Hellfest is a movie I was pretty excited for. If you don’t know me, I’m a huge fan of horror. George Romero, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper, James Wan, and are some of my favorite directors in the genre. I love their work especially (and obviously) the horror ones.
I know they’ve also branched out to do other stuff, but I love their horror and I’ve seen every John Carpenter film, every George Romero film (one or two), and every Wes Craven movie. I just love them.
The Hellfest trailer looked great. I know the poster at my cineplex was absolutely amazing. It was like the Jigsaw IMAX poster. It was artsy. It had like bright green and red, kind of like comic book style.
But given that the movie had a budget of about 5.5 million which is more than what most smaller horror films get, the movie was awful although the film looked great.
One thing I can give it is that the cinematography was excellent. The effects were really good and the set pieces and atmosphere were insane. They were absolutely brilliant. I loved looking at this film. Every second I didn’t like what I was watching, but I liked looking at it.
The reason for this was because the substance was trash, but the style was of quality. However, besides the style and substance, everything else fell flat. The characters were trash. They really were. The lead and supporting characters were absolutely terrible. Their dialogue between each other was cringey to atrocious at its worst. The decision-making was dreadful. The romance was lacking. Absolutely, just generic and awful.
The few moments where the story had some balls to do something different, it never really led to anything, and what’s really sad is the story had some great ideas of having like a haunted ride that takes you to the most extreme part of the park and inside that you can get to a maze, which is the most extreme maze in the park called Hell. That’s a great idea, it’s just that they never really fleshed it out or was able to fully realized it.
They waste Tony Todd who is a horror icon. He played Candyman. They only give him, like, five minutes of screen time, but they tease him in literally every trailer and on the front of the poster. It’s weird.
This movie also has some good gore. I’ll throw that out there. To me, action, gore, violence are good icing on the cake, but you need a foundation. You can’t just have that and it be like, “Oh yeah, I’ll give you six out of ten because it had good action.” No. I’ll give you two out of ten because you have to have good characters and a plot to drive the action forward. Just focusing on the action is lazy filmmaking and that’s what this was.
It has some good gore and some good kill moments, but at the end of the day, it was just lazy writing as well. The best actor in the movie was the guy who didn’t talk at all (the villain), and even then, they’re paying homage to Michael Myers with this villain. The thing is, they made him out to be just your generic slasher.
Other movies gave their characters a good motivation and this guy’s motivation, kind of like Michael Myers, is to have no motivation at all, but it’s not like the silent brilliance of Halloween.
It’s pathetic because it’s the most generic slasher ever and you get some cool moments, but again, cool moments aren’t what a good movie is built on. A few great scenes don’t equate to a good villain. They just make him another masked killer.
There’s nothing special or interesting about Hellfest. It wastes a really good budget and some amazing set pieces for a film that never really gets you interested in anything. It had a really good atmosphere, but the actors and the writers didn’t harmonize with it.
Every second you are taken out of the film because of how bad the dialogue is. I was laughing at how bad the dialogue was. I couldn’t enjoy the scary film and, of course, the antagonist because it’s hard to get behind a motiveless, generic slasher. By the end of the film, when you just think of him, he’s not scary, and this film wasn’t scary. And I don’t really like to say anything else because you get what I’m saying.
Overall, Hellfest is one of the worst films of the year and it’s really disappointing. It has terrible characters, dreadful dialogue, but it has really great set pieces, some good moments of gore, and a plot that could’ve been really something.