I can see why Hell Fest has attracted some viewers and made back money on its initial $5 million dollar budget but its efforts are cheap at best. With three writers working together I expected a better script than the cringe-fest that was delivered.
It starts off very cliche – a group of friends are off to this place called, ‘Hell Fest’. As you can imagine its a horror theme park. Just as the group make it through the gates, they recount the story of how a young woman last year was murdered. Yawn. We have seen this all before but its okay, the plot moves on.
Natalie (Amy Forsyth) who serves as the protagonist reminds me of Bella from Twilight. Expressionless comes to mind. Her best friend is the aptly named Brooke (Reign Edwards) and they haven’t seen each other for a while. University or something – who cares. Her boyfriend is there of course Quinn who is almost a jock-type character. Her new housemate is there too – Taylor (Bex Taylor-Klaus) who plays an annoyingly ‘edgy’ and over-the-top teen who’s personae falls flat throughout. We have her boyfriend Asher (Matt Mercurio) and a love interest for our protagonist Gavin (Roby Attal). Phew.
The start is all about being ‘hyped’ for this amazing (mediocre) attraction and the whole group winding up Natalie and Gavin because they totally fancy each other. The cast seem way too old to be using the silly playground jokes that they use and I was ready to throw popcorn at the screen if their crush for one another was mentioned again after the tenth time. But when the killer who looks like a Michael Myers offspring shows up – the film starts to get slightly more interesting.
His presence as a killer isn’t really felt as intensely on-screen as it should be – this might be because we have seen it many times before or because there is no character back-drop. What are the killers motivations? However, when the killing does start it is somewhat unpredictable and each killing is different and entertaining. When the group splits up it isn’t too cliche and there’s a twist with the killer that adds a new flavor to the plot.
If your looking for a lazy film that places all its cards on cheap-thrills then you might enjoy Hell Fest. But if you want something that engages your mind then this probably isn’t for you. Its not a really bad film – there is some merits to it. But the sluggish acting, dialogue and cardboard characters really drag it down. It’s a shame they didn’t try to strive for something more.