There is quality in the darkness, and it isn’t quite as hidden as it is made out to be
Perhaps it’s a hunger for more, or a desire for these teen horrors to be something they aren’t, but it seems that they just aren’t as bad as most would like to make out. 2017’s Happy Death Day is the perfect example; these are films that strive to be better, but struggle to escape from the stranglehold of a modern market. There is quality in the darkness, and it isn’t quite as hidden as it is made out to be.
Natalie (Amy Forsyth) returns home to visit friends, who surprise her with a visit to Hell Fest – A horror-themed park with multiple scare mazes and horrifying characters. However, with the perfect disguise, a more sinister beast lies within the park, ready to kill at will with no chance of detection.
The plot is shaky, the script is holy, and… no wait. That’s about it.
The setting, a festival celebrating horror, filled with mazes, frights, and waivers for ‘touching’ is a market rising rapidly in the real world. This is especially the case around the Halloween season, and it makes such sense to go into the film utilising it as a strong and relatable base. Horror films of a certain style often use a gimmick, and there are weaker ideas used in features with far more acceptance than Hell Fest. It’s a concept that was crying out to be used, and director Gregory Plotkin has worked it onto the big screen with relative ease.
The set design is terrific, and the six lead actors have shaped some genuinely believable characters (a lack of often being the main downfall of low budget horror films), making Hell Fest an extremely watchable feature. Sure it isn’t brilliant, and there’s no real message or plot, but sometimes a little effort goes a long way to proving a piece works as pure entertainment.
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