definitely be first in line if there was anything close to an event like this happening near me.
The ending of HELL FEST was a lot cooler than this movie deserved. The idea that the killer wasn’t some poor sap who suffered some sort of humiliation at the hand of a haunted maze clown or lost a loved one to a scare house accident but instead was just some random guy with a family who lived in the suburbs was the coolest part of HELL FEST. Aside from the small part that the legendary Tony Todd had in the movie. Tony Todd makes everything better.
When I saw that HELL FEST was rated “R” I was pretty excited because the majority of modern horror gets slapped with a PG-13 rating which means the gore and blood will be toned down to insanely tedious levels. So imagine my disappointment when most of the kills in this movie seemed like they were made for a PG-13 rated film.
The pacing was a bit odd too. We spent so much time with the potential victims just hanging in the scare park while being stalked by the killer and being picked off one by one and then it was like the final act was rushed to hit the 2 hour run time which is crazy because a standard horror movie is usually 90 minutes. HELL FEST really did not make the most of those extra 30 minutes.
The characters were so one note and no one involved in the making of this film seemed to give a damn about making them anything more than that. It is 2018…there needs to be a lot more investment in developing characters that people can care about before they get knocked off. It’s a shame too because the young actors who made up this cast (especially the young ladies) were all capable of giving audiences indelible characters that they could root for.
Final Verdict: A very pedestrian slasher movie that keeps things pretty predictable through nearly the entire movie but delivers an ending that is shockingly satisfying.